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10 Best Famous Cameos in The Walking Dead

10 Best Famous Cameos in The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is more than just a television show, but rather a cultural phenomenon since it first aired on AMC back in 2010. With 11 seasons to its name, enthusiasts stood behind it for all of it. Others jumped ship and felt it was repetitive. Regardless of where you stand on the show, there is no denying what it did for the horror genre in terms of reviving the zombie subgenre and how it also created compelling television.



Another thing The Walking Dead is known for is cameos. At the height of its popularity, stars just wanted to come on under heavy makeup and play a “walker”. Or, some notable faces showed up for a brief appearance on an episode. Either way, The Walking Dead gave us a lot of great cameos and here are 10 of the best. Stream The Walking Dead on Netflix.

Related: Hidden Walking Dead Easter Eggs You May Have Missed

10 Robin Lord Taylor

Robin Lord Taylor has had quite the run over the last decade as a character actor on many different shows. He is most famously known for playing Penguin on Fox’s run of the show Gotham. As well as appearing in a season of Netflix’s You and John Wick Chapter 3 -Parabelleum.

Robin Lord Taylor’s Brief Run on The Walking Dead

In Season 4, Robin Lord Taylor popped up in a small role as a character named “Sam.” However, he returned in Season 5 as a victim of an attack when the group discovered Terminus. It’s quite interesting to see him show up in Season 5, because that was right around the time Gotham blew up in the ratings and there was buzz about him playing a young Oswald Cobblepot on the show.

Seeing him pop up real quick on The Walking Dead had many thinking, “Wait, isn’t that the guy from Gotham?” The night the episode aired, he appeared on the after-show Talking Dead to clarify that yes, it was the same guy on Gotham that you saw in that night’s episode.

9 Hines Ward

Hines Ward is one of the best wide receivers to ever lace up for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ward played in two Super Bowls and was the game MVP of Super Bowl XL. His one acting credit to his name was in The Dark Knight Rises, where he plays the football player who returns the kick while the field caves in behind him after Bane detonates a bomb to kick off his reign of terror.

Hines Ward as a Walker

One of the best things about cameos on The Walking Dead is when somebody suits up in makeup and raggy old clothes to play a walker. Who would have thought an ex-football player like Hines Ward would want to do that?

But he did, and it looked like it was a blast. Ward was under heavy makeup in Season 3, episode nine, “The Suicide King.” Ward, who has strong connections to some industry heads in regard to the show and the state of Georgia where it was filmed, made the call to get on set as a Walker, and the rest is history.

8 Scott Ian

It’s kind of crazy, but Scott Ian is the most famous member of the band Anthrax, and yet he isn’t even the lead singer. The potential reason behind his fame is his appearances in other forms of media. It’s easy to catch him in documentaries about anything in the horror genre; he’s hard to miss with his trademark bald head and long chin beard.

Hard to Miss on The Walking Dead

To go against the statement above, you would never have known that Scott Ian was on The Walking Dead if it weren’t for a list like this. That’s how good the makeup team was on the show. Ian’s first go as a Walker was in 2011 on a webisode for the show. He returned in 2015, looking unrecognizable, on the actual show, grabbing Rick Grimes’ foot from under a pile of trash, only to be met by his demise from none other than Carl.

7 Alexa Nikolas

Any Zoey 101 fans out there? Alexa Nikolas played the role of Nicole Bristow on the show, a popular teen comedy in the early 2000s. It had been a few years since Zoey 101 ended, and we had caught a glimpse of Nikolas all grown up when she showed up for a brief stint in Season 3 of The Walking Dead.

Alexa Nikolas as Haley

Appearing in Season 3 as one of the members who guard the wall in Woodbury, Alexa Nikolas plays the role of Haley. One of the plot points of Haley being in the show is that she shows Andrea (Laurie Holden) how to use a bow and arrow. Season 3, Episode 9, would be her last appearance on the show, as she ends up being gunned down by Maggie around the time things started getting a little tense around town.

6 Rutina Wesley

Rutina Wesley‘s contribution to the horror genre has been incredible over the last decade. Appearing in True Blood, NBC’s Hannibal, starring in 2016’s Queen Sugar, and more recently, the HBO adaptation of The Last of Us, has garnered her a ton of praise. If anything, she’s proved how versatile she is and how she can squeeze in small appearances on major shows if her schedule provides it over the years. Case in point: her appearance on The Walking Dead.

Cult Leader

Wesley, who had been bouncing around from show to show over the last decade and a half, shows up in an episode late into the series’ run in 2019. She plays Jocelyn, a cult leader who knew Michonne long before the world came undone, and of course, it’s Michonne who has to do what’s right by ending her old friend’s evil ways. Wesley made a big impact in her one-off episode, which came at a time when the ratings were not soaring like they once were a decade earlier.

