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The AHS Star That Fans Agree Is The Backbone Of The Show

Since its debut in 2011, "American Horror Story" has garnered a loyal fanbase, launched a spin-off series, and become a reliable ongoing gig for many of its cast members. The anthology series features a recurring ensemble cast, with several stars appearing in multiple seasons of the show.

With that in mind, u/uglytraveller recently polled fans on the "American Horror Story" subreddit, asking, "Who's the real backbone of the show?" Their poll offered six options: Jessica Lange, Denis O'Hare, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, and Frances Conroy. "I know everyone says Sarah Paulson is the backbone of the show but I keep coming back for Evan Peters and Lily Rabe," the OP added. For context, those three "American Horror Story" veterans have all starred in nine of the show's ten seasons, though, technically Rabe's "Asylum" character also briefly appeared in "Freak Show."

Of course, many fans left comments answering with stars that weren't included, like Kathy Bates, Billie Lourd, Angela Bassett, and Taissa Farmiga. But despite the backlash against it only having six options, the poll had a clear winner. 

So, which "American Horror Story" star do fans agree is the backbone of the show?

Fans agree that Sarah Paulson carries American Horror Story

Of the nearly 3,000 votes cast, Sarah Paulson handily won the "American Horror Story" fan poll with 1,400 votes. Coming in second place with 601 votes was the previous reigning queen of "American Horror Story," Jessica Lange, while Evan Peters trailed just behind her with 594 votes.

"It used to be Jessica but it's definitely Sarah now," wrote u/Daff69, and many fans echoed this sentiment, praising both actresses for being the show's backbone. "I want to say Jessica, but since she left I went with Sarah," admitted u/GoTGeekMichelle. "Both actresses are powerhouses, but Jessica is an absolute goddess." Meanwhile, u/littleghostwhowalks added, "It has to be Paulson. I'm not even a huge fan girl of hers, and I'm definitely a bigger fan of other names you listed, but her characters and performances often carry the show."

However, despite how much fans appreciate her continued presence on the show, Paulson recently revealed that "Double Feature" may be the end of her "American Horror Story" journey because, for once, she doesn't know what's next. "I think this is my last season of 'Horror Story,' probably. I mean, I don't know," Paulson said during an appearance on "Watch What Happens Live!" earlier this year. "Every time [producer Ryan Murphy] comes to me with some whack-a-doodle character, I tend to be like, 'Yes, let's do it!' I don't know, this is the first time. So we'll see."

Fortunately, while Paulson's TB Karen doesn't appear to have survived "Red Tide," the actress is set to play Mamie Eisenhower (via IMDb) in the "Death Valley" half of "American Horror Story: Double Feature."