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Role Reprise

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There is an unwritten expectation that actors can only play the same character for so long, maybe they got sick of the role, contract negotiations fell through, scheduling didn't work out, or they simply died. We tend to view things like The Other Darrin and Suspiciously Similar Substitute as normal and common. But there is something to be said for when an actor sticks with or comes back to a role. This tends to come as a surprise, just because of the length of time involved and scheduling issues.


This tends to happen one of four ways:

  • Single Continuity — Time has continued from the last time we saw the character.
  • Alternate Continuity — A reboot of some sort is created, and instead of recasting the role they keep the same actor despite that.
  • Marathon Run — Every few years there is a new appearance that reminds us that they are still around, and have no intention on leaving the character alone.
  • Period Pieces — One Historical Domain Character's portrayal by an actor has been so memorable that the actor is recast in an unrelated production.

Please note that while some characters can be played by the same actor for a significant amount of time, it only counts as a Role Reprise if the original actor resumes playing the character in a different adaptation or if it has been a while since they last played the character.


Compare Regular Character, The Original Darrin, Recurring Character, Remake Cameo and Back for the Finale.


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    Fan Works 


  • Twenty years after the original TV version of Neverwhere, Paterson Joseph reprised the role of the Marquis de Carabas for the radio adaptation of "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back", with a brief explanation about why he sounds like "his younger self", rather than David Harewood from the radio version of Neverwhere.
  • The original radio cast of The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy (1978-80) reprised their roles in the Tertiary to Quintessential Phases (2004-05). Sandra Dickinson, Trillian in the TV version (1981) sort of reprised the role in the Quintessential Phase as an AU Tricia Macmillan. For the 40th anniversary in 2018, an adaptation of And Another Thing... has been announced, with most of the original radio cast, but Dickinson as the "regular" Trillian. Also returning from the later Phases are Samantha Bèart as Random Dent, Jane Horrocks as Fenchurch and Toby Longworth as Prosthetic Vogon Jeltz and Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged. Mitch Benn, who played Zaphod Beeblebrox on some dates of the 2012 stage play, takes the role of Left Brain, Zaphod's former second head.

  • In an odd form of this trope, Jonathan Freeman, who voiced Jafar in Disney's Aladdin in 1992, returned to the role for the live action Broadway production of the film in 2014.
  • The Wiz had a short-lived 2009 Off-Broadway production starring Ashanti as Dorothy Gale, a role she played another interpretation of in The Muppets' 2005 take on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
  • Annie Get Your Gun: Ethel Merman reprised her starring role in the 1966 Lincoln Center revival (for which Irving Berlin wrote a new Counterpoint Duet for her) and in NBC's televised version the following year.
  • Pal Joey: Vivienne Segal appeared in both the original 1940 production and the 1952 revival, though neither she nor the new Joey, Harold Lang, were on the revival cast album due to Columbia Records having recorded Pal Joey with them in 1950.
  • In the 1952 revival of the 1934 play The Children's Hour, Katherine Emmet reprised her role as Amelia Tilford.
  • Harvey Fierstein, who played Edna in the original cast of Hairspray, reprised the role for the 2016 NBC live production of the same show.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote and starred in Hamilton as, well, Hamilton, reprised the role for a charity run in Puerto Rice following Hurricane Irma.
  • The 2012 stage tour of The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show Live!, had Simon Jones, Geoffrey McGivern, Susan Sheridan and Stephen Moore reprise Arthur, Ford, Trillian and Marvin, with Mark Wing-Davey returning as Zaphod on some dates. In addition, Samantha Bèart reprises the role of Random Dent from the Quintessential Phase and Toby Longworth and Andy Secombe reprise — among other characters — Prosthetic Vogon Jeltz and Colin the Robot.
  • Thomas Borchert originated the role of Leopold Mozart in the 1999 Vienna premiere of Mozart! and returned to it in the 2015 Vienna revival.
  • The Broadway run of The SpongeBob Musical has Tom Kenny reprise his role as the French Narrator.
  • In the second Italian edition of We Will Rock You produced in 2018, half of the cast of the 2009 edition returned to their original roles: Salvo Vinci as Galileo, Valentina Ferrari as Killer Queen, Massimiliano Colonna as Pop and Loredana Fadda as Oz. Paolo Barillari, who played Brit in the 2009 edition, now plays Khashoggi.

    Web Original 

Alternative Title(s): Role Reprisal


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