There is The Other Darrin, where a character is recast with a new actor due to various circumstances (death, legal issues, backstage issues). This is the opposite, where after a prolonged period of time the character is played by the same actor. This tends to come as a surprise that they were able to get the actor back, just because of the length of time involved and scheduling issues. Generally, this should be about relative extremes such as not showing up for 3-4 years and not just the following year. Compare Regular Character, Recurring Character. Examples:
- The Toy Story series managed to have the same actor (John Morris) who played Andy as a kid, adolescent and young adult through all three films, with the third movie being made 11 years after the second movie. All of the main characters are also voiced by the same actors, with only one (Slinky) being recast due to Jim Varney's death.
- One of the biggest accomplishments of the Harry Potter movies was keeping all of the same actors who played various parts in the same role over the course of a decade and 8 movies. The only exception is the recasting of Dumbledore due to Richard Harris' death.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer pulled off a rather impressive string of actors reprising their characters in a single scene in the 7th season opener, with all previous Big Bads being impersonated by the new enemy who can take on the appearance of anyone dead or once dead. While one of them, Spike, had become a regular character on the series all of the others were reprised by the same actors.
- Jeff Bridges reprising the role of Kevin Flynn in TRON: Legacy after more than 25 years.
- One of the more impressive feats of getting the Star Trek movies was all of the original series characters being played by their original actors. Various bit characters played by bit actors also appeared in the movies, such as Yeoman Rand and Lieutenant Kyle.
- Leonard Nimoy reprising Spock in the 2009 Star Trek film, after not having played the character since 1991's Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. This is somewhat ironic, as he almost didn't show up in the original movies due to not being interested in playing Spock anymore. He ended up playing his character longer than anyone else.
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