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Why Director Hayward From WandaVision Looks So Familiar

In addition to filling in a major timeline gap between "The Blip" and the return of the disappeared in Avengers: Endgame and raising even more questions about Wanda Maximoff's (Elizabeth Olsen) new sitcom-style reality, WandaVision episode 4 also introduces a new VIP to the MCU.

After Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) gets accidentally absorbed into the forcefield and adopts the identity of Geraldine, Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) is joined by a whole slew of other S.W.O.R.D. officials and experts who descend upon the new Westview perimeter, including the acting director, Tyler Hayward, who has taken over leadership of the agency following the death of Monica's mother, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), who founded S.W.O.R.D.

While Director Hayward is new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he might still look pretty familiar to WandaVision audiences because the actor portraying him, Josh Stamberg, has a long history of starring in fan-favorite television shows.

Check out the boss in Drop Dead Diva

Long before he became the boss of S.W.O.R.D. Stamberg portrayed another head honcho in Lifetime's courtroom comedy series Drop Dead Diva. Fans of the show, which ran from 2009-2014, will remember him as Jay Parker, the boss of the young attorney Jane Bingum (Brooke Elliott) who dies after being shot by a gunman who is looking to get even with Jay for sleeping with his wife. Her body is then snatched by a vapid model named Deb Dobkins (Brooke D'Orsay), who then tries to live Jane's life.

Stamberg portrayed the character throughout the show's first four seasons, and the role became a major source of family drama on the series as the character experienced some complicated romantic entanglements and even a difficult custody dispute about a son he didn't know he had until the child was seven. Despite a new pregnancy by his love interest Kim Kaswell (Kate Levering) in the season 4 finale, Stamberg did not return for the series' fifth season, as his role was reportedly due to budget cuts. However, it did not take long for Stamberg to find a new gig on network television.

Enjoy the hunky doc in Parenthood

Fans of Parenthood may recognize Stamberg as the playboy doctor who becomes a big part of Sarah Braverman's (Lauren Graham) life in season 5. Stamberg had a multi-episode arc as Carl Fletcher in the hit NBC drama, appearing as Sarah's neighbor who initially annoys her with his revolving door of young lovers but who later surprises her with his generosity towards children in need.

Throughout the season, Sarah becomes friendly with Carl and eventually develops a romantic relationship with him. After Carl helps Sarah secure a prestigious new photography gig, the two become somewhat serious as a couple until Sarah's eventual husband Hank Rizzoli (Ray Romano) intervenes, and Sarah calls off her relationship with Carl. Sarah and Carl were probably always doomed, of course; Sarah was still reeling from her breakup with the ex-fiancé Mark Cyr (Jason Ritter) and the letdown of being abandoned by Hank, so Carl definitely ran the risk of being a rebound right from the start. Of course, that wasn't the only time Stamberg played an in-between beau on the small screen.

Don't forget the other lover in The Affair

In The Affair, Stamberg took on the role of Max Cadman, an old college friend of Noah (Dominic West) and Helen (Maura Tierney) who has always had eyes for Helen and is all too happy to shack up with her once the Solloways' marriage falls apart. The R-rated role required Stamberg to be very comfortable in his own skin, but more importantly, he also had to portray a deep level of familiarity with the characters to fit the backstory that Max and Helen had been friends for decades and could have easily ended up together if not for her marriage to Noah.

Though their hookup does not become a new forever for either of them, their relationship does inspire some very important character development as we learn some crucial new details about the Solloways' past. Stamberg recurred in the role for the series' first and second seasons and appeared in a very important episode for season 3 as well.