One Actor, Many Faces: TV Stars Playing Multiple Roles on One Show

Yahoo Contributor Network

The very greatest actors -- the ones that get the most respect from their peers and the public -- are those who can disappear into a role. With the help of a little makeup and a costume change, these actors can play two different roles in a TV show, and no one will even notice. If you respect chameleon-like actors, the following shows are home to some of the finest in the biz.

"Game of Thrones"

You wouldn't think that a guy who is seven feet tall would have a talent for disappearing into a role, but actor Ian Whyte can pull it off. Most fans know him as Gregor Clegane. But in addition to playing Clegane, Whyte also played a White Walker in the show's first two seasons. Whyte is also rumored to add a third role to his "Game of Thrones" resume when the show returns for its third season.


One of the delights of "Sanctuary" was seeing just how many roles Christopher Heyerdahl would play in a given episode. In addition to the role of John Druitt, he also played Jack the Ripper in flashbacks. On top of those two roles, Heyerdahl also played "the Big Guy," an intelligent, Sasquatch-like character that involved heavy makeup and prosthetics.

"Battlestar Galactica"

One of the major conceits of the revamped "Galactica" series that aired in the 2000s was that there were multiple models of each Cylon. That meant that actress Tricia Helfer played a whole pile of "6" models, each of which had their own unique flair. These included Caprica-Six, Shelly Godfrey, Gina, Natalie Faust, Lida, and Sonja. To be fair, it was always pretty easy to recognize Helfer, though the downtrodden Gina was such a far cry from the robustly sexy Caprica-Six that she wasn't always recognized by fans at first. Her commitment to different physicalities made her an impressive talent.


Actress Francesca Buller appeared in eight episodes of this sci-fi series. But what's really impressive is that she appeared as four different characters during that time. Her largest role was that of Minister Ahkna, but she also played ro-NA, M'Lee, and Raxil. Thanks to heavy prosthetics, she wasn't recognizable as the same actress in these roles. In case you were wondering why Buller wanted to spend so much time on the "Farscape," it probably had something to do with the cast: Buller is married to Ben Browder, the lead actor on the show.
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