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Thread: Best Guest/Semi-Recurring Performances on TV Shows

  1. #21
    Senior Member pathsofwind's Avatar
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    I wish Liz Mikel would've gotten more recognition for Friday Night Lights. She nailed every scene and tbh I always looked forward to Smash storylines because it meant we'd get to see his mom

  2. #22
    Senior Member TaranofPrydain's Avatar
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    One more that I just saw, and one who won an Emmy: Kay Lenz as an AIDS patient on Midnight Caller. The first episode just after her diagnosis, the latter as she's dying. The second one broke my heart especially hard.

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    Luke Kirby on Marvelous Mrs Maisel, glad he was never made a regular character because the character just pops in at the right moments each season and always plays a key role on Midge's development

  4. #24
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    Dean Pelton


  5. #25
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    William Shatner on The Practice! Started the whole Denny Crane character that would go on 5 years. 2 Emmys. Whole new stage of career

  6. #26
    Senior Member TheOrsonHepburn's Avatar
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    Herb Edelman - The Golden Girls - immediately came to mind.

    Betty White - Malcolm in the Middle

  7. #27
    Classic Actressing Obsessed Cooper's Avatar
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    Dorothy McGuire - The Young and the Restless

    Betty White - The Bold and the Beautiful

    James Doohan - The Bold and the Beautiful

    Kim Hunter - The Edge of Night

    Daniel Keyes - Dark Shadows (An obscure character actor who made a few phenomenal appearances as the crypt keeper of Eagle Hill Cemetery.)

    Alexis Smith - Dallas

    Barbara Rush - The Fugitive

    Eileen Heckart - The Fugitive

    Joseph Ruskin - The Untouchables

    Bruce Gordon - The Untouchables

    Ruth Roman - The Untouchables
    [SIGPIC]

  8. #28
    Senior Member Addison de Witt's Avatar
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    John Lithgow, Dexter

  9. #29
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  10. #30
    Senior Member Winters's Avatar
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    Annabella Sciorra in The Sopranos.

    Quote Originally Posted by klariso View Post
    Dean Pelton
    How was Dean a Guest/Semi-Recurring character? He was definitely a series regular.

  11. #31
    Cor Cordium Eduardo Zuckerberg's Avatar
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    Yeah, John Lithgow in Dexter was a season long supporting arc as well.

  12. #32
    Senior Member Jay's Avatar
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    Lois Smith in The Americans
    Matthew Rhys in Girls
    Justine Lupe in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

  13. #33
    Senior Member cragakellogs's Avatar
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    I'll chuck in a few notable names from various British sitcoms;

    Rik Mayall, Blackadder
    Liam Neeson, Derry Girls
    David Bowie, Extras
    Les Dennis, Extras
    Ian McKellen, Extras
    Patrick Stewart, Extras
    Kate Winslet, Extras
    Bernard Cribbins, Fawlty Towers
    Kristin Scott Thomas, Fleabag
    Joanna Lumley, Motherland
    Jim Broadbent, Only Fools and Horses
    Conleth Hill, Peter Kay's Car Share
    Robbie Coltrane, Still Game
    Sylvester McCoy, Still Game
    The Liver Bird soars


  14. #34
    Ill spit my truth, and its brown. CrownOnTheGround's Avatar
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    Liza Minnelli - Arrested Development
    Judy Greer - Arrested Development
    Lindsay Duncan - The Leftovers
    Louise Fletcher - Shameless
    Jason Sudeikis - Last Man on Earth

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by cragakellogs View Post
    I'll chuck in a few notable names from various British sitcoms;


    Ian McKellen, Extras
    How do I know where to stand? People told me

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BTN View Post
    Sally Field ER! How many guest performances get SAG nominations!
    Know it wasn't a question, but just wanted to note only she and Lily Tomlin (The West Wing) got SAG nominations for guest performances.
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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by klariso View Post
    Dean Pelton

    Agreed, atleast while the Dean was a semi-recurring character. When the Dean became a regular, Jim Rash performance belongs in the best regular performances of all time!

