So I was watching an episode of Barney Miller and I spotted Ron Carey in a bit part as a jewel burglar. As most of you know, Carey later became a series regular as Officer Leavitt. Dennis Franz first appeared on Hill Street Blues as a crooked cop before assuming the role of Detective Buntz. It made me think there are likely any number of actors with similar histories. Any come to mind?

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The stuff you can find on the internet!

I don’t know how to link to an internet site but I think if you type “Crossover Props - Bewitched @ Harpies Bizarre” into Google you should be able to find a site that details all of the crossovers between Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie and The Flying Nun and The Twilight Zone ... the mind boggles ... everything is connected ...

Dave Palmer said:

Wouldn’t a Bewitched/I Dream of Jeannie crossover/team-up (to use comic book terminology) been a lot of fun.  Although they were on different networks, Screen Gems was involved in the production of both, so who knows what might have been.

Luke Blanchard said:

There are also cases where actors who starred in a series have had a second, irregular role: on Bewitched Elizabeth Montgomery also played Serena; on I Dream of Jeannie Barbara Eden also played Jeannie's sister; on Alice Linda Lavin also played Mrs Walden; and on The Tomorrow People (original series) Philip Gilbert, the voice of TIM, played Timus and Tikno.

 Perfect example -- Catherine Schell played a scantily clad robot in 'Guardian of Piri' in Space 1999 first season episode before returning for full season two as regular Maya.

Wikipedia notes three of the actors who played deputies on Gunsmoke had non-recurring parts before getting their deputy roles. I've supplemented its information from the IMDB:

-Ken Curtis's Festus Haggen first appeared in 1962. The character was a recurring cast-member from 1964-1975. Curtis played four one-off parts before he first appeared as Festus, and a fifth before Festus returned as a regular cast-member.

-Roger Ewing's Thad Greenwood was a cast-member from 1965-67. Ewing had previously played a one-off part early in 1965. The season break was mid-year, so that was the season previous to his debut as Thad.

-Buck Taylor's Newly O'Brien was a cast-member from 1967-1975. Taylor reprised the role in the first TV movie. He had played a different role in a two-parter shortly before his debut as Newly.

In the 77 Sunset Strip pilot movie "Girl on the Run" Edd Byrnes played a killer called Kevin Smiley. He was added to the regular cast as Kookie the next episode.

Jonathan Winters first appeared on Mork & Mindy as Mindy's uncle in a season 3 episode. Later in the year, early in the new season, he joined the regular cast as Mearth.

Dave Palmer said:

Here’s one in reverse

Another reverse-case is Jacqueline Hill's appearance as Lexa in the Doctor Who serial "Meglos", from season 18. She played Barbara Wright the show's first two seasons.

The IMDB tells me Emmaline Henry first appeared on I Dream of Jeannie as a magician's assistant in a season 1 episode. She subsequently played Amanda Bellows, starting with a season 2 episode late the same year.

Patrick Newell had two roles on The Avengers, in the fourth and fifth seasons, before his recurring role as Mother in the final season. Hat-tip: Wikipedia.

Diana Muldaur played two different quest-star roles on Star Trek before (years later) being cast as Dr. Pulaski on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Jerry Orbach played a seedy lawyer in an episode of Law & Order a season or two before he became a regular as Detective Lenny Briscoe. Likewise, S. Epatha Merkerson played a grieving mother whose two sons were murdered in a mistaken hit; the shooters fired through the door of her apartment, but went to the wrong address because -- get this -- they couldn't read. A year later, she became Lt. Anita Van Buren.

On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Diane Neal was the leader of a bunch of housewives who raped and murdered a male prostitute. Two seasons later, she became Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak.

Speaking of Barney Miller, Steve Landesberg was one of the guys they arrested in an episode; he was a conman named Washburn who was posing as a priest. Later on, he became Det. Sgt. Arthur Dietrich.

ClarkKent_DC said:

Speaking of Barney Miller, Steve Landesberg was one of the guys they arrested in an episode; he was a conman named Washburn who was posing as a priest. Later on, he became Det. Sgt. Arthur Dietrich.

I didn't see that Alexandra got this one, above.

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