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Remake Cameo

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"As in all reboots there's always an opportunity for a beloved character to return to pass the torch, so to speak, from the original franchise to the new one."
Michael J. Nelson, the RiffTrax of Star Trek (2009)

It's become common in remakes (or "reimaginings") of classic films and TV shows to placate hesitant and suspicious fans, who aren't sure whether the remake is going to stink from the head like yesterday's fish or do the original justice, by having one of the stars of the original stunt-cast in a cameo (or perhaps even a supporting role) as a nod to the source material. Sometimes this is done just to give the new project some legitimacy by implying that the remake has the approval of the original cast. Other times, the creator of the remake is actually a fan of the original and casts the cameo as a tribute. This has almost become standard operating procedure in Hollywood.

Not to be mistaken for flashback storytelling, where one of the original actors is cast as the "old" version of a character, and someone new is cast as the "young" version of the same character.


If it's not a remake, but a based-on-a-real-story dramatization, it's a Real Person Cameo.

See also The Cameo, Casting Gag, and Mythology Gag. Compare to: I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine, Actor Allusion, and Continuity Cameo.


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    Comic Books 
  • Bouncing Boy of the Legion of Super-Heroes is far too absurd a character for modern audiences (except in the cartoon). He did, however, return following the Zero Hour reboot as the Legion's unpowered janitor/mechanic. This didn't stop the writers throwing in references to his previous identity including skill at pool (specifically shown to be due to knowing how the balls will ricochet; at one point, he fights off a villain by bouncing pool balls off the walls at them), a fondness for the soft drink Gingold (the main ingredient of which, in concentrated form, gave Elongated Man his powers; and BB's origin involved drinking an experimental formula thinking it was soda), and finally his role as pilot of a self-designed, spherical spaceship, which travelled in a series of short hops and was called The Bouncing Boy.
    • Another slightly-too-whacked-out-for-the-comics Silver Age character, Matter-Eater Lad, has shown up in the Postboot as the Legion's chef, and in the Threeboot comics as a federal agent. He still has the same power, though, and at one point bites a criminal's finger off. Also, acid spit.

  • Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, who play leading roles in the 1953 film The War of the Worlds, appear as the grandparents of Dakota Fanning's character in 2005's War of the Worlds.
  • Shaft (2000) includes a cameo from Richard Roundtree in a scene with Samuel L. Jackson. Unusually for this trope, he reprises his role from the original film; Jackson was unwilling to play the character, which led to the idea of the new Shaft being the original Shaft's nephew. Appropriately enough, the scene takes place just after the younger Shaft quits the police force and follows in his uncle's footsteps as a private investigator.
  • Michael Stein, who played Dirk Diggler in Paul Thomas Anderson's short film The Dirk Diggler Story, appears in Boogie Nights as the customer that Buck fails to sell a stereo system to.
  • Planet of the Apes (2001):
    • Charlton Heston makes a cameo in Tim Burton's remake... as an ape! His character is filled with allusions to both himself and the original character — his last words are "DAMN THEM! Damn them all to...", and he gives a huge speech about how powerful the human invention of "guns" was. This ended up being one of his final film appearances.
    • Linda Harrison, who played Nova, appears as a prisoner of the apes.
  • Michael Caine plays loanshark/club owner Cliff Brumby in the 2000 remake of Get Carter. He played the titular Jack Carter in the original.
  • In an unusually large role by the standards of this trope, Burt Reynolds appears in the Adam Sandler remake of The Longest Yard as the prison football team's trainer. He was the hero of the original. And he ends up saving the day in the remake, too.
    • Ed Lauter, who played the guards' team captain in the original, has a more traditional cameo role as one of the warden's golf buddies.
  • Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger and Tom Savini, who starred in the original version of Dawn of the Dead (1978), all had cameos in the 2004 remake. Foree even got to quote his famous "when there's no more room in hell..." line, in this case as a fundamentalist televangelist blaming the Zombie Apocalypse on America's libertine sinfulness, rather than mentioning it as something his houngan grandfather used to say to him.
    • And Gaylen Ross, the actress who played Fran, had a cameo... in the form of one of the department stores in the mall being named after her.
  • David Carradine starred in Death Race 2000; In Death Race, he lends his voice to Frankenstein for the film's opening scene.
  • Bernie Kopell, who played enemy agent Siegfried in the original Get Smart TV series, had a cameo appearance in the film version starring Steve Carell. They even got him to use his "Siegfried" accent. (But he gets wanged by a car, so Smart swipes his vehicle for transport.)
    • Kopell's scene also features the Sunbeam Tiger and the Opel GT from the original. (The Karmann Ghia shows up with the Tiger in the earlier museum scene, alongside props like the shoe phone and the portable Cone of Silence.)
  • El Mariachi was remade into Desperado using pretty much the same creative team, but because of the higher budget demanding a big-name leading man, they had to replace Mexican actor Carlos Gallardo with Antonio Banderas as the star of the film. Carlos got a cameo to make up for it.
  • Alan Young from the 1960 version of The Time Machine appears in the 2002 The Time Machine.
  • The remake of Cape Fear featured cameos by Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, the hero and antagonist (respectively) of the original.
    • And Martin Balsam, who plays the police chief in the original.
  • Most of the TV cast of Lost in Space cameoed in The Movie.
    • Dick Tufeld reprised his role as The Robot's voice.
    • Mark Goddard played the General who gives Major West his orders for the mission.
    • June Lockhart played the principal of Will Robinson's school.
    • Angela Cartwright and Marta Kristen appear as reporters.
    • Jonathan Harris and Bill Mumy were offered cameos, but declined (Harris because he wanted a bigger role, Mumy because of his commitments to Babylon 5). It's blatantly obvious the roles of Dr. Smith's spymaster and Future!Will were originally written for them.
  • Lou Ferrigno has cameo appearances in both the 2003 and 2008 Incredible Hulk movies. He also voiced the few lines of dialogue the Hulk has in both The Incredible Hulk (2008) and The Avengers (2012).
    • On a similar note, this was played with in The Incredible Hulk by having Edward Norton watch The Courtship of Eddie's Father on TV, thus giving the late, great Bill Bixby a posthumous cameo.
    • Paul Soles, the actor playing "Stanley", the proprietor of a pizza parlor near Culver University, did the voice of Banner in the 1960s animated series The Marvel Super Heroes (as well as Spider-Man in the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon series).
  • Tim Burton stated that he wanted Adam West and Julie Newmar to cameo as Bruce Wayne's parents in Batman (1989) as a homage to the 1960s series, and so that the instant they would be recognized, they would be killed off, letting the audience know that this was a new kind of Batman. Rewrites and availability rendered this impossible.note  Interestingly, Batman: The Brave and the Bold did have them portray Thomas and Martha's voices, in a scene where Bruce is able to visit them in the past, but not change what would happen that fateful night.
  • In Chicago (2002), the older brunette that Roxy talks to just before Matron Mama Morton enters is Chita Rivera, who played Velma Kelly in the original production of the Broadway musical.
  • Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul had cameos in the Starsky & Hutch movie. Their characters are essentially the original Starsky and Hutch.
  • The film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy had Simon Jones (the Arthur Dent from the radio and TV series) appearing as the hologram message from Magrathea. Oddly enough it seems that he had to ask for it.
    • Also, the original Marvin the Paranoid Android prop is waiting in the queue on planet Vogsphere.
    • By coincidence an actress who played Trillian in one of the stage shows was cast as an extra in the bar scene (she's the older blonde seen looking on silently as Arthur and Ford talk). This wasn't discovered until later.
  • Transformers (2007) has a non-actor version of this: In the car lot where Sam Witwicky goes to buy his car, next to Bumblebee is a yellow VW Beetle, Bumblebee's Alt Mode from Transformers Generation One. This doubles as a Fandom Nod since the producers wanted to use the New Beetle as Bumblebee's alt mode in the film, but VW denied permission (they didn't want the vehicle being used as a weapon).
  • Buddy Ebsen (who played Jed Clampett in the original) appears in the The Beverly Hillbillies movie... as Barnaby Jones, another Buddy Ebsen character.
  • Kirk Allyn and Noel Neill, who were Superman and Lois in the original movie serials, played Lois Lane's parents in Superman: The Movie (they are seen in the train when Lois, as a child, spies Clark running alongside; they are easier to see in the extended TV edit).
    • Superman Returns had Sam Huntington, playing Jimmy Olsen, talking to a bartender, played by Jack Larsen. Larsen played Jimmy Olsen in the 1950s The Adventures of Superman TV series. The two embrace gleefully when Superman makes his big reappearance.
