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The Danza

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"He said, 'Whatever your character's name is, people are gonna call you that for the rest of your life.' He said, 'Make your character's name "Will Smith".' You know. And he was so right. And, you know, when we go out together, people are like, 'Will! Will!' (yes, hello) 'Carlton!' [makes face]"

A character whose name is clearly taken from the performer portraying them. This shows up on TV a lot in shows designed as a vehicle for an actor's fame. By lending their name to the fictional character, there's some familiarity created already. The most obvious way to spot this is to see if the title of the show incorporates the lead actor's name, but not always. This seemed to hit its peak in the sitcoms of the late eighties and early nineties. A good majority of sitcoms were based on a stand-up comedian's routine (Tim Allen, Roseanne Barr) and many of these comics already were developing fanbases. Creating the Danza was a way to leverage their fame as a comic into success as an actor.

Another common reason for doing this is that if an actor is famous enough, people will always refer to them by their real name even when discussing them as a fictional character (unless, of course, the character they are portraying is even more iconic, with the exception of said character being played by different actors and/or in multiple media). To avoid the annoyance or awkwardness of this character being constantly referred to as "[Famous name's] character", it's often best to just give them the same first name.

Sometimes this is used for child actors, to make things a little less confusing around the set. This change can happen very late in the production when during shooting it's found that the (very young) child actor does not grasp the concept of a character name different from their real name at all: to give an example, the character name of a toddler actress called Ava being changed to Ava from the originally planned Elizabeth when young Ava doesn't respond or react to Elizabeth.

Also sometimes used for token ethnic minority characters, where it seemed that the program's staff were frightened to think up an original name and just used the name of the actor. In rare cases, it's an accident — the actor chosen to play the character just happened to share a name with the character.

From a directing point of view, using this trope also reduces the number of filming errors, since the actors all go by their real name (or at least, real first name), so the very real (and surprisingly common) mistake of accidentally addressing their colleagues by their real name instead of their character's name is ruled out, cutting down the need of retakes. This was the main advantage of the trope back in the day when film (which cannot be reused and have to be disposed of or archived if a mistake was made) was the main recording medium and has since been lessened with the advent of erasable magnetic media and later, digital. However, it does still save time and effort with the minimization of retakes.

It's not a Danza if the character already has the name from an adaptation; in such a case the character is not being named for the actor.

Additionally, it's not The Danza if a performer uses their real first name as part of a Stage Name.

Not to be confused with an actor or celebrity actually playing themselves. That's As Himself (if they're a main character) or Special Guest (if they show up for a single episode). How to differentiate? Is Bob the Actor playing Bob the Actor? Or does he just happen to be playing a character that's also named Bob? The second one is The Danza.

Compare Character as Himself, Adam Westing, Ink-Suit Actor. See also Author Avatar. If The Danza is the writer, then it may be Write Who You Know as well as Author Avatar.

Named for Tony Danza, whose frequent portrayal of people named Tony (see Taxi and Who's the Boss?) has made him the butt of a few jokes, for example, this one for April Fools Day from Teevee.org. See this article at IMDB for another list.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In K-On!, Mugi shares her last name (Kotobuki) with that of her voice actress, Minako Kotobuki. Definitely a coincidence though, seeing how the manga came first. Now, if they could have gotten Hikaru Kotobuki from P-Model to (somehow) play the role... note 
  • Akira Kamiya as Akira Hibiki in Yuusha Raideen.
  • In the dub of Pokémon 3, Lisa Ortiz voices Lisa (Rin in the Japanese version). Could possibly have been named after her.
    • Since TPCi took over the dubbing rights in season 9, James is voiced by James Carter Cathcart.
    • In Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions, Shoko Nakagawa voices a character named Proof. The Japanese word for proof is "shouko" (written with different kanji than Nakagawa's first name). According to Nakagawa's book, this was intentional.
    • Half this trope and half-Tuckerization, the Johto episode "Power Play!" (EP171) features a brief battle between Gary Oak and a Trainer from Cherrygrove City named Noboru. In the English dub, his voice is provided by one Alex Davis, the winner of a British competition at the time, and the character's dub name is shared with his VA.
    • It took nineteen seasons for the Latin-Spanish dub to get a Danza, with character of the day Emilio being voiced by Emilio Treviño.
  • Seven of Seven has Nana Suzuki voiced by Nana Mizuki. This is probably intentional (at least the surname, the name Nana is a pun on the show's title).
  • In Psycho-Pass, we were given Hiroko Fuji, a victim who was murdered. She was voiced by Hiro Nakajima, whose real first name was Hiroko and she was named after her voice actress.
  • In IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix (at least the English version), the doctor who cares for Amy is named Dr. Blum and voiced by Steve Blum.
  • In Noein the protagonist Haruka Kaminogi is voiced by Haruka Kudou.
  • The Iryou Shoujo Medical Shamal Omake in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 2nd As DVD/Blu-Ray featured a daughter and mother duo played by Shamal and Hayate, who are given the original names "Yuzuko" and "Kanae" respectively. Rather strange choices, until you realize that Shamal is voiced by Ryoka Yuzuki while Hayate is voiced by Kana Ueda.
  • Sakura Trick has Haruka Tomatsu playing Haruka Takayama. The other heroine is a partial match—Yuu Sonoda, played by Yuka Iguchi—so this probably wasn't a coincidence.
  • Kids on the Slope has Junichi voiced by Jun'ichi Suwabe.
  • Full Metal Panic! has a version that crosses with Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: The original light novels note that the AI in Kurz's Arm Slave is named "Yukari" and based on a Japanese idol, complete with its voice being based on samples of said idol. When the AI "appears" in The Second Raid, it's voiced by Yukari Tamura, implying that she was Kurz's inspiration.
  • Appears in-universe in Haruhi Suzumiya when each of the named characters in the SOS Brigade's movie The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina: Episode 00 is named for the brigade members who play them, and has roles appropriate to the actor's secret identity. (Also a mild case of My Nayme Is, since in Japanese the characters' names are in katakana, while the actors' names are in kanji/hiragana).
  • All of the titular Wake Up, Girls! are named after their respective voice actresses.
  • In One Piece, Ryunosuke, a dragon created by Kanjuro, is voiced by Ryunosuke Yamaguchi. (He is the son of Usopp's voice actor, Kappei Yamaguchi.)
  • Pretty Cure:
  • Happens In-Universe in Yuri is My Job!. The salon employees, who roleplay as students at a prestigious all-girls school, keep their first names, and take on a similar-sounding surname. For example, Hime Shiraki, the main character, plays Hime Shirasagi while working in the salon.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets: Middle sister Miku Nakano is voiced by Miku Itō.
  • In Odd Taxi, Takaya Kuroda voices Kuroda, a tapir who also happens to be a member of the yakuza.
  • A coincidental example for Lupin III: Gorō Naya's successor as Kōichi Zenigata is Kōichi Yamadera.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Fic 

    Fan Film 
  • A 2018 fan film based on Uncharted cast Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake. But the character was already named that in the games, so it's either a coincidence or the makers of the film were attracted to Fillion due to him also being named Nathan.

    Films — Animated 
  • Penthouse pet Julie Strain voiced the main character of Julie in Heavy Metal 2000. The character later changed her name to "FAKK-2", but what're you gonna do? She DID change it back to Julie after saving her sister though.
  • In-universe example: Scrooge McDuck as Ebenezer Scrooge from Mickey's Christmas Carol. This was inevitable since Scrooge McDuck was named in honor of that other Scrooge in the first place.note 
  • Several Pixar examples:
    • Mary Gibbs as Boo (according to Word of God and supported by a painting in her bedroom) from Monsters, Inc.
    • Katharine Ringgold as Kathy the Chickenfish from Finding Nemo.
    • Guido Quaroni as Guido from Cars.
    • Colin Cowherd as Colin Cowling from Planes. In the European release, the character was called Lofty Crofty and was voiced by David Croft.
    • John Ratzenberger as (SURPRISE!) John from WallE.
    • In the Norwegian dub of Toy Story 3, Lotso is called Kalle, played by Kalle Øby.
    • Elie Docter as young Ellie in Up.
    • Hyein Park as Abby Park in Turning Red.
    • Many of the minor characters in Cars 3. Some only a couple of letters away from being full name Danzas.
      Bob Costas as Bob Cutlass
      Darrell Waltrip as Darrell Cartrip
      Guido Quaroni as Guido
      Lewis Hamilton as Hamilton
      Junior Johnson as Junior Moon
      Shannon Spake as Shannon Spokes
      Madeleine McGraw as Maddy McGear
      Mike Joy as Mike Joyride
      Jeff Gordon as Jeff Gorvette
      Daniel Suarez as Danny Swervez
      Ryan Blaney as Ryan 'Inside' Laney
      Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. as Bubba Wheelhouse
      Chase Elliott as Chase Racelott
  • A few Disney animated features have this trope as well, including:
    • In The Three Caballeros, Professor Holloway is voiced by Sterling Holloway, of course.
    • Peggy Lee as Peg from Lady and the Tramp.
    • Louis Prima as King Louie from The Jungle Book (1967). Disney originally intended to cast Louis Armstrong for the role until they realized the Unfortunate Implications of casting a black man as an ape and chose Prima (who was Italian-American) instead, who coincidentally also fit this trope.
    • Scatman Crothers as Scat Cat from The Aristocats. The character was originally named Satchmo Cat and intended to be voiced by Louis Armstrong.
    • Susan Hegarty as the Rescue Lady from Lilo & Stitch. While her name is not verbally mentioned, it does appear on Lilo's adoption paper for Stitch.
    • Annette Bening and Catherine O'Hara, respectively as Anda and Kata the female moose from Brother Bear 2.
    • Bolt provides a variation: the titular dog stars in the Bolt TV show, where he plays (or more accurately, has been convinced he is) a superpowered dog named Bolt. His owner, who's adopted Bolt some time before the show and who plays Penny in the same show, is another variant: while her real name is never spoken by any humans outside the show, the show uses Enforced Method Acting to convince Bolt everything in the show is real, so her real name is probably also Penny.
    • An unusual and ingenious case is with marine Markowski in the Polish dub version of Wreck-It Ralph: Markowski is voiced by the lead singer of the legendary rock band named Perfect. The real name of the singer is Grzegorz Markowski!
    • Zootopia has Bonnie Hopps played by Bonnie Hunt.
    • In the Polish dub of Chicken Little Melvin and Tina are renamed Piotruś and Edytka after their voice actors, Piotr Machalica and Edyta Olszówka.
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns sees Rob, a member of the Mutant Gang, voiced by Rob Paulsen.
  • Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and Batman vs. Two-Face sees Commissioner James Gordon voiced by Jim Ward, with Jim simply being a less formal way to say James. In a similar vein, he's voiced by Jim Meskimen in Batman: Gotham Knight and Batman vs. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • In Yellow Submarine, John Clive was the voice of John Lennon. There was a Paul in the voice credits (Paul Angelis), but he didn't voice McCartney. He was Ringo and George while Geoffrey Hughes was Paul.
  • Lego DC Batman: Family Matters sees Jason Spisak voice Jason Todd/Red Hood.
  • In Arlo the Alligator Boy, Teeny Tiny Tony is voiced by Tony Hale.
  • Played for laughs in the bonus material for Danish movie "Terkel i knibe". There are "audition tapes" where the characters audition to play themselves, and they naturally have the same names as their characters. All the characters are voiced by Anders Matthesen, who does not share a name with any of the characters.
  • In Under the Boardwalk, Bobby Marinara is voiced by Bobby Cannavale

