ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

Zombies are known for forming massive, ambling hordes in which each individual zombie becomes part of a terrifying whole. When this much rotting flesh congregate together, it's often difficult to pick out individual faces. This, of course, makes them perfect for hiding celebrity cameos.

Let's take a look at some of the celebs and personalities we've seen turned into the living dead on our favorite zombie-filled films and television shows.

9. Johnny Depp (kinda) - 'The Walking Dead'

The most recent zombie cameo (of sort) comes courtesy of The Walking Dead's sculpting Depp-artment, as in the latest episode, 'Not Tomorrow Yet' we see what appears to be Johnny Depp looking a little worse for wear. It seems that despite his swashbuckling skills and mesmerizing visage, poor old Johnny didn't quite manage to survive the zombie apocalypse. The Walking Dead director and special effects coordinator Greg Nicotero explained:

One of the other heads, I don’t know if I’m going to get in trouble if I say this, was Johnny Depp. I think we had sculpted an emaciated version of a dummy head for something and we used Johnny Depp’s head as a basis just for a clay sculpt. I can’t remember who the third one is, but I’m in good company. Norman kept saying he wanted the heads when we were done shooting. I said we’ve got to wait until the picture is logged.

8. Scott Ian - 'The Walking Dead'

Anthrax front-man Scott Ian has actually been zombified by The Walking Dead twice, although only once did he make it onto the actual television series. Back in 2011, he appeared in a webisode sporting his trademark beard, while he finally got to tussle with Rick and Carl in episode 12 of Season 5.

7. Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright - 'Land of the Dead'

Both zombie legends in their own right, Shaun of the Dead co-writers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright also cameoed as the 'photo zombies' in George Romero's Land of the Dead. Pegg's zombie even came with Shaun's trademark red tie.

6. Chris Martin - 'Shaun of the Dead'

Not to be outdone, Pegg and Wright have also done their fair share of zombie cameos. One of the final moments of Shaun of the Dead sees the lead singer from Coldplay, Chris Martin, shambling around next to The Winchester.

5. Michael Smiley - 'Shaun of the Dead'

Fans of British television will no doubt recognize Michael Smiley, as he's appeared in shows such as Doctor Who and Black Mirror, as well as films including Kill List, Burke & Hare and A Field In England. However, he is most likely best known as Tyres, Tim and Dawn's clubbing obsessed bicycle courier friend from Simon Pegg's seminal late-1990s sitcom, Spaced. Tyres also popped up in Shaun of the Dead, although he was looking a little worse for wear.

4. Hines Ward - 'The Walking Dead'

Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Dancing with the Stars champion and current Football Night in America analyst Hines Ward can also add certified zombie to his resumé. He got the undead treatment in Season 4's 'The Suicide King' episode, attacking Rick's group on their way out of Woodbury. He's only on screen for a second, before he's rather unceremoniously put down by Maggie.

3. Greg Nicotero - 'The Walking Dead'

As well as directing 14 episode of The Walking Dead, special effects veteran Greg Nicotero also got his hands, face, and pretty much everything else dirty by standing in as the deer eating walker in Season 1's third episode, 'Tell It To The Frogs.' However, this isn't his only undead appearance. In fact, he's quite the zombie veteran. He has been zombified twice more in The Walking Dead, while he also appeared as the 'Bridgekeeper zombie' in Land of the Dead and the 'Surgeon zombie' in Diary of the Dead.

2. Bill Murray - 'Zombieland'

Ok, I'm cheating here a bit, and yes, this it is primarily because I want to re-watch the Bill Murray cameo from Zombieland, but Murray does technically appear as a zombie in the 2009 comedy.

Of course, it turns out he's only pretending to be a zombie. Firstly, he's a lover of practical jokes, and secondly, it allows him to get around town and play a few holes of golf.

1. Conan O'Brien - 'The Walking Dead'

Another slight cheat here, but Conan O'Brien also got a taste of life as a walker for a special cold opening to a special Walking Dead episode of Conan. As you can imagine, his portrayal of the undead wasn't so much horrifying, as it was hilarious.


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