- Warning: This story includes spoilers with several cameos in “Avengers: Endgame.”
- A bunch of celebrities and big actors have made cameos and appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- From Olivia Munn to Matt Damon, INSIDER rounds up the cameos you may not remember since “Iron Man” kicked off the franchise in 2008.
- Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t just full of big stars now. Before Mark Ruffalo was stomping around as the Hulk and Lupita Nyong’o joined the fight in Wakanda, the Marvel movies were filled with celebrities.
Going back 10 years, there have been some pretty big cameos and appearances from actors you may have forgotten about or rising stars you missed entirely unless you did a recent movie binge ahead of the “Avengers: Endgame” release.
INSIDER rounded up the actors you probably forgot appeared in Marvel movies over the past decade. We’re looking specifically at the 22 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies that have been released. That doesn’t include “X-Men” movies from Fox and Sony’s “Spider-Man” saga. This story also includes celebrity cameos in “Endgame.”
Some of them are easier to remember than others. Sir Ben Kingsley played an odd villain in “Iron Man 3” and Don Cheadle famously replaced Terrence Howard as War Machine. Before Ruffalo was thrashing around as the Hulk, it was Edward Norton as the big green guy. Keep reading to see which stars appeared in the MCU.
“Modern Family” dad Ty Burrell appeared in 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk.”
He played Bruce Banner’s psychotherapist, Dr. Leonard Samson, before Mark Ruffalo took over the role.
Olivia Munn plays a reporter at the Stark Expo at the start of “Iron Man 2.”
Before acting in Hollywood, Munn was a journalist co-hosting “Attack of the Show!” on G4. This cameo felt very fitting.
“House of Cards” star Kate Mara also appeared near the start of “Iron Man 2” to deliver Tony Stark a subpoena.
Mara played a US Marshal who greeted Tony and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) at the film’s start.
CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, briefly chats at a restaurant with Pepper Potts and Tony Stark in “Iron Man 2.”
Musk congratulates Potts on running Stark Industries. The real-life tech entrepreneur also briefly tells Stark he has an idea for an electric jet, something Tony says they will make happen.
DJ AM appeared as a DJ at Tony Stark’s birthday party in “Iron Man 2.”
Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein died August 28, 2009 from an accidental overdose.
“The Leftovers” star Justin Theroux appeared briefly as a cop near the end of “Iron Man 2.”
Gwyneth Paltrow has a short conversation with him after things go awry at the Stark Expo.
There’s another reason Theroux has a small cameo in the movie. He was one of the film’s screenwriters!
His co-star Carrie Coon appeared more recently in “Avengers: Infinity War” as a member of the villainous Black Order.
Coon played Proxima Midnight who faced off against Black Widow.
Seth Green appeared in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in “Iron Man 2” before taking on the role of Howard the Duck in 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Green appeared briefly as a fan in an elevator as Tony Stark was leaving the Stark Expo.
Years later, he returned to the Marvel universe to voice Howard the Duck, a captive of the Collector (Benicio del Toro), in “Guardians of the Galaxy” and its sequel.
Rene Russo played Thor’s mum, Frigga, in the first two movies before she was killed off.
Frigga was killed in “Thor: The Dark World” by Malekith.
You may not remember that Tommy Lee Jones appeared as Colonel Chester Phillips in 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
Phillips helped choose Peggy Carter to run S.H.I.E.L.D.
Before she was on “Game of Thrones,” Natalie Dormer had a small role in the movie.
Dormer’s Pvt. Lorraine started seducing Rogers when she knew who he was.
“Harry Potter” actor David Bradley appeared in the movie as a church keeper.
More recently, Bradley has been on FX’s “The Strain.”
Stanley Tucci’s Dr. Abraham Erskine recruits Steve Rogers to become a super-soldier.
Erskine sits down with Rogers before he undergoes the experiment.
You may not have recognised “Doctor Who’s” Christopher Eccleston as the villain of “Thor: The Dark World.”
Eccleston played Malekith, who wanted to gather the aether – one of the Infinity stones – to rule the world.
He’s not the only “Doctor Who” star to appear in the Marvel Universe. Jenna Coleman had a small role in the first “Captain America” movie.
Before she was taken away in the T.A.R.D.I.S., Coleman attended an exhibit on future technology with Bucky Barnes.
“2 Broke Girls” actress Kat Dennings appeared in “Thor: The Dark World” as Jane Foster’s intern.
Darcy Lewis (Dennings) makes small talk with Thor before he whisks Jane off to Asgard.