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 8 Ball Clown: The actress who plays the news reporter uses her own name for the role, Anita Foster.
  • Axe Murdering with Hackley: The character Hackley is played by Allen Hackley.
  • Possibly the oldest example in film: Charlie Chaplin's "Charlie" character, the center of many of his movies.
  • Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy usually played full-name versions of this in their films (as "Stan and Ollie").
  • Frankie Avalon in Beach Party and its sequels.
  • Blade II has Karel Roden as Karel Kounen.
  • The Marx Brothers did this in some of their films, and on stage. Notably, in Duck Soup, Chico's character is named Chicolini.
  • Subverted in Back to the Beach where Annette Funicello (known as Dee Dee in the classic Beach films) is called Annette while Frankie (her husband) is called "The Big Kahuna".
  • Long before Sandra Oh was cast in Grey's Anatomy, she won a Best Actress Genie Award (the modern-day Canadian equivalent of the Oscars) for her role in Last Night... playing a character named just Sandra.
  • All the main characters from The Wrong Guys. In case you haven't seen it (quite likely) Louie Anderson, Richard Lewis, Richard Belzer, Franklyn Ajaye and Tim Thomerson play lifelong friends and former Boy Scouts called... Louie, Richard, Belz, Franklyn and Tim.
  • Jack Nicholson plays Jack Napier in Batman (1989), because Jack is also a card, just like the Joker, and it's a pun on "jackanape".
    • He also plays Jack Torrance in The Shining, though of course that name came from the original novel. Danny Lloyd plays Danny Torrence—again, the name having come from the original novel.
  • To cash in even further on the fame of its cast, the entire cast of Love, Honour and Obey were named after the actors who play them. This may not have been just to cash in on the fame of the cast... the directors, Dominic Anciano and Ray Burdis, directed a previous movie, Final Cut, starring much of the same cast (Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Ray Winstone, etc) which also had the majority of the characters named after their actors. The films are clearly not sequels to each other, however — Ray is an actor in one film and a gangster in another, Sadie is with Ray in one film and Jude in the other, and most significantly, Jude dies at the beginning of one film (the film cuts between his funeral and a video being screened at his funeral which Jude made before his death), and is alive and well in the other.
  • Larry the Cable Guy is especially guilty of this trope in most of his films.
  • In Fira and Ice, Suzy is played by Suzy Chaffee and John is played by John Eaves.
  • Nancy Goes To Rio: Scotty Beckett as Scotty Sheridan.
  • Star Wars:
    • The films offer many examples, usually background characters with little importance. These are often anagrams. Some examples: Cin Drallig (Nick Gillard), Roth-Del Masona (Leonard Thomas), Dannl Faytonni (Anthony Daniels), Nicanas Tassu (Nic Anastassiou), Jeremoch Colton (Jeremy Bulloch). An especially notable example is Amy Allen (mostly known for her portrayal of Aayla Secura, a character taken from a comic series), who has three characters she portrayed named after her: Mya Nalle, Yma Nalle, and Lela Mayn.
    • Borderline case: in one of the books, there was a character named "Entoo Needaan E-elz" (the author has actually confirmed that he was named after Anthony Daniels).
    • In the expanded universe, the full name of Wicket the Ewok (played by Warwick Davis) is revealed to be Wicket Wystri Warrick.
    • Temiri Blagg, a character in The Last Jedi often referred to by fans as "Broom Boy", was named after the child actor who portrayed him, Temirlan Blaev.
  • All three leads in The Blair Witch Project.
  • Bizarre example: The characters of Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 are all first-name Danzas. It had been originally intended for them to be full-name Danzas, carrying on the previous film's gimmick of "No, this is really happening to the actual people you see on film", but the director decided this was "dishonest" and changed their last names — he would have changed their first names too, but too much of the movie had already been filmed. The change was made so late in the day, however, that the new last names only appear in the credits, and we see the actor's last names on-screen briefly in a police report.
  • Often happens to Jackie Chan in his movies — especially those ported from Hong Kong to the Western market. Jackie Chan plays either a "Jackie" or a "Mr. Chan" in movies such as Operation Condor, Super Cop & Supercop 2, The Myth, Who Am I? (1998), Cannonball Run II, Jackie Chans First Strike, etc. Additionally, in First Strike, Jackson and Annie Tsui are played by Jackson Lou and Annie Wu, respectively, and in Mr. Nice Guy, Miki is played by Miki Lee.
  • Two throwaway examples in the first ten minutes of Ghostbusters (1984): Alice Drummond plays Alice the librarian, and Jennifer Runyon is Jennifer, a test subject whom Dr. Venkman just wants to date, causing him to compromise scientific integrity.
  • Daniel "Plainview" Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood, went one better than Sandra's Genie win, winning an Oscar for that role. Also in that film, we have Paul Dano as Paul Sunday (and as Sunday's twin brother).
  • Much of the movies in the Carry On... Series had characters that had the same name as the actors. The actor that got this the most was Sid James, who had six characters named "Sid". Carry On Camping, meanwhile, had the most with Sid Boggle, Joan Fussey, Bernie Lugg, Charlie Muggins, Babs, and Dr. Kenneth Soaper (the latter being confirmed by Word of God). Additionally, Jim Tanner (played by Julian Holloway) was intended to played by Jim Dale.
  • Reggie Banister plays Reggie Banister in all four of the Phantasm films. Also the character of Michael is played by Michael A. Baldwin in the first, third, and fourth installments.
  • Captain Sawada in Street Fighter is played by Kenya Sawada.
  • Betty Garrett as Betty Barrett in Neptune's Daughter. This single-letter difference might have been to not mislead audiences into thinking that Eve Barrett (Esther Williams) was her sister in Real Life as well as in the movie.
  • Justified in Labyrinth. Toby was originally named Freddie, but the infant playing him—Toby Froud, son of puppet designer Brian Froud—would only respond to his own name.
  • Speaking of Jennifer Connelly movies, in Phenomena, her character is named Jennifer Corvino.
  • Neil Connery as Dr. Neil Connery in the James Bond parody OK Connery (aka Operation Kid Brother—or to use the title of its Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, Operation Double 007). And yes, the Casting Gag of having Sean's younger brother play an unnamed agent's younger brother is the plot. In the same film Lois "Miss Moneypenny" Maxwell plays "Miss Maxwell".
  • Jason Mewes plays a character named "Jay" in The View Askewniverse movies, as well as some other characters also named "Jay" — and in the 2006 film Jack's Law, a character named Bobby Mewes.
  • Many of Harold Lloyd's characters have the first name Harold, with various last names. Once this even bled into the title: The Sin of Harold Diddlebock.
  • Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in A Cock And Bull Story, as well as playing Tristram Shandy and his brother, also play "Steve Coogan" and "Rob Brydon".
  • David Della Rocco in The Boondock Saints. The role was written specifically for him, but then again he was friends with the writer before they even started.
  • David Hewlett as David Worth in Cube. This might be chalked down to coincidence if not for the fact that Hewlett and director Vincenzo Natali have been good friends since high school — because of this he probably had some input in choosing his character's full name.
  • In Desperado, Steve Buscemi plays a character called "Buscemi".
  • Subverted in Zack and Miri Make a Porno, with two gay lovers with the name of one being a play on the name of the actor playing another: Bobby Long played by Brandon Routh and Brandon St. Randy played by Justin Long.
  • In Observe and Report the twin security guards John and Matt are played by John and Matthew Yuan.
  • Egyptian American actor Ahmed Ahmed has played a few roles as Ahmed, and many others as himself.
  • Every single character in Purple Rain shares their actor's first name except for that played by Prince (his name is The Kid) and his movie mother and father (they have fictional names).
  • Stephen Chow directs and plays a character named Stephen Chow in God of Cookery. A particularly brave example since he sets himself up as an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist from the beginning.
    • Considering his birth name was Sing, his characters in Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle are also The Danza.
    • Also for many of his older Cantonese movies, his character is also named Sing, such as the Fight Back to School franchise (with the last name Chow), All for the Winner franchise, The Magnificent Scoundrels. His character in his latest movie CJ7 has the last name Chow.
  • Rudy Del Campo plays a character named simply "Del Campo" in the 1961 film version of West Side Story.
  • China Strike Force. In the English dub, at least three characters are named for the actor: Coolio plays Coolio, Norika Fujiwara plays Norika, and Ken Lo plays Ken Lo.
  • Stella Stevens as Stella Purdy in Jerry Lewis's The Nutty Professor.
  • Done backwards in Kenneth Branagh's Henry V, where Michael Williams plays "Michael Williams".
  • Subverted in Robert Altman's Images, where every major cast member plays a character with the same first name as another major cast member.
  • The Vincenzo Natali movie Nothing, and its two protagonists: Andrew (Miller) and Dave (Hewlett).
  • In Home Alone 3 the lead character is named Alex after the actor portraying him, Alex D. Linz.
  • In Knocked Up, the main character's friends all keep the first names of the actors portraying them.
  • Steve McQueen (actor) in The Blob (1958).
  • From 1932 to 1936, John Wayne played many characters named "John", and one named "Wayne". One of his lesser-known roles is a romantic comedy called A Lady Takes A Chance where he plays a rodeo cowboy named Duke, which became his iconic nickname.
  • Jessie Royce Landis as Jessie Stevens in To Catch a Thief.
  • Happened the other way around in The Caine Mutiny. Donna Lee Hickey, who played May Wynn, liked the name so much that she adopted it as her stage name. (May Wynn is a stage name in the original novel).
  • In A Fish Called Wanda, Tom Georgeson plays the character George Thomason.
  • Justin Long played Justin in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story.
  • Danny Trejo in Heat plays a character named Trejo.
  • This trope applies to everyone appearing in the first Paranormal Activity (later films ditched this in favor of different names).
  • In Carlos Saura's Carmen, the dancers Antonio Gades, Cristina Hoyos, and Juan Antonio Jimenez play dancers named Antonio, Cristina, and Juan, while musician Paco de Lucia plays a musician named Paco. And In-Universe, the actress hired for the theater troupe's production of Carmen is named Carmen.
  • Subverted in Snow Cake: Angela Pell wrote the screenplay with Alan Rickman so much in mind that the main character was originally named "Alan Hughes". Rickman suggested the name change; the character is now called "Alex Hughes".
  • With the exceptions of Hicks and Ripley, all of the Marines in Aliens named on the hypersleep capsule readout share their first initial with the actor or actress playing them. Including Bishop the android, who is given the first initial "L". Word of God says their whole first names match up.
  • A reverse Danza happens in Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. Canadian singer Alan Doyle (a buddy of the film's lead Russell Crowe) plays the minstrel Alan-a-Dale, a legendary character who had that name centuries before Alan Doyle was born.
    • Though the character's name in the end credits is spelled Alan a'Dayle, so they did Danza it up a bit.
  • Speaking of Robin Hood, in Robin and Marian the part of King Richard the Lionheart is played by Richard Harris.
  • And speaking of Richard Harris movies, Patriot Games features Sean Bean as Sean Miller.
  • Liam Neeson plays "Randy Father Liam" in Breakfast on Pluto. Seeing as this character was named Father Bernard in the original novel, we can only assume this was done deliberately...
  • Several movies by German comedian Didi Hallervorden, often containing "Didi" in the title
  • In The Basket, the character of Frederick Treadway was played by Patrick Treadway. This is because the character originally didn't have a name, so in the script, he was simply referred to as Patrick Treadway, with the intention of coming up with a name later. Everyone got so used to it that it simply became the character's name until the real Patrick asked for it to be altered at least partially so it wouldn't feel like he was playing himself.
  • Scott "Scotty" Thomas in Euro Trip is played by Scott Mechlowicz.
  • Sam Rockwell stars as Sam Bell in Moon. Deliberate as Duncan Jones specifically wrote the part for him.
  • Dragan Mićanović plays a Serbian gangster, Dragan, in Layer Cake, and amusingly enough, is The Dragon.
  • In Men in Black II, it's ambiguous whether Michael Jackson is playing himself or a fictional character in his cameo — but he's an aspiring MIB agent who wants to become "Agent M".
  • In Enter the Dragon, Bruce Lee plays a character named "Mr. Lee".
  • In Mexico, there is a famous actress and comedienne named "María Elena Velasco". She has been cast a Danza in everything she has been in. Specifically, she plays "La India Maria", a character she herself created.
  • The Three Stooges were almost always this in their films. The names were a bit of a change situation but were their main professional ones. The Horowitz boys were Moses ('Moe'), Jerome (nicknamed 'Curly' for his hair after his then-current nickname 'Babe' was taken), and Samuel (their mother's attempts to say it ended up as 'Shemp', and it stuck). Louis Feinberg had already taken the name 'Larry Fine' before joining the act. Joe Besser was the only one who didn't have to change anything at all. Joseph Wardell had used 'Joe DeRita' well before meeting the Stooges. Emil Sitka would've been the only one to make a name out of whole cloth ('Harry'), but the act died (with Moe) before any films could be made. RARE exceptions include Woman Haters (the first short, and part of another lineup of films Columbia was doing; they had character names) and the rare time when they would play actual others (opposite themselves), especially in drag.
  • Corrupt town councilman Bill Heslop in Muriel's Wedding is played by the veteran Australian actor Bill Hunter.
  • Silent Movie features Mel Brooks as Mel Funn, Marty Feldman as Marty Eggs, and Dom DeLuise as Dom Bell.
  • Norman Wisdom played characters called Norman in a total of 13 films during the '50s and '60s. He is probably best remembered playing Norman Pitkin, opposite Edward Chapman as Mr. Grimsdale.
  • Glenn Morshower as "General Morshower" in the second and third Transformers films.
  • Reggae singer Willi One Blood plays a henchman in The Professional. Stansfield calls him "Blood", and another character calls him "Willi".
  • In Starter for 10 Alice Eve plays Alice and Rebecca Hall plays Rebecca.
  • In Moonraker, French actress Corinne Cléry portrays Corinne Dufour.
  • British wartime comedian George Formby played a character named George in 18 of his 21 starring roles, including several where he is name-checked in the title (Come On George!, Let George Do It!).
  • In Bad Boys (1995), Theresa Randle plays Theresa Burnett.
  • La Dolce Vita: Marcello Mastroianni (Marcello Rubini) and Riccardo Garrone (Riccardo).
  • In Four Weddings and a Funeral, David is played by David Bower.
  • Ladies of the Chorus: Rand Brooks as Randy Carroll.
  • In True Lies, Jean-Claude Parachino plays a bit part as... Jean-Claude. He's the guy who records the lines Harry plays back when Helen poses as a prostitute in the suite.
  • John Malkovich as John Horatio Malkovich in Being John Malkovich, obviously. He isn't quite playing himself since the actor's real middle name is Gavin.
  • In Brazilian film The Elite Squad André Ramiro plays André Matias (though the first name rarely shows up due to Last-Name Basis). Captain Matias returns in the sequel, keeping the trope running.
  • Michael Douglas as Michael Andropolis in Running.
  • From Justin to Kelly stars Justin Guarini as Justin Bell (a full-name Danza; Guarini is his stage name) and Kelly Clarkson as Kelly Taylor.
  • My Dinner with Andre has Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory playing...well, Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory. However, the actors, who wrote the script, have repeatedly stated that the characters in the film are not representative of their real-life personalities.
  • Where the Wild Things Are's lead character Max is played by Max Records.
  • A coincidental last-name Danza appears in the remake of True Grit, where Lucky Ned Pepper is played by — you guessed it — Barry Pepper.
  • Shirley Temple in four of her early films.
  • Baby Peggy predated the above example a decade before Temple went mainstream, like in Peg o' the Mounted and in the feature film The Family Secret, where she played the role of, well, you guessed it, Peggy Holmes.
  • Although the character existed long before the actress who played her, in an early film version of Anne of Green Gables, Anne Shirley was played by... Anne Shirley (which was the actress's stage name). The actress, née Dawn Evelyeen Paris, adopted the stage name as a consequence of being cast in the movie. She had been previously acting as Dawn O'Day.
  • In the Swedish film, Pelle the Conqueror, the title role was played by Pelle Hvenegaard. Hvenegaard was actually named for the character since his parents were fans of the book the movie was based on.
  • Zabriskie Point: lead characters Mark and Daria (Mark Frechette and Daria Halprin), and also supporting character Kathleen (Kathleen Cleaver).
  • Sean Connery played Captain John Conner in Rising Sun. The similar-sounding name is not a coincidence because author Michael Crichton named the character John Conner in his book with the hope that Connery would play him in the eventual film version.
  • In The Wolf Man (1941), Bela Lugosi plays a fortune teller named Bela.
  • Reverse Danza: Actor Byron Barr changed his professional name to Gig Young after playing a character of that name in the 1942 film The Gay Sisters.
  • Keith David as Agent Keith in Gamer.
  • Peter Serafinowicz as Pete in Shaun of the Dead. Lampshaded (sort of) in an outtake included on the DVD, in which Simon Pegg and Nick Frost refer to the character by the actor's full name while delivering their dialogue.
  • Rachel Weisz's role in About a Boy is Rachel.
  • Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski in The Big Lebowski.
    • He also played John L. Bridges in Heaven's Gate, a character that's supposed to be his own great-grandfather dropped into the semi-fictional storyline.
  • In La Haine, Vinz, Saïd and Hubert are played by Vincent Cassel, Saïd Taghmaoui and Hubert Koundé, respectively.
  • In Project X, all of the characters share the same first names as their actors.
  • Probably coincidental since the character actually is a real person, but in The Blind Side: Collins Tuohy is played by Lily Collins (daughter of Phil Collins).
  • In Titanic, the modern-time crew (aside from Brock Lovett, played by Bill Paxton) are named after the actors portraying them, e.g. Lewis Bodine is played by Lewis Abernathy. The crew in question is also the real-life crew of the ship.
  • Eddie Redmayne as "Eddie" in Hick.
  • Playboy Playmate Dona Speir played Agent Donna Hamilton in several of Andy Sidaris' Triple B movies, including Hard Ticket to Hawaii.
  • Paul Giamatti as Paul Gill in Rock of Ages.
  • Sara Paxton as Sara Houski in Shark Night.
  • Frank Langella as the "Frank" of the title in Robot and Frank.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt as "Joseph Simmons" in Looper.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson in Hocus Pocus.
  • Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov as Paul and Mary Bland in Eating Raoul and Chopping Mall.
  • In the live-action Scooby-Doo (2002) movies, Fred is played by Freddie Prinze Jr. Possibly a Casting Gag.
  • In Elf, Buddy's real name is William, and he is played by Will Ferrell.
  • Twister with Bill Harding (Bill Paxton)
  • Small Soldiers with Phil Fimple (Phil Hartman).
  • In Cold Creek Manor, Kristen Stewart played a character called Kristen Tilson.
  • In The King of Comedy, Jerry Lewis plays a character named Jerry Langford. The character was named Robert Langford in the script, and Lewis suggested the change upon learning that they would be filming scenes in the streets of New York City; Lewis' character is supposed to be a celebrity in-universe, so if any passers-by recognized him and shouted "Jerry!" during a scene, they could just Throw It In! instead of having to do another take.
  • Maria Thayer as Rory Thayer in Accepted.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness: Joseph Gatt's character was originally called GATT2000, although by the time of the film's release, the character's name was changed to Science Officer 0718.
  • The Expendables 2 villain Jean Vilain shares part of Jean-Claude Van Damme's given name.
  • In [REC], Pablo is played by Pablo Rosso, who is a cameraman in Real Life.
  • In Festen (The Celebration), the receptionist Lars and Helene's boyfriend Gbatokai are portrayed by Lars Brygmann and Gbatokai Dakinah, respectively.
  • Dianne Wiest as Dianne Booker in The Horse Whisperer.
  • Another coincidental example: Tommy Pender as Tom (AKA: Thomas) in The Water Babies.
  • In Blue Is the Warmest Color:
    • The protagonist Clémentine is renamed Adèle after her actress Adèle Exarchopoulos because the director included scenes where the actress wasn't acting for the camera and was being called by name by the crew, feeling it was very natural and suited the movie.
    • Averted by Léa Seydoux. She refused to have her character's name be changed to her own name as one of the conditions she had for playing the part of Emma. Among these other conditions are: she will not smoke real cigarettes because she has quit smoking two years before, she will not have real sex on camera, and she will not wear her own clothes for the film. Apart from these, she said that she is ready to do anything that Kechiche will require her for any of the scenes.
  • Young Max in Elysium is played by Maxwell Perry Cotton.
  • Koh Jia Ler as Jia Ler in Ilo Ilo.
  • Ed Harris plays Ed Du Bois in Pain & Gain, who is a real person involved with the story.
  • The Bay: One of the women interviewed by Dr. Abrams right after the outbreak is a woman named Lamya Jezek... played by Lamya Jezek.
  • Sean Penn as Sean O'Connell in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
  • Georges St-Pierre as Georges Batroc in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This is a coincidence though, as Georges Batroc is an existing character from the Captain America comics.
  • Kick-Ass has Christopher Mintz-Plasse playing Christopher "Chris" D'Amico aka Red Mist, later The Motherfucker, and Stu Riley playing Stu.
  • In-universe example: in Muppet Treasure Island, Mr. Arrow's first namenote  is given as Samuel - and he's "played" by Sam the Eagle. Also, Billy Bones is played by Billy Connolly.
  • Michael Corleone's son Anthony in The Godfather film series (the character doesn't exist in the Mario Puzo novels) was so named because the 3-year-old boy who played him in the first film was also named Anthony. It was found that he responded best to his own name.
  • Diane "Annie" Hall, better known by her stage name Diane Keaton, as the title character in Annie Hall.
  • In Outbreak, Donald Sutherland plays Major General Donald "Donnie" McClintock.
  • Frank Sinatra's first leading role in a film was as "Frank Sinatra" in Higher and Higher (the equivalent character in the unsuccessful Broadway musical was named Patrick O'Toole). In his later years, Sinatra would play Frankie Machine in The Man with the Golden Arm, François Durnais in Can-Can, and Frank Hovannes in Contract on Cherry Street.
  • Reverse Danza: Simon MacCorkindale plays Simon Doyle in the 1978 film of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile.
  • In the 1965 version of Christie's Ten Little Indians, the character Philip Lombard is renamed to "Hugh" Lombard, in obvious service to Hugh O'Brian who was portraying him in that film. This name change is used again for Oliver Reed's portrayal in the 1974 remake.
  • Moskowitz from Minnie And Moscowitz had the same first name as his actor, Seymour Cassel.
  • In Up the Down Staircase, "Juan Rodriguez as Juan Rodriguez".
  • In Into the Woods, Lucinda is played by Lucy Punch
  • In Animal House, John Vernon plays Dean Vernon Wormer, and John Belushi plays John "Bluto" Blutarski.
  • Played with in The Black Hole (1979). While commander Hans Reinhardt is played by Maximilian Schell, he has a right-hand robot named Maximilian. Significantly, the two characters are sort of merged together later in the film.
  • In The Blues Brothers (1980), the owner of Ray's Music Exchange is played by Ray Charles. (No name is listed for the character.) Additionally, all of the band members except for leads Jake and Elwood use their real-life first and last names, though they usually go by nicknames in the film.
  • In Imaginaerum, main character Thomas Whitman is played by Tuomas Holopainen, and his friend and former bandmate Ann is played by Tuomas' real-life friend and now former bandmate Anette Olzon.
  • In Resurrection (the original movie from 1980), Edna Mae McCauley is played by Ellen Burstyn, whose real name is Edna Rae Gillooly.
  • In Trainwreck, star/screenwriter Amy Schumer's character is called Amy.
  • In Moms' Night Out, Kevin Downes plays a character named Kevin.
  • One of the strangest examples: in Major Dundee, Charlton Heston (whose real name was John Charles Carter) shares a middle name with character, Major Amos Charles Dundee.
  • In Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Madeline Stuart (director Mel Stuart's daughter) plays Madeline Durkin, the girl in Charlie Bucket's class who tells Mr. Turkentine she opened "about 100" Wonka bars.
  • In Doctor Strange (2016), Benedict Wong plays a character named "Wong". This may just be a same name or a casting gag however, the character in the film was based on an established character from the Doctor Strange comics.
  • Tatiana Maslany as a character named Tatiana in Eastern Promises.
  • The inaugural The Marine film had two; John Cena as the titular protagonist John Triton and Manu Bennett as Elite Mook Bennett.
  • Warrior had two; Tom Hardy as Tommy Conlon, one of the two protagonists, and Frank Grillo as Frank Campana, The Mentor of the other protagonist.
  • Played with in Liberal Arts. Elizabeth Olsen's character is named Elizabeth but is exclusively addressed as Zibby. There's also Elizabeth Ann Reaser playing a character named Anna.
  • Subverted in Defendor. Kat Dennings plays Kat Debrofkowitz, but her real name is Katherine Litwack while the character's full name is Katerina.
  • In Grosse Pointe Blank Basque–American kickboxer and stuntman Benny "The Jet" Urquidez plays a Basque hitman named Benny.
  • Twinky, a 1969 British "sex comedy" has two characters played by famous comedians - Norman Vaughn as Jimmy Tarbuck, and Jimmy Tarbuck as Norman Vaughn.
  • Felicity Jones as Felicia Hardy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It's possible this was a casting gag off the Spider-Man love interest Felicia Hardy - better know as Black Cat.
  • The 1973 version of Miracle on 34th Street has a sort of example with "Susan" Walker being played by "Suzanne" Davidson.
  • In Grimm the main character called Jacob is played by Jacob Derwig.
  • Baghead has Jett Garner as a filmmaker/actor named Jett.
  • Due to a copyright issue over the use of the character, the final three films in Johnny Weissmuller's long-running Jungle Jim series of adventure B-movies saw the lead character renamed. Rather than come up with an original name, the filmmakers played it safe by simply renaming the character ... Johnny Weissmuller, while stressing that this version of Weissmuller was purely fictional.
  • In 1960 film Sex Kittens Go to College Norman Grabowski played Woo Woo Grabowski.
  • The 1994 comedy The New Age has Peter Weller as Peter Witner.
  • In the low-budget horror film Things, porn star Amber Lynn plays TV news anchor Amber Lynn.
  • Snow Dogs has James Coburn as James "Thunder Jack" Johnson.
  • In Boar, Ernie Dingo plays a character named Ernie.
  • WWE film See No Evil features Glenn "Kane" Jacobs as Jacob Goodnight. The character Christine is portrayed by Christina Vidal.
  • Diary of a Mad Black Woman: Brian's daughter Tiffany is played by Tiffany Evans. Tyler Perry says that the names being the same was pure coincidence.
  • Darkdrive: Julie Falcon, played by... Julie Benz.
  • In Terminator: Dark Fate, Dany Ramos's brother Diego is played by Diego Boneta (who is included in the opening credits as a starring cast member, but is killed off quickly). The minor role of Carl's wife Alicia is played by Alicia Borrachero.
  • Room in Rome: Natasha is portrayed by Natasha Yarovenko.
  • Midwinter Night's Dream stars Lazar Ristovski, Jasna Žalica, and Jovana Mitić as Lazar, Jasna, and Jovana.
  • In Seven (1979), martial artist Ed Parker plays a martial artist named Ed Parker. It's not clear if he is supposed to be playing himself, or a different character who happens to have the same name.
  • Money Movers has Bryan Brown as Brian Jackson. This is almost certainly a coincidence as Brian was a very common Australian name at the time.
  • The Magic Door: Liam is played by Liam Matthews.
  • In the 1977 version of Fun with Dick and Jane, Jane Fonda plays Jane Harper.
  • Noah/Susan from A Safe Place (1971) is played by Tuesday Weld, whose birth name was Susan.
  • Voyage of the Rock Aliens features Spyder Mittleman as Spyder.
  • Thandiwe Adjewa from the 1991 Australian film Flirting is played by Thandiwe Newton, whose name was misspelt in posters for the film, thus being credited as Thandie Newton for three decades until reclaiming the original spelling of her name in April 2021.
  • Zack Snyder's Justice League has Ryan Zheng as Ryan Choi.
  • Jimmie (2008) has Michael Neuenschwander as Jimmie's father Michael Berger.
  • Aloha, Bobby and Rose has Erick Hines as Rose's five-year-old son Erick.
  • The Peanut Butter Falcon features Zack Gottsagen as Zak.
  • The Endless: Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead play the two main characters who are brothers, Justin and Aaron.
  • In High Heels and Low Lifes, Danny Dyer plays Danny Robinson.
  • The Archer: Michael Grant Terry plays Michael Patrice.
  • The Blue Iguana has Yano Anaya as Yano, as we learn during a Given Name Reveal at the end.
  • Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter stars Herman's Hermits. With the exception of Peter Noone as Herman Tulley, all the band members play characters with the same first names as themselves.
  • The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe has Bernard Blier as Colonel Bernard Milan.
  • Winterskin: John Carver is played by John Lomas.
  • Licorice Pizza has Alana Haim as Alana Kane.
  • The Father stars Anthony Hopkins as Anthony. He was called André in the original stage play, but director Florian Zeller renamed the character to entice him.
  • Toomorrow: All the band members have the same names as their actors: Olivia Newton-John, Benny Thomas, Vic Cooper, and Karl Chambers.
  • In the first two Air Buddies movies, the Buddies' mother Molly is voiced by Molly Shannon. (This is the coincidence version since Molly first appeared in Air Bud: World Pup, where the canine characters were unvoiced.)
  • Backdraft: Jennifer Vaitkus, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh.
  • A Good Woman Is Hard To Find: Sarah Bolger plays the lead character, also named Sarah.
  • Aftershock: Ariel was played by Ariel Levy.
  • Mothering Sunday (2021): Emma D'Arcy as Emma Hobday.
  • The Tall Guy has a borderline example with Rowan Atkinson as Ron Anderson, Dexter King's comedy partner. Reportedly, when Richard Curtis, formerly the straight man in a double-act with Atkinson, sent him the script, Atkinson asked which part he was up for.
  • In The Devil Commands, Richard Fiske plays Dr. Richard Sayles.
  • Inspector Blunder has Michel Colucci (Coluche) as Michel Clément.
  • Strange Gardens has Jacques Villeret as Jacques Pouzay, André Dussollier as André Designy and Thierry Lhermitte as Thierry Plaisance.
  • La Tour Montparnasse Infernale has Éric Judor and Ramzy Bedia as Éric and Ramzy.
  • The Dark Knight Rises: At the football game Bane crashes, the kicker for the opposing team has "Ravenstahl" on the back of his jersey. The movie was filmed in Pittsburgh and the kicker is played by then-mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
  • ''Guardian Angels has Yves Rénier as Yvon Radmilo.
  • Les Fantasmes (2021) has Shirine Boutella as Shirine.
  • Burnt by the Sun has Nadezhda "Nadya" Mikhalkova, the real-life daughter of director and lead actor Nikita Mikhalkov, as Nadya Kotova.
  • Lost And Found 2009: Haley Mancini plays Haley.
  • Jess McLeod played two characters named Jess in Shall We Play? and A Little Vacation so far.
  • Four minor characters from Dad's Army (1971) - Franz, and Privates Hastings, Hancock, and Lesley - were named for their actors - Franz Van Norde, Hugh Hastings, George Hancock, and Leslie Noyes.
  • Doctor... Series:
  • Holiday on the Buses: Sandra was played by Sandra Bryant.
  • Please Turn Over stars Ted Ray as Edward Halliday.
  • Raising the Wind has Sid James playing Sid, a music publisher.