    • It also cast Noel Neill as the dying Gertrude Vanderworth.
  • Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle had a cameo by Jaclyn Smith, playing a former Angel strongly implied to be Kelly. (And when the first film was released, it was reported that the late Farrah Fawcett had been offered a cameo, but said she'd only appear if she could be Charlie.)
  • The 1998 remake of Mighty Joe Young featured an elderly couple played by Terry Moore (Jill in the 1948 original) and Ray Harryhausen (who did the original's special effects).
  • Fay Wray, the original Damsel in Distress from King Kong (1933), was asked by Peter Jackson to deliver the iconic closing lines ("It wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast.") in his King Kong (2005). She initially turned it down but was said to be reconsidering before she died.
    • Though she does receive a Shout-Out that almost doubles as this; When the down-on-his-luck director (played by Jack Black) is going over possible starlets to cast for his upcoming film, he name-checks Wray, but is told that she's busy "shooting some picture for RKO".
  • Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair (1999); the investigator/love interest in the first film, and Crown's psychiatrist in the remake.
  • The scheming gold digger from the original The Parent Trap played the mother of the gold digger in the Lindsay Lohan version. She's called Vicki in both movies, implying they're the same character.
  • In the remake of Willard, we see a painting of Bruce Davison (Willard in the original) — he's Willard's dead father.
  • In the 1986 remake of Invaders From Mars, the police officer who was told that something strange was going on up at the sandpit (and mentioned he hadn't been up there since he'd been a boy) was played by the same actor who, in 1953, was the boy who'd seen something strange going on up at the sandpit.
  • Barbara Billingsley, Ken Osmond, and Frank Bank made cameo appearances in the Leave It to Beaver film adaptation.
  • Godzilla
    • In Godzilla: Final Wars, there's a battle in which Godzilla fights against Anguirus, Rodan, and King Seesar. It's a nod to the Godzilla films of the 1960s-1970s in which all four of them were allies.
      • It should also be noted that Anguirus, Rodan, and King Seesar are three of the few monsters Godzilla doesn't kill in the film.
    • Akira Takarada (who had starred in several Godzilla films including the original) has a cameo in a deleted scene of Godzilla (2014).
      • There is also Al Sapienza, who played a taxi driver in the 1998 film.
  • Die Another Day was originally going to have Pierce Brosnan meet up with Sean Connery in the final scene with Sean declaring "So you're the sex-crazed maniac running around the world pretending to be me!" Executive Meddling put a stop to that. (Note: this is most likely an urban legend; there is no official indication that such a cameo was ever planned.)
    • Though ultimately averted, Connery was considered being approached to appear in Skyfall as Bond's elderly gamekeeper. It was deemed too distracting, plus Connery had retired from acting by this time; the role instead went to Albert Finney.
    • Several newspaper gossip columns reported, erroneously, that The World Is Not Enough was to feature cameos by every living Bond Girl actress, from Ursula Andress on down. As with the Connery cameo mentioned above, there is no indication any such scenes were contemplated, never mind shot.
  • The film of the Broadway play Once Upon A Mattress featured Carol Burnett, who played Princess Fred (short for Winnifred) in the play, playing the overbearing queen.
  • Patrick Macnee played John Steed in the Live-Action TV series The Avengers (1960s) and Colonel Jones, the invisible Ministry official, in The Film of the Series, The Avengers (1998). (Diana Rigg was invited to appear, but declined.)
  • King Kong (2005) had Rick Baker, who played Kong in the 1976 movie, as the gunner in the plane flown by Peter Jackson that kills the ape.
  • James Garner, who was the star of the Maverick television show, played Marshall Cooper the 1994 film version. His role was a rather large one as far as examples of this trope goes, playing one of the film's three main characters and receiving high billing in the credits and on the poster. In a sense, his role in the film is a reprise of a role he played on the series - in one episode he played both Bret Maverick and his Pappy, and in the film, he turns out to be Maverick's dad!
  • Star Trek (2009) (which is more of an Alternate Continuity than a strict reboot) featured Majel Barrett Roddenberry as, yet again, the voice of the Enterprise's computer. Wil Wheaton voices all the additional Romulan crew, the others just have his voice altered digitally.
    • After 18 years of retiring the character, Leonard Nimoy reprises the original Spock in a major role.
    • Originally, the producers considered having William Shatner involved in the production somehow (including a scene where Spock gave Kirk a recording of him from the prime timeline), but negotiations fell through since he supposedly pushed to make the movie canonize his Shatnerverse novels as he wanted a major role and not a cameo.
  • The French film Les Visiteurs has an odd variation of this: both main characters were played by the same actors (Jean Reno and Christian Clavier) in the original and the American remake (Just Visiting).
  • John Larroquette, the narrator of the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), reprised the role for the remake and its prequel. On a related note, Gunnar Hansen, who played Leatherface in the original film, was offered the part of the truck driver who helps Erin at the end of the remake. Hansen would later appear as one of the Sawyer clan in Texas Chainsaw 3D.
  • Probably a coincidence, but Howard Lew Lewis, who played Rabies in Maid Marian and Her Merry Men, pops up as a peasant in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
  • In the 1999 film version of My Favorite Martian, Ray Walston appears as a SETI official named Armitan who later reveals himself to be a Martian named Neenert. Walston played Uncle Martin in the original 1960s series.
  • Several actors from the original The Brady Bunch appear in the movie. Barry Williams (Greg) plays a record exec who turns Greg down, Christopher Knight (Peter) plays a high school coach who stops two boys from bullying Peter, Ann B. Davis (Alice) plays a truck driver, and Florence Henderson (Carol) plays the Brady kids' grandmother.
    • Additionally, Davis’ character is named Shultzie, in reference to her earlier role in The Bob Cummings Show. It is strongly implied that this is intended to be the same character, decades later.
  • Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz show up in The Stinger (except in the extended version, which restores it to the regular movie) to The A-Team, alongside their new counterparts.
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978):
    • Kevin McCarthy, the star of the 1956 version, appears briefly as a man on the street frantically screaming "They're here!", which is how the earlier version ended.
    • Don Siegel, director of the original film, also appears in the remake as a cab driver.
  • The 2007 film The Invasion features Veronica Cartwright, who appeared in the 1978 version, both times as someone whose partner gets assimilated.
