In {{Biopic}}s and dramatizations of true events where the principal figure, though portrayed in the show by some Hollywood star, is still alive in RealLife, it's a traditional CastingGag to assign this non-actor some bit part (not AsHimself).

A subtrope of TheCameo. Compare CelebrityParadox, AutobiographicalRole.

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!!Examples

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[[folder: Films ]]

* Cleverly used in ''Film/ErinBrockovich''. When Erin is in a restaurant, one of the waitresses is being played by the ''real'' Erin Brockovich. She even has a nametag that reads "Julia", as Brockovich is played by Julia Roberts. At the table behind her is the real Ed Masry, the lawyer who represented Erin.
* The film adaptation of ''TheRightStuff'' had a couple of [[UsefulNotes/{{NASA}} NACA]] recruiters visiting Pancho's Happy Bottom Riding Club outside of Edwards AFB, sizing up the test pilots present. The old man who interrupts them to ask if they want any whiskey is the real Chuck Yeager, whom they were discussing.
* The real Baroness Maria von Trapp, her daughter and granddaughter appear briefly as extras in the movie version of ''Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic''. They are in the background during the song "I Have Confidence", at the line, "I must stop these doubts, all these worries/If I don't, I just know I'll turn back."
* In ''ThePursuitOfHappyness'', the real Chris Gardner (Will Smith's character) is the very well-dressed black man crossing the street behind Will Smith and his son at the end of the movie.
* Jim Garrison played Earl Warren in ''Film/{{JFK}}'' (Creator/KevinCostner played Garrison).
* In ''Film/ThePeopleVsLarryFlynt'', Woody Harrelson, playing Flynt, has a really nasty judge hearing one of his obscenity trials. The judge is played by Larry Flynt.
* ''Film/{{Apollo 13}}'' features a cameo by astronaut Jim Lovell (who flew on the actual Apollo 13 mission) as the captain of the aircraft carrier that recovers the crew after splashdown. Lovell is, of course, being played by Tom Hanks. The cameo is doubly appropriate, given that Lovell is a retired Navy captain. (The plan was for him to be an admiral for the part, but he declared, 'I retired a captain, and I'll be a captain.')
* The real Frank Abagnale Jr. was an extra in ''Film/CatchMeIfYouCan''. He played one of the French police officers.
* Tony Wilson himself appears as a TV studio technician in ''Film/TwentyFourHourPartyPeople''. After his cameo, it is immediately pointed out by the [[BreakingTheFourthWall actor playing Tony Wilson]] (the film has NoFourthWall, at least when dealing with the main character) who then also mentions several other cameos by actual musicians from throughout the film to that point. One notable example features Howard Devoto, the lead singer for the bands The Buzzcocks and Magazine, appearing in a scene featuring the actor playing him, only to turn around and bluntly state that he doesn't remember this happening at all. It's ''that'' kind of [=Biopic=].
* In ''FearAndLoathingInLasVegas'', Hunter S. Thompson's alter ego Raoul Duke (played by Johnny Depp) has a flashback in a nightclub where he hallucinates that he sees himself sitting at a table. The man at the table is the real Hunter S. Thompson.
-->"There I was... holy shit, ''there I am!''
* In the film ''In The Mood'', about a boy who has affairs with two much older women back when it wasn't cool to do that sort of thing (at least publicly), Ellsworth Wisecarver, the boy who had the affairs with the women in 1944, plays a man who accuses the boy of being a communist during a TV interview.
* Creator/SpikeMilligan plays his own father in the film version of ''Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall''.
* ''Milk'' has the real Cleve Jones as Don Amador. (Jones is played by Emile Hirsch in the film.)
* At the end of ''{{Schindlers List}}'', the actors portraying the major characters walk hand-in-hand with the people they portrayed, placing stones on Schindler's grave.
* Alice Brock, the "Alice" in "Music/AlicesRestaurant" (remember Alice? It's a song about Alice), has a cameo in [[Film/AlicesRestaurant the movie adaptation of the song]].
* Ryan White had a small part in ''The Ryan White Story'' as another boy with AIDS.
* In ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falling_from_the_Sky:_Flight_174 Falling from the Sky: Flight 174]]'', when two guys just out of a flight simulator complain to an examiner that it's impossible for both engines to fail because of a pump failure, the examiner tells them that this exact scenario has actually happened. The examiner is played by Robert Pearson, the Captain of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glider The Gimli Glider]], a Boeing 767 which ran out of fuel in midair.
