Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Since its first use in 1851, a "cameo role" or "cameo appearance" has been a brief appearance in a play (or later, a movie) that stands out against the general context for its éclat or dramatic punch. A cameo role is often played by an actor of greater status than required by the role. A short appearance is also considered a cameo if played by someone better known for something other than acting, such as a director, politician or sport player.
Allegedly one of the earliest cameo appearances in film history is that of Erik Satie and his artist friends in the silent movie Entr'acte (1924, see below). Mike Todd's film Around the World in Eighty Days (1956) was studded with cameo roles and gave the term wide circulation outside the theatrical profession.
The most famous cameo appearances are probably those of Alfred Hitchcock who frequently appeared in movies he was directing.
Cameos are often uncredited, and, except for a director's appearance in his or her own film, usually involve a spoken line.
Cameo appearances in movies
- Dan Aykroyd, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- Frankie Avalon, Grease
- Larry Bird, Blue Chips
- Bob Cousy, Blue Chips
- Tom Cruise, Austin Powers in Goldmember
- Harrison Ford, E.T. - 2002 ver.
- Oscar Goodman, Casino
- Charlton Heston, Wayne's World 2
- Jesse Jackson, Medium Cool
- Peter Jackson, in each of the Lord of the Rings movies
- Samuel L. Jackson, Kill Bill Volume 2
- Jason Kidd, Like Mike
- Stephen King has had cameos in several of his films and TV shows.
- Wladimir Klitschko, Ocean's Eleven
- Anna Kournikova, Me, Myself & Irene
- Stan Lee, in many Marvel Comics adaptations (Hulk, Spider-Man, X-Men) and Mallrats
- Lennox Lewis, Ocean's Eleven
- Terrence Malick, Badlands (director cameo)
- Dirk Nowitzki, Like Mike
- Jason Robards, Enemy of the State
- Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Rundown
- Al Sharpton, Coming to America
- Phil Spector, Easy Rider
- M. Night Shyamalan, in each of his films (except Wide Awake).
- Britney Spears, Austin Powers in Goldmember
- Michael Spinks, Cannonball Run 2
- Stephen Spielberg, The Blues Brothers
- John Travolta, Austin Powers in Goldmember
- Jerry Lewis, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
- Jack Benny, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
- Jim Backus, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
- Sterling Holloway, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
- Buster Keaton, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
- Don Knotts, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
- Three Stooges, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
- Dustin Hoffman, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
- Jon Stewart, Barenaked in America
- Val Kilmer, The Missing
Cameo appearances in television
cDeForest Kelley appeared briefly as the 137-year-old Admiral Leonard "Bones" McCoy in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Encounter at Farpoint (although some fans have argued it was not actually McCoy, since it is not stated explicitly).
- Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) appeared on the Babylon 5 episode Moments of Transition as a man who asked Michael Garibaldi to find his cat and dog, and also in NewsRadio.
- J. Michael Straczynski appeared on the Babylon 5 series finale Sleeping in Light as the crew member who shuts down the station.
- The Simpsons is well known for featuring hundreads of cameos.
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