  • Peter Fernandez, who voiced Speed Racer and Racer X on the English dub of the Speed Racer anime (he also wrote most of the English dub scripts), made a cameo in the Wachowskis' live-action Speed Racer as an announcer. His voice is quite recognizable.
  • Harvey Stephens who played the original Damien Thorn in The Omen (1976), has a cameo as a tabloid reporter in the 2006 remake.
  • The truck driver who gives Rogue a lift at the beginning of X-Men is played by George Buza, the voice of Beast in the '90s X-Men cartoon.
  • Similarly, the 2010 Live-Action Adaptation of Space Battleship Yamato brings back Analyzer's seiyu in his original role, and Isao Sasaki, who famously performed the anime's theme song, as the narrator.
    It also featured Masato Ibu and Miyuki Ueda, the original voices of Dessler (Desslock) and Queen Starsha, as the voices of their Energy Being counterparts in the film.
  • Annie:
    • In the 1999 made-for-TV adaptation of Annie, Andrea McArdle, the star of the original Broadway play, has a cameo as a theatrical ingenue during a musical number.
    • Taylor Richardson, who had played Annie in the musical's 2013 Broadway revival following Lilla Crawford, plays the red-haired Annie at the beginning of the 2014 remake. Doubles as a Casting Gag.
  • Freaky Friday (2003) has Marc McClure reprise his role as Boris, Jodie Foster's love interest in the original movie, who had apparently become a mailman during the decades that passed.
    • In a What Could Have Been scenario, Foster herself was in talks to play the mother in the 2003 version when she had played the daughter in the original.
  • Not a movie remake, but a studio remake: the Hammer Horror studio that made horror films through the late '50s to early '70s came back into business in 2011, and were quick to cast 90-year-old Christopher Lee, Hammer's most prominent alumnus, in a supporting role in The Resident.
  • The 2011 version of Fright Night has a cameo from Chris Sarandon, who starred in the original 1985 film as the vampire Jerry Dandridge. In the remake, he plays a victim of Colin Farrell's Jerry Dandridge. Sarandon's character is named J.D. in the end credits.
  • Les Misérables (2012), the film version of the musical, features cameos by Colm Wilkinson and Frances Ruffelle (who originated the roles of Jean Valjean and Eponine respectively). Ruffelle plays a prostitute and Wilkinson (appropriately enough) was cast as the bishop whose kindness sets Valjean on the road to redemption.
  • Frank Oz in the US remake of Death at a Funeral. Also, Peter Dinklage plays...the exact same role he played in the original.
  • Ike Eisenmann and Kim Richards played a sheriff and a waitress in Race to Witch Mountain - they were originally the children in Escape to Witch Mountain.
  • Ernest Borgnine, the original McHale, appeared in the McHale's Navy movie as McHale's dad.
  • While Django Unchained is not a remake, its name (and the name of the main character) are derived from a pre-existing film simply titled Django. Franco Nero, who played the original Django, makes a brief appearance and discusses the pronunciation of the main character's name.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man has a minor one: Ratha's limo driver, seen very briefly, is played by Michael Papajohn, who played the car thief who killed Uncle Ben (or did he?!) in the Spider-Man Trilogy.
  • In The Saint (1997), the voice of Roger Moore, who plays Simon Templar in the 1960s TV series, is heard on a radio.
  • Twilight Zone: The Movie:
    • Burgess Meredith, who starred in four episodes of the series, including the all-time classic "Time Enough at Last", is the Narrator of the film.
    • Rod Serling's widow Carol has a cameo as an airline passenger in "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet".
    • Bill Mumy, who played the creepy omnipotent boy Anthony Fremont in the original episode "It's a Good Life", plays a diner patron named Tim in the film adaptation. He sarcastically tells his friend Chris that it was "real good" that he attacked Anthony.
  • 21 Jump Street has Johnny Depp, Peter DeLuise and Holly Robinson Peete reprise their roles as Tom Hanson, Doug Penhall, and Judy Hoffs from the original television series.
    • Similarly, Richard Grieco reprises his role as Dennis Booker in the Sequel Snark ending of 22 Jump Street, specifically in the "Jump Street Generations" segment.
  • In the 2005 film of the musical of the film The Producers the director's boyfriend from the original movie appears via An Insert, throwing a bouquet of flowers to the director/star of "Springtime For Hitler" during the curtain call.
  • Scum (1979) is a remake of the banned original 1977 BBC Play For Today version. The remake featured the same lead actor, Ray Winstone.
  • The 2009 Live-Action Adaptation of Yatterman had the voice actors of the Doronbo Gang show up at a sushi bar the film's version of the gang was operating. The gang was disturbed at how familiar they sounded ("They sound like we used to!"), but it didn't stop them from pulling a Bait-and-Switch.
  • 1993's Boris and Natasha, a live-action take on the Rocky and Bullwinkle villains, had June Foray, the original voice of Natasha, approaching her for an autograph.
  • The 2016 female-led reboot of Ghostbusters has cameos from Bill Murray (a debunker of the paranormal), Sigourney Weaver (the mentor of one of the characters), Dan Aykroyd (a taxi driver who says "he ain't afraid of no ghost"), Ernie Hudson (the uncle of the Zeddemore Expy), and Annie Potts (a clerk, again). Rick Moranis was offered a cameo as well but declined. Even the late Harold Ramis is acknowledged through a bust with his likeness, as well as a minor appearance by his son Daniel Ramis.
  • The 2016 remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show featured Tim Curry, who played Dr. Frank N. Furter in the original, as The Criminologist.
  • In The Peanuts Movie, Snoopy's love interest Fifi was voiced by Kristin Chenoweth, who played Sally in the 1999 musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
  • The Film of the Series of Car 54, Where Are You? featured Al Lewis and Nipsey Russell, who appeared on the show respectively as Officers Schnauser and Anderson.
  • The live-action Jem and the Holograms featured Samantha Newark, the original voice of Jerrica, as a stage manager reassuring Jerrica as she's about to go on stage. Jem's singing voice Britta Philips, also cameos as a hairstylist.
  • Power Rangers (2017):
  • The Flintstones has Jean Vander Pyl (the original Wilma) as Mrs. Feldspar and Harvey Korman (the original Gazoo) as Dictabird.
  • In the 2016 film version of Dad's Army, Ian Lavender (who played Private Pike in the series) plays Brigadier Pritchard. Frank Williams reprises his role as Reverend Timothy Farthing.
  • The 2007 Bollywood film Aag (an unauthorized remake of the classic Sholay) features Amitabh Bachchan (who played Jai in the original film) as the bandit Babban Singh.
  • In the 2007 version of Hairspray, Jerry Stiller, who played Wilbur Turnblad in the original movie, played Mr. Pinky, who ran a plus-sized boutique and wanted Tracy to do commercials for him when she became a hit on the Corny Collins show. Ricki Lake (Tracy from the 1988 film) also appears, as a talent agent.
  • The Woman in Red: The pilot in the photo of Charlotte's husband is actually Jean-Loup Dabadie, one of the writers of Un éléphant ça trompe énormément.
  • The 2017 CHiPs has Erik Estrada (the star of the original CHiPs) showing up at the end as a medic.