“Westworld” actress Talulah Riley had a brief role in the movie, too.
Riley played a nurse in Asgard.
Before he played Dr. Dre, Corey Hawkins was in the navy in “Iron Man 3.”
Hawkins went on to appear in “The Walking Dead” and “Kong: Skull Island.”
Joan Rivers had a brief cameo in the third “Iron Man,” too.
Rivers gives some commentary on the look of James Rhodey’s red, white, and blue Iron Patriot armour.
“Community” fans were probably excited to see Danny Pudi in “Captain America: Winter Soldier” as a member of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Captain America, Falcon, and Maria Hill hold him at gunpoint so they can take over the communications room. Poor guy.
Glenn Close surprised fans with a role in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Close played commander of the Nova Corps, Irani Rael. At the end of the 2014 movie, she was placed in charge of one of the six Infinity stones.
Thor revealed that Thanos wiped out her planet in order to acquire it.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” villain Taserface is Chris Sullivan from “This Is Us.”
You probably didn’t recognise him as one of the Ravagers.
Miley Cyrus voiced a Marvel character at the very end of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”
If you stuck around through the credits, Cyrus lent her voice to Mainframe, who only appeared as a head at the end of the sequel.
Director James Gunn said at the film’s press junket in LA that he asked to have Cyrus in the film.
“I was watching ‘The Voice’ and I [thought] she’s so likable and her voice is awesome, she’s got the best voice. And then I asked Kevin [Feige], what do you think about casting Miley Cyrus as the voice of Mainframe? He was like well if you think we can get her… and I got her to do it,” he said.
It probably wasn’t too difficult. Cyrus is now married to Chris Hemsworth’s brother, Liam.
Ving Rhames showed up at the end of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” to honour Yondu’s death.
Rhames played Charlie-27, one of the original members of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics. Charlie-27 is space pilot for Jupiter who’s the only survivor when his city gets destroyed by a group of aliens.
“Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” star Michelle Yeoh shows up in “GOTG Vol. 2” right after as Aleta Ogord.
Aleta was also one of the original members of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics.
Did you catch Matt Damon in “Thor: Ragnarok”?
He played Loki in a play on Asgard. Apparently, he and Chris Hemsworth are friends, helping the scene come together.
He wasn’t the only famous face to show up during that scene.
Chris Hemsworth’s brother, Luke, played the role of Thor in the Asgardian play.
He’s another “Westworld” star who has appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The family is rounded out with Sam Neill as their father, Odin.
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“The Walking Dead” actor Ross Marquand filled in as Red Skull in “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Ross, known for his spot-on impersonations, takes over the role from Hugo Weaving. We learn Red Skull was forced to serve as the protector of the soul stone on Vormir after touching the Tesseract.
Trevor Noah has a small cameo in “Black Panther” you would never notice.
Fans noticed the “Daily Show” host plays the Wakandan AI, Griot, who helps Everett Ross pilot a ship in the movie.
A celebrity in the Marvel community, Thanos creator Jim Starlin has a brief speaking role early in “Endgame.”
Starlin is seen in the group therapy session that also includes a brief cameo from co-director Joe Russo.
“My film debut. Had a great time with some terrific folks, like Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the script writers,” Starlin said of the moment on Facebook. “When I wasn’t busy learning my one line or getting made up I had fun chatting with them. They and director Joe Russo were exceptionally open with me and for that I sincerely thank them, even though I had to keep my mouth shut for a year and a half afterwards.”
“Community” fans were probably shocked once again to see Ken Jeong make a small appearance in “Avengers: Endgame.”
Jeong plays the security guard who has to let a confused Scott Lang out of a cell. His character can be seen reading a collection of short stories called “Terminal Breach,” which features a short called “End-game.”
It’s just one of a few details you may have missed while watching the movie. You can check out our full rundown of callbacks and moments you may have overlooked while watching “Endgame” here.
ESPN fantasy analyst Matthew Berry appears briefly in “Endgame.”
Pay attention when Tony Stark and Captain America travel back to the events of “The Avengers” in 2012. Berry can be seen next to Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford). He’s one of his top aides.
Berry hosts “The Fantasy Show on ESPN Plus.” For what it’s worth, Disney, the company which distributes “Avengers: Endgame,” also owns ESPN. Thanks to an eagle-eyed fan who sent along a tip to INSIDER for this one.
Yvette Nicole Brown is another “Community” star who appeared in “Endgame.”
The second “Community” cameo comes when Tony Stark and Captain America travel back to New Jersey in 1970 and she shares an elevator with the two.
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