Back in 1999, Angel gave actor David Boreanaz his first leading role on television, after having charmed viewers with his presence on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the time since Angel’s debut, Boreanaz has gone on to star in several successful television programs, with his most recent, SEAL TEAM, set to be made into a movie.
While viewers are fond of the various characters Boreanaz has come to play over the years, they might find themselves shocked at how morally duplicitous his breakout role was. The vampire with a soul was more than willing to let lawyers die and cut his friends out of his life, but he was still a likable character thanks to Boreanaz’s natural charm.
Played brilliantly by David Denman, Skip was introduced as a demon who worked for the Powers That Be. He was level-headed in his first interaction with Angel (attempting to talk the vampire down from getting into a fight), kind toward Cordelia when she entered a comatose state, and charming to a fault.
While Skip may have started as one of Angel’s most charismatic demons, he eventually revealed himself as an agent for the villainous Jasmine with a cynical outlook on life. Though this arguably undid all the goodwill audiences had for the character, there’s no denying how likable Skip was during his early appearances.
Initially hostile towards Angel Investigations, Charles Gunn became a valuable asset to the team, having spent much of his teenage years hunting demons. While this lent to the character’s blunt and stubborn attitude, it was balanced out by his fierce loyalty to his friends and natural charm.
Gunn might have spent most of Angel as the tough but likable badass, yet like many of the show’s characters, he took a dark turn that dampened his likability. To stop Fred from going down a path of vengeance, Gunn snaps the neck of the man who sent her to Pylea, a decision that led to the disintegration of their relationship.
Though Wesley Wyndham-Pryce started as a posh and pragmatic member of the Watcher’s Council on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, his character became more of a quirky sidekick on Angel. His intelligence was still intact, but the awkwardness that he displayed in his first appearance was amplified to make the character more empathetic.
While Wesley was arguably one of the more compassionate members of Angel Investigations during its early years, he became a darker character willing to make hard choices as time went on. It ultimately led to his alienation from the team after he kidnaped baby Connor (arguably one of the worst actions committed on Angel), though he eventually worked his way toward redemption.
Anne Steele was one of the more obscure characters in the Buffyverse, yet her scant few appearances on screen more than cemented her as one of the show’s most empathetic characters. Like so many of Angel’s protagonists, she was driven by an altruistic desire to help others, a fact which is evidenced by her commitment to the East Hills Teen Center.
While offering shelter to stragglers and wayward teenagers is commendable, Anne Steele proved especially sympathetic in her goals because she was aware that her actions wouldn’t amount to much in the grand scheme of things. Most people would give up in the face of such adversity, but Anne chose to carry on helping others, despite how fleeting it all seemed.
Despite being teased as a monstrous villain in Angel’s 2nd season, The Groosalug (more commonly referred to as a Groo) was a sweet half-demon warrior who helped Cordelia and her friends escape from Pylea. After being overthrown as ruler of the dimension, he came to Los Angeles and began a relationship with the woman he helped free from captivity.
Though Groo was played up as a romantic rival to Angel, the character proved incredibly endearing thanks to his bubbly personality and disarming innocence. These qualities made him appear naive, but he proved a mature and intelligent presence when he left Cordelia so that she could be with Angel, a feat that made him all the more likable.
Most people wouldn’t find a person who exhibits antagonist behavior to be likable, yet Spike still remains the most popular Buffyverse character despite his faults. It’s not hard to see why though, given the character’s wit and charisma.
Perhaps the aspect of Spike’s character that made him such an entrancing presence on Angel was his snark. The punk vampire lacked respect for everyone around him and was more than willing to let his tongue fly when telling people what he thought of them. Despite his brusque exterior, Spike still showed compassion for the team he worked with, sticking with them to the end.
Despite her origins as a selfish and vapid cheerleader on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cordelia Chase came into her own on Angel. She was still snarky and self-absorbed at the start of the series, but she began to grow into a more altruistic character when she was bestowed with the power to see visions from the Powers That Be.
With Cordelia’s visions of the helpless came to her transformation into a confident and compassionate woman, asserting herself as the heart of Angel Investigations. Though this role was challenged in the show’s fourth season due to her possession by Jasmine, Cordelia ultimately proved just how likable she was in her final appearance as she restored Angel’s faith in his mission.
Allen Francis Doyle
Though he only lasted for nine episodes, Glenn Quin’s Allen Francis Doyle made an immediate impression on viewers. His struggle to hide his crush on Cordelia was relatable, his sardonic wit contrasted nicely with Angel’s stoicism, and his efforts to downplay his demonic heritage was understandable.
Perhaps the action that proved most enduring to Doyle’s legacy was his sacrifice to save LA and atone for his inaction in saving his brethren from a fascistic group of demons known as the Scourge. It’s not an action many people would’ve taken, hence the reason why Doyle proves so likable
Introduced during Angel’s second season, Lorne served as an enigmatic, yet charming ally to Angel Investigations as host of Caritas. As the series progressed, he proved just how essential he was to the team, helping save Cordelia from Pylea and looking after baby Connor during the show’s third season.
Despite how much havoc Angel’s adventures wreaked on Lorne’s life, he never rejected the vampire, and would constantly lend his pacifistic philosophy to the tension found on the team. Even as his happy-go-lucky demeanor was wiped away by Fred’s death, he still proved an empathetic character as he attempted to hold on to his faith during Angel’s controversial fifth season.
By far the friendliest member of Angel Investigations, Fred started as a nervous bundle of energy before opening up and becoming a valuable asset to the team thanks to her high IQ.
What made Fred the most endearing character on Angel was her sunny disposition and her faith in the goodness of (most) others. Even when she was allowed to exact revenge on the professor who threw her into a demon dimension, she chose to put her anger behind her and chose not to cross the line.