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Recycled Actors


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  • Recycled Actors

    I like Law & Order, but that do something that annoys me.......... they recycle actors.

    One episode, a guy is playing a serial killer. The next season, the same actor is a witness that lives across the hall from a killer.

    Two biggies were having Jerry Orbach play an attorney, then 2-3 seasons later, he's Det. Briscoe.

    And having S. Epatha Merkeson playing a cleaning lady........then 2-3 seasons later, she's the Lt. (how's that for fast promotions?).

    Is there a shortage of actors? Or are the casting people just lazy?

  • #2
    Alot of times actors have small contracts with the show. Stating that they will have say, 4 episode's in which they star in. If say you have someone on a five episode contract and the first thing they play as is a serial killer who is executed, then, a few seasons later the will have them back as someone else. It is cheaper than spending money on auditions, training, and whatever else. But also you have the people who watch a show enough that they notice, like yourself, and they loose viewers because of it. But it is standard practice, though it really only happens if you have a Union contract.

    Which do you like the best? Law and Order, S.V.U. (Special Victims Unit), C.I. (Criminal Intent)? I also watch a good amount of the show.
    I'd rather be judged by twelve, then carried by six.


    • #3
      I've noticed that a lot too. I saw a guy on the other day who was playing a plummer but I've seen him at least twice before in different episodes.
      MASH did it too though. They had Col. Potter (Harry Morgan?) on as a special character one episode then brought him back to replace Henry Blake (don't know his real name).
      On the wings of a dove
      Let's roll for justice
      Let's roll for truth
      Let's not let our children grow up
      Fearful in their youth -- Neil Young


      • #4
        Why shouldn't they recycle actors? If somebody does a good job, wouldn't you want to hire them again?
        Bill R


        • #5
          The X-files did that all the time while they were still filming out of Vancouver. It got to the point where you wondered if it was on purpose to further mystify people and allege an alien cloning conspiracy. The actual reason was that Vancouver had a small number of available character actors to use.


          • #6
            'NYPD Blues' is also really bad about doing that.....
            "When you guys get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a *****."
            -Commanding General, 1st Marine Division


            • #7
              Some other notables from Law & Order:

              Julianna Marguiles (SP?) who played on ER had two bit parts on L&O.

              Skip Suddith who plays "Sully" on Third Watch has been on L&O at least 4 times. "Faith" from 3watch has also played several L&O characters.

              A lot of the characters from L&O also appear on SVU. The ADA on L&O: CI was a bad guy on L&O once.
              "Integrity is like virginity. Once it's lost, you can't get it back." --drunkhunter


              • #8
                Of course, the longer a show goes, the more likely it is to happen. I would think that the availability of guest star actors comes into play, especially with a show like L&O that has -- what? A good half-dozen guest stars an episode at a minimum, with 22 to 26 episodes per year?


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