  18. #38
    Senior Member Tavish's Avatar
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    * TV Series which I watched only partially (not all seasons)

    TOP-50 Best guest stars which appeared only once in the whole series:

    01. Moses Gunn | Homicide: Life on the Street | “Three Men and Adena” | S1 EP5 [his last role]
    02. Lois Smith | The Americans | “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?” | S3 EP9
    03. Peter Boyle | The X-Files | “Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose” | S3 EP4 - won Emmy
    04. Alfre Woodard | L.A. Law* | Pilot - won Emmy
    05. Brad Dourif | The X-Files | “Beyond the Sea” | S1 EP13
    06. Beah Richards | The Practice* | “Till Death Do Us Part” | S4 EP19 - won Emmy [her last role]
    07. Zeljko Ivanek | The X-Files | “Roland” | S1 EP23
    08. Amanda Plummer | Law & Order: Special Victims Unit* | “Weak” | S6 EP9 - won Emmy
    09. Lucinda Jenney | Homicide: Life on the Street | “Extreme Unction” | S3 EP3
    10. Marcia Gay Harden | Homicide: Life on the Street | “A Doll's Eyes” | S4 EP6

    11. Mary Alice | Law & Order* | “Mother Love” | S3 EP15
    12. Mildred Natwick | Family* | “A Right and Proper Goodbye” | S1 EP4
    13. Lee Grant | Columbo | “Ransom for a Dead Man” | S1 EP0
    14. Shirley Knight | NYPD Blue* | “Large Mouth Bass” | S2 EP12 - won Emmy
    15. Bill Cobbs | Six Feet Under | “The Room” | S1 EP6
    16. Alan Howard | Poirot | “The Dream” | S1 EP10
    17. Maxine Stuart | The Wonder Years | “Coda” | S2 EP7
    18. Sean Bean | Accused | “Tracie's Story” | S1 EP5
    19. Nick Robinson | Boardwalk Empire | “Blue Bell Boy” | S3 EP4
    20. Davenia McFadden | Mad Men | “The Crash” | S6 EP8

    21. Faye Dunaway | Columbo | “It's All in the Game” | S12 EP1 - won Emmy
    22. Ben Whishaw | The Hollow Crown | “Richard II” | S1 EP1 - won BAFTA TV
    23. Monica Dolan | Poirot | “After the Funeral” | S10 EP3
    24. Maxine Peake | Black Mirror | “Metalhead” | S4 EP5
    25. Paul Giamatti | Homicide: Life on the Street | “Pit Bull Sessions” | S6 EP15
    26. Jackie Burroughs | Smallville* | “Hourglass” | S1 EP6
    27. Zeljko Ivanek | House | “Last Resort” | S5 EP9
    28. Bryce Dallas Howard | Black Mirror | “Nosedive” | S3 EP1
    29. Irina Dubova | The Americans | “Dyatkovo” | S5 EP11
    30. James Frain | The Closer | “Critical Missing” | S2 EP8

    31. Gena Rowlands | Monk | “Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door” | S7 EP12
    32. Joe Seneca | The Golden Girls* | “Old Friends” | S3 EP1
    33. Ukweli Roach | Silk | “Episode #3.2” | S3 EP2
    34. Evan Arnold | Mad Men | S7 EP14 | “Person to Person”
    35. Louis Gossett Jr. | Boardwalk Empire | “Havre de Grace” | S4 EP11
    36. Mira Sorvino | House | “Frozen” | S4 EP11
    37. Pauline Quirke | Murder in Mind | “Passion” | S2 EP1
    38. Bryan Cranston | The X-Files | “Drive” | S6 EP2
    39. Katheryn Winnick | House | “One Day, One Room” | S3 EP12
    40. Donald Sumpter | Poirot | “The ABC Murders” | S4 EP1

    41. Debra Christofferson | Murder One | “Chapter Ten” | S1 EP10
    42. Sasha Pieterse | House | “Autopsy” | S2 EP2
    43. Laurie Metcalf | Horace and Pete | “Episode 3” | S1 EP3
    44. Jude Akuwudike | The Crown | “Mou Mou” | S4 EP3
    45. Michael Emerson | The X-Files | “Sunshine Days” | S9 EP18
    46. Rosie Cavaliero | Banana | “Episode #1.2” | S1 EP2
    47. Jessica Hynes | The Hour | “Crises at Home and Abroad” | S1 EP4
    48. River Phoenix | Family Ties* | “My Tutor” | S4 EP7
    49. Rue McClanahan | All in the Family* | “The Bunkers and the Swingers” | S3 EP7
    50. Ruth Gordon | Taxi | “Sugar Mama” | S1 EP14 - won Emmy

    TOP-50 Best recurring guest stars (2-10 episodes in the whole series):

    01. Patrick McGoohan | Columbo (4 episodes) - 2 time Emmy winner for this series (1975/1990)
    02. Thora Hird | Talking Heads (1987 / 1998 – 2 episodes) - won 2 BAFTA TV awards for this series (her 3rd BAFTA win was for great TV Movie "Lost for Words")
    03. Glynn Turman | In Treatment (4 episodes) - won Emmy
    04. Bruce Campbell | Homicide: Life on the Street (2 episodes)
    05. Patricia Clarkson | Six Feet Under (6 episodes) - 2 time Emmy winner for this role (recently won her 3rd Emmy - for "State of the Union")
    06. Gene Wilder | Will & Grace (2 episodes) - won Emmy [his last role]
    07. Ernie Sabella | The Practice* (4 episodes)
    08. Karin Konoval | The X-Files (3 episodes)
    09. Illeana Douglas | Six Feet Under (2 episodes)
    10. Irrfan Khan | In Treatment (7 episodes)

