‘Gilmore Girls’: 5 Actors Who Played 2 Different Characters (and You Maybe Didn’t Notice)

Here’s a question for Gilmore Girls fans: How many times have you asked yourself, “Why does that person look familiar?” It’s not a case of déjà vu — plenty of actors on the show have more than one role. Some recasts, like Sherilyn Fenn as Sasha/Anna Nardini or Marion Ross as Trix/Marilyn, might seem obvious, but others are much more subtle. Here are five actors who play two or more characters on Gilmore Girls.

Gilmore Girls actors playing different characters: Alexis Bledel's Rory Gilmore and Lauren Graham's Lorelai Gilmore lean on boxes in the newspaper office
Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore, Charles C. Stevenson Jr. as Charlie, Jackie Hoffman as Esther, and Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.’ Stevenson Jr. played multiple characters throughout ‘Gilmore Girls.’ | Saeed Adyani/Netflix

Samantha Shelton

Gilmore Girls fans see Samantha Shelton in a fancy dress more than once. In season 2 episode 6, “Presenting Lorelai Gilmore,” Shelton plays Libby, the eager debutante who chats with Rory (Alexis Bledel) at their coming-out ceremony. The actor later returns in season 6 episode 16, “Bridesmaids Revisited,” as Walker, a bridesmaid in Honor Huntzberger’s (Devon Sorvani) wedding.

Riki Lindhome

It seems Stars Hollow had more than one future Yale student in town. Riki Lindhome has a blink-and-you-miss-it role as a Stars Hollow High student in season 3 episode 4, “One’s Got Class and the Other One Dyes.” The unnamed teen asks Lorelai (Lauren Graham) a few questions about her pregnancy on career day. Then, Lindhome goes on to play Logan’s (Matt Czuchry) friend Juliet in a few episodes of seasons 5 and 6.

Alex Borstein

A lot of fans might miss Alex Borstein’s recast because her characters look so drastically different. Early in season 1, Borstein plays Drella, the harp player at the Independence Inn. She later comes back a few times as Miss Celine, the Gilmore family’s personal stylist. Plus, Borstein has a bonus voice role: She leaves a not-so-friendly voicemail on Dwight’s (Jason Kravits) answering machine in season 3 episode 5, “Eight O’Clock at the Oasis.”

Seth MacFarlane

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Another actor who subtly plays multiple characters on Gilmore Girls is Seth MacFarlane. Many fans might recognize him as Zach, a business student graduating with Lorelai in season 2 episode 21, “Lorelai’s Graduation Day.” However, what people might not know is that he actually appears two more times — at least, his voice does. MacFarlane voices Emily’s lawyer, Bob Merriam, in season 3 episode 11, “I Solemnly Swear.” He’s also the folk singer at the end of season 4 episode 8, “Die, Jerk.”

MacFarlane revealed how he landed his Gilmore Girls cameo in an interview with Wired. He said, “I was friends with Amy Palladino and Dan Palladino, so it was a little bit of nepotism. Dan Palladino used to run Family Guy with me, so when he left to go do Gilmore Girls, he took me with him.”

Charles C. Stevenson Jr.

Charles C. Stevenson Jr. first appears in Gilmore Girls Season 1 Episode 3 as Julian, a friend of Richard’s (Edward Herrmann) at the club. A few seasons later, he returns as the reverend at Trix’s funeral (season 4 episode 16, “The Reigning Lorelai”). Stevenson Jr. even comes back in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life as Charlie, one of the Stars Hollow Gazette employees.

Gilmore Girls and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life are now streaming on Netflix.