  • In the Japanese dub of the 2013 Carrie remake, Margaret White is voiced by Keiko Han, who dubbed Carrie in the dub of the original 1976 film. Ironically enough, Carrie herself in the remake is voiced by her both in-film and real-life daughter.
  • Man of Steel:
  • David Hasselhoff, who played Mitch in the original Baywatch, appears in the 2017 film as Mitch's unnamed mentor. Pamela Anderson also appears in a minor, non-speaking role.
  • The character Don Poates in The Box, the 2009 adaptation of Richard Matheson's Button, Button, is played by Basil Hoffman, who played Steward in the The Twilight Zone (1985) episode that adapted the same story.
  • Ant-Man features a cameo from actor Garrett Morris, who was actually the first person ever to portray Ant-Man on screen in a 1979 Saturday Night Live sketch.
  • In Kim Possible, Christy Carlson Romano, who voiced Kim in the animated series, plays Poppy Blu, a larger-than-life pop star who helps Kim in a moment of need.
  • Steven Spielberg's remake of West Side Story has one from Rita Moreno, who played Anita in the 1961 film.
  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu:
    • The title character is voiced by Pikachu's voice actress Ikue Ohtani when speaking to characters other than Tim Goodman.
    • The Jigglypuff that appears in the Hi-Hat Café uses the voice of an uncredited Rachael Lillis, who was the character's first dub voice in the anime. The way she's dismayed at a customer falling asleep on her song and the marker/microphone in her hand may imply they're the same character.
    • The Mewtwo that ends up being one of the film's major antagonists is the same one that appeared in Pokémon: The First Movie, with Dr. Ann Laurent's video diaries explicitly stating that it escaped from the Kanto region nearly 20 years prior to the film's events.
  • Gary Chalk appears in Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) as the US Navy Chief of Staff in the Pentagon meeting, and even gets several lines to boot. Chalk previously voiced Grounder in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and, Dr. Robotnik himself in Sonic Underground.
    • The Stinger sees Colleen Villard, the current voice actress of Miles "Tails" Prower from the games; reprise her role as Tails arrives on Earth to find Sonic.
  • Sir Ian Holm has a sizable role in The Lord of the Rings as Bilbo Baggins. He had previously had an even larger role in The BBC radio adaptation, where he was Frodo.
  • Don Adams, the voice of Inspector Gadget, voiced Brain in the 1999 Live-Action Adaptation.
  • Ming-Na Wen, the original voice actress for Mulan, appears in the live-action remake introducing the new one to the Emperor.
  • The Stinger of Wonder Woman 1984 features a cameo from Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in the iconic '70s live-action show. Referencing the connection, she plays Asteria, the ancient Amazonian warrior who originally owned the golden flight armor Diana uses in the movie.
  • In the 1949 film of Samson and Delilah, Victor Mature starred as Samson. In the 1984 remake, Victor Mature played Samson's father, Manoah.
  • Mike Mazurki, who played Splitface in the original Dick Tracy (1945), had a brief cameo as "Old Man at Hotel" in Dick Tracy.
  • Brandon Crane, who portrayed the young Ben in It (1990), makes a cameo appearance as a board member of Hanscom Architecture in It: Chapter Two.
  • Hobo with a Shotgun: David Brunt, who played the Hobo in the original fake trailer, appears as a dirty cop.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ian McKellen was in two different miniseries adaptations of David Copperfield. He played the title character in 1966 and Mr. Creakle in 1999.
  • Richard Hatch, who played Captain Apollo in Battlestar Galactica (1978) series, played terrorist-turned-politician Tom Zarek in the reimagined series, much to the delight of the fans.
    • They also offered a role to Dirk Benedict, but he turned it down.
  • Isaura the Slave (2004): In the previous adaptation, Rubens de Falco played Leoncio Almeida and Norma Blum played Malvina. Both actors return to portray Commander Almeida and Gertrudes, respectively.
  • Smallville:
    • Christopher Reeve's appearance as Doctor Virgil Swann was a particularly poignant example of this trope. They tried to have him play Jor-El but he died.
    • Annette O'Toole played Lana Lang in Superman III and Martha Kent in Smallville. This casting turned out to be a random fluke. The crew didn't even know at first, being surprised at just how much she knew about the mythology. They were apparently gob-smacked when she told them.
    • Terence Stamp, who played General Zod in Superman II, was cast as Jor-El and had a cameo as Zod.
    • Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane in the films, played Virgil Swann's assistant (and would-be love interest.)
    • Dean Cain (Lois & Clark's Clark/Superman) appeared as what may have been the series' version of Vandal Savage.
    • Helen Slater (who played the title role in Supergirl) appears as Lara, Clark's biological mother.
    • Marc McClure, who played Jimmy Olsen in the films, appears as Brainiac's creator Dax-Ur in season 7.
    • Teri Hatcher (Lois Lane in Lois & Clark) played Lois' mother Ella Lane in one episode, continuing a tradition of live-action Superman adaptations casting previous Lois actresses to play Lois's mother. Teri Hatcher's appearance is unusual for this trope: when shown, it is on a past recording, as Lois's mother is long dead by this point, and Teri Hatcher appears as she is now, and as the L&C version might appear today.
    • Lynda Carter, best known as TV's Wonder Woman (1975), appears as Moira Sullivan, Chloe's mother, in one episode. A few seasons later, Chloe is mentioned to have met the Smallville universe's Wonder Woman.
  • The Adventures of Superboy (1988-92) cast both Noel Neill and Jack Larson in a 1991 episode titled "Paranoia"; as previously noted, Larson played Jimmy Olsen in The Adventures of Superman alongside Neill's Lois Lane.
  • Lois & Clark nodded to the continuity of Superman shows by casting Phyllis Coates as Lois's mother, and by casting Jack Larson as an old Jimmy Olsen in the episode "Brutal Youth". Coates played Lois Lane for the first season of The Adventures of Superman.
  • Supergirl (2015) makes repeated use of this, in some cases with actors who also appeared on Smallville after appearing in earlier Superman-mythos works.
  • In the 2000 ITV telemovie of The Railway Children, Jenny Agutter played the mother. She had previously played the eldest daughter in the 1970 film and the 1968 TV series.
  • John Astin once guest-starred on The New Addams Family as Grandpapa Addams, father to Gomez (now played by Glenn Taranto). Much humor was made from the very nature of the cameo. In fact, Astin's first words with his appearance were "Where's that Young Gomez?". The cameo is emphasized by the fact Taranto intentionally pitched his performance as a straight impersonation of Astin (as opposed to Raul Julia's film version of the character).
  • The failed pilot for the American remake of The IT Crowd starred Joel McHale as Roy, Jessica St. Clair as Jen... and Richard Ayoade reprising his role as Moss.
    • In a similar vein, Robert Llewellyn reprised his role of Kryten in the failed Red Dwarf American pilot. (Chris Barrie was also asked to reprise the role of Rimmer, but declined.)
