Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Where You Have Seen The Cast Of Fantasy Island Before

The "Fantasy Island" series airing on Fox isn't the first time the venerable and much-loved TV drama has gotten a reboot. The original "Fantasy Island" aired on ABC from 1977 to 1984 and starred Ricardo Montalban as the enigmatic host of an island resort that somehow granted its guests' wishes and dreams. The series, which also featured French actor Herve Villechaize as Roarke's right hand man, Tattoo, was a staple of Saturday night programming and gave many up-and-coming and veteran actors a weekly showcase.

The series was rebooted three times: once by ABC in 1998, with Malcolm McDowell as a somewhat sarcastic Mr. Roarke, and later, in 2015, which featured a female Roarke. The latter never progressed beyond the script stage, but Blumhouse Productions produced a 2020