ByMeghann Elisa, writer at
'Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?'
Meghann Elisa

Living life as a movie lover, you become quite used to the fact that even in death, your favorite characters may pop back up on the screen one day — in a revival, a reboot, or an outright resurrection. But eagle-eyed viewers may notice that the actors themselves aren't immune to being recycled either.

When a film or television series runs for a long period of time, it's actually quite normal for the same actor to pop up from time to time, even if it is as a completely different character. Hollywood does not have an endless supply of talent, you know! Here are a just a handful of actors who have inadvertently appeared in multiple roles throughout a series.

1. Pat Roach in Indiana Jones

Roach actually played two different characters in the same movie. After fighting as the giant Sherpa in the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, you can also spot him later on as a giant Nazi mechanic who fights Indy at the airstrip.

Despite being reduced to a bloody mess by a propeller, Roach must have risen from the dead as he rocks for a third time in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as a huge guard member of the evil Thuggee cult. He appears for a fourth time as a Gestapo agent in Indian Jones and the Last Crusade. Sounds to me like the casting director couldn't find enough big scary-looking dudes.

2. Dean-Charles Chapman in Game of Thrones

Most GoT fans will know that the actor playing Tommen Baratheon was replaced when he actually started to get some screen time. However, what most people don't know is that it wasn't Dean-Charles Chapman's first appearance on the show. Just one season before, he played his own cousin Martyn Lannister, one of the two Lannister hostages killed by Richard Karstark.

3. Warwick Davis in Harry Potter

One of Davis' most iconic characters, Filius Flitwick, appears in seven out of eight of the Harry Potter movies. Perhaps due to shortage of talented men of the correct stature, Davis was also cast as the goblin Griphook who works at Gringotts Wizarding Bank and appears in four out of the eight films.

4. Mark Lenard in Star Trek

Okay, so most Trekkies already know this one, as Lenard is one of the very few actors who have portrayed a Romulan, a Klingon, and a Vulcan in Star Trek. He started out his space journey as a Romulan Commander in the very first season, going on to play Spock's Vulcan father Sarek a year later.

Most notably, he was the first Romulan to be completely seen on screen and one of the first Klingons with the forehead ridges.

5. Kevin James in Everybody Loves Raymond

Between 1996 and 1998, James made six guest appearances as Ray's friend, Kevin Daniels in Everybody Loves Raymond. Little did he know that later on he would be reappearing in a couple of special crossover episodes as his King of Queens character, delivery truck driver Doug Heffernan.

6. Giovanni Ribisi in Friends

Ribisi is known for his recurring role as Phoebe's half-brother Frank Jr. in the '90s sitcom, but he actually first appeared as an unnamed character in "The One With the Baby on the Bus," asking for his condom back after accidentally throwing it in Phoebe's guitar case with some change.

How do we know it's not the same character? Shortly after their first meeting, Frank tells Phoebe that he has never been to New York before. The producers later revealed that they liked Ribisi so much, they invited him to audition for the part of Frank and he got the part.

7. Charles Gray in James Bond

Following his first appearance as Australian intelligence agent and brief ally of Bond, Richard "Dikko" Henderson in You Only Live Twice, Gray totally turned the tables and went on to play Blofeld in Sean Connery's last official Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever.

As any fan of the Bond franchise will tell you, this was a pretty bizarre move from the casting directors, as Gray looks exactly the same in both movies and retains a full head of hair for his portrayal of iconically-bald Blofeld.

Have you spotted any other actors being recycled in a film or TV series?


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