    Literature 
  • Robert Newton Peck has at least two protagonists with his exact name, one from the humorous Soup series, one from the much grimmer A Day No Pigs Would Die. Both live in Learning, Vermont with their parents and an aunt.
    • Both books are semi-autobiographical, however, so it stands to reason the main characters would have his name.
  • Author self-insertion characters tend to follow this naming convention (e.g. "Herald Myste," who represents Mercedes "Misty" Lackey in the Valdemar series).
  • The playwright Molière sometimes named characters after the original actors that played them.
  • The novel the bone people by Keri Hulme has a protagonist named Kerewin Holmes.
  • The name of an Austrian emperor indicates a use of this in Kafka's The Trial — compare Franz Kafka with (Franz) Josef K(afka); the protagonist of another novel, The Castle, is called simply "K".
  • Philip K. Dick's protagonist "Horselover Fat" in VALIS. This story proceeds as a first-person framing of a third-person narrative until a character actually calls him out and shows how "Horselover" is a thinly-veiled translation of Dick's own name, and the two men are really the same person.
  • David Wong, main character of John Dies at the End, by David Wong. (Not necessarily, as David Wong is just a Pen Name.)
  • Portia da Costa's Romance Novel The Stranger features an obvious expy of Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor. (so obvious it's Word of God) You could just call it a published smut fic. The expy is also named Paul... and the heroine of the novel is named Claudia Marwood.
  • William Lee, the protagonist of several works by William S. Burroughs.
    • Similarly, Jack Kerouac wrote many novels starring a protagonist named Jack Duluoz.
  • Charles Yu, time-machine repairman in How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu. It really says something that this is one of the less confusing things about the book.
  • A couple of author John Irving's characters are named John: Johnny Wheelwright, narrator of A Prayer for Owen Meany and John Berry, narrator of The Hotel New Hampshire.
  • Darren O'Shaughnessy (who usually writes under the pen name Darren Shan) is best known for a book series about a young vampire named Darren Shan.
  • Tanith Lee, who wrote for British SF series Blake's 7, penned a novella called "Kill the Dead." The story's protagonist was named Parl Dro. He bore a striking resemblance to Blake's 7 actor Paul Darrow, and his personality was much like that of Darrow's character, Avon.
  • J(ames) G(raham) Ballard in his novels Empire Of The Sun and 'The Kindness of Women'' has the protagonist "Jim Graham".
  • In Bram Stoker's Dracula, Abraham Van Helsing. Note that Bram is short for Abraham.
  • Star Trek Novelverse:
    • The Star Trek: The Lost Era novel Serpents Among the Ruins gives the name of the unnamed Starfleet captain played by Madge Sinclair in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as Madge Sinclair-Alexander (the "Alexander" coming from the Voyage Home Novelization.)
    • The Star Trek: The Original Series novel Burning Dreams, about the life of Captain Pike, says he was born Christopher McKinnies. McKinnies was Jeffrey Hunter's real surname.
    • The Original Series novel Crucible: Kirk - The Star To Every Wandering gives Antonia from Star Trek: Generations the surname Salvatori, after actress Lynn Salvatori.
  • The audiobook of Larry Correia's "Tom Stranger: Interdimensional Insurance Agent" features President Baldwin, read by Adam Baldwin.
  • The Essential Book of K9 includes a short story which gives K9's creator Professor Marius (played by Frederick Jaeger in "The Invisible Enemy") the first name of Frederick.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Trope Namer Tony Danza has portrayed:
    • Tony in Fast Lane Blues
    • Tony Banta in Taxi
    • Tony Micelli in Who's the Boss?
    • Tony Canetti in Hudson Street
    • Tony DiMeo in The Tony Danza Show
    • Tony Caruso in The Good Cop
  • Jim Belushi as Jim in According to Jim.
  • Alias had Michael Vaughn (played by Michael Vartan) and Rachel Gibson (played by Rachel Nichols).
  • Tracey Ullman as Dr. Tracey West in Ally McBeal.
  • Andy Griffith as Andy Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show.
  • Peggy Lipton as Peggy Tribeca in Angie Tribeca, playing the mother of her real-life daughter's character.
  • China Anne McClain plays Chyna Parks on A.N.T. Farm. Different spelling but it still counts, although in real life she goes by China Anne instead of just China.
  • Babylon 5
    • Done retroactively with the Centauri Emperor (played by Turhan Bey) and Prime Minister (played by Malachi Throne). When they appeared in the episode "The Coming of Shadows", they were not named and only credited as "Emperor" and "Prime Minister". Later episodes called them "Emperor Turhan" and "Prime Minister Malachi".
    • In the episode "Learning Curve", Turhan Bey played a Minbari Ranger instructor named Turval, alongside another named Durhan played by Brian McDermott, both of whose names sound like variations on "Turhan".
  • Ron Glass as Sgt. Ron Harris on Barney Miller.
  • Diane Martin, the first Miss America, in Battle Fever J. Both the character and the actress are called Diane Martin.
  • Baywatch: A great many one-shot guests kept their actors' full names. One such character goes on to become a regular (Michael Newman, aka Michael "Newmie" Newman. Blazing a trail for Donna D'Errico as Donna Marco, and Jason Momoa as Jason Ioane.
  • Best of Friends (1963) starred Charles Hawtrey and Hylda Baker as Charles and Hylda, with Sheena Marshe in a recurring role as Sheena.
  • Bettys Diagnose has main character Bettina "Betty" Dewald played by Bettina Lamprecht.
  • The little-known sitcom Big Brother Jake features fitness personality Jake Steinfeld as Jake Rosner.
  • Kendall Knight, James Diamond, Carlos Garcia, and Logan Mitchell in Big Time Rush are named after their respective actors Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena, and Logan Henderson.
  • Steve from Blue's Clues—his actor's name was Steven in real life. Oddly enough, his Suspiciously Similar Substitute is named Joe in the show but has the real-life name of Donovan.
  • Bob Newhart as Bob Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show, and Bob McKay on B.o.B. His other show was named Newhart, but the character's name was Dick Loudon. In George & Leo, his character was George, the actor's actual birth name.
  • Jim Jarmusch on Bored to Death.
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt guest-starred in an episode of Boy Meets World, "And Then There was Shawn", as Jennifer Love Fefferman.
  • One of the most well-known versions of the Bozo the Clown franchise is the series made in Chicago. Here, Norbert "Ned" Locke played the show's MC Ringmaster Ned for many, many years (from 1961 to 1976 according to The Other Wiki).
  • Zig-zagged in The Brady Bunch, where Mike Brady was played by Robert Reed, while his son Bobby was played by Mike Lookinland.
  • Brian Stepanek as Brian O'Brian in the mini-show of the same name.
  • On Broad City, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer play Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler.
  • Terry Crews as Sgt. Terry Jeffords in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
  • Buffy:
    • Larry Bagby III as Larry Blaisdell, although the character was named before Larry Bagby III was cast. Bagby joked that he should get the part because the character was named for him.
    • Robin Wood is played by D.B. Woodside.
  • Bunheads has a student at the ballet academy named Matisse, played by dancer/actress Matisse Love.
  • Subverted in an episode of Burn Notice in which actor Michael Weston guest-starred as the client of the week. His character was named Spencer but the actor's name is nearly identical to that of the lead character (whose last name is spelled "Westen").
  • In the '70s British spy serial Callan (starring Edward Woodward, later the suspiciously similar McCall in The Equalizer) the character Liz was played by Lisa Langdon. For about half the four-season run, she was credited only as "Hunter's Secretary".
  • In the Italian version of Caméra Café, Luca Bitta and Paolo Nervi are played by Luca Bizzarri and Paolo Kessisoglu.
  • In Catastrophe, Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney both play characters who have the same first name as theirs.
  • Charmed once had a chameleon demon named Alastair, played by Alastair Duncan.
  • The 2018 reboot of Charmed has Melonie Diaz playing Mel Vera, and Jordan Donica playing Jordan Chase.
  • Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule has the newsreaders Doug Prishpreed (Doug Foster), Carol Krabit (Carol Kraft), and Scott Clam (Scott Stewart). In particular Foster found the name Prishpreed very odd and seems to struggle to pronounce it every time he appears, adding to the awkwardness of his character.
  • Cheers:
    • Harry Anderson as "Harry the Hat". Anderson had used "Harry the Hat" as a stage name for years before appearing on TV, when he was a stage magician and real-life con man, making it in some ways even more of a Danza than usual.
    • Woody Harrelson as Woody Boyd looks like this, but it's a coincidence: the character was named Woody before Harrelson was cast.
    • Several background characters were named after their actors, such as Paul Wilson as Paul, Paul Vaughn as a different Paul, Thomas Babson as Tom, Phil Perlman as Phil, etc.
    • In one episode, Woody is cast in Our Town and has this to say of his costar: "The girl who's playing Emily is a terrific actress. I mean, actually, she's got kind of an advantage because her real name is Emily. She don't even have to learn to answer to a different name."
  • Kelly Vrooman of The Chica Show. She even voices herself in the cartoon segments!
  • Cobra sees Robert Carlyle playing British Prime Minster Robert Sutherland.
  • Craig Cackowski plays Officer Cackowski in a few episodes of Community.
  • Control Z: Luis is played by Luis Cariel.
  • Brent Butt as Brent Leroy on Corner Gas.
  • Coronation Street has long-running star Betty Driver as Betty Williams.
    • Also Sally Dynevor as Sally Webster.
  • Notably averted by Bill Cosby: Despite having three different sitcoms with "Cosby" in their titles, his character name is always completely unrelated.
    • The Cosby Show also had an episode called "The Slumber Party" where Dana, Kyle, Peter, Naoka, Desiree and Sing are actually named after the actors and actresses they were played by.
  • Coupling has a variant: characters Steve and Susan share the names of writer Steven Moffat and producer Sue Vertue, on whom they're loosely modeled.
  • CSI:
    • Not a main character, but Archie Johnson, played by Archie Kao.
    • Also David Phillips, played by David Berman.
    • In the episode "A Kiss Before Frying", guest star Dita Von Teese works as nude dancer under the name Rita Von Squeeze.
  • CSI: NY:
    • Also not a main character, but they briefly had a lab rat named Chad Willingham played by Chad Lindberg.
    • In the episode, "Right Next Door", Stella's neighbor is a boy called Austin Tanner who is played by a young actor named Austin Whitlock.
  • Cybill Shephard as Cybill Sheridan in... Cybill.
  • Dad's Army has Bill Pertwee as Warden William Hodges.
  • Daisy Jones & The Six: Camila Morrone plays Camila Alvarez.
  • In the series Delocated, Eugene Mirman portrays a Russian hitman named "Yvgeny Mirminsky."
  • Ernie Hudson as Ernie, the mayor's father, in Hart of Dixie.
  • On the revival of Dallas, Judith Light played Judith Brown Ryland and Emma Bell played Emma Brown.
  • In Dani's House, Max is played by Sebastian Applewhite. His middle name is Sebastian (S 4 E 7). And of course, Dani Hamner as Dani.
  • Fred Willard played a bartender named Fred (or Freddie, as the Nixon puppet would refer to him) on D.C. Follies.
  • Deadly Class:
    • Maria Gabriela de Faria as Maria Esperanza Salazar.
    • Juan Grey as Juan.
  • Decoy:
    • In "Necklace of Glass", Casey Jones, played by Beverly Garland, goes undercover as the socialite Beverly Cazwell.
    • Michele Holland from "Night of Fire" is played by Betty Lou Holland.
  • In Dekh Bhai Dekh, the character Daisy Mausi is played by Daisy Irani.
  • Delores Hall as Nurse Delores Mitchell in Diagnosis: Murder
  • A Discovery of Witches: Matthew Goode plays vampire Matthew Clairmont.
  • Martin Clunes as Dr Martin Ellingham in Doc Martin. Further variant in that the character's surname is an anagram of series creator Dominic Minghella.
  • Rhodri Meilir played a character called Rhodri in the Doctor Who episode "The Runaway Bride".
    • A coincidental surname Danza: Rory's dad Brian Williams is played by Mark Williams, but he was cast long after Rory's surname was established.
    • Rory's middle name is revealed to be Arthur, which is also shared by the actor playing him (goes by Arthur Darvill professionally, but his first name is Thomas).
      • Arthur Darvill was also the Danza on Sooty in the early 2000s, where his character was named Tom.
    • Sgt. John Benton of UNIT, a recurring character during the Second, Third, and Fourth Doctor eras, was played by John Levene, although Benton's first name was not given on screen and only revealed in expanded universe material.
    • Not an exact example, but related: a number of people have pointed out that the TENth doctor is played by David TENnant.
    • When the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip wanted to use the Time Lord General from "Hell Bent" (played first by Ken Bones, and then by T'Nia Miller), they asked Steven Moffat, as her creator, to provide a name. He came up with "Kenossium", derived from "Ken" + "ossium", the Latin word for "bones".
  • Donna Reed's character in The Donna Reed Show was a Danza called "Donna Stone".
  • Harriet Walter played Harriet Vane in The BBC 's A Dorothy L. Sayers Mystery.
  • Drake & Josh, starring Drake Bell and Josh Peck as Drake Parker and Josh Nichols, respectively.
  • In many episodes of El Chapulín Colorado, the supporting cast is named after the actors who play them: therefore, we have Carlos Villagrán as Carlos, Ramón Valdés as Ramón, Rubén Aguirre as Rubén and so on. Roberto Gomez Bolaños (a.k.a. Chespirito) once explained he did this to allow the actors to form a bond with their characters (even though they were mostly just innocent bystanders). Conversely, in El Chavo del ocho, Doña Florinda, Don Ramón and Doña Nieves are respectively played by Florinda Meza, Ramón Valdés and Maria Antonieta de las Nieves.
  • Ellen DeGeneres played "Ellen Morgan" in the 1993-98 sitcom Ellen, which was known as These Friends Of Mine for the first season. In 2001, she played "Ellen Richmond" in the sitcom The Ellen Show.
  • Two of Station 51's firefighters in Emergency!, Marco Lopez and Mike Stoker, simply used the actor's name. Stoker, the driver of Engine 51, actually was an LA County firefighter at the time of filming (he retired in 1996), because the fire department wanted the engine on the show to be operated by a certified driver rather than risk an actor damaging it. They thought Marco's name just sounded like a firefighter's.
  • Entourage: Scott Caan as Scott Levin.
  • Subverted on the UPN show Eve, where the rapper Eve's character was named... Shelley. (The series was originally called The Opposite Sex until the title change.)
  • Interesting variation in Everybody Hates Chris – Chris Rock narrates As Himself, while the young Chris Rock is played by Tyler James Williams.
  • Ray Romano as Ray Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond. Plus occasional supporting characters played by Kevin James and Andy Kindler.
  • Mocked on Extras where (both In-Universe and Out-) Celebrity Cameo Keith Chegwin's character has his name changed to Keith after the actor repeatedly fails to comprehend that the character has a different name to him.
  • Fear the Walking Dead: Alycia Debnam-Carey plays Alicia.
  • Annie Potts as Flatbed Annie in the 1979 CBS Made-for-TV Movie Flatbed Annie & Sweetiepie: Lady Truckers.
  • Both members of Flight of the Conchords: Jemaine Clement plays Jemaine Clemaine; Bret McKenzie plays Bret McClegnie. Additionally, a few guest characters have been Danzas: Demetri (Demetri Martin), Todd (Todd Barry), and Jim (Jim Gaffigan).
  • 4 Square had Helen Farmer as Helen and Pay Chen as Pay.
  • Almost every single bloody sketch on French and Saunders has Dawn and Jennifer as... Dawn and Jennifer. Even in the film spoofs.note 
    • Oh, and also Jen in Girls on Top.
  • In-universe example: In an episode of Friends, Ross encourages Joey to write a play for himself to star in, prompting the following exchange:
    Ross: All right, we'll start off slow. The only thing you have to do tonight is come up with the name of your main character.
    Joey: Done!
    Ross: And it can't be Joey.
    Joey: It's not.
    Ross: Or Joseph.
    Joey: Oh.
  • Every character in the Australian mockumentary series The Games is named for their actor — for example, Frank Woodley playing, well, Dr. Frank Woodley (who is "partially" a TV vet in the episode). This was lampshaded in the second season when the actor John Howard played a political representative pretending to be then real-life Prime Minister John Howard, making a public apology for Australia's historically poor treatment of indigenous people (something the actual Prime Minister Howard refused to do), for the benefit of various foreign dignitaries; Brian remarks on the fraud, since he's not the Prime Minister, to which Gina replies "He didn't say he was; he said he was John Howard speaking to you from Sydney, Australia", making the point that no one outside Australia would be expected to know what the Prime Minister looks like.
  • Get a Life had Chris Elliott as Chris Peterson.
  • Getting Together stars Bobby Sherman as Bobb Conway.
  • On Gilmore Girls, Sookie's husband Jackson is played by Jackson Douglas. His real-life girlfriend almost played Sookie.
  • Gimme a Break! with Nell Carter as Nell Harper and Joey Lawrence as Joey Donovan.
  • Adam Driver as Adam Sackler in Girls. Arguably, since this was his breakout role, it helped his name recognition early on in his career.
  • On the Swedish version of American Gladiators, called simply Gladiatorerna (The Gladiators) a female gladiator called Bjørk/Björk first appeared in the ninth season in the mid-2010s. The commentators would frequently introduce her as "the unknown daughter of Odin". Her name really is Björk Odinsdottir ("Odinsdaughter"), presumably being of Icelandic origin.
  • Glee:
  • Good Omens (2019): Season 2 has a "B" plot involving two shop owners called Maggie and Nina, played by Maggie Service and Nina Sosanya. They had previously played different characters in Season 1. Neil Gaiman created the roles especially for them.
  • The Good Place: Jameela Jamil, who plays Tahani, has almost the same surname as hers: Al-Jamil.
  • The Goodies — Tim (Brooke-Taylor), Graeme (Garden), and Bill (Oddie). Plus, the books that spun off from the show give their full names in appropriate places, and their "brochure" in The Goodies File lists their real-life years and places of birth. Needless to say, the characters are just highly exaggerated versions of themselves.
  • Simon Anstell as Simon in Grandma's House; his first major writing and acting gig since leaving Never Mind the Buzzcocks, the fictional Simon is a TV presenter who just left a Panel Game and is looking for something else to do with his life.
  • Max Burkholder as Max Braverman in Parenthood.
  • Playboy Playmate Julie McCullough as Mike's girlfriend Julie Costello on Growing Pains in the 1989-1990 season.
  • The cult Guest from the Future Soviet sci-fi miniseries, though obscure to Western audiences, has a particularly fun example. The two despicable space pirates named Fun-Loving Y and Ratty are also credited as genuinely Russian-sounding Vyacheslav Mikhailovich and Mikhail Ivanovichnote . The mystery is easily solved: at the very start of the show, the pirates (being hideous aliens) take the form of two innocent space port employees – before chasing the protagonist Alice back to the 20th century. And it just so happens that poor (probably deceased) body templates are named exactly like the popular comedy actors playing them: Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Nevinnyi and Mikhail Ivanovich Kononov. Morbid indeed!* Comedian Mark Curry as Mark Cooper in Hangin' with Mr. Cooper.
  • Miley Cyrus as Miley Stewart in Hannah Montana — this also counts as Alter-Ego Acting because Miley is seen performing as Hannah onstage in real life too. More so since she legally changed her name to "Miley" from her birth name of "Destiny Hope Cyrus". ("Smiley Miley" was a nickname her father gave her as an infant.) The character was named Chloe Stewart. Word of God says the writers changed it to "Miley" as there were too many names for a 12-year-old to remember.
  • Happy Days had Al Molinaro as Al Delvecchio and Marion Ross as Marion Cunningham.
    • In an episode arc Heather O'Rourke as Heather Pfizer.
    • And one episode Tammy O'Rourke as Tammy.
  • Whitney Blake played Dorothy Baxter on Hazel, and was a former "Mrs. Baxter" in real life (Meredith Baxter of Family Ties fame is her daughter).
  • Billy Connolly again as Billy MacGregor in Head of the Class and Billy.
  • John Ritter as John Hartman and Billy Bob Thornton as Billy Bob Davis in Hearts Afire.
  • Jack Black as Jack Austin as well as Ron Silver playing a fictional variant of himself in Heat Vision and Jack.
  • The French series Hénaut Président is made of this trope; of the 7 main characters, SIX are playing characters with whom they share a first name — every major character other than the lead (the eponymous Hénaut).
  • In Henry Danger, recurring antagonist Frankini is played by Frankie Grande (who is incidentally the older brother of singer and former Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande).
  • In Heroes, Kimiko Nakamura, Hiro's sister, is played by Saemi Nakamura. This is probably an unintentional example, as Kimiko is a minor character who was probably given her surname before the casting call went out.
  • Barry Stuart-Hargreaves from Hi-de-Hi! was played by Barry Howard.
  • In one episode of Hogan's Heroes, actor Karl Swenson played scientist Karl Svenson.
  • Hollyoaks:
    • In order to promote Summer Strallen taking over the lead role in The Sound of Music on the West End, its producer Andrew Lloyd Webber had her written into the show as a character called Summer Shaw. The character was then talent spotted by Lloyd Webber appearing as himself on the show.
    • Cameron Moore has twice been a Danza on Hollyoaks: first as the face of "Cameron", a guy India Longford met online (but who turns out to have been a fake profile created by Silas Blissett to lure and murder her), later as the character Cameron Campbell.
  • Tim Allen as Tim Taylor in Home Improvement.
  • Subversion: Hope & Faith starred Kelly Ripa and Faith Ford in the title roles... but Faith played Hope and Kelly played Faith.
  • Horrible Histories had a sketch (based on Abigail's Party) in which Laurence Rickard played a character named Laurence.
  • Dr. Lisa Cuddy from House was played by actress Lisa Edelstein.
  • In House of Cards (US), prostitute Rachel Posner is played by Rachel Brosnahan.
  • Howards Way: Jan Harvey plays Jan Howard. Possibly a unique variant as the character's maiden name was Harvey too.
  • Lucille Ball as, variously, Lucy Ricardo (I Love Lucy), Lucy Carmichael (The Lucy Show), Lucy Carter (Here's Lucy), and Lucy Barker (Life With Lucy). Indeed, this trope could also be called "The Lucy".
  • Vivian Vance played Vivian Bunson (née Vivian Bagley) on The Lucy Show, and had a recurring guest role as Vivian Jones on Here's Lucy. This was a direct result of her being fed up with fans calling her "Ethel" all the time, and demanding that her subsequent second-banana characters be known by her real name.
  • Foster from If It Moves, File It was played by Dudley Foster.
  • In Plain Sight has lead character Mary Shannon played by Mary McCormack. Whenever she needs an alias-to testify in court, let's say-she goes by "Mary Shepherd".
  • Whenever Amy Schumer does a sketch on Inside Amy Schumer where her character has a name, it's always Amy. Sometimes, the character is an exaggerated version of Schumer, at other times all they have in common is the name.
  • In It Ain't Half Hot, Mum, John Clegg played Gunner Jonathan Graham.
  • Charlie on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and to a lesser extent Mac. When Glenn Howerton was asked about his character being named Dennis, he remarked on how it seemed like a good idea and has proven so far to have been a good decision. Also, Artemis is played by Artemis Pebdani.
  • Jam and Jerusalem: Freya and Beattie Edmondson as Freya and Beattie Martin.
  • Christina Moore as Christina Ross in Jessie.
  • Jessica Jones (2015) features the character Will Simpson, played by Wil Traval. It's somewhat of an unusual example because, while the character is adapted from the comics, his first name is Frank there. The show also had an in-universe case where Patricia "Trish" Walker was the child star of the show It's Patsy!.
  • Nick, Joe, and Kevin Jonas play alternate universe versions of themselves on Jonas, which includes keeping their real names.
  • Simon Templeman plays Simon Leeds in Just Shoot Me!.
  • Keisuke Kato as Keisuke Nago/Kamen Rider IXA in Kamen Rider Kiva. Yui Koike, who went on to play GokaiPink, appeared as Yui Aoyama in the final episode of Kamen Rider Double.
  • Both Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell as Kenan Rockmore and Kel Kimble, respectively, in Kenan & Kel.
  • Most of the Kids Incorporated kids. When a No Name Given character had his name revealed in an episode, it was that of the actor Rahsaan Patterson.
  • Rigo Sanchez as Rigo Vasquez in Station 19.
  • Honey West has Bruce the ocelot as Bruce the ocelot, sometimes credited As Himself.
  • The obscure Channel Four sitcom The Lady is a Tramp (13 episodes in the channel's first year) starred two bag ladies, both named Pat (distinguished as "Old Pat" and "Lanky Pat") and played by Patricia Hayes and Pat Coombs.
  • Although the character's first name was rarely mentioned, Bill Owen as William "Compo" Simmonite in Last of the Summer Wine. Also his son, Tom Owen, as the character's son Tom Simmonite.
  • Taylor Spreitler guest-starred in the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Friending Emily" as the victim's sister, Taylor Culphers.
  • Legends of Tomorrow:
    • Almost a case with Hawkgirl. Her real name is "Chay-Ara" (pronounced somewhere between "Shay-arra" and "Shee-arra"), and her actress has the similar first name "Ciara" (pronounced "See-arra"). Since Chay-Ara is a character from the comics, this is entirely a coincidence, presuming Ciara Renée wasn't hired for her name.
    • Ramona Young plays Mona Wu, an original character presumably named after her actress.
  • Joey Bragg as Joey Rooney on Liv and Maddie.
  • All the known real names of the girls in Majisuka Gakuen are the actresses' real names, but in-universe most of them are Only Known by Their Nickname.
  • In Make Room for Daddy (aka The Danny Thomas Show), Danny Thomas starred as Danny Williams.
  • Manhattan Love Story: Chloe Cooper was played by Chloé Wepper.
  • Marie-Antoinette (2022) has Louis Cunningham (Lord Corning in Bridgerton) as the Dauphin Louis of France. Cunningham is actually a descendant of Louis XIV, amusingly enough.
  • Sammo Hung as Sammo Law in Martial Law.
  • Martin Lawrence played Martin Payne on Martin. Character Tommy was played by actor Thomas Michael Ford.
  • Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns as essentially themselves in the very first TV Sitcom, Mary Kay and Johnny, which first aired in 1947 on the Dumont Network. Their son Christopher was written into the show weeks after his birth in 1948. Yes, he was called Christopher in-universe as well.
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show had Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards and Ted Knight as Ted Baxter.
