25 actors who appeared on ‘Seinfeld’ and went on to become huge stars

Bryan cranston seinfeld

To this day, Seinfeld’s influence on the worlds of television and comedy remains unsurpassed.

The “show about nothing” was notorious for featuring up-and-coming actors in cameo roles over the course of its nine seasons, and a number of actors who played bit parts on the show eventually went on to become major stars in their own right.

Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) and Jeremy Piven (“Entourage”) both saw their stars rise in the years following their notable appearances on “Seinfeld,” and many more now-famous actors benefitted from their brief moments in the spotlight on one of the most successful sitcoms in TV history.

Check out some of the most famous “Seinfeld” cameo roles below:

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[slide
permalink=”/#1-bryan-cranston-1″
title=”1. Bryan Cranston”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Mum and Pop Store’ (Season 6, Episode 8); four other episodes

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Tim Whatley, Jerry’s dentist

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Cranston starred on Fox’s ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ in the early 2000s before landing his seminal role as Walter White on AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577bf0734321f1f5018b5f5b”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Bryan Cranston on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1994.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#2-catherine-keener-2″
title=”2. Catherine Keener”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Letter’ (Season 3, Episode 20)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Nina, Jerry’s artist girlfriend

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Keener has had leading roles in a number of successful movies, including ‘Being John Malkovich’ (1999) and ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’ (2005).”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577bf65888e4a7f4328b5b83″
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Catherine Keener on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1992.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#3-courtney-cox-3″
title=”3. Courtney Cox”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Wife’ (Season 5, Episode 17)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Merryl, Jerry’s girlfriend

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Cox went on to star in NBC’s next hit sitcom, ‘Friends,’ and she later produced and starred on the ABC/TBS series ‘Cougar Town.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577bfc5488e4a79f178b5d2e”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Courtney Cox on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1994.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#4-jon-favreau-4″
title=”4. Jon Favreau”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Fire’ (Season 5, Episode 19)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Eric the Clown

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Favreau has acted in many films, and he’s become one of the preeminent directors in Hollywood over the years with his work on ‘Elf,’ the three ‘Iron Man’ films, and the recent remake of ‘The Jungle Book.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577c0c4888e4a714088b5ee7″
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Jon Favreau on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1994.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#5-denise-richards-5″
title=”5. Denise Richards”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Shoes’ (Season 4, Episode 15)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Molly, the daughter of the show’s fictional NBC chairman

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Richards starred in 1998’s ‘Wild Things’ and the 1999 James Bond film ‘The World Is Not Enough.’ She married actor Charlie Sheen in 2002 and divorced him in 2006.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577c0fe54321f1480f8b5fb3″
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Denise Richards on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1993.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#6-debra-messing-6″
title=”6. Debra Messing”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Wait Out’ (Season 7, Episode 21); ‘The Yada Yada’ (Season 8, Episode 19)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Beth, a friend of Jerry and Elaine

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Messing starred on NBC’s ‘Will & Grace’ for its eight-season run from 1998 to 2006, and she had a lead role on the network’s recent and short-lived series ‘The Mysteries of Laura.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577ce1e74321f16b018b61fd”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Debra Messing on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1996.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#7-sarah-silverman-7″
title=”7. Sarah Silverman”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Money’ (Season 8, Episode 12)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Emily, Kramer’s girlfriend

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Silverman’s stand-up career took off in the years following her cameo role, and from 2007 to 2010, she had her own Comedy Central show, ‘The Sarah Silverman Program.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5783f7ea88e4a779638b6e2a”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Sarah Silverman on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1997.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#8-jon-gries-8″
title=”8. Jon Gries”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Beard’ (Season 6, Episode 15)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: A homeless man

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Gries played Uncle Rico in the cult comedy hit ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ from 2004, and he’s also starred in all three ‘Taken’ movies.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577ce4ad88e4a7fd018b607a”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#9-molly-shannon-9″
title=”9. Molly Shannon”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Summer of George’ (Season 8, Episode 22)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Sam, Elaine’s co-worker

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Shannon was a cast member on ‘Saturday Night Live’ from 1995 until 2001, and she also had her own ‘SNL’ spin-off movie in 1999’s ‘Superstar’ with Will Ferrell.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577ce80988e4a7dd488b5299″
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Molly Shannon on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1997.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#10-christine-taylor-10″
title=”10. Christine Taylor”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Van Buren Boys’ (Season 8, Episode 14)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Ellen, Jerry’s girlfriend

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Taylor married actor Ben Stiller in 2000, and she’s appeared alongside Stiller in his films ‘Zoolander,’ ‘Zoolander 2’ and ‘Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577cea4f88e4a7b32e8b5d41″
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Christine Taylor on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1997.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#11-peter-krause-11″
title=”11. Peter Krause”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Limo’ (Season 3, Episode 19)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Tim, a white supremacist

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Krause had a lead role in HBO’s drama ‘Six Feet Under’ and one in NBC’s sitcom ‘Parenthood.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577cec3488e4a7da328b5d96″
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Peter Krause on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1992.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#12-james-spader-12″
title=”12. James Spader”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Apology’ (Season 9, Episode 9)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Jason Hanky, a childhood friend of George

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Spader starred on ‘Boston Legal,’ and he currently stars on NBC’s crime thriller ‘The Blacklist.’ He also had a part in ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577cedb888e4a7da328b5d9d”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”James Spader on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1997.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#13-michael-chiklis-13″
title=”13. Michael Chiklis”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Stranded’ (Season 3, Episode 10)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Steve, the host of a party on Long Island