    11. Ethan Cutkosky | Law & Order: Special Victims Unit* (2 episodes)
    12. Randee Heller | Mad Men (6 episodes)
    13. Cherry Jones | Succession (3 episodes) - won Emmy
    14. Shirley Knight | Thirtysomething* (2 episodes) - won Emmy
    15. Austin Abrams | The Americans (2 episodes)
    16. Michael Jeter | Picket Fences* (3 episodes)
    17. David Dean Bottrell | Boston Legal (8 episodes)
    18. Jean-Pierre Cassel | Love in a Cold Climate (3 episodes)
    19. Martha Plimpton | The Good Wife (5 episodes) - won Emmy
    20. Pedro Pascal | Game of Thrones (7 episodes)

    21. Billy Burke | The Closer (3 episodes)
    22. Jane Lapotaire | The Crown (2 episodes)
    23. Pruitt Taylor Vince | Muder One (6 episodes) - won Emmy
    24. John Mahoney | In Treatment (7 episodes)
    25. Alex Jennings | The Crown (7 episodes)
    26. Edward Herrmann | The Practice* (10 episodes) - won Emmy
    27. Cara Buono | Mad Men (10 episodes)
    28. Sela Ward | House (10 episodes)
    29. Marin Ireland | Homeland (5 episodes)
    30. Krysten Ritter | Breaking Bad (9 episodes)

    31. Suraj Sharma | Homeland (7 episodes)
    32. Jared Harris | The Crown (6 episodes)
    33. Dane DeHaan | In Treatment (7 episodes)
    34. Steven Gilborn | The Wonder Years (4 episodes)
    35. Melinda Page Hamilton | Mad Men (4 episodes)
    36. Suzanne Kent | Taxi (3 episodes)
    37. Leslie Jordan | Boston Legal (6 episodes)
    38. Annabella Sciorra | The Sopranos (7 episodes)
    39. Dylan Baker | The Good Wife (8 episodes)
    40. Donna Murphy | Murder One (6 episodes)

    41. Linda Cardellini | Mad Men (9 episodes)
    42. David Hyde Pierce | The Good Wife (8 episodes)
    43. Barnard Hughes | All in the Family* (3 episodes)
    44. Wendel Meldrum | The Wonder Years (7 episodes)
    45. Fionnula Flanagan | Lost (7 episodes)
    46. Molly Shannon | Will & Grace (8 episodes)
    47. Amy Sedaris | The Closer (2 episodes)
    48. Fred Stoller | Everybody Loves Raymond (7 episodes)
    49. Eileen Brennan | Will & Grace (6 episodes)
    50. Amy Aquino | Everybody Loves Raymond (4 episodes)

  19. #39
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    I just discovered L.A. Law recently on youtube, so I'm going through it while it's still on there.

    Alfre Woodard was indeed incredible in the pilot. Richly deserved Emmy win.

    This show has some unbelievable guest stars. I was shocked and delighted to see Ralph Bellamy show up in one.

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    Pamela Adlon, Louie
    Christina Applegate, Friends
    Cameron Britton, Mindhunter
    Anna Camp, The Good Wife & Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
    Kristen Cloke, Millennium & The X-Files
    Rosario Dawson, Daredevil & Jessica Jones
    Linda Emond, The Good Wife
    Ral Esparza, Hannibal
    Kelsey Grammer, The Simpsons
    Harriet Sansom Harris, Frasier
    Anne Heche, Everwood
    Anjelica Huston, Medium
    Juliet Landau, Angel & Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Mark Linn-Baker, The Leftovers
    Wendy Makkena, Desperate Housewives
    Garry Marshall, Murphy Brown
    Diana Muldaur, L.A. Law
    Megan Mullally, Parks and Recreation
    Bebe Neuwirth, Frasier
    Parker Posey, Louie
    Stephanie Romanov, Angel
    Amy Shiels, Twin Peaks: The Return
    Amy Smart, Felicity
    Sissy Spacek, Big Love
    Dean Stockwell, Battlestar Galactica
    Skipp Sudduth, Louie
    Charlize Theron, Arrested Development
    Jay Thomas, Murphy Brown
    Pruitt Taylor Vince, Murder One
    Patrick Warburton, Seinfeld
    Henry Winkler, Arrested Development

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