The X-Files is classic television. Crisp writing, stellar performances, and way-out-there storylines helped make it legendary. Besides the main cast of David Duchovny (Fox Mulder), Gillian Anderson (Dr. Dana Schully), Mitch Pileggi (FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner), William B. Davis (Cigarette Smoking Man), and later, Robert Patrick (John Doggett), the series was also blessed with a bounty of talented guest stars in nearly every episode. Let's refresh our memories and take a look at the incredible guest stars you forgot were in The X-Files.
Barry appeared in three episodes of The X Files as U.S. Senator Richard Matheson, an ally of Fox Mulder. He first appeared in "Little Green Men" in 1994, then turned up again in the episode "Nisei" the following year, and finally in the nail-biter "S.R. 819," which has Skinner fighting for his life. Barry is a genuine Renaissance man who has also found success as a playwright and an artist. He is probably best known for portraying Arlo Givens on the FX series Justified and claims Arlo is his favorite character ever.
His mother, Barbara Constance Barry, was also an actor and artist. "My mother made it clear that creativity is the single most important value in life, not money, not fame, not the mundane. Beauty, in all its forms, surpasses all," he says.Seasons 2, 3, and 6, episodes 1, 9, and 9, respectively. Originally aired in September 1994, November 1995, and January 1999.
The granddaughter of legendary crooner Bing Crosby, Denise Crosby, has had a prolific acting career. Probably best known for her role as Lieutenant Tasha Yar in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Crosby has appeared in numerous films and television series, including her recurring role in The X-Files as Dr. Mary Speake, who examines Scully's newborn infant. Fun fact: Crosby's first husband, Geoffrey Edwards, is the son of the late famed producer Blake Edwards, best known for the Pink Panther movies in the 1960s. Season 8, Episodes 17 and 20: "Empedocles" and "Essence." Originally aired: April 2001 and May 2001.
Owen's handsome brother, Luke, did a star turn during Season 2 of The X-Files. Appearing as Sheriff Lucas Hartwell, Wilson's character was actually a vampire in a small Texas town where residents and cattle are inexplicably found dead from two puncture wounds. Turns out the whole town was packed with Dracula wannabe's, and Mulder and Scully barely escaped the same fate.
One of the episode's running jokes is that Mulder thinks the Sheriff is drop-dead gorgeous, and Mulder claims he has buck teeth. Another running joke: sunflower seeds which Mulder consistently eats. In this case, he scatters a bag of them on the floor to save himself from an obsessive-compulsive vampire. This is another one of Gillian Anderson's favorite episodes.Season 5, Episode 12: "Bad Blood." Originally aired February 1998.
Before he was the titular Man in Black (Lost) or Harry Bosch (Bosch), Titus Welliver was a hard-working gig actor. He says he pursued the role because of his love for science fiction, despite his agent's discouragement.
Welliver appeared as Doug Spinney, an eco-terrorist, in a creepy"X-Files episode about the discovery of tiny mutant insects that paralyze and cocoon victims. Needless to say, Scully and Mulder get quite wrapped up in their work. Season 1, Episode 20: "Darkness Falls." Originally aired April 1994.
There once was a time when Bryan Cranston's star didn't shine quite as brightly as it does today. Before there was Malcolm in the Middle or Breaking Bad, Cranston's considerable talent was limited to what jobs he could pick up on television or the odd movie.
Luckily for him, he met Vince Gilligan on the set of The X-Files. His performance as Patrick Crump, a man afflicted with an unknown condition causing piercing sounds in his head, impressed Gilligan. Later, it was Gilligan who advocated for Cranston to be cast as Walter White, and he showed the casting directors some outtakes from The X-Files episode. Season 6, Episode 2: "Drive." Originally aired November 1998.
