When you watch as much television as I do, you see familiar faces all the time, and then you have to ask yourself (or IMDb), “Where have I seen him/her before?” For example, I’m watching the first season of House, and I’ve recognized guest stars from elsewhere in thirteen of the first fifteen episodes.
And then there are actors like Michelle Forbes and Željko Ivanek who show up on many of my favorite series. The phenomenon came to a head recently when I saw both of them on the same episode of True Blood.
Pictured above is Forbes in the roles she’s played in some of my favorite shows. From left to right: presidential advisor Lynne Kresge on 24, Oceanic Airlines representative Karen Decker on Lost, tough-as-nails admiral Helena Cain on Battlestar Galactica, beleaguered wife Kate on In Treatment, “social worker”/maenad Maryann Forrester on True Blood, and abducted physicist Maggie Sinclair on Alias.
And here is Željko Ivanek in his roles: Juliet’s ex-husband Edmund Burke on Lost, the sadistic Magister on True Blood, closeted attorney Ray Fiske on Damages (a role which earned him an Emmy), Serbian terrorist Andre Drazen on 24, Homeland Security agent Emile Danko on Heroes, and mentally-handicapped murder suspect Roland on The X-Files.
So both actors have been on 24, Lost, and True Blood, as well as the short-lived series The Inside. And True Blood wasn’t even the first time the two have appeared on a show simultaneously: they also shared the screen for eleven episodes of Homicide: Life on the Streets.
Luckily, I think both are fine actors, so they’re welcome additions to any show I watch. (I say that now—soon I might be complaining about Željkoverload!) And I see that both have made appearances on other shows I’ve been meaning to watch: Forbes has been on Seinfeld, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Prison Break; and Ivanek has been on Oz, Big Love, and—coincidentally enough—House.