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Chiklis was the lead actor on FX’s police drama ‘The Shield,’ and he played The Thing in the ‘Fantastic Four’ film series from the mid 2000s.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577cf09c4321f1d01a8b6068″
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Michael Chiklis on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1991.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#13-amanda-peet-14″
title=”13. Amanda Peet”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Summer of George’ (Season 8, Episode 22)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Lanette, Jerry’s girlfriend

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Peet had featured roles in a number of films, including ‘The Whole Nine Yards,’ ‘Saving Silverman,’ and ‘Something’s Gotta Give.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577ce83788e4a71b008b60a0″
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Amanda Peet on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1997.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#15-patton-oswalt-15″
title=”15. Patton Oswalt”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Couch’ (Season 6, Episode 5)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: A video store clerk

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Oswalt gained further notice for his role on CBS’s sitcom ‘The King of Queens’ from 1998 to 2007. He has become a famous stand-up comic and voice actor (Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille’).”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5783fa6288e4a78c148b729a”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Patton Oswalt on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1994.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#16-brad-garrett-16″
title=”16. Brad Garrett”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Bottle Deposit’ (Season 7, Episode 21)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Tony, Jerry’s car mechanic

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Garrett appeared on the CBS sitcom ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ and on Fox’s ”Til Death.’ He has also done voiceover work in the Pixar films ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Ratatouille.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577cf32688e4a779638b5b5e”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Brad Garrett on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1996.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#17-kathy-griffin-17″
title=”17. Kathy Griffin”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Doll’ (Season 7, Episode 16)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Sally Weaver, Susan’s old roommate

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Griffin, in addition to her notable stand-up career, has had many cameo and voiceover roles in a number of films and television shows, and she once had her own reality show, ‘Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,’ which aired on Bravo.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577cf5c888e4a7b32e8b5d6b”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Kathy Griffin on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1996.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#18-mariska-hargitay-18″
title=”18. Mariska Hargitay”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Pilot’ (Season 4, Episode 22)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Melissa, an actress auditioning to play Elaine on Jerry’s show-within-a-show.

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Hargitay has won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her performance in the NBC drama ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577cf7484321f16b018b623c”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Mariska Hargitay on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1993.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#19-lauren-graham-19″
title=”19. Lauren Graham”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Millenium’ (Season 8, Episode 20)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Valerie, Jerry’s girlfriend

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Graham starred on the WB series ‘Gilmore Girls’ and NBC’s sitcom ‘Parenthood.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577d04a54321f102278b5fcf”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Lauren Graham on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1997.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#20-rob-schneider-20″
title=”20. Rob Schneider”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Friar’s Club’ (Season 7, Episode 17)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Bob, Elaine’s partially deaf coworker

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Schneider was an ‘SNL’ cast member prior to his ‘Seinfeld’ cameo. Afterward, he had roles in a number of Adam Sandler films (‘Big Daddy,’ ’50 First Dates’) and a few movies of his own (the ‘Deuce Bigalow’ films).”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5783fc7b4321f11a008b74dd”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Rob Schneider on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1996.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#21-bob-odenkirk-21″
title=”21. Bob Odenkirk”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Abstinence’ (Season 8, Episode 9)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Ben, Elaine’s doctor boyfriend who isn’t quite a doctor

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Odenkirk was already starring on ‘Mr. Show with Bob and David’ at the time of this appearance. He went on to star as Saul Goodman in AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Better Call Saul.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5783fdd388e4a70f018b73ef”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Bob Odenkirk on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1996.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#22-anna-gunn-22″
title=”22. Anna Gunn”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Glasses’ (Season 5, Episode 3)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Amy, Jerry’s girlfriend

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Gunn won two Emmy awards for her performance as Skyler White on AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad.’ She plays the lead role in the upcoming financial thriller ‘Equity.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5783ff6b88e4a7da328b70c0″
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Anna Gunn on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1993.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#23-teri-hatcher-23″
title=”23. Teri Hatcher”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Implant’ (Season 4, Episode 19)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Sidra, Jerry’s girlfriend

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Hatcher had a starring role on ABC’s ‘Desperate Housewives,’ and she appeared alongside Pierce Brosnon in the 1997 James Bond film ‘Tomorrow Never Dies.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577d06d04321f16c018b6294″
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Teri Hatcher on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1993.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#24-megan-mullally-24″
title=”24. Megan Mullally”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Implant’ (Season 4, Episode 19)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Betsy, George’s girlfriend

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Mullally starred in NBC’s sitcom ‘Will & Grace’ and made several appearances on ‘Parks and Recreation.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577d087588e4a7f4328b5dcc”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Megan Mullally on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1993.”
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]
[slide
permalink=”/#25-jeremy-piven-25″
title=”25. Jeremy Piven”
content=”Appeared on: ‘The Pilot’ (Season 4, Episode 22)

Role on ‘Seinfeld’: Michael Barth, an actor auditioning for the part of George

Since ‘Seinfeld’: Piven played Ari Gold on HBO’s ‘Entourage’ series and film. He was also the star of PBS’s period drama ‘Mr Selfridge,’ which ended its four-season run in March.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/577cf80388e4a7531b8b5eaa”
source=”Hulu; NBC”
caption=”Jeremy Piven on ‘Seinfeld’ in 1993.”
credit_href=””
]
[/slideshow]