Paul, Cranston's co-star in Breaking Bad, was also a guest star on The X-Files. He played David Winkle, aka "Sky Commander Winky," a teenager with the apparent ability to control insects. Despite filming antics for a Jackass-style video, Winky uses his unusual ability to kill other teens. Special Agent John Doggett and Agent Reyes (former child star Annabeth Gish) have to get to the bottom of this with Scully's assistance. Fun fact: Sky Commander Winky was Vince Gilligan's college nickname. Gilligan went on to create Breaking Bad, starring both Cranston and Paul. Season 9, Episode 5: "Lord of the Flies." Originally aired December 2001.
The late actor, known as the Monster in Young Frankenstein and Frank Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond, guest-starred in an episode about an aging insurance agent who can see how people will die. Boyle won an Emmy for his portrayal.
"I mean, I really didn't want to take the role," Boyle stated, "because of the suicide at the end. But it turned out wonderful. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were wonderful to work with." Many critics have called this the best X-Files episode of all time. Season 3, Episode 5: "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose." Originally aired October 1995.
Funny lady Lily Tomlin is—like many comedians—a gifted actor. She got to play it tongue firmly in cheek during this Christmas episode. She and the equally talented—and missed—Ed Asner were cast as Lydia and Maurice, two ghosts who, in life, were star-crossed lovers.
With only four actors in the cast (Duchovny, Anderson, Tomlin, and Asner), this is rumored to be the lowest-budget episode of The X-Files. And it's surely one of the funniest. Season 6, Episode 6: "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas." Originally aired December 1998.
The late actor and action star showed up during one of the series' last episodes. He played, appropriately, Mr. Burt, an eccentric man who may be more than just human. Scully, Reyes, and Doggett are investigating a serial killer when they meet the checker-playing Mr. Burt, and numerology plays a big role in the episode, as well. Season 9, Episode 13: "Improbable." Originally aired April 2002.
Ryan Reynolds wasn't always a superstar. Back in the day, he eagerly grabbed whatever small parts he could get, and his role on The X-Files was one of them. A fresh-faced Reynolds played teen Jay De Boom who (spoiler alert!) ends up murdered by two classmates who have suddenly come to possess what appear to be dark powers. Can Scully and Mulder save the day? Season 3, Episode 13: "Syzygy." Originally aired January 1996.
With one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, Danny Trejo fell into acting sideways soon after he'd been paroled from Soledad Prison in California for armed robbery. With his many tattoos and boxer's physique, Trejo often plays criminals or other heavies, as he did on The X-Files. Let's just say that it didn't turn out well for his character, Cesar Ocampo. Season 8, Episode 6: "Redrum." Originally aired December 2000.
Early in her career, Lucy Liu was cast as an adolescent dying of leukemia, whose father goes to extraordinary means to try and save her. In the same episode, BD Wong made an appearance as a Chinese American detective investigating some shady dealings by the Triads in San Francisco's Chinatown. Season 3, Episode 19: "Hell Money." Originally aired March 1996.
Before appearing in Men in Black and later winning awards for his show "Monk," versatile actor Tony Shalhoub was cast as government physicist Dr. Chester Ray Banton. Dr. Banton conducts experiments on dark matter. As a result, his shadow becomes lethal, and people begin to vanish. Scully and Mulder step in. Season 2, Episode 23: "Soft Light." Originally aired May 1995.
In a case of art imitating life, actor/comedian Richard Belzer, famed for playing Detective John Munch first on Homicide: Life on the Street and later on Law and Order: SVU, showed up as Munch on The X-Files. The episode is set in Baltimore and deals with a woman claiming that her ex-boyfriend was violent and trying to kill her. Who's the boyfriend? Fox Mulder.
This episode features the odd trio, The Lost Gunmen, and was written while Duchovny and Anderson were tied up with location shoots in Los Angeles for the first X-Files movie. Season 5, Episode 3: "Unusual Suspects." Originally aired November 1997.
With his over-the-top persona, Charles Nelson Reilly was ahead of his time. As opposed to many guest stars of The X-Files, Reilly's career had already hit its apex in the 1960s and 1970s, and he was winding down his acting career.