  • Recurring nurse First Lt. Kealani Kellye (also known as Kellye Yamoto, and in one episode, as Nurse Nakahara) on M*A*S*H was played by Kellye Nakahara, making this an example of the actress's first name being the character's last name.
    • And the full name version — Corpsman Roy Goldman was played by..... Roy Goldman.
    • There's more. Nurse Shari was played by Shari Saba, Nurse Jo Ann was played by Jo Ann Thompson, and Nurse Sheila was played by Sheila Lauritsen.
  • Spoofed on Mega64, with Rocco Botte as Rocko Boaty, Derrick Acosta as Derek Ackawzdha, and Shawn Chatfield as Sean Chatfield. In other words, the same names, yet different spellings.
  • Phil Collins as Phil Mayhew in Miami Vice. This could be a nod to John Mayhew, Collins' predecessor as drummer for the rock band Genesis.
  • Midnight Caller has bartender Jerado, played by Jerado Carmona.
  • Hugh "Lord Grantham" Bonneville, playing Hugh Barton in the Midsomer Murders episode "Ring Out Your Dead".
  • In episodes 59 and 60 of Mimpi Metropolitan, actor Dian Sidik guest stars as Bambang's cousin Dian.
  • Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri on The Mindy Project
  • Miranda Hart as the title character of Miranda (2009).
  • A case of the almost-Danza: The character of Rollin Hand in Mission: Impossible was written for actor Martin Landau, and was almost named "Martin Land". These are something of a fictionalized version of as themselves
  • Two Mr. Show sketches have all the characters in the sketch share the names with their actors. The "Coupon: The Movie" sketch (during the scene with the movie execs) has David, Bob, Tom, Jill, Paul, and Jay (John Ennis is not referred to by name). The "Intervention" sketch, three seasons later, hasnote  David, Bob, John, Jill, Paul, and Becky.
  • Ruth Wilson portrays the titular Alison Wilson in the miniseries Mrs. Wilson. In this case, though, Alison Wilson was her real grandmother and the miniseries is an adaptation of her true life story.
  • The Monkees: Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Michael Nesmith, were played by Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Michael Nesmith.
  • Almost every character on the 60s sitcom The Mothers-in-Law had the same first name as the actor that played them. Eve Arden as Eve, Kaye Ballard as Kaye, Roger C. Carmel as Roger, Herbert Rudley as Herb, and Jerry Fogel as Jerry. Subverted with Deborah Walley as Susie (also in Season 2, when Richard Deacon replaced Carmel).
  • Kate Mulgrew as...
  • A borderline example: In Murder, She Wrote, Jessica Fletcher's maiden name is MacGill. Angela Lansbury's mother was the actress Moyna MacGill.
  • The Murders: Actor Terry Chen plays Bill Chen.
  • Inverted with Mutya Orquia, real name Ruelleen Angel Olano, when she played the role of the titular mermaid in Mutya.
  • Nia Vardalos's character in My Big Fat Greek Wedding was named Toula in the movie, but changed to Nia for the TV series.
  • An episode of My Two Dads had a guest appearance by Scott Baio as Scott Cameo.
  • Comedian Joel Hodgson as Joel Robinson (from Robinson Crusoe and Lost in Space) in Mystery Science Theater 3000. The last name was only changed because Hodgson was considered hard to pronounce. Michael J. Nelson, his replacement... played Mike Nelson. And "TV's Frank" was played by Frank Conniff. In the 2017 continuation, Jonah J. Heston is played by comedian Jonah Ray.
  • Pretty much the whole band as fictional versions of themselves in The Naked Brothers Band. The one exception is Allie DiMeco, who plays Rosalina.
  • Claire Keelan as Claire Ashcroft in Nathan Barley.
  • Fran Drescher played Fran Fine on The Nanny. In addition, her character's parents, Morty and Sylvia Fine, were named after her parents, Morty and Silvia Drescher. And again as Fran Reeves on Living With Fran. And for the hat trick, as Fran Lovett on Happily Divorced.
  • Dick Van Dyke as Dick Preston in The New Dick Van Dyke Show. It was subverted in his previous sitcom, The Dick Van Dyke Show, which used his name for the title but not the character (Rob Petrie).
  • In NewsRadio, Dave Nelson was played by Dave Foley and Joe Garelli was played by Joe Rogan. Phil Hartman's character Bill McNeal was intentionally named to be almost a Danza. In the episode "Chock", Dave's old a cappella singing group stops by, the other three members being named David, Bob, and Brian. They were played by Mr. Show alums David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, and Brian Posehn.
  • Night Court:
    • Harry Anderson as Harry Stone is a subversion. According to series creator Reinhold Weege, the character was already called Harry, already a magician, and already a devoted Mel Tormé fan before Anderson was cast.
    • Selma Diamond as Bailiff Selma Hacker and her replacement Bailiff Florence Kleiner played by Florence Halop.
    • Charles Robinson shares the same last name as his character Mac Robinson.
    • One could also argue Yakov Smirnoff as Yakov Korplenko.
  • Nikki Cox plays Nikki White in Nikki.
  • Neil (Buchanan) and Kim (Goody) on No 73, a 1980s ITV kids' Sitcom Magazine Show. None of the other main characters were Danzas. Possibly this was because Neil and Kim were generally more involved with the magazine show elements (artwork and interviewing popstars respectively) than the plots (at least to begin with), and were therefore more presenters than characters.
  • The Noddy Shop had Katie Boland play Kate Tomten.
  • Norm Macdonald played Norm Henderson on The Norm Show. An early commercial showed Norm not responding to his character's original name, forcing the showrunner to change it to his real name to avoid confusion.
  • Lee and Tim from Not Going Out are played by Lee Mack and Tim Vine respectively. There is also Tim and Lucy's father, Geoffrey, who is played by Geoffrey Whitehead, but this is an odd case as he was originally played by Timothy West.
  • NUMB3RS: Bill Nye as Bill Waldie.
  • Many of the supporting cast on The Office (US) share first names with their characters, including Phyllis, Angela, and Oscar. Creed Bratton plays a fictionalized version of himself, so he skirts into As Himself territory.
    • The reason for some supporting officemates retaining first names is that many of them are Ascended Extras. Also, Michael screens a movie starring himself as Michael Scarn, an obvious Author Avatar.
  • Derek from Series 2 of On the House was played by Derek Griffiths.
  • Several minor characters on One Tree Hill were guilty of this: Bevin Prince portrayed the character of Bevin Mirskey and Antwon Tanner played Antwon "Skills" Taylor, both of whom were part of the show for several years. In a much smaller case, bartender/musician Grubbs was played by real-life musician Michael Grubbs.
  • Out of This World (1987): Half the cast would use their own names for their characters; Donna Pescow as Donna Garland, Buzz Belmondo as Buzz, and Peter Petofsky as Peter.
  • Parks and Recreation writer, Michael Schur, revealed that Aubrey Plaza's character, April Ludgate, was initially written as a character named Aubrey.
  • The Partridge Family stars Shirley Jonesnote  as Shirley Partridge, the mother, and features Danny Bonaduce as Danny Partridge, the middle son.
  • Patty Duke as Patty Lane in The Patty Duke Show.
  • The Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Gambling Lady" atypically has two examples in its guest cast: Peter Breck plays Peter Warren and Myrna Fahey plays Myrna Warren.
  • Paddy from Phoenix Nights is played by Patrick "Paddy" McGuinness, who when the show began had no acting experience and was given the role on the strength of being Peter Kay's good friend; ostensibly, his character shared his name because neither he nor Kay was confident that he would be able to react naturally to a different one.
  • Planet Ajay: The main character, Ajay, is played by Ajay Chhabra.
  • This only happened once in Power Rangers, because in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers through Power Rangers Turbo, Catherine Sutherland played Katherine "Kat" Hillard; likely a coincidence, considering it started as a Meaningful Name (she could turn into a cat in her introductory arc)... It has technically happened twice but only if you know that Austin St. John's real name is Jason Geiger. Most fans, unless they find the information out as an adult, don't realize it until they google it, as the actor uses his stage name. He played Jason Lee Scott in the first and second seasons, plus subsequent appearances in Power Rangers Zeo, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, Power Rangers Wild Force, and Power Rangers Beast Morphers.
  • In The Pretender, Andrea Parker plays female lead character Miss Parker, but this is apparently a genuine coincidence. On the other hand, her mooks are first-name Danzas (with no last name) to a man, apparently as an acknowledgement that it's not worth the effort of giving them real names.
  • The entire cast of the Japanese television series Playgirl.
  • Please Like Me has Josh Thomas, Thomas Ward, and Hannah Gadsby, as well as Shaniqua the Rabbit and John the Dog.
  • Derek Van Der Lint as Derek Raine in Poltergeist: The Legacy.
  • Mr. Mackay in Porridge was played by Fulton Mackay.
  • Melvyn Hayes was Melvyn Didsbury in Potter's Picture Palace.
  • Powerless featured Ron Funches as Ron.
  • Lucy Brown as Claudia Brown on Primeval.
  • Prison Break featured Paul Adelstein as Paul Kellerman and Sarah Wayne Callies as Sarah Tancredi.
  • Cherie Johnson as Cherie Johnson on Punky Brewster.
  • The PBS series The Puzzle Place combines this with Sdrawkcab Name. One of the characters is named "Leon MacNeal", and is played by Noel MacNeal.
  • Reba McEntire as Reba Hart in Reba. This is a clear case of The Danza: the character was originally named Sally until Reba was signed to play the part.
  • The Scottish series Rab C. Nesbitt has an odd Rule63-ish variant with David Tennant as the lovely transwoman barmaid, Davina.
  • Mayko Tran on ReGenesis is played by Mayko Ngyuen.
  • Australian 1980s soap Return to Eden - the credits list in the opening titles ended with "and Angelo D'Angelo as Angelo".
  • Revenge has Emily VanCamp as Emily Thorne, Emily Alyn Lind as the flashback version of Emily, and Ashley Madekwe as Ashley. However, it should be noted Emily is an alias of Amanda Clark.
  • Roswell, New Mexico: Michael Vlamis plays Michael Guerin.
  • Sandy Duncan as Sandy Stockton in Funny Face (later called The Sandy Duncan Show). Duncan was also Sandy Hogan in her Suspiciously Similar Substitute role on the show known variously as Valerie, Valerie's Family, and The Hogan Family.
    • Speaking of which, Valerie Harper as Valerie Hogan in the early seasons of the same show. In fact, it was her firing and her character being killed off that led the series to its title changes.
  • Ascended Extra Ramona in Santa Clarita Diet is played by Ramona Young.
  • Most of the main characters of The Sarah Silverman Program.
  • In one SNL sketch, Natalie Portman plays a girl at a Bar Mitzvah called Rebecca Hershlag, Hershlag being her real surname.
  • Another especially convoluted example would be Redd Foxx (born John Elroy Sanford), playing Fred Sanford in Sanford and Son.
  • Sesame Street:
    • Bob McGrath as Bob Johnson and Linda Bove as Linda.
    • In a roundabout way, the character Gordon's last name was eventually revealed to be Robinson. This was long after Matt Robinson's term as the character, and this is thus more of a Mythology Gag (Gordon is currently played by Roscoe Orman). Miles Orman (who was also Roscoe Orman's real-life son) was Miles Robinson.
    • Buffy Sainte-Marie as Buffy in early seasons, probably because she was basically Buffy Sainte-Marie living on Sesame Street. Her then-husband Sheldon Wolfchild and their son Dakota also appeared as Sheldon and Cody.
  • In an episode of Shake it Up, Larry Miller plays the character Larry Diller.
  • Reverse Danza with a slight change in spelling: Louis Ferreira plays Captain-General Ferriera in FX Networks' 2022 adaptation of Shōgun.
  • Emilia Fox as Ms. Sylvia Fox in Signora Volpe. "Volpe" is "fox" in Italian.
  • Ricky Schroeder as Ricky Stratton and Alfonso Ribeiro as Alfonso Spears on Silver Spoons.
  • Tia and Tamera Mowry as Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell in Sister, Sister (in the series, they're twins Separated at Birth and adopted by different people, hence different surnames).
  • Alan the cab driver is played by Alan George in Skins.
  • On Sons of Anarchy, Courtney Love — born Courtney Harrison — has a recurring role as Ms. Harrison.
  • Rare last-name Danza: Mackenzie Phillips as Molly Phillips in So Weird.
  • Yasuko Nagazami as Yasko and Alibe Parsons as Alibe in Space: 1999.
  • Charlie Sheen has played characters named Charlie on several occasions, notably on Spin City and Two and a Half Men. He even played "Charlie" in the sequel to All Dogs Go to Heaven. It extends to Anger Management, where he plays Charlie Goodson, which doubles as a Punny Name (due to being more famous than Emilio Estevez) and a Non-Indicative Name (as he wouldn't be considered the good son)
  • In-universe example in The Spoils of Babylon, with Dixie Mellonworth as Dixie Mellonworth (played by Jessica Alba).
  • In Spooks, Matthew Macfadyen starred as Tom Quinn, who entered into a relationship using the pseudonym Matthew Archer.
  • Kathryn Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager, who was named Elisabeth Janeway and Nicole Janeway before actress Katherine Kiernan Maria 'Kate' Mulgrew suggested Kathryn.
  • In-universe example on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: in Benjamin Sisko's (hallucination? Prophet experience? alternate lifetime?) of the racist 1950s, his "character" is named Benny Russell. Some of his colleagues' counterparts also have related names: Kay for Kira, Darlene for Dax, Julius for Julian, Cassie for Kasidy; but others don't.
  • Chuck Campbell plays Chuck the Gate Tech on Stargate Atlantis, though this may actually have been a mistake. The character was without a name for quite a while, and it's rumored that another actor dropped his name into a line. He is, however, later called Chuck again by another character. Notable in that fans had been calling him Chuck the Gate Tech (or, alternately, "Chucknician") for some time previous.
  • Carrying on the tradition from Stella, Michael and Michael Have Issues stars Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black.
  • Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer's characters on The Steve Harvey Show are Steve Hightower and Cedric Jackie Robinson. Also Merlin Santana as Romeo Santana.
  • The Strange Calls: Toby Banks is played by Tony Truslove.
  • Matthew Perry's character Matt in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Sorkin has actually stated that he called the character "Matt" because when he was writing he couldn't think of another actor to play the part.
  • Subverted in Suits with the actress then known as Rachel Meghan Markle. Her character's name was Rachel, but she went by Meghan in real life.
  • Patrick Bristow as the Tipton Hotel maître d' Patrick on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
  • The Britcom Terry and June starred Terry Scott and June Whitfield as Terry and June Medford. They also starred as Terry and June Fletcher in an earlier Britcom Happy Ever After — the same couple in a different house with a troublesome aunt and her mynah bird. (This was not accidental.)
    • Bless This House featured Sid James (of Carry On fame) as Sid Abbott, and Sally Geeson as Sally Abbott. Plus, the 1972 feature film version contains a meta-aversion (by virtue of the fact that it became a notable example later): Terry Scott and June Whitfield played new neighbours Ronald and Vera Baines — the first outing of (and virtually identical to) the on-screen couple that would later make them a Britcom cliché (see Terry and June above).
  • That '80s Show: Margaret Smith as Margaret.
  • Raven-Symoné as Raven Baxter in That's So Raven.
  • Sam in The Thick of It is played by Samantha Harrington; it's possible that the character is named after the actress since this isn't uncommon in supporting roles on semi-improvised shows.
  • Third Watch had paramedics Bobby Caffey and Kim Zambrano played by... Bobby Cannavale and Kim Raver. The minor firefighter characters shared their full names with their actors: Firefighter Billy Walsh was played by Bill Walsh, Derek "DK" Kitson by Derek Kelly.
  • Felix from the Till Death Us Do Part episodes "Christmas Club Books" and "The Window" was played by Felix Bowness.
  • Tracy Morgan plays Tracy Jordan in 30 Rock. Tracy Jordan is essentially an exaggerated, simple-minded caricature of Tracy Morgan.
    • Furthermore, it features Grizz Chapman as Grizz Griswold, one half of Tracy's loyal "entourage".
    • Tina Fey, who plays character Elizabeth ("Liz") Lemon, was born as Elizabeth Stamatina ("Tina") Fey.
    • Then you have John Lutz playing... John Lutz.
  • Jeff Hyslop as Jeff the mannequin on the Canadian children's show Today's Special.
  • Interesting usage in the German kids' show Tom Turbo. Many of the kids use their real names for their characters.
  • In The Tomorrow People (1973) Elizabeth was played by Elizabeth Adare and Mike by Michael Holloway.
  • On True Blood, Sam Merlotte is played by actor Sam Trammell—a coincidence since the character was named by Charlaine Harris, author of the novels on which the show is based.
  • Kopelman from True Jackson, VP is played by Executive Producer Dan Kopelman.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • Lori Petty played Lori Pendleton in "The Library".
    • Steven Andrade played Steve in "The Hunters".
    • Lisa Schrage played Candy (whose real name is Lisa) and Elena Kudaba played Mrs. Kudaba in "The Trunk".
    • Lisa Jakub played Lisa Cranston in "Street of Shadows".
  • Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as Mary-Kate and Ashley Burke in Two of a Kind.
  • UFO (1970) had several first-name Danzas: Ed Bishop played Ed Straker, Gabrielle Drake (nicknamed "Gay" by her agent) played Gay Ellis, Keith Alexander played Keith Ford and Peter Gordeno played Peter Carlin. Also, "The Psychobombs" featured a last-name Danza, Lt. Blythe played by Peter Blythe. There's also a borderline case with Ayshea Broughs, whose character is never referred to by name, and is credited only as "SHADO operative", but according to the script is called Ayshea Johnson.
  • In Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has Titus Andromedon, played by Tituss Burgess. Zigzagged when we later find out that his birth name was Ronald Effin Wilkerson.
  • Un gars, une fille ("A Guy, A Girl")'s lead characters Guy and Sylvie are played by Guy A. Lepage and Sylvie Léonard.
    • The French-French version had Jean and Alex played by Jean Dujardin and Alexandra Lamy.
  • The entire cast of Korean sitcom Vampire Idol.
  • Veronica Mars had a surname Danza appearance by Patty Hearst, playing Selma Hearst Rose, the granddaughter of millionaire Mr. Hearst, married to Bud Rose.
  • In the Nickelodeon sitcom Victorious, Victoria Justice plays Victoria "Tori" Vega.
  • Victoria Jackson as Victoria in the failed 1984 M*A*S*H spinoff, W* A* L* T* E* R.
  • Wanda Sykes, like so many other comedians, played a character named after herself on Wanda at Large, as a stand-up comedian.
  • In The Waltons, Wilford Brimley played mountain man Horace Brimley, in a last name version.
  • Marlon and Shawn Wayans as Marlon and Shawn Williams in The Wayans Bros..
  • Welcome Back, Kotter starred Gabe Kaplan as Gabe Kotter. (Justified as the series was based upon Kaplan's youth.)
    • Sissy Walker, a very minor character who appeared only five times between 1975 and 1978, was played by Cissy Wellman.
  • All three main characters of Wellington Paranormal:
    • Karen O'Leary plays Officer O'Leary.
    • Mike Minogue plays Officer Kyle Minogue.
    • Maaka Pohatu plays Sergeant Maaka.
  • Oliver Babish on The West Wing is played by Oliver Platt.
  • Almost all the main characters in the '70s show What's Happening!! Two had the same last name, three the same first name. And one just used the initial of her first name.
  • What We Do in the Shadows (2019): The Vampiric Council is mostly comprised of first name Danzas of famous actors who have played vampires. Tilda Swinton (Only Lovers Left Alive) as Tilda, Paul Reubens (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Paul, Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn) as Danny, Evan Rachel Wood (True Blood) as Evan, and Wesley Snipes (Blade) by Skype as half-vampire daywalker Wesley. Members Robert, Keifer, Tom and Brad did not turn up.
  • In Where's Raymond, Ray Bolger plays Ray Wallace.
  • As well as creating Whitney (plus executive producing and writing several episodes), Whitney Cummings plays... Whitney Cummings.
  • The Wire:
    • Felicia "Snoop" Pearson is played by Felicia "Snoop" Pearson — who also happens to be a former Baltimore drug dealer with a conviction for second-degree murder.
    • Also Detective Ed(ward) Norris is played by Ed Norris, former Baltimore City chief of police (Cast List).
    • And while Jay Landsman is played by Delaney Williams, from Season 3 the character Dennis Mello is played by Jay Landsman.
    • Well-renowned attorney Billy Murphy more-or-less As Himself playing the role of Clay Davis's lawyer.
  • Women of the Movement has Dan Byrd as Dan Wakefield.
  • On Workaholics, Blake Anderson plays Blake Henderson, Adam DeVine plays Adam Demamp, Anders Holm plays Anders Holmvik, Jillian Bell plays Jillian Belk, Waymond Lee plays Waymond, Kyle Newachek plays Karl Hevachek, Jet Set Hudson plays Jet Set and Billy Stevenson plays Bill.
  • A Year at the Top stars Greg Evigan and Paul Shaffer as struggling musicians Greg and Paul.
  • Ben Vereen as Mayor Ben in Zoobilee Zoo.
  • Joey Lawrence made guest appearances on both Diff'rent Strokes and Silver Spoons as a kid named Joey before landing the role of Joey Donovan on Gimme a Break!. This was followed by Joey Russo on Blossom and Joe Roman on Brotherly Love (in which brothers Matt and Andy play Matt and Andy Roman). He ices the cake by playing himself in the 2008 horror/comedy Killer Pad. As of 2010, he is playing a character called Joe Longo on the sitcom Melissa & Joey, alongside Melissa Joan Hart.
  • Rik Mayall's characters in The Young Ones (Rick), Filthy Rich & Catflap (Richie Rich) and Bottom (Richard Richard). Additionally, in The Young Ones Nigel Planer's character was Neil Pye, and in the latter two Adrian Edmondson's character was Eddie, a nickname based on his surname. (And, while it's not strictly this trope, it's no coincidence that his wife played a character called Eddy (Edina) Monsoon.)
    • Edmondson actually played a psychotic ex-talk show host called Eddie Monsoon in The Comic Strip Presents Mockumentary episode "Eddie Monsoon — A Life?" (The show was originally intended to be an episode of his talk show "Back To Normal", but it was judged too obscene even for Channel 4, so it was turned into a mock biopic instead.)
    • Mayall changed his first name in his teens — he was born Richard Mayall, fitting this trope even better.
  • Vikings: Eric Johnson as Erik Thorvaldsson.
  • Full-name Danzas include:
    • Andy Richter in Andy Richter Controls the Universe (and partially in Andy Barker, P.I.).
    • Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm is actually an As Himself, but the show has a number of Danzas — regular characters, Cheryl David (Cheryl Hines), Jeff Greene (Jeff Garlin), Susie Greene (Susie Essman), plus some one-shot characters with just one name, which happens to be the actor's.
      • This one at least has a good explanation, as most of the dialog on Curb is improvised, and it's much easier to improvise when you only have to remember one name.
    • Ed Begley Jr. guest starred as Ed Begley Jr. on Dharma & Greg. He was always addressed on-screen by his full name, "Ed Begley Jr.", not Ed or Mr Begley.
    • Norman Lovett in I Lovett.
    • Jennifer Grey in It's Like, You Know... (In an odd subversion, Grey claimed more than once that the character she played was not based on herself.)
    • Jack Dee and Jeremy Hardy in Jack And Jeremy's Real Lives.
    • Fred Rogers in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, although it's really more of an As Himself. This also applies to most of his supporting cast: Betty Aberlin (Lady Aberlin), Don Brockett (Chef Brockett), Bob Trow (Bob Dog/Robert Troll), Chuck Aber (Neighbor Aber), and so forth. These may not be As Himself examples, as Betty Aberlin has asserted that "Lady Aberlin" is not a representation of her real-life personality. Also, some of the actors would appear in character during the Make Believe segments, and out of character during the main part of the show. Initially, David Newell, who played Mr. McFeely, was the only regular actor on the show to avert this trope. His character's last name was actually Fred Rogers' middle name. However, later episodes revealed that Mr. McFeely's first name is David, dropping him into the trope as well.
    • Tim Stack as "TV's Tim Stack" in My Name Is Earl. Whether he's as much of a raging drunk in real life remains to be seen, right? Right?
    • Saturday Night Live had a few of these in the early years, including Headmaster of the New York School for the Hard of Hearing, Garrett Morris. (The first six or seven years had a lot of first-name examples as well — the 'WASP Translator' sketch with Ray Sharkey centered around a couple named Charles and Ann. Guess which cast members played them.) Later on, in a move of notable laziness, Chris Farley's character was referred to simply as "Farley".
    • Sean Hughes in Sean's Show.
    • Jerry Seinfeld in Seinfeld. Estelle Costanza fits the trope too, though her real life surname is Harris.
    • Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and David Wain in Stella. Oddly, the show was adapted from their comedy act and short films where they're playing exaggerated versions of themselves (e.g. they're still comedians in an act named "Stella"), but on the TV show itself, they were usually unemployed and picked up different, bizarre moneymaking schemes in nearly every episode.
    • Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in The Abbott and Costello Show.
    • Ozzie Nelson's entire family, in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
    • Bernie Mac on The Bernie Mac Show.
    • Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report.
      • This created an interesting situation during his run on The Late Show when he wanted to perform segments as his prior character, but they were warned that "Stephen Colbert" was still owned by Comedy Central. In response, rather than having Stephen Colbert's Stephen Colbert appear, Stephen Colbert introduced Stephen Colbert's suspiciously similar cousin, Stephen Colbert. They made it very clear that the character was a coincidentally-identically-named relative of the other, and they were therefore not violating Comedy Central's intellectual property claim.
    • Nicholas Parsons in The Comic Strip Presents episode "Mr Jolly Lives Next Door".
    • Drew Carey in The Drew Carey Show. (Yes, that includes "Alison".)
    • Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (the only difference being that in the show "Will" was short for "William"; the actor's first name is actually Willard). Lampshaded in an episode when he tells a story about a certain Wilbert Smithsonian.
      • The page quote comes from an interview Will did with Graham Norton, where he says Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton) told him to use this trope.
    • George Lopez in The George Lopez Show. George's boss Jack Powers was portrayed by Jack Blessing.
      • George Lopez also played a different George Lopez in the short-lived 2014 sitcom Saint George.
    • Jack Benny in The Jack Benny Program.
    • Jon Dore on The Jon Dore Television Show.
    • Sarah and Laura Silverman in The Sarah Silverman Program.
    • "Weird Al" Yankovic in The Weird Al Show.
    • The kids on You Can't Do That on Television.
    • The BBC spoof police series Lazarus and Dingwall starred Stephen Frost as Steve Lazarus and Mark Arden as Mark Dingwall.