5 Chris Hardwick

Chris Hardwick began as a comedian and launched his Nerdist podcast, which eventually catapulted him into nerd royalty. What only aided in that even more was that when The Walking Dead was renewed for a second season, there would be an after-show AMC would air called Talking Dead, which Hardwick would host. Eventually, he would get to do one more fun thing in his time affiliated with the show.

Hardwick Becomes a Walker

It’s hard to spot him; even a Google search doesn’t seem to aid in being able to locate him, but in 2019, Hardwick got to put on the makeup of a Walker and appear on the show as a cameo of sorts. In the episode titled Scars, a zombie tries to attack Judith (Caitlyn Fleming), and that zombie is none other than Hardwick. Of course, the production was going to sanction something like this; we just wish they had done it sooner.

4 Greg Nicotero

The Walking Dead’s origins in its adaptation, from the pages of the graphic novel to our TV screens, begin with writer Robert Kirkman and initial show developer Frank Darabont. However, the name that really carried the show into history was that of filmmaker and co-founder of KNB EEFX Group, Greg Nicotero. He’s everywhere on the show, directing 30-plus episodes of it, serving as one of its producers, and having the final say on the makeup effects of it.

Greg Nicotero Played a Walker Many Times

In terms of The Walking Dead, Nicotero is the show. So much so that, of course, they let him get done up to play a Walker on the show. The zombies on the show have dated, colorless, rotting skin that feels all too realistic for what we would all look like if we came back from the dead. Between the years of 2010 and 2016, Nicotero got the makeup put on him to play a Walker five different times. He resurfaces again in Season 11 as a Walker who attacks Agatha (Laurie Fortier).

Related: Creepshow Showrunner Greg Nicotero Says Good Directors Are Hard to Find

3 Hillarie Burton

Many remember the great Hilarie Burton as a co-host of MTV’s Total Request Live, who then jumped into the world of fictional television shows with One Tree Hill. Her resume expands far beyond just that, and although she stepped away from the fast-paced world of Hollywood, someone very close to her brought her back in front of the camera.

Hillarie Burton as Lucille

Jeffrey Dean Morgan gave us an unforgettable performance as Negan in The Walking Dead. His first appearance on the show brought chills down people’s spines and made him a worthy adversary to the group. As the show continued, Negan became very much an ally to Daryl and Maggie.

At long last, Season 10, episode 22, gave us a flashback into Negan’s life before the end of the world. Negan had a wife, Lucille, played by his real-life wife, Hilarie Burton. She is dying from cancer, and Negan does everything he can to save her, but eventually she ends her suffering by killing herself. In real life, the pair have been going strong for 14 years, and you really feel their strong chemistry with one another on screen in their work together on the show.

2 Robert Patrick

Robert Patrick has a resume that goes on for miles. Everyone knows him as the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a role nobody else could have played besides him. Patrick is a career character actor, playing roles in anything from The Sopranos to the bad guy in John Cena’s on-screen debut, 2006’s The Marine. He carries an on-screen presence that fits really well in The Walking Dead, hence why he appeared on the show in one episode.

Robert Patrick as Mays

We’re sure Patrick is a nice guy in real life, but he has been known to play some unsympathetic characters in movies and television. In Season 10, Episode 19, he played Mays, a man who was there waiting for Gabriel after he had taken a bit of a rest in a warehouse he had raided. Mays questions Gabriel and then ends up having him and Aaron play some Russian roulette later on.

Gabriel, a man of strong but complex faith, believed Mays could be saved if he just let them go, but then ended up killing Mays regardless. Patrick looks and acts like a man on the brink, who had psychologically been to hell and back. His character was another testament to the idea that this show carried such a vast world of characters that we all maybe wish we had got more than an episode to get to know them.

1 John Carroll Lynch

From one character actor to another on this list, we now go to John Carroll Lynch. Lynch has been in both movies and television shows for over thirty years now. Appearing in Fargo, Zodiac, The Invitation, American Horror Story, The Invitation, and Shutter Island (seriously, this list can keep going). His one appearance on The Walking Dead may arguably be one of the best flashback episodes, in large part because of his performance.

John Carroll Lynch as Eastman

The great thing about The Walking Dead is at its peak, if you had a guest spot on the show, come Monday morning after the show aired, your agent was getting a ton of calls for offers. John Carroll Lynch played Eastman, a psychiatrist who took in Morgan (Lennie James).

Eastman had his boundaries with Morgan but helped him a lot with his past trauma. He was an at times polarizing character throughout the episode, but you really feel the drama sink in when Eastman is bitten by a Walker at the end of the episode. Many call John Carroll Lynch’s contribution to the show in Season 6 one of the best guest appearances of the whole series.

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