* ''Some Came Running'' is a 1958 film starring FrankSinatra and DeanMartin, in which a number of poker games are portrayed. In one such game, Frank and Dino are playing against JamesJones, who wrote the novel upon which the movie is based. (For you ultimate trivia buffs, another person at the same table is [[{{Seinfeld}} Uncle Leo]].)
* Creator/DavidFincher 's 2007 movie ''Zodiac'' features a brief appearance of Zodiac survivor Bryan C. Heartnell. Heartnell also consulted for the film.
* Author J.G. Ballard cameos as a party guest in ''EmpireOfTheSun'', adapted from his semi-autobiographical novel of the same name.
* ''TheManWhoNeverWas'' featured Ewen Montagu, who wrote the book, playing a senior officer who expresses skepticism about Montagu's plan. They had to reshoot the scene several times because actor Clifton Webb, playing Montagu, kept breaking up laughing.
* ''Film/ManOnTheMoon'' features a number of these - for example, the real Bob Zmuda (played by Paul Giamatti in the film) appears as the producer of ABC's "Fridays."
* George Harrison, one of the biggest supporters of ''TheRutles'', appears in the film as a grey-wigged reporter.
* Aside from being portrayed by an actor as part of the Rolling Stone staff, the actual Jann Wenner has a cameo in ''Film/AlmostFamous'', reading a newspaper in the back of a taxi.
* ''TheFrenchConnection'' has appearances by Eddie "Popeye" Egan and Sonny "Cloudy" Grosso, real-life NYC cops and the inspirations for the movie's Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle and Buddy "Cloudy" Russo.
* In ''{{Casino}}'', Frank Cullotta, the inspiration for Frank Vincent's character, appears at the end of the film as a hit man dispatched to eliminate those who [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness have outlived their usefulness]].
* In ''Film/TheWolfOfWallStreet'', Jordan Belfort (the person played by Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio) is seen at the end introducing [=DiCaprio=]'s Belfort to a crowd after he reinvents himself as a motivational speaker.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In 'Quantum Leap', John Boyd West plays his father, Red West.
* In ''Toast'', TheBBC's dramatisation of celebrity chef Nigel Slater's autobiography, Slater plays the chef who gives young Nigel his first job.
* Happens [[http://www.criminaljusticedegreesguide.com/features/10-real-people-that-inspired-characters-on-the-wire.html more than once]] on ''TheWire'', as several characters are loosely based on real cops and criminals who are given cameos on the show. Most notably, the real Jay Landsman ends up playing a recurring character.
* Sue Thomas appears in three episodes of ''SueThomasFBEye''. In two of them, she plays a character called Deanne Bray!
* In ''MicroMen'' Sophie (née Roger) Wilson, as well as being a major character played by actor Stefan Butler, has a cameo right at the end of the programme as a pub landlady.
* SkyOne's ''Little Crackers'' series comprises biographical skits about (and usually written by) comedians and comedy actors, who always appear as a secondary character. For instance, Alison Steadman as her own mum, or StephenFry playing his headmaster.
* Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson played his father on one episode of ''ThatSeventiesShow''.
* Creator/DaveBarry guest-starred in one episode of ''Dave's World'', the sitcom based on his column. He was a disgruntled character who got into a bidding war with Dave over an air conditioner during a heatwave. The end credits featured real Dave Barry and screen Dave Barry (Harry Anderson) jamming together on guitars. To take things full-circle, the real Dave then wrote a column about his experience on the show, which was published in the book ''Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up''.
* In ''Film/AnAdventureInSpaceAndTime'', a docudrama about the making of early ''Series/DoctorWho'', William Russell (Ian Chesterton) plays Harry, TheBBC commissionaire, and Carole Ann Ford (Susan) plays Joyce, a grandmother whose grandsons are ''Doctor Who'' fans. A few other actors from the early years appear at various points, most notably in the crowd at Verity Lambert's leaving do.

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[[folder: Miscellaneous ]]

* In Funny or Die's spoof trailer for ''Weird: The Al Yankovic Story,'' the faux Al's goatee'd manager is played by Al himself.

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