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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Nicholas Courtney first appeared on Doctor Who as Bret Vyon in "The Daleks' Master Plan". Later he played Colonel/Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.

According to Wikipedia John Levene played monsters in the serials "The Moonbase" and "The Web of Fear" before he was cast as Sergeant Benton.

Ian Marter, who played Harry Sullivan, first appeared on the show two seasons before in "Carnival of Monsters".

Lalla Ward had a key role in "The Armageddon Factor". It was the last story of its season, and she took over the role of Romana (replacing Mary Tamm) at the start of the next.

Colin Baker, the Sixth Doctor, appeared in "Arc of Infinity" in the Peter Davidson era  and was cast not long after as his successor.

Peter Capaldi, the Twelfth Doctor, had a key role in the David Tennant-era episode "The Fires of Pompeii".

Robert Karvelas played a number of roles on Get Smart before Larabee. Some of the roles were CONTROL agents, so they can be taken to be Larabee, not yet named. Hat-tip: Wikipedia.

The lady who plays Bernadette on Big Bang Theory said that she was only hired for two episodes at first, but then she quickly caught on with audiences and she's had an opening credit for years now.

I was thinking a little more about actors who came back to play a different role than they were originally cast for.

I was just reminded that Harry S. Morgan appeared on M*A*S*H prior to playing Colonel Potter.

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

The lady who plays Bernadette on Big Bang Theory said that she was only hired for two episodes at first, but then she quickly caught on with audiences and she's had an opening credit for years now.

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.

Aggh! I knew when I actually had something to contribute to a non-comics post, that I would screw it up royally! Okay, back to my comics-only hole...

Randy Jackson said:

I was thinking a little more about actors who came back to play a different role than they were originally cast for.

I was just reminded that Harry S. Morgan appeared on M*A*S*H prior to playing Colonel Potter.

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

The lady who plays Bernadette on Big Bang Theory said that she was only hired for two episodes at first, but then she quickly caught on with audiences and she's had an opening credit for years now.

The net tells me Jerry Orbach had a non-recurring role on Law & Order before he was cast as Lennie Briscoe.

Mark Lenard first appeared on Star Trek as the Romulan commander in "Balance of Terror", and was later cast as Spock's father, Sarek. Sarek only appeared in one episode of the original series, but Lenard reprised the role in later series and movies.

Diana Muldaur played one-off roles in two episodes of the original Star Trek, and the regular role of Katherine Pulaski in the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Does Majel Barrett on Star Trek count?  She was “Number One” in the pilot and came back as Nurse Chapel ( as well as Lwaxana Troi in later series) and was the voice of the computer.

According to Wikipedia:

”Mike Minor first appeared on the series [Petticoat Junction] as Selma Plout's son Dan in the second-season episode "Mother Of The Bride" that aired December 15, 1964. After that episode, the character of Dan Plout is never seen again. Two years later, in the fall of 1966, Mike Minor rejoined the series as handsome crop duster Steve Elliott. Steve is originally the love interest of eldest daughter Billie Jo, but later marries (youngest daughter) Betty Jo.”

Here’s one in reverse:

Joseph Campanella was series regular Lew Wickersham who was Joe Mannix’s boss at Intertect, a detective firm using computers, for the show’s first season (1967-1968).  For season two and beyond the Intertect setting was jettisoned and Wickersham was no longer a character on the series.  Later Joseph Campanella appeared as Dr. Graham Aspinall (1972).

Brent Spiner played Data, his brother Lore, and his creator Dr. Soong.

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.

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.

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