The Real Housewives: The 13 Best OGs, Ranked


When Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County premiered in 2006, no one could have predicted just how successful the series would become. Surprisingly, the drama on the reality series proved to be just as theatrical as any scripted series, and soon after, a franchise of spin-offs was born.

Covering cities across the United States (and now, Middle East), the franchise has captured the lives of the wealthy and affluent. The franchise has become so popular that an entire convention known as BravoCon launched in 2019 and awarded fans an opportunity to see their favorite housewives up close. As housewives have come and gone, one thing remains is that the original cast members, who laid down the foundation of the series and are the spirit of the series.

Updated on October 26, 2022, by Lynn Gibbs:

What makes an OG Housewife an OG Housewife depends on whether she started the series in season 1 or not. There are few Housewives who are still part of the franchise after starting a series, but the iconic ones are in it for the long haul. While some OG Housewives are seen as controversial these days (i.e. Vicki Gunvalson and Ramona Singer), they’re still loved by the Bravo fandom and are icons for the series they started. However, not every OG Housewife is worth the hype.


13/13 Heather Gay

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City

Fans were thrilled when it was announced that Heather Gay was returning for season 3 of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. Thanks to The Real Housewives of Dubai, RHOSLC wasn’t the new kid on the block anymore, and fans loved getting to know the Housewives of Salt Lake.

RELATED: Who’s Returning (And Who’s Not) For Season 3 Of The Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City

What made Heather a beloved OG Housewife was her honesty. She was transparent about her faith, the issues she had within her family, and her struggle (and empowerment) as a single mother with her own business. Heather can do it all, adding some hilarious one-liners too.

12/13 Kim Zolciak-Biermann

The Real Housewives of Atlanta

When Kim Zolciak-Biermann left in the middle of season 5 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, fans were shocked. Shortly after, the onetime aspiring country recording artist earned her own Bravo spinoff, Don’t Be Tardy. The series followed her marriage to former NFL player Kroy Biermann and their children.

During her time on RHOA, Kim became well known for her love of wigs and mysterious relationship with a man known as “Big Poppa.” She returned in a “friend” role for season 10 of RHOA but has since stuck to her show and launched multiple businesses with her daughters, Ariana and Brielle. In the end, Kim had some wild reunion conflicts and hasn’t been back to The Real Housewives franchise for years, she continues to reign supreme on the reality show circuit.

11/13 Gizelle Bryant

The Real Housewives of Potomac

Gizelle Bryant is an OG Housewife from The Real Housewives of Potomac who is known for her stunning looks and shady demeanor. For seven seasons, Gizelle’s storyline with her ex-husband was entertaining for fans, but it was her friendships with the other women that fans couldn’t get enough of.

From being a “green-eyed bandit” with cast mate Robyn Dixon to petty drama with Karen Huger, Gizelle has as many haters as she does supporters, making her a great OG Housewife.

10/13 Kyle Richards

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

The cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is the most lavish bunch in the Housewives universe, and Kyle Richards is no exception. As a former child star, she appeared in films such as Escape from Witch Mountain (1975) and the Halloween (1978) franchise. But these days, she’s known for her time on RHOBH.

RELATED: 11 Best Friendships In The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills

Since joining RHOBH, she has continued her acting career by coming face to face with horror icon Michael Myers when she revisits her role as Lindsey Wallace in the upcoming Halloween Ends (2022). Always direct and no stranger to confrontation, Kyle has some of the best friendships on RHOBH and is the anchor of the series.

9/13 Karen Huger

The Real Housewives of Potomac

The Real Housewives of Potomac had a lot of pressure to live up to its predecessors. Since then, the spinoff has become a fan favorite, and part of its success is thanks to the one and only, Karen Huger.

The “Grand Dame” of Potomac, Huger is a self-proclaimed diva and isn’t afraid to serve up frankness with a side of the shade, and fans love her for it. Karen’s had some of the best quotes on RHOP. She is one of the most glamorous cast members in the franchise, and her entrepreneurial spirit has found her success in the beauty and fashion industries. RHOP has had only seven seasons, which means fans will undoubtedly have a lot more epic Huger content for years to come.

8/13 Luann de Lesseps

The Real Housewives of New York City

From a countess to a cabaret singer, Bravo fans have stuck by Luann de Lesseps through thick and thin. Fans have watched her deal with two divorces, legal issues, and her journey to sobriety. Whatever the challenge may be, Luann always arms herself with a sense of class and poise as she heads into battle.

