You Might Remember Me from...
"I'm Troy McClure! You may remember me from such automated information kiosks as "Welcome to Springfield Airport", and "Where's Nordstrom?". While you're enjoying our hall of wonders, your car will be unfortunately be subject to repeated break-ins... "
When an actor with a popular role in the past has a resurgence doing something else.
Similar to Hey, It's That Guy!
, only this is when someone was famous before, and not just a character actor.
Named for The Simpsons
' Troy McClure, who used to be a character actor, and then did educational films, infomercials, etc. He would introduce himself with "Hi, I'm Troy McClure! You might remember me from such films as Aliens Steal Cable!
and The Adjectival Superhero
." (The names of the two films were usually relevant to what he was in at the moment
Compare Retroactive Recognition
, where the actor's previous roles weren't nearly as popular as their current one.
- Richard Dean Anderson as MacGyver, then a decade later starred Stargate SG-1. Extra confusion/amusement in the Spanish dub: Luis Porcar as Jack O'Neill and Gregory House.
- Scott Bakula as Samuel Beckett on early-nineties Quantum Leap, then as Captain Archer on early-to-mid 2000s Star Trek: Enterprise. (In between, he did some voice acting and a couple of sports movies.)
- Catherine Bell who played Marine lawyer Sarah Mackenzie on JAG for 9 seasons was cast in another military-themed series, Army Wives.
- Corbin Bernsen is well-known as lawyer Arnie Becker from L.A. Law. Fast forward two decades, and we find him playing Shawn Spencer's dad on Psych.
- David Boreanaz spent eight years playing the vampire Angel in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the eponymous spinoff. As of 2013, he's spent another eight as FBI Agent Seeley Booth in the romantic forensic procedural Bones.
- Johnny Yong Bosch, a.k.a. Adam Park, former Black Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, Green Zeo Ranger and Green Turbo Ranger...current anime voice actor, his breakout role being Vash the Stampede from Trigun. Other roles include a chivalrous Soul Reaper, and another hero that's, uh... not so much.
- Bruce Boxleitner was originally best known for Scarecrow and Mrs. King, but is better-remembered now for the role of Captain Sheridan on Babylon 5, or as TRON.
- Ben Browder is known for two famous sci-fi roles: John Crichton on Farscape, and Cameron Mitchell on Stargate SG-1. He acted opposite Claudia Black (Aeryn Sun and Vala mal Doran, respectively) on both series; naturally Lampshade Hanging ensued on the latter about the former.
- Yvette Nicole Brown, who starred in Drake & Josh as Helen Dubious, makes a guest appearance as the exact same character, six years later, in Victorious.
- Becky from Roseanne as Elliot from Scrubs. No, not that Becky* , the other one* .
- After his success as Dr. Frank-n-Furter, Tim Curry went on to have a lucrative career in voice-acting along with live-action acting. Many of the roles he voiced include Nigel Thornberry, Chickenman, Emperor Doviculus, the Cat King, King Acorn, and even Satan (in Legend). He's also done quite a bit of stage acting (including a brief reprise as Dr. Frank-n-Furter).
- Micky Dolenz became popular in the 1950's as a child actor under the pseudonym Mickey Braddock. He starred in the TV series Circus Boy as the lead character, Corky. Only until mid-1960's was Dolenz launched into superstardom as one of the members of The Monkees.
- James Doohan is best known as Scotty from Star Trek. But he got a chance to play The Captain for a change in 1979's Jason Of Star Command.
- Keir Dullea appeared as Devon, the protagoinist of the much maligned 70s TV series The Starlost. Get rid of the 70s mustache he wore in the series, you'll recognize him as Dave Bowman from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Up until the mid-90s Noel Edmonds was a celebrity Saturday night entertainment show presenter, before which he was a successful DJ. He dropped out of the limelight for several years before reemerging in 2005 as the host of the British version of the game show Deal or No Deal. Similarly, Howie Mandel was a popular prop comic who played Dr. Fiscus on St. Elsewhere, then voiced the title character on Bobby's World. After years of obscurity he resurfaced as host of the US edition of Deal or No Deal.
- Jackie Earle Haley was best known as Kelly Leak in the original 1970s Bad News Bears, and there's a 13-year gap on his IMDB page, 1993-2006. Now, he's Rorschach, Freddy Krueger, and Guerrero.
- Mark Hamill. After spending years known only as Luke Skywalker, he then got a career in voice acting, particularly as the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. As well as the Hobgoblin from Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Skips in Regular Show, and the Evil Dad role in Avatar: The Last Airbender. When he appeared in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, the film actually stops and puts "Hey kids! It's Mark Hamill! (Applause)" onscreen.
- Mark Harmon has come back for more stardom at least twice. People who watched Chicago Hope may remember him from his role in St. Elsewhere. Now, of course, both of those shows are road markers for fans of NCIS.
- Neil Patrick Harris first became a household name playing Doogie Howser MD and went into theater for a while before resurfacing as a Jerkass version of himself in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, a regular role as Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother, and the titular character of Joss Whedon's supervillain musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
- Dennis Haysbert was first known to many as voodoo power hitter Pedro Cerrano in Major League. After a few parts that didn't go far, he shows up on 24 as President Palmer, then as the team leader in The Unit, and is know known as the Allstate guy.
- Chrissy, (Ashley Johnson) from Growing Pains as Terra from Teen Titans.
- Alex Kingston was best known for her role as Dr. Elizabeth Corday in ER before she was cast as River Song in Doctor Who. Now she says she's more recognised for Who, which she says surprises her.
- Walter Koenig (a.k.a. Chekov from Star Trek) appearing as PsiCop Alfred Bester on Babylon 5.
