49 Actors You Forgot Were On X-Files
From Burt Reynolds to Jodie Foster, we've uncovered 49 X-Files guest stars you may have forgotten about.
Scully, you're not gonna believe this. Just in case you were worried that 2020 couldn't get any weirder, the Pentagon recently released some actual, real-deal footage of UFOs this week--why not, right? Which, in addition to making us start to question the very nature of reality itself, prompted us to take a look back at one of the best sci-fi television shows ever made: The X-Files. We came for the spooky extraterrestrial content, but quickly realized there were a lot (and we do mean a lot) of famous celebrities in that show.
Beyond just launching the careers of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, The X-Files was home to dozens upon dozens of guest stars, many of whom were young unknowns at the time, playing one-off parts as supernatural creatures, hapless victims, or disgruntled FBI agents who were sick of Mulder and Scully's bizarre theories. We trawled through each episode of the show to find a whopping 49 guest stars that you'll definitely recognize today, whether they went on to star in some of your favorite (non-alien related TV shows), continued on to become A-listers in big budget movies, or were already A-listers to begin with.
Who were your favorite X-Files guest stars and who surprised you most on this list? Let us know in the comments below.
1. Seth Green (Season 1 Episode 2)
Comedy mainstay Seth Green guest starred as an alien-loving stoner in the second episode, "Deep Throat."
2. Donal Logue (Season 1 Episode 3)
Terriers and Sons of Anarchy star Donal Logue showed up as an FBI agent and friend of Scully in "Squeeze," the episode that introduced recurring (and super disgusting) villain, Eugene Victor Tooms.
3. Felicity Huffman (Season 1 Episode 8)
Oscar nominee Felicity Huffman is better known for her career on Desperate Housewives, but in The X-Files she played a scientist trapped in an Alaskan outpost.
4. Brad Dourif (Season 1 Episode 13)
Deadwood's Brad Dourif played a psychic serial killer named Luther Lee Boggs in "Beyond The Sea."
5. Mark Sheppard (Season 1 Episode 12)
Supernatural mainstay Mark Sheppard played a pyrokinetic sociopath in the aptly titled "Fire."
6. Bradley Whitford (Season 2 Episode 9)
You'll probably recognize him from hits like The West Wing and Cabin In The Woods, but before he was advising fictional presidents Bradley Whitford was playing a troubled geologist in The X-Files' "Firewalker."
7. Terry O'Quinn (Season 2 Episode 12/Season 9, Episode 6)
Also known as Locke from Lost, Terry O'Quinn's Lt. Brian Tillman would make two appearances in the show and later guest star in the first movie.
8. Dean Norris (Season 2 Episode 22)
Breaking Bad's Hank Shraeder, Dean Norris, played a role in the deeply disgusting "F. Emasculata."
9. Tony Shalhoub (Season 2 Episode 23)
Beloved character actor Tony Shalhoub played a riff on Bruce Banner in "Soft Light" where he was a mild-mannered scientist named Dr. Banton who was irradiated in an experiment.
10. Jack Black (Season 3 Episode 3)
The man, the myth, the legend, Jack Black played a hapless arcade employee named Zero in "D.P.O."
11. Giovanni Ribisi (Season 3 Episode 3)
Known for his roles in Sneaky Pete and Avatar, Giovanni Ribisi played a troubled kid with an obsessive crush on his high school teacher and the ability to control lightning in "D.P.O." He also murdered Jack Black's character. R.I.P.
12. Peter Boyle (Season 3 Episode 4)
The late Peter Boyle of Young Frankenstein and Everybody Loves Raymond fame played a reluctant psychic whose ability to predict the future came from his love of The Big Bopper in "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose."
13. Ryan Reynolds (Season 3 Episode 13)
Before he was Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds was busy being a high school jock turned cult murder victim in "Syzygy."
14. Michael Bublé (Season 3 Episode 15)
Crooner Michael Bublé played an unnamed background character (no really) in the WW2 flashback parts of "Piper Maru."
15. Lucy Liu (Season 3 Episode 19)
Before her big break on Ally McBeal, Lucy Liu played the daughter of a gambler in over his head in "Hell Money."
16. BD Wong (Season 3 Episode 19)
Law & Order SVU's BD Wong joined Liu as a detective investigating a supernatural gambling ring in "Hell Money."
17. Alex Trebek (Season 3 Episode 20)
Game show host Alex Trebek played a shady government Man In Black (who looked suspiciously like game show host Alex Trebek) in the legendary "Jose Chung's From Outer Space."
18. Jesse Ventura (Season 3 Episode 20)
Wrestling superstar Jesse Ventura joined Trebek as a Man In Black in "Jose Chung's From Outer Space."
19. Tom Noonan (Season 4 Episode 10)
Manhunter and Last Action Hero star Tom Noonan played a memento-collecting killer in "Paper Hearts."
