Actors who played different characters on a TV show

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Monosterio, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    At different times, I mean. For example, Jennifer Taylor, who regularly played Chelsea on Two and a Half Men, actually appeared on the show three times before: as Suzanne (series pilot), Tina (2004) and Nina (2007).

    And on Seinfeld, Suzanne Snyder appeared as the O’Brien-obsessed Nazi, Eva, in “The Limo” and later as Audrey (Poppie’s daughter) in “The Pie.”

    Any other examples of this?
     
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  2. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    I was worried there might not be any others, but I just thought of one. I’ll wait to see if someone else comes up with it, though... :)
     
  3. PCM7027

    PCM7027 Forum Resident

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    Colin Baker appeared in an episode of Doctor Who with Peter Davison as The Doctor, before going on to play the lead role himself. At the time of Baker's casting as Davison's successor, he was the only actor portraying the Doctor to have appeared in the series as another character prior to taking on the leading role. Peter Capaldi later repeated the feat, appearing in an episode, The Fires of Pompeii, a few years before playing the title role.
    Coincidentally, Karen Gillan, who played Amy Pond, companion to the Eleventh Doctor, had also appeared in The Fires of Pompeii, in a minor role.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  4. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

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    Edd Byrnes played a hit man in the ‎77 Sunset Strip pilot and got killed. But he was so popular with test audiences he was brought back as Kookie the parking lot attendant.

    Harry Morgan's first MASH role was as a by the book general who goes bonkers
     
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  5. signothetimes53

    signothetimes53 Forum Resident

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    Allan Melvin played no less than 8 (!) different characters in 8 different episodes of the Andy Griffith Show.

    Allan Melvin
     
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  6. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

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    Ken Curtis played several roles on Gunsmoke before being cast as Festus
     
  7. Parachute Woman

    Parachute Woman Sorry I can't stick to one avatar. I get bored.

    Dean Charles-Chapman appeared on Game of Thrones as a Lannister cousin in season two. They later cast him as Tommen Baratheon when they recast Tommen due to him becoming a main character (and king).

    When The X Files was shot in Vancouver (seasons 1-5) they often used actors from the same talent pool more than once. Terry O'Quinn was on the show twice in different roles and then a third different role in the first X Files movie.
     
  8. PCM7027

    PCM7027 Forum Resident

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    Jodie Foster appeared in Gunsmoke as three different characters. She also appeared in My Three Sons in three different roles.
     
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  9. milankey

    milankey Forum Resident

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    And then there was Patty Duke....
     
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  10. PCM7027

    PCM7027 Forum Resident

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    It's not really the same thing, since they're totally unrelated and are almost like individual TV movies, but several actors had different lead roles in Columbo, usually playing the murderer. Jack Cassidy, Robert Culp, Patrick McGoohan and Robert Vaughn were all in multiple episodes.
     
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  11. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    That’s one example that came to mind a little while ago. I believe Cassidy first appeared in the famous Spielberg-directed episode.

    And cases like that are fine for this thread, btw.
     
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  12. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

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    So is this thread for regulars who had earlier played a different character on the series, or just any actors who played more than one character on a series? There are quite a few of the latter
     
  13. Ron Stone

    Ron Stone Offending Member

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    Deep Maryland
    As above, back in the sixties and seventies, it wasn't unusual for a supporting actor or actress to re-appear annually in a television series, each time as a different character.
     
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  14. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    You can do the latter. The Seinfeld example I gave earlier is such a case. They have to appear at different times, though—no Miley Cyruses. :D
     
  15. PCM7027

    PCM7027 Forum Resident

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    Yes. Murder By the Book. And - like all the Jack Cassidy episodes - it's great.
     
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  16. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

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    In that case, I'm outta here

    Later...
     
  17. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    The example I thought of earlier is Diane Neal on Law & Order: SVU. Two years before she appeared as series regular A.D.A. Casey Novak, she played a suspect in the episode “Ridicule.”

    And I’m pretty sure this and the other Law & Order series have other examples like this.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  18. Drew

    Drew Forum Resident

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    Brent Spiner played Data and Lore and their creator. Does that count?
     
  19. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    South Florida
    If they appeared at the same time, or if the characters are related, no.
     
  20. AKA

    AKA Cromulent Member

    Jon Lovitz guested on NewsRadio on two separate occasions as different characters, before becoming a regular in the final season as yet another character, Max Louis.
     
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  21. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

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    Toronto
    Charlotte Ross eventually played a detective on NYPD Blue, but before doing so, played a different role, as the beaten wife of another cop.

    That series is filled with examples. Sometimes, a purp would be played by the same actor who played a victim the season before.
     
  22. guy incognito

    guy incognito Senior Member

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    Mee-chigan
    John Orchard played "Ugly John" in the first season before the character got written out, then randomly popped up in a Season 8 episode as an MP who takes bribes to keep Rosie's Bar open.

    Also, the Japanese-American actor Mako had several guest appearances on the show, each time playing a different character.
     
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  23. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

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    Quite true. There are many actors who have made multiple appearances on all of the L & O 's in multiple roles. The first one that comes to mind is Bruce Macvittie, who has probably played around a dozen different characters in the franchise.
     
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  24. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

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    Oregon
    Jerry Orbach played defense attorney Frank Lehrmann on L & O, the year before he joined the cast as Detective Lennie Briscoe
     
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  25. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

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    Richard Stahl played at least 7 different roles in 9 appearances on "Odd Couple".

    He might have actually played 9 different parts, but he was credited as "Minister" 3 times. It's unclear if they're supposed to be the same character.

    Stahl also played "Buck", "Dr. Bates", "Brother Ralph", "Justice of the Peace", "Cop" and "Florist"...
     
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