Viola Davis and Kerry Washington. Picture; Supplied

The past year gave us television shows that kept us entertained every day, from gripping story-lines to outstanding productions, but shows would be nothing without the actors and actresses that bring the character to life. 

This year we saw some stellar performances from local and international performers and it’s only right that we highlight who our favourites were.

Viola Davis and Kerry Washington

Who would have ever imagined that we would get to witness two of television and Hollywood’s biggest female stars sharing the same scene on our screens.

Well, thanks to the genius that is Shonda Rhimes, earlier this year we saw 'The Fixer' and How 'To Get Away With Murder' crossover. Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington and Annalise Keating, played by Viola Davis were pure magic. 

The award-winning actresses have owned prime-time television since their respective shows aired.

Viola Davis. Picture: Jordan Strauss/AP

Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton has always been one of Hollywood’s best performing actresses. Remember her portrayal of Christine Thayer in Crash and Tangie in 'For Coloured Girls'? 

Well, her crossover into television when she got the role of Maeve Millay in 'Westworld' was one of her best career moves. This year she won an Emmy award for her Westworld role and a string of other nominations.

Thandie Newton. Picture: Supplied

Thuso Mbedu

This young star is like a gift that keeps giving. She continues to stun us in 'Is’Thunzi' and 'Generations: The Legacy'. She has also been nominated twice at the International Emmy Awards. 

Thembsie Matu A legend in the industry, Thembsie brought the character of Petronella on 'The Queen' to life with ease making us fall in love with her. 

This year she walked away with two awards at the DStv Mzansi Viewers Choice Awards.

Thuso Mbedu. Picture: Supplied

Tony Kgoroge

It’s not easy replacing an actor but when Tony was announced as Mpumelelo Bhulose’s replacement, it made perfect sense. The actor has won fans over on e.tv’s 'Imbewu: The Seed'.

Tony Kgoroge. Picture: Supplied

Don Mlangeni-Nawa

This year the man we all knew as Bra Zeb in Isidingo received a lifetime achiever award at this year’s Royalty Soapie Awards for his work in the industry. 

We also join Don in 'The Throne' as Prince Moseki Kwena.

Don Mlangeni-Nawa. Picture: Supplied

Moshidi Motshegwa

One of the country’s highest-paid actresses made her return to the small screen this year as Malefu in 'The River'. The star has kept us entertained as the no-nonsense and religious mother she portrays on the telenovela.

Moshidi Motshegwa. Picture: Supplied

Leleti Khumalo

This year we saw celebrated actress and Sarafina star Leleti Khumalo take on the role of MaZulu on 'Imbewu: The Seed' after leaving 'Uzalo'. The star not only acts but is also executive producer of the new hit drama. 

Leleti Khumalo. Picture: Supplied

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