    Music 
  • In the video for "Hello" by Lionel Richie, the blind student played by actress Laura Carringtonnote  who (in the video) makes a sculpture of her drama teacher (played by Lionel)note  is named Laura.
  • Several cases in Vocaloid products:
    • Megpoid (product) and Gumi (character) names come from her voice provider, Megumi Nakajima.
    • Gackpoid (product) and Camui Gakupo/Gackpo (character) is named after the singer Gackt Camui.
    • Meiko's voice provider is named Meiko Haigo.
    • Miriam's voice provider is Miriam Stockley.note 
    • SF-A2 miki's voice provider is named Miki Furukawa.
    • Utatane Piko's voice provider is NND singer Piko.
    • Yohioloid got his name from the singer Yohio.
    • Chika's name comes from her voice provider, Chiaki Ito from AAA.
    • Sachiko's voice provider is the Enka singer Sachiko Kobayashi.
    • Fukase's voice provider is SEKAI NO OWARI vocalist Fukase.
    • Kano Akira is named after OH-SE's "Kano Akira" persona in ARSMAGNA.
    • Hiyama Kiyoteru is voiced by Hiyama Kiyoshi.
  • The performers in the band The Mechanisms took on characters during their performances rather than perform as themselves, but Jonathan Sims (Jonny D'Ville) and Tim Ledsam (Gunpowder Tim) used their real first names as their characters' names.
  • In Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night" video, in addition to protagonist Kathy Beth Terry deriving her first and middle names from Perry (Kathryn Elizabeth) herself, saxophonist Kenny G plays her uncle Kenny.