  • Patty Duke won an Oscar for playing Helen Keller in the film version of The Miracle Worker and an Emmy for playing Annie Sullivan in a 1979 made-for-TV version.
  • In the Made-for-TV Movie version of The Munsters, Herman ends up working as a waiter and gets a table with the series' original cast playing a normal family.
  • Two actors from the original V (1983) mini-series have appeared in the 2009 remake. Jane Badler reprises her role as Diana, who is now the V's deposed queen, although whether or not there are any ties to the original is unclear. Marc Singer, who played the main character of the mini-series, returns in the season 2 finale as Lars Tremont, a member of a secret organization established to fight V's.
  • The 2008 Pilot Movie Knight Rider ended with main character Mike meeting his father, the original Michael Knight, played by David Hasselhoff.
  • The one-off special A Tribute to The Likely Lads, based on the Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? episode "The Longest Day", had Rodney Bewes (the original Bob) as the newsvendor.
  • The official trailer for the 2013 pilot episode for a proposed new version of The Saint TV series (pilot unbroadcast as of summer 2013, but the trailer was released in spring 2013) includes appearances by both Roger Moore and Ian Ogilvy, who played Simon Templar in the 1960s and 1970s versions of the TV series. The nature of their characters is unknown.
  • John Wesley Shipp, the lead actor in the 1990 series The Flash, is cast as the lead's father in the 2014 remake. A later episode shows Shipp as the Flash in a brief glimpse of an alternate reality, as Barry is crossing over to Earth 2. The season two finale reveals Earth 3's Jay Garrick is the counterpart to Earth 1's Henry Allen.
    • And Amanda Pays, who played Dr Tina McGee, appears in "The Man in the Yellow Suit" as... Dr Tina McGee. Except she works in Mercury Labs instead of S.T.A.R. Labs.
    • Similarly, Mark Hamill, who played the Trickster (and reprised the role in Justice League Unlimited), plays the original Trickster in "Tricksters". They even use footage from the original series to represent his crime spree twenty years ago. His Earth-3 counterpart looks more like The Joker, though. Appropriate since Hamill was famous for voicing the Joker for years.
    • Also in "Tricksters", Mayor Anthony Bellows is played by Vito D'Ambrosio, who played a recurring character in the 1990 series called Officer Tony Bellows.
    • The Season 3 premiere "Flashpoint" sees Alex Désert reprise his role as Julio Mendez from the 90s series.
    • The Season 4 episode "The Elongated Knight Rises" has Corinne Bohrer reprise the role of Trickster's sidekick Prank.
  • MacGyver (2016) had a Season 2 episode where Mac, Jack, and Murdoc were being chased by Murdoc's assassin mentor, who was played by Michael Des Barres, who played Murdoc himself in 1985.
  • Katie Barberi, who plays Ursula and Rafael de La Fuente, who played Diego in the LatAm Nick show Grachi are both cast in the US Foreign Remake Every Witch Way, with the former reprising the same role and the latter playing Julio.
  • In a What Could Have Been example of this trope, Bob Keeshan, the original Captain Kangaroo, was to have a cameo on the ill-fated remake "The All-New Captain Kangaroo" as a character called The Admiral (not to be confused with the one from Magic Adventures of Mumfie; despite that show airing on the same block and network as the remake), but after watching a few episodes and not being happy about the results, he declined the offer.
  • Robin Ellis, who played the title character in The '70s BBC series Poldark, plays the Reverand Halse in the 2015 remake.
  • The 2015 NBC version of The Wiz had Stephanie Mills (who played Dorothy in the original Broadway production) play Aunt Em.
  • The 2016 Fox version of Grease had two links to the 1978 film version:
    • Didi Conn, Frenchie in the film, plays a diner waitress VI - who in this version encourages the TV version's Frenchie (Carly Rae Jepsen) before her songs "All I Need Is an Angel" and "Beauty School Dropout". A production photo shown entering a commercial break shows Conn joining the 2016 Pink Ladies in their trademark matching jackets.
    • Barry Pearl, Doody in the film, plays a National Bandstand field producer on the TV Version.
  • The 2016 NBC version of Hairspray:
    • Ricki Lake and Marissa Jaret Winokur, who played Tracy Turnblad in the original film and the Broadway musical respectively, cameo as Mr. Pinky's girls.
    • The opening number also features storefronts for "Water's Plumbing" (John Waters was the creator of the original film) and "Divine's Pet Food" (with a pink flamingo on the sign, no less)
  • In the 1970s Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode "Planet of the Slave Girls", Buster Crabbe, who previously played both Rogers and Flash Gordon in the film serials, plays Brigadier Gordon, who says he's been doing this since before Buck was born.
  • In the second season finale of 12 Monkeys, Madeleine Stowe, who played Dr. Railly in the movie the show's based on, plays a Primary who gives Cole the advice he needs to stop time collapsing on itself.
  • When the 1996 Made-for-TV Movie Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? was remade in 2016 on the Lifetime network, they got Tori Spelling and Ivan Sergei, who played the protagonist and the Bastard Boyfriend in the original, to return, this time playing the mother of the protagonist and a college professor who delivers a Chekhov's Lecture about vampire fiction (the remake having added a Lesbian Vampire twist).
    • The remake of Death Of A Cheerleader followed suit, with Kelly Martin playing an FBI agent after playing the killer in the original.
  • Kamen Rider Agito's movie Project G4 has Hiroshi Fujioka, the original Kamen Rider, appear as a veteran police officer who not only approves of Shoichi Tsugami but outright encourages him to "take up the torch from us old folks".
  • On Lost in Space (2018), Bill Mumy, who played Will in the original series, plays Dr. Zachary Smith.
  • In The Haunting of Hill House, Nell's therapist Dr. Montague, the Unwitting Instigator of Doom who suggested that Nell visit Hill House in order to prove to herself that it isn't haunted after all, is played by Russ Tamblyn, who played Luke in The Haunting (1963).
  • In The Tick (2016), the talking dog Midnight is voiced by Townsend Coleman, who voiced The Tick himself in the 1994 cartoon series.
  • In the 1998 television miniseries adaptation of Moby-Dick, the whalers' chaplain Father Mapple is played by Gregory Peck, who played Ahab in the famous 1956 film adaptation.
  • Adrienne Barbeau, who starred as Alice in the 1982 Swamp Thing movie, appeared in an episode of the 2019 Swamp Thing TV series as a CDC doctor.
  • Power Rangers:
  • The 2016 Continuity Reboot of Encantadia features a number of the cast from the original 2005 series (barring Alfred Vargas and Noel Urbano, who reprised their roles as Amaro and Imaw) in minor and major roles throughout the show.
  • Flash Gordon (2007): In the episode "Revelations", Sam J. Jones, who played Flash Gordon in Flash Gordon (1980), appeared as the character Krebb.
  • Beth Broderick and Caroline Rhea, who played Aunt Zelda and Aunta Hilda in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, show up in the penultimate episode of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as a pair of sitcom actors who portray Zelda and Hilda on a Show Within a Show in another reality.