- Amanda Winn Lee was a prolific voice actress for ADV Films, most well known for her roles as Rally Vincent and Rei Ayanami. After her son Nicholas's birth and diagnosis of leukemia, she dropped out of anime voice acting to spend time with him. Since her son's recovery, she has returned to voice acting, but this time focusing on video games published by Atlus, her most famous recent role being Yukiko Amagi from Persona 4.
- Christopher Lee played Dracula in a series of horror movies in his younger days. More recently, he's played villains in summer blockbusters such as the Star Wars prequels and The Lord of the Rings. And a major character in Kingdom Hearts II. Going back a bit further, to the mid-70s, Lee was also Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun. He also did some spoken lines for the band Rhapsody of Fire. In fact, Sir Christopher holds the Guinness Record for the highest number of film acting roles ever... but 95% of people know him from this handful of roles.
- Troy McClure, from many films such as The Contrabulous Fabtraption of Horatio Hufnagel, Android Beach Party, Hitler Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Gladys the Groovy Mule, Muppets go Medieval, Preacher with a Shovel and many, many more.
- There Will Be Brawl is a live-action web series featuring Matthew Mercer and Kyle Hebert, both well-known anime and video game voice-actors (Mercer Darrin'd for Troy Baker as Kanji Tatsumi, while Hebert voiced greats such as Gohan and Kamina).
- Alyssa Milano, who first became famous playing Tony Danza's daughter' on Whos The Boss?, then did a couple of seasons on Melrose Place before logging eight years on Charmed.
- Of the four kid leads in Stand by Me, only Jerry O'Connell didn't have any other major roles as a child actor. He made up for it as an adult. Wil Wheaton is an odder example, becoming a target of nerd scorn on Star Trek: The Next Generation before his comeback in the aughties as a target of nerd admiration.
- In the The Sixties and The Seventies, Jerry Orbach was a famous Broadway star. He was in the inaugural cast of The Fantasticks, he was the first Billy Flynn in Chicago, and he even got a few movie roles. Fast forward thirty years, and what is he best known for? Lennie Briscoe on Law & Order. If anyone even knows he could sing, they probably know it because they saw him as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast.
- Robert Patrick, a.k.a. the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, as Agent John Doggett in the late seasons of The X-Files.
- Brock Peters, best known for falsely convicted man Tom Robinson in the live-action adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, has had appearances in numerous works as a voice actor, star of live-action television shows, and numerous films in various genres, some of his characters recurring. People today recognize him as Admiral Cartwright in both Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Joseph Sisko, Lucius Fox, Jesse Dillard in Gunsmoke, and Dark Kat.
- Olivia, (Raven-Symoné) from The Cosby Show as Monique from Kim Possible.
- Emilie de Ravin was probably best known as Claire from LOST. Since 2012 she's been Belle (yes, that Belle) on Once Upon a Time.
- Eden Riegel may be recognized by fans of soap operas as Bianca Montenegro and Heather Williams. Video game and anime fans may recognize her as Dragon's Crown's Elf, Kaede Kaburagi, and Hitomi. Voice acting must run in the family.
- Robbie Rist, the original Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch, now provides the voice of Choji Akamichi from Naruto.
- Murdock (Dwight Schultz) from The A-Team in various video game and animation roles, most notably Harman Smith in Killer7.
- Apart from a role in season five of Las Vegas, Tom Selleck has mostly been doing TV movies since Magnum, P.I. wrapped in 1988. Then in 2010 he was cast as Police Commissioner Frank Reagan in Blue Bloods.
- And of course, who can forget William Shatner? First Star Trek: The Original Series, then TJ Hooker, and currently Denny Crane in Boston Legal.
- In the dub of Digimon Savers, Steve Blum did not reprise his role as Gallantmon...instead, the Royal Knight's voice actor was Brad Sherwood!
- Charles Emerson Winchester, (David Ogden Stiers) from Mash, Governor Radcliffe and Wiggins in Pocahontas, as Jumba on Lilo & Stitch, Lane's father in Better Off Dead, and as Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast.
- Dean Stockwell, who was a child star in the 40's and 50's before (eventually) co-starring in Quantum Leap as Al, and then appearing in the Battlestar Galactica reboot as Cavil.
- Amanda Tapping, who played fan favorite character Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1 for over a decade, has had another sci-fi hit with Sanctuary.
- Ashley Tisdale won fame in the mid-2000s for starring as candy counter girl Maddie Fitzpatrick on the Disney Channel's The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. She later starred as Sharpay Evans in the High School Musical series and the made-for-DVD film, "Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure". Many younger Disney Channel watchers might better know her as Candace Flynn in Phineas and Ferb, while older TV watchers might know her from her role as Savannah Monroe in Hellcats.
- John Travolta used to be "that guy from Saturday Night Fever". Then he was "that guy from Pulp Fiction". And then "that L. Ron Hubbard fanboy who inflicted Battlefield Earth on us". Now he may be known as "that guy in a fat suit and drag in the 2007 version of Hairspray".
- Or as "that guy from Grease"
- Tween movie watchers might recognize him as Bolt.
- Marcia Wallace was, at one point, sufficiently well-known from her role on The Bob Newhart Show in the '70s to be the subject of a Taxi episode (in which she guested as herself) later in that decade, as well as an appearance as her Bob Newhart character on Murphy Brown. Later on, of course, she became the voice of Mrs. Krabappel on The Simpsons.
- Elijah Wood was a famous child actor known as the other Macaulay Culkin (they even co-starred in T Film/heGoodSon) years before being cast as Frodo.
- Adam West, the original Batman, is now a Cloud Cuckooland character on Family Guy where he is Mayor of Quahog.