    Pinball 
  • In Data East's The Who's Tommy, the "Lyman Bonus" named after one of the game's programmers, Lyman F. Sheats Jr.
    • Monster Bash has "Lyman's Lament" which is not only named after him but he can be heard giving commentary on the player's performance as well.

    Podcasts 
  • In the Cool Kids Table game The Wreck, Alan plays the AI of the game named ALAN.
    • In Homeward Bound 4, Jake, Josh, and Shannon all play animals named Jake, Josh, and Shannon.
  • Welcome to Night Vale:
    • Cecil Palmer is voiced by Cecil Baldwin. Until episode 34, the general assumption was that character and actor shared the same surname as well. Amusingly enough, Baldwin didn't actually know the character's name at first (the credits just listed him as "The Voice of Night Vale", and it wasn't really important). A few episodes in the script finally revealed his name was Cecil, and Baldwin had to go check with the creator to find out whether or not NV-Cecil was meant to be someone other than himself.
    • It's pretty common on WTNV. Intern Maureen is played by Maureen Johnson, Kevin is played by Kevin R. Free, and Lauren Mallard is played by Lauren Sharp.
  • The Magnus Archives focuses on head archivist Jonathan Sims, played by Jonathan Sims. Similar to Night Vale in that he was the sole narrator of a horror story for a while, but unlike Cecil, he was named from episode 1.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Radio 
  • All three of the central characters in the radio sitcom The Navy Lark had the same names as the actors who played them.
  • The main duo of The Men from the Ministry, Richard Lamb and Deryck Lennox-Brown, are played by Richard Murdoch and Deryck Guyler respectively.
  • Hancock's Half Hour starred Tony Hancock as Anthony Aloysius St. John Hancock, Sid James as Sidney Balmoral James, and Bill Kerr as William Montmorency Beaumont Kerr. The only other regular character was Griselda Pugh, played by Hattie (not Griselda) Jacques. Kenneth Williams played several bit-parts, none of them called Kenneth. The main characters' elaborate middle names are fictitious.
  • The sitcom Linda Smith's A Brief History of Timewasting starred Linda Smith as Linda Smith. Like many of the full-name TV examples above, the character was essentially a fictionalised version of the comedienne herself. There's also Chris the builder, played by Chris Neill.
  • Ben Lyon, his wife Bebe Daniels, and their children in Life With The Lyons, also a fictionalised version of the actors.
  • And Jeremy Hardy and Kit Hollerbach as Jeremy and Kit in Unnatural Acts (later retitled At Home With The Hardys in parody of Life With The Lyons).
  • The Golden Age of Radio (1920-1950) was filled with shows like this, mostly comedy sitcoms: Jack Benny, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Fred Allen, Abbott and Costello, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, and many others.
  • Justin Moorhouse as Justin in Everybody Quite Likes Justin.
  • The main characters of the sketch show Hello Cheeky all shared the name of their actor. The characters were also treated as the real actors, blending this with As Himself.
  • Rita Rudner As Herself in The Rita Rudner Show and co-writer Martin Bergman as Martin Trenaman.
  • The cops who try to stop Crowley's Bentley in the Audio Adaptation of Good Omens are a Creator Cameo by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Named by the Adaptation as Neil and Terry. Adam Young is played by Adam Thomas Wright.
  • Tom Wrigglesworth as Tom Wrigglesworth in Tom Wrigglesworth's Hang-Ups, another fictionalised version of the actor (with, one hopes, even more fictionalised parents).
  • When The Storyteller in John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme is named over the course of the story, he's called John Finnemore (or, since the stories are generally told in a turn-of-the-century clubland where everyone's on Last-Name Basis, just Finnemore).
  • Whatever Next? With Miles Jupp is a parody of a Magazine Show, with sketches that parody various other radio and podcast formats, supposedly as clips from Miles's work. It is therefore built into the premise that he's always playing Miles Jupp.