Never letting viewers forget her former countess title, there is no denying that she has grown as a person and a friend throughout 13 seasons of The Real Housewives of New York City. It’s always a pleasure to see what new artistic venture she’s cooking up. No matter what, fans can always count on her to leave fans “Feelin’ Jovani.”

7/13 Ramona Singer

The Real Housewives of New York City

For all 13 seasons of RHONY, Ramona Singer has been the only cast member to remain with the series since it started in 2008. Her signature wide-eyed expression and sometimes prudish mentality always result in sidesplitting laughter.

Audiences have watched Singer deal with divorce, empty nest syndrome, and the constant ups and downs of her friendships. Claiming to have “50 best girlfriends,” she is a true social butterfly and thrives as both an attendee and hostess with the mostest. And while there’s a brand new The Real Housewives of New York cast for 2023, Ramona will forever be known as an OG fans love to hate and hate to love.

6/13 Shereé Whitfield

The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Shereé Whitfield was an OG Housewife for the first four seasons of RHOA. What makes Shereé such an iconic Housewife is her iconic comebacks, arguments with the other women, and her dedication to proving others wrong.

Shereé eventually left and became a friend of the series, but she’s back on the main roster for season 14. Shereé has given fans She by Shereé, Chateau Shereé, and “Who’s gonna check me, boo?” Because of her history with the women, Shereé is one of the best Housewives.

5/13 Lisa Vanderpump

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Lisa Vanderpump has become not only an iconic Real Housewives figure, but a reality television powerhouse. When she joined the inaugural cast of RHOBH, no one could predict the massive amount of influence she’d have at Bravo. Her posh and opulent persona made her a real standout as a cast member.

After making her Bravo debut, she earned a spinoff, Vanderpump Rules, which became a smash hit. At the end of season 9, Lisa left the series, but she was a part of the best seasons of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to this day.

4/13 Bethenny Frankel

The Real Housewives of New York City

Of all the Real Housewives cast members, Bethenny Frankel might have the most bite. When the series started in 2010, Frankel was a jolt of fiery energy that rounded out the ensemble. Known for her signature sarcasm, the entrepreneur ended up later earning her two Bravo spinoffs, Bethenny Ever After and Bethenny & Fredrik.

RELATED: 10 Bethenny Quotes That Prove She’s The Voice Of The Audience For RHONY

Since she left RHONY in 2019, Bethenny proved that she was the voice of the audience. She left a mark that no other Real Housewives star has since matched.

3/13 NeNe Leakes

The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Although she is no longer a main cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, NeNe Leakes remains a fan favorite. During her run from seasons 1-7, she was the leader of the group. When she returned for seasons 10-12, she continued to bring her trademark honesty and humor to every scene she was in, and fans were delighted to have her back. She was a part of The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s best storylines.

RELATED: The 10 Best Real Housewives of Atlanta Storylines, Ranked

Since her days on RHOA, NeNe has launched a successful acting career appearing on Glee, The New Normal, and First Wives Club. In 2014, she showed off a new skill set when she competed on Dancing with the Stars and later made her Broadway debut in 2015. In addition, she is also an author and designer.

2/13 Teresa Giudice

The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Arguably, Teresa Giudice might have the most dramatic story arc of any housewife in the Bravo universe. From her tension-filled relationship with her brother, Joe, and sister-in-law and co-star, Melissa Gorga, Giudice is objectively the most public Real Housewife cast member.

The born and bred Jersey mother of four always manages to find the tricky balance of protecting her family while documenting her private life for the world to see. She’s remained with the series for an impressive 12 seasons and shows no signs of slowing down on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Her trademark temper, which earned her notoriety during the series’ early seasons, has since become more refined, just make sure never to bring her sprinkle cookies.

1/13 Vicki Gunvalson

The Real Housewives of Orange County

The self-declared “OG from the OC,” Vicki Gunvalson, enjoyed a 14-season stint on The Real Housewives of Orange County before being demoted to a friend role. In early 2020, she announced that she would be stepping away from the series after her successful run.

During her time on the series, she played a vital role in every dramatic story arc and was a constant source of comedy. Sometimes, she fell into some questionable situations, but she always managed to come out of every situation with more clarity and perspective. However, as one of the best OG Housewives, there are countless things Vicki will never live down.

NEXT: 10 Things That Vicki Will Never Live Down From The Real Housewives Of Orange County


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