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

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:

1. Bryan Cranston

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Bryan Cranston on 'Seinfeld' in 1994.

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.'

2. Catherine Keener

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Catherine Keener on 'Seinfeld' in 1992.

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).

3. Courtney Cox

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Courtney Cox on 'Seinfeld' in 1994.

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.'

4. Jon Favreau

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Jon Favreau on 'Seinfeld' in 1994.

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.'

5. Denise Richards

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Denise Richards on 'Seinfeld' in 1993.

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.

6. Debra Messing

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Debra Messing on 'Seinfeld' in 1996.

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.'

7. Sarah Silverman

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Sarah Silverman on 'Seinfeld' in 1997.

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.'

8. Jon Gries

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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.

9. Molly Shannon

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Molly Shannon on 'Seinfeld' in 1997.

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.

10. Christine Taylor

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Christine Taylor on 'Seinfeld' in 1997.

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.'

11. Peter Krause

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Peter Krause on 'Seinfeld' in 1992.

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.'

12. James Spader

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James Spader on 'Seinfeld' in 1997.

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.'

13. Michael Chiklis

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Michael Chiklis on 'Seinfeld' in 1991.

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.

13. Amanda Peet

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Amanda Peet on 'Seinfeld' in 1997.

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.'

15. Patton Oswalt

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Patton Oswalt on 'Seinfeld' in 1994.

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').

16. Brad Garrett

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Brad Garrett on 'Seinfeld' in 1996.

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.'

17. Kathy Griffin

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Kathy Griffin on 'Seinfeld' in 1996.

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.

18. Mariska Hargitay

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Mariska Hargitay on 'Seinfeld' in 1993.

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.'

19. Lauren Graham

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Lauren Graham on 'Seinfeld' in 1997.

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.'

20. Rob Schneider

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Rob Schneider on 'Seinfeld' in 1996.

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).

21. Bob Odenkirk

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Bob Odenkirk on 'Seinfeld' in 1996.

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.'

22. Anna Gunn

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Anna Gunn on 'Seinfeld' in 1993.

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.'

23. Teri Hatcher

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Teri Hatcher on 'Seinfeld' in 1993.

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.'

24. Megan Mullally

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Megan Mullally on 'Seinfeld' in 1993.

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.'

25. Jeremy Piven

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Jeremy Piven on 'Seinfeld' in 1993.

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.

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