  • The 2000 Jay recording of The Most Happy Fella melds this nicely with Tuckerization: the one-line character "Sullivan" is played by Jo Sullivan Loesser, the original Rosabella. (She also sings one of Rosabella's Cut Songs.)
  • The 2005 cover of Sparks's "This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us" by British Whale (the solo project of The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins) includes both Mael brothers in the video. In fact, Russell Mael is the only one shown singing any of the lyrics.
  • Lazlo Bane recorded a cover of Men at Work's "Overkill", and Men At Work frontman Colin Hay appeared in the video.
  • Gary Numan provides vocals on Fear Factory's cover of his song "Cars."
  • Run–D.M.C.'s cover of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" features Steven Tyler and Joe Perry in both the song and video.
  • Inverted by Jaya's "If You Leave Me Now", in which Stevie B, who later covered the song, provided backup vocals.
  • Brian May likes to appear in Queen covers, at times bringing Roger Taylor along.
  • John Lennon plays guitar on David Bowie's cover of The Beatles' "Across the Universe", and contributes backing vocals on Elton John's cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".
  • Nik Kershaw plays keyboards on Ozymy lyudi, cover version (minus lyrics) of his hit The Riddle by Ukrainian band Skryabin.
  • The music video of Mindy Smith's version of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" features Dolly in a cameo.
  • Elton John plays piano on a cover of "Come Down In Time" by Sting, recorded for the 1990 Elton John/Bernie Taupin Cover Album Two Rooms, under the alias of "Nancy Treadlight".
  • Robert Plant and Tori Amos covered Led Zeppelin's "Down by the Seaside" as a duet.
  • "Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*" by "Weird Al" Yankovic had Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler on guitar and Guy Fletcher on synthesizer.
    • In the music video of Al's parody of The Greg Kihn Band's "Jeopardy" ("I Lost on Jeopardy"), Greg Kihn himself plays the driver of the car Al is thrown into at the end. He turns around and tips a wink to the camera.
  • Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys (along with Christopher Cross) sing the backing harmonies on David Lee Roth's cover of The Beach Boys' "California Girls".
  • The Ramones' cover of "Substitute" featured backing vocals from the song's writer, Pete Townshend.
  • Uncle Kracker's hit 2003 cover of Dobie Gray's 1973 classic "Drift Away" features Gray himself singing the final verse.
  • Natalie Imbruglia's hit "Torn" is a cover of a song by the obscure band Ednaswap. Her version was produced by former The Cure member Phil Thornalley, who not only produced the original Ednaswap version but co-wrote the song as well.
  • The music video for Madness' cover of "It Must Be Love", originally by Labi Siffre, features a cameo by Siffre himself.
  • Marc Almond's 1989 remake of "Something's Gotten Hold of my Heart" features the original performer, Gene Pitney, as supporting vocalist.
  • Devo's Gerald Casale duets with Information Society's Kurt Harland on the latter's remake of "Beautiful World".
  • Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries planned to add her own vocals to Bad Wolves' cover of "Zombie", but Author Existence Failure precluded this.
  • Deep Dish's remake of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" features Stevie Nicks on vocals.
    • Another Fleetwood Mac example: Their former frontman, Bob Welch, not only had a guest appearance by Nicks on his Live at the Roxy album but allowed her to perform one of her own songs, "Gold Dust Woman."
  • Seal is featured on Straight No Chaser's cover of "Kiss From a Rose".