    Theater 
  • The cast of Godspell, sans Jesus and John/Judas, are named after the actors who portrayed them in the original cast. Newer performances of this show often change character names to match their own casts.
  • Finian's Rainbow has a harmonica-playing minor character named Sunny, originally played by Sonny Terry.
  • In the Doctor Who stage play Seven Keys to Doomsday, the companions were going to be called Dave and Jenny; but when James Mathews was cast, his character was renamed Jimmy. Later stage revivals reverted to "Dave", but in the Big Finish audio version he's "Jimmy" again.
  • The short-lived yet wildly popular Broadway musical [title of show]. In fact, the show takes it up a notch with it being "a musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical" (guess how many guys wrote this musical?) and the song "I Am Playing Me."
  • In American Idiot, the rock opera featuring Green Day's music, the main character Johnny was named after the actor who plays him — John "Johnny" Gallagher Jr.
  • Most Cirque du Soleil clowns use their own names for their characters, and occasionally more serious character roles get the same treatment, in which case the name may stick with the character after the original performer leaves. Notable examples:
    • Mystère: Brian Le Petit (Dewhurst) and Bebe Francois (Dupuis).
    • Quidam: John (Gilkey), the emcee.
    • "O": Le Vieux, the emcee, was long known as Eugen after original performer Eugene Brim.
  • A strange inversion: Born Joseph Lane, a name that was already in use by another actor, Nathan Lane took his stage name after, Nathan Detroit, his favorite character in Broadway classic Guys and Dolls. Years later, his Broadway career reached new heights when he received rave notices for playing Nathan Detroit in a revival.
  • In the 1936 Broadway musical Red, Hot and Blue!, Bob Hope played a character named Bob Hale.
  • The original Broadway production of The Cat and the Fiddle had Odette Myrtil as Odette.
  • On Matilda's 2015 US tour, Miss Honey, whose first name is Jennifer, coincidentally was played by Jennifer Blood. In the West End run, Matilda Shapland was in the rotation for the title role from September 2014 to September 2015.
  • Prince Kaguya: Shouta Aoi plays Aoi, Kaguya's birth mother.
  • In the original production of State of the Union, Kay Thorndyke was played by Kay Johnson.
  • The Farndale Avenue plays are a series of supposedly amateur productions that always descend into (actually carefully choreographed) chaos. At least once in each play, the production's harried director, David, will emerge from backstage to try and get things back under control. In the original stagings, David was played by the actual director and co-writer David McGillivray.
  • Spies Are Forever: Curt Mega as Agent Curt Mega.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • In The 7th Guest, Julia Heine was played by Julia Tucker.
  • Assassin's Creed III: The voice actress for Kaniehtí:io, Connor's Mohawk mother, is Kaniehtiio Horn.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine has Shawn Flynn, head of the toy department. He's voiced by Jacksepticeye, whose real name is Seán... but game creator theMeatly has since revealed that he named the character before taking auditions for the role, and Jack's voice was simply the closest fit for the voice he had in mind.
  • Staff Sergeant Griggs in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is voiced by and modeled after Mark Grigsby. Most of the Red Shirt allies in the games' American campaigns are likewise named after other dev team members.
  • Aremy Jendrew, who composed the Source Music in Coffee Talk and whom Rachel collaborates with in Episode 2, is named after Andrew Jeremy, the real-life composer of the soundtrack.
  • Brad, the main villain from Comic Jumper, is voiced by Brad Hawkins.
  • In Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, the most prominent GDI characters in cutscenes are General James Solomon, played by James Earl Jones, and Michael McNeil, played by Michael Biehn.
  • Crystal Crisis: In his first playable appearance, Johnny Turbo is voiced by the man he was based on in the first place, Jonathan Brandsetter.
  • Gideon Emery as Sam Gideon in Vanquish and Cpt. Gideon in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The trend seems to have stuck with him.
  • In Everything or Nothing, R&B singer Mýa, in addition to singing the theme song, voiced NSA double-agent Mya Starling.
  • Fallout 4 has Katy Townsend as the voice of Cait.
  • The Frontier had Mike BurnFire voicing a trader named Burns.
  • In GoldenEye (1997), Dr. Doak was named and modeled after developer David Doak.
  • In Halo, recurring marine sergeant Marcus P. Stacker (the white, southern accented counterpart to Sgt. Johnson) is voiced by Pete Stacker.note 
  • Some of Hollow Knight's NPCs are named after the Kickstarter backers who designed them, e.g. Tiso by Tiso Spencer, Joni by Joni Kunelius, and Marissa by Marissa Brice.
  • In Hypnospace Outlaw, internet musician Erik "Hot Dad" Helwig plays the role of internet musician Erick "Chowder Man" Helman, while the tracks for Ray "Basidia" Dolan are written and performed by Jay Tholen. In a downplayed example, Swedish musician Casper Sunderberg is portrayed by Californian musician Chris Schlarb; note the initials.
  • In The Journeyman Project, Megan Love, heard on the radio during the intro, was voiced by Megan Wheeler.
  • Rochelle in Left 4 Dead 2 is voiced by Rochelle Aytes.
  • Jennifer Hale was Jennifer Mui in Mercenaries.
  • Metal Gear Solid has a coincidental example with Solid Snake's real name of "David", which happens to be the first name of his English voice actor, David Hayter. In reality, the name "David" was already decided during the Japanese voice recording, which was completed before the English voice actor for Snake was even chosen. It actually came from the main character in 2001: A Space Odyssey, as well as Meryl Silverburgh's partner from Policenauts.
  • The arcade game Pit-Fighter is an early example where the sprites are digitised images of real actors. It has four Danzas: "Southside Jim" is played by one James Thompson, "Chainman Eddie" by Eddie Venancio, "Mad Miles" by Miles McGowan, and "Angel" by Angela Stellato.
  • In Police Quest 4: Open Season, the actress who played Barbie Cann was named Barbara Shannon ("Barbie" is a nickname for Barbara).
  • Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal has an in-universe example: Clank as "Secret Agent Clank" in a series of James Bond-like movies he stars in.
  • In Resident Evil Barry Gjerde was the voice of Barry Burton.
  • In Sengoku Basara, Saika Magoichi's real name is revealed to be Sayaka. In the original Japanese, she is voiced by Sayaka Ohara.
  • Senran Kagura Estival Versus: Yumi is voiced by Yumi Hara.
  • A really bizarre version of this trope involves the Japanese voice actor Nobunaga Shimazaki: While he hasn't voiced any character with his obvious and infamous namesake, he, on the other hand, has voiced characters in video games who are intimately related with the historical Nobunaga, overlapping with both Casting Gag and Hilarious in Hindsight at the same time:
    • He voiced Akechi Mitsuhide, one of Nobunaga's followers, in the otome game Sengoku Night Blood. In Real Life Mitsuhide was the one who betrayed him, leading to his death.
    • He also worked in another otome game named Geten no Hana, when he voiced Mori Ranmaru, Nobunaga's most closest follower and very likely something else in Real Life.
    • Finally played straight twice in both Soul Reverse Zero and Samurai Warriors 5, when he is finally voicing his historical namesake. Needless to say, the Japanese internet went bonkers with this.
  • Heather Mason in Silent Hill 3 is actually named after her voice actress, Heather Morris.
  • Games made by Skip Ltd. (such as Chibi-Robo! and Captain Rainbow) frequently feature a black-and-white dog named Tao, who is usually portrayed as somewhat lazy and often very hungry. Tao was the actual dog of Skip's creative director, looked exactly like his fictional counterparts, and... was somewhat lazy and often very hungry. (The real dog died in 2009, but the fictional version will live on in games forevermore.)
  • Michael Jackson as the voice of Space Michael in Space Channel 5 (although in this case, he was essentially playing himself). Jackson was the inspiration for that particular character and, when approached about voicing him, he said, "Yes!" because he absolutely loved the tribute. His appearance in the first game amounted to little more than a quick cameo, but his role was greatly expanded in the sequel.
  • Vanessa Duvelle in Spy Hunter 2 (the sequel to the remake, not the arcade game) was based on Vanessa Carlton, who sang the game's theme tune.
  • In the first Star Wars: Rebel Assault, Ru Murleen was named after the actress who played her. Averted with the sequel, which used a different actress, Julie Eccles.
  • Street Fighter:
  • Notable aversion in the English dub of Tales of Vesperia, with the main character Yuri Lowell not being played by veteran Tales voice actor Yuri Lowenthal. The actual voice actor, Troy Baker, did get some joke mileage out of this one though: "How bad is it when they start naming characters after voice actors? 'I wanna read for this guy, what's his name?' 'Er...Vic Migna.'"
  • Team Fortress 2: Supplemental material has revealed that the Administrator's real name is Helen, a clear nod to her voice actress, Ellen McLain.
  • One of the models to portray Lara Croft during publicity for the Tomb Raider games was named Lara Weller. Her friends suggested that she try out for the part partially because she shared the character's first name.
  • Interesting example: the developers of The Walking Dead (Telltale) held a contest for the game. The winner of the contest, Brie Rosenholm, was awarded by getting a virtual double named after her to appear in the game, and this being The Walking Dead, overlapping with Death by Cameo.