Cast as Jose Chung on The X-Files, Reilly was primarily a veteran of the game show circuit, especially "The Match Show." In this episode, he gets to show his acting chops and sly humor. Season 3, Episode 20: "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space.'" Originally aired April 1996.
Carole Christine Hilaria Pounder is a hard-working actress who has paid her dues starting in the 1970s. Her first star turn was in the cult-classic film "Bagdad Cafe," but she really came into her own on television, starting in The Shield and later NCIS: New Orleans, which she was on for seven seasons. Back when she was still putting her career together, she guest-starred on The X-Files as Agent Lucy Kazdin. Season 2, Episode 5: "Duane Barry." Originally aired October 1994.
The late, great Jeopardy! host exposed his self-deprecating humor by appearing as one of two Men in Black on The X-Files alongside former WWE star and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura. Definitely an odd couple that added to the episode's chaos.
Gillian Anderson has said this particular episode is probably her favorite.Season 3, Episode 20: "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space.'" Originally aired April 1996.
Long before he was the voice of Chuckie the killer doll, the slender character actor made his X-Files debut playing serial killer Luther Lee Boggs. Boggs claims to have gained psychic abilities while on death row and bargains with Scully and Mulder for a stay of execution. Season 1, Episode 13: "Beyond the Sea." Originally aired January 1994.
While she didn't appear onscreen, Jodie Foster was the secret sauce in a bizarre episode featuring Scully and a talking tattoo of a pin-up girl. Foster provides the voice of the evil tattoo, Betty, who keeps telling her "owner" to kill women. With Mulder out of the scene, vacationing at Graceland, Scully is going it alone and encounters her own dark side. Season 4, Episode 13: "Never Again." Originally aired February 1997.
Rogers appeared in six episodes of The X-Files in the recurring role of Agent Diana Fowley, who just happens to be Mulder's ex-girlfriend. From protecting a child chess prodigy (who happens to be a mind-reader) to being implicated with being in league with the Cigarette Smoking Man to Mulder being near death, Rogers' character brought interest, sexual tension, and gravitas to the proceedings. Season 5, Episode 20; Season 6, Episodes 1, 11, 12, 22; Season 7, Episodes 1, 2: "The End," "The Beginning," "Two Fathers," "One Son," "Biogenesis," "The Sixth Extinction," "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati." Originally aired 1998-99.
Before Lost and Millennium made him a household name, Terry O'Quinn was happy to pick up acting gigs wherever he could. A close friend of The X-Files writer and producer Chris Carter, O'Quinn first debuted on the show in 1995 as police Lieutenant Brian Tillman.
He later reappeared in 2002 as a mysterious character called Shadow Man. Season 2, Episode 12: "Aubrey." Originally aired January 1995; Season 9, Episode 6: "Trust No 1." Originally aired January 2002.Fun fact: O'Quinn had a cameo in the 1998 X-Files motion picture as well. His character was killed off during the explosion in a federal building that was reminiscent of the Oklahoma City bombing.
The handsome Mr. Dillahunt played Edward Skur, a man who was supposedly investigated by Congress during the communist scare of the 1950s, resulting in the Hollywood blacklist. Mulder is interested because when Skur died in 1990, his last word was "Mulder," so he believes the mystery has something to do with his father.
Jumping from the past to the present, the episode is an homage to those who experienced the McCarthy era. The special effects used in producing the episode give it a genuine vintage look.Season 5, Episode 15: "Travelers." Originally aired March 1998.
Panamanian triple-threat Blades is a singer, songwriter, and actor. He brought his significant acting chops to The X-Files, playing Conrad Lozano, an agent of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service. The story involves a fast-spreading fungal infection that deforms and then kills people, as well as a messy love triangle and el Chupacabra. Season 4, Episode 11: "El Mundo Gira." Originally aired January 1997.
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