20. Jodie Foster (Season 4 Episode 13)
Jodie Foster didn't actually make an on-screen cameo, but she did provide the voice for a cursed tattoo in "Never Again."
21. Richard Belzer (Season 5 Episode 3)
Unofficially crossing the X-Files over with Law & Order SVU, Richard Belzer guest starred as Det. John Munch. Talk about a cinematic shared universe.
22. Jerry Springer (Season 5 Episode 5)
Talk show host Jerry Springer played himself in the wildly funny "Post-Modern Prometheus."
23. Luke Wilson (Season 5 Episode 12)
Young Luke Wilson appeared as Sheriff Hartwell in the vampire-comedy episode, "Bad Blood."
24. Bryan Cranston (Season 6 Episode 2)
Walter White himself, Bryan Cranston, guest starred as Patrick Crump, a man suffering a strange affliction causing him to drive west or die in "Drive."
25. Lily Tomlin (Season 6 Episode 6)
Comedian and actor Lily Tomlin played a ghost named Lyda in "How The Ghosts Stole Christmas."
26. Bruce Campbell (Season 6 Episode 7)
Horror legend Bruce Campbell played a man who may or may not have fathered a demonic baby in "Terms Of Endearment."
27. Jesse L. Martin (Season 6 Episode 19)
The Flash's Jesse L. Martin played an extraterrestrial baseball player in "The Unnatural."
28. Jim Beaver (Season 6 Episode 21)
Before he was in Deadwood and Supernatural, Jim Beaver had a bit part as a coroner in "Field Trip."
29. Lance Henriksen (Season 7 Episode 4)
In an episode that crossovered with creator Chris Carter's other series, Millennium, Lance Henriksen, aka Bishop from Aliens, appeared as Frank Black.
30. Octavia Spencer (Season 7 Episode 4)
Also in the Millennium crossover episode was Octavia Spencer, playing the aptly named Nurse Octavia.
31. Dick Clark (Season 7 Episode 4)
Yet another Millennium episode cameo was legendary TV personality Dick Clark as himself.
32. Ann Dowd (Season 7 Episode 5)
Ann Dowd of The Leftovers and Hereditary fame appeared as the mother of a supernatural teenager in "Rush."
33. Shia LeBeouf (Season 7 Episode 6)
Baby Shia LeBeouf appears in an episode about unlikely chains of events titled "The Goldberg Variation."
34. Constance Zimmer (Season 7 Episode 13)
Emmy nominee and Entourage star Constance Zimmer guest starred in the hilariously '90s "First Person Shooter."
35. Garry Shandling (Season 7 Episode 19)
Comedian Garry Shandling appears in the in-universe X-Files movie as Mulder for the episode "Hollywood A.D."
36. Tea Leoni (Season 7 Episode 19)
Bad Boys and Madam Secretary star Tea Leoni played Scully for the in-universe X-Files movie in "Hollywood A.D." She was married to David Duchovny at the time.
37. Kathy Griffin (Season 7 Episode 20)
Comedian Kathy Griffin played identical twins Betty Templeton and Lulu Pfeiffer in "Fight Club."
38. Rob Van Dam (Season 7 Episode 20)
Professional wrestler Rob Van Dam also guest starred alongside Griffin in "Fight Club."
39. Will Sasso (Season 7 Episode 21)
Mad TV alum Will Sasso played a man who accidentally summoned a genie in "Je Souhaite."
40. Danny Trejo (Season 8 Episode 6)
Cult favorite Danny Trejo played a gangster in Season 8's "Redrum."
41. Zach Grenier (Season 8 Episode 19)
Zach Grenier of Devs played a medical doctor named Herman Stites in "Alone."
42. Lucy Lawless (Season 9 Episodes 1 and 2)
Xena herself, Lucy Lawless stars as an immortal super soldier in "Nothing Important Happened Today" parts one and two.
43. Jane Lynch (Season 9 Episode 5)
Glee's Jane Lynch played the mom of a rowdy teenager in the disgusting "Lord Of The Flies."
44. Aaron Paul (Season 9 Episode 5)
Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad fame was the main villain, a teenager who could control insects, in "Lord Of The Flies."
45. Burt Reynolds (Season 9 Episode 13)
Burt Reynolds played a fictional version of himself that also may or may not be the face of God in "Improbable."
46. Joel McHale (Season 10 Episode 1)
Community's Joel McHale played a conspiracy podcaster named Tad O'Malley in "My Struggle."
47. Kumail Nanjiani (Season 10 Episode 3)
Comedian (and X-Files fan podcaster) Kumail Nanjiani played an animal control officer in "Mulder And Scully Meet The Weremonster."
48. Rhys Darby (Season 10 Episode 3)
Comedian Rhys Darby played the titular weremonster in "Mulder And Scully Meet The Weremonster."
49. Haley Joel Osment (Season 11 Episode 6)
Haley Joel Osment of The Sixth Sense fame played a haunted Vietnam vet in "Kitten."
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