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
    • The Quandary Phase had a cameo by David Dixon, the TV Ford Prefect, as a Greenpeace volunteer, who Arthur (played by Simon Jones on radio and TV) insisted he'd met somewhere before.
    • The Quintessential Phase had Sandra Dickinson voice Tricia McMillan (Trillian's Alternate Universe counterpart). Dickinson was the TV Trillian. She would go on to appear in the Hexagonal Phase as a "merged" Trillian.
  • The BBC Radio 4 adaptations of the Hercule Poirot novels have Phillip Jackson play Inspector Japp. Jackson is best known for ITV's Poirot, where he plays ... Inspector Japp.
  • Similarly to Poirot, Michael Gough appeared in the Radio 4 drama Batman: The Lazarus Syndrome as Alfred. He reprised the role in the Audio Adaptation of Knightfall for Radio 1.
  • A bit more than a cameo, but for their radio production of Pinocchio, Focus on the Family planned to have Dick Jones (who played the title character in the Disney version) as Geppetto. He accepted the role but died shortly after.
  • The 2012 BBC Radio adaptation of I, Claudius had Derek Jacobi (who'd famously played Claudius in the 1976 TV series) as Augustus.

  • During August 2010, the West End musical version of Sister Act featured Whoopi Goldberg as the Mother Superior.
  • A 2007 touring production of My Fair Lady had Marni Nixon (who sang for Audrey Hepburn in the movie) as Henry Higgins' mother.
  • In the 2013 revival of Pippin, John Rubinstein temporarily replaced Terrence Mann as King Charles and even went on to play the role in the national tour. Rubinstein played the original Pippin in the Broadway premiere.
  • Defied by Mara Wilson. Several people suggested she play Miss Honey in the musical version of Matilda but she declined, saying she's not a singer. But she did say she'd like a cameo if they made a film of it.
  • Daisy Eagan, who as a child, played Mary Lennox in the 1991 Broadway musical of The Secret Garden, reappeared as Martha in the 2016 Shakespeare Theatre Company and 2017 5th Avenue Theatre productions.
  • Satomi Ōkubo, the actress who portrayed Usagi in the Sera Myu musicals from 2013-2015, was brought back to play Sailor Cosmos for the 2017 installment, Le Mouvement Final.

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    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Smallville- Christopher Reeve

Christopher Reeve (playing Dr. Virgil Swann) reveals to the new Clark Kent his true identity, as the classic Superman leitmotif plays in the background.

How well does it match the trope?

4.92 (25 votes)

Example of:

Main / MetaCasting

Media sources:

Main / MetaCasting