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Why Pamela Milton From The Walking Dead Looks So Familiar

AMC's "The Walking Dead" is coming to an end this fall, with Season 11 set to premiere on August 22. To hype fans up for the final season, AMC released a trailer teasing the newest antagonist facing Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol (Melissa McBride) and the rest: it's The Commonwealth, a large, advanced community of survivors protected by its white-armored guards and run by the paranoid Pamela Milton. She's devoted to her caste system and will certainly clash in ideals with the mainstay characters of the series. Now, following Comic-Con, we know that Laila Robins will play Pamela throughout Season 11.

Robins has a long history of acting, having gotten her start in theater and her first film role in 1987. She's since been in countless plays and movies, but has more recently moved into the realm of television. If she looks awfully familiar, here's where you might have seen her before.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)

While Laila Robins is known for being a dramatic actor, she's still got comedy chops. In fact, her first Hollywood part was in the comedy "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles," which starred Steve Martin and John Candy. In the film, Martin's character, a marketing executive named Neal, is trying to get home for Thanksgiving to see his wife, who is played by Robins. However, along the way he meets Candy's obnoxious salesman Del and eventually forms a bond with him.

"Planes, Trains, and Automobiles was my first Hollywood movie, so it was really a baptism by fire ... I was like a deer in the headlights," Robins said in an interview with Cryptic Rock. She only has one scene with the leads, at the end when they finally make it to Chicago. "Steve Martin and John Candy were just absolute magic together," she said. "I was just the straight man, being the wife waiting at home, I didn't have a lot of the laughs."

The Sopranos (1999 - 2001)

Robins scored plenty of parts in movies, plays, and TV series in the years after "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles," but perhaps one of the most well known titles she worked on was "The Sopranos" on HBO. She ended up being in only two episodes, "Down Neck" in Season 1 and "Fortunate Son" in Season 3, because she played the younger version of Tony Soprano's mother, Livia. In the show's present day, Livia is played by Nancy Marchand. However, when Tony (James Gandolfini) talks to his therapist, Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco), about his childhood, flashback scenes show his life growing up.

Despite Robins' brief moment on the show, it's hard to forget her threatening young Tony with a fork or shouting "I'd rather smother them with a pillow than take them to the theater!" about her own children. Unfortunately, she won't be reprising the role in "The Sopranos" prequel film, "The Many Saints of Newark." Instead, Vera Farmiga will play the young Livia.

Homeland (2014)

Though Laila Robins has a robust 82 titles in her IMDB history, she's rarely been a series regular. However, that began to change when she landed the role of Martha Boyd, the United States ambassador to Pakistan, on Season 4 of Showtime's espionage thriller series "Homeland."

"'Homeland' was heaven," Robins said in an interview with Filme Carti. "What a cast! I also had the adventure of shooting in Cape Town, South Africa for five months. The show is so well written and beautifully directed. They really know how to build to a climax on that show, very powerfully and effectively. I enjoyed playing Martha, a wonderfully complex and conflicted character."

Her performance on the series was well praised: "The look on Laila Robins's face as Martha looks at Dennis ... is more terrible a weapon than any of the guns or knives wielded in this episode," wrote Alyssa Rosenberg for The Washington Post. Robins was only on the one season, but the part had a lasting impact on her career, putting her on the map for other TV casting directors. In an interview with Cryptic Rock, Robins said that after "Homeland," she got offered more roles, without always having to audition.

The Boys (2019 - 2020)

Perhaps fans of "The Walking Dead" are more likely to have seen Laila Robins in her recent role on Amazon Prime's raunchy superhero series "The Boys," which might be the only major U.S. series out there that has more blood and gore than the zombie show. So far, she's been in half of the show's 16 episodes, playing another woman in a powerful role: Deputy Director of the CIA, Grace Mallory.

While not one of the core protagonists, Mallory is a key character on "The Boys," as she's the one who formed the titular Boys in the first place, enabling Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and the others to go after corrupt superheroes. She's a fierce, complicated, and tragic ally to them in the show's present, haunted by the fact that Lamplighter (Shawn Ashmore) murdered her grandchildren due to her actions.

The last we saw of Grace Mallory, she'd gotten a pardon for all of The Boys and had renewed interest in pursuing supes for their crimes. Given her importance on the show thus far, it seems very likely that she will return for Season 3.

The Blacklist (2019 - 2021)

Laila Robins' longest running TV role, with the exception of her starring part on the single season of "Gabriel's Fire," has been on NBC's crime thriller series "The Blacklist." James Spader leads as Raymond "Red" Reddington, a criminal informant giving the FBI tips on some of the most dangerous criminals in the world. Robins joined the series at the end of Season 6 as Katarina Rostova, the Russian spy who has ties to both Red and the other series lead, Liz Keen (Megan Boone). As an important part of both of their pasts, Katarina is mentioned throughout the series — and shown as a young woman — before Robins brings her to the screen.

"Over the last six seasons there has been a lot of build up to her appearance," Robins said in an interview with Filme Carti. She said that it's challenging, but interesting to meet the expectations of the Katarina that has formed in the audience's heads. "That said, I have gotten wonderful feedback and it has been such fun to create her." Robins said she greatly enjoys the role: "Katarina has many facets and I enjoy jumping from one to the next. She is enigmatic, mysterious, and a blast to play! I know that the audience loves to hate her, but I look at her as just terribly misunderstood."