    Webcomics 
  • In-universe example: in the post-Scratch universe of Homestuck, John Crocker took Harry Anderson's role as the judge in Night Court. So in this version, it was Judge Johnny Stone.
  • Basic Instructions: The characters based on Scott Meyer, his wife Missy, and his friend Ric, traced from photos of them, are named Scott, Missy, and Rick. Several other characters ended up this way; most notably, the character drawn from photos of a guy named Graham was briefly referred to as "Smitty" before just becoming Graham for the rest of the strip.

    Web Original 
  • Clyde Cash, Jason Kendrick Howell, and Jack Thaddeus voice themselves in the Sonichu audiobooks.
  • Corrupting The Classics With Contemporary Crap is hosted by Angus Hepburn as Angus Leech and Natalia Fedner as Natalie Knickerbocker.
  • The Fear Mythos features characters named after their actors: Jordan and Nathan from Jordan Eats Normally Now, and Seann of Cryptid 417.
  • The webseries Echo Chamber features characters named Tom, Zack, and Dana. They are played by Tom Pike, Zack Wallnau, and Dana Shaw.
  • The Nostalgia Critic is named "Doug" as is shown through his Nicktoons review, and the person who plays him is Doug Walker. However, Doug Walker has said that the critic IS a character, and is a separate entity from Walker himself. Walker also plays many characters on That Guy With The Glasses, and the Nostalgia Critic is the only one to share his name.
  • Half the cast of Marble Hornets does this. We have Tim, Jessica, Brian, and Seth. Played by Tim Sutton, Jessica May, Brian Haight, and Seth McCay.
    • Brian is a double example. In the original Marble Hornets film, he would be playing a character named Brian.
  • Discussed (as "The Tony Danza Corollary") in the RiffTrax of Planet of the Dinosaurs.
    "Was every character just named after the person who played them?!"
    "It's the number one sign you're watching a quality movie."
  • Lucas the Spider was originally voiced by Lucas Slice, the nephew of series creator/animator Joshua Slice. Averted by the TV adaptation, which replaced Lucas with Simon Webster.
  • Matthew Santoro is played by a man named Matthew Santoro.
  • Flynt Coal from RWBY was voiced by rapper Flynt Flossy. This one's coincidental, as the character's name predates the show.
  • Bob Lennon always names his characters (when their names are not explicitly given), "Bob" or some variations (such as in Aventures where his robot character is named 808). Likewise, any cat he finds tends to be named Wilfried after his real-life cat.
  • In most Minecraft roleplay and Let's Play series, most if not all of the perspective characters share a name with the content creator that portrays them. This is mainly because the characters are often based on their content creator counterparts, and share many traits with them. While social media fan posts initially only implied the differentiation between the character and the real-life counterparts, in late 2020, fans coined the "c![X]" (character) and "cc![X]" (content creator) tags to more explicitly differentiate between the counterparts.
    • The character-tagging phenomenon began in the Dream SMP fandom. It started during the Exile Arc, to prevent people outside the fandom from assuming Dream the content creator is a child abuser like his roleplay character counterpart. However, the full names of the characters are usually distinct from those of the content creators, as the characters' full names are typically based on their screen names and/or any nicknames they accumulated, e.g. Philza Minecraft being portrayed by Philip Watson.
      • Speaking of Phil specifically, in the spin-off series Tales From the SMP episode "The Pit", there is a character named Watson, who is evidently named after Philza, who played him and has 'Watson' as his surname in real life (as stated above).
    • The phenomenon has spread by osmosis to the greater MCYT community, such that variations of the character tag have popped up to differentiate between the content creators' characters in different series. These include "hc![X]" for Hermitcraft, "e![X]" for the Empires SMP (though some take it a step further to differentiate by season), "al![X]" for the Afterlife SMP, "r![X]" for the Rats SMP, "k![X]" for Karmaland, and many, many more.
  • There is a porn actress known as April O'Neil. Of course she had to play the Ninja Turtles character in Ten Inch Mutant Ninja Turtles, even co-producing the thing.
  • In The Orbiting Human Circus (of the Air), Julian the Janitor is played by series creator Julian Koster, while the eponymous variety show's showrunner and host John Cameron is played by John Cameron Mitchell.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd, played by James Rolfe, can be seen typing "Jame" on the name entry screen of Winter Games before realizing there's a four-character limit, and Spider-man calls him James while making fun of him. For added fun, Rolfe plays another character named Board James, who may or may not be the Nerd's alter-ego, thus making both of them the same James (but still a different James from James Rolfe).
  • Out With Dad: "New Vanessa" is portrayed by Vanessa Salazar.
  • AFK: Ivan Essin plays Vanya (Vanya is a nickname for Ivan-it's basically "Johnny" for "John").
  • The human characters on Minilife TV (such as Chris, Ian, or Michael) often have the names of their respective voice actors.
  • Hunter: The Parenting: Big-D is voiced by one of the lead writers, SpeakerD.

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Actor And Character Share Name

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