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The Best Recurring Guest Character On AHS: 1984 According To Fans

One of the reasons "American Horror Story" fans return season after season to the show is to see how producer and co-creator Ryan Murphy will bring back the series' many beloved recurring actors. In the series' ninth installment, "American Horror Story: 1984," the show took a break from a few of those actors, including fan-favorites like Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters. That said, the critically acclaimed season (itself a nostalgic love letter to 1980s slasher horror movies) rewarded long-time viewers with both unexpected guest appearances and brand new kinds of roles for some of its regular players. Emma Roberts, for instance, was finally cast in a role (that of the central ingénue/final girl) that gave her a real character arc to work with.

Of the many familiar faces that "American Horror Story: 1984" brought back into the fold, fans seem to have been most delighted by one, in particular. In a recent Reddit poll, u/pwalsh04 asked members to choose their favorite recurring or guest performance of the season, a choice of words that appears to have tipped the scales heavily in favor of one beloved, longtime "American Horror Story" star.

AHS fans felt Lily Rabe's performance in 1984 made her the clear winner

The Reddit poll garnered a total of 277 votes, a whopping 48% (133 votes) of which went to star Lily Rabe, for her depiction of the cold, cruel, and vengeful mother Lavinia Richter in "American Horror Story: 1984." As Bobby — the estranged son of John Carroll Lynch's Benjamin Richter/Mr. Jingles — Finn Wittrock placed second, but with 85 fewer votes than Rabe, it wasn't much of a competition. The remaining votes were split between Tara Karsian's kindhearted Chef Bertie, Leslie Jordan's understandably anxious Courtney, Dylan McDermott's murderous misogynist Bruce, and Lou Taylor Pucci's confused, long-dead ghost camper Jonas.

Although Chef Bertie was beloved by many, most of the poll's voters felt Rabe's layered and emotional portrayal of the relatively (and intentionally) one-dimensional Lavinia earned her a seat at the top. As the thread's OP noted, although Lavinia seemed unbelievably shallow in her toxic favoring of one son over the other (and her abusive treatment of the latter, Benjamin), Rabe's "acting was the best of this season. From her horrible parenting before her son died, to the meltdown and subsequent massacre, to her exchanges with a grown Benjamin." Another user echoed this sentiment, writing that they were "stoked to see Dylan McDermott back," but that "Lily Rabe going on a rampage Filled a hole in [their] heart."

Considering that Rabe's characters in "Murder House," "Roanoke," "Coven," and "Asylum" all largely got the short end of the stick in terms of positive plot lines or personal agency, it's not much of a surprise that fans were pleased to see Rabe in a role that commanded — for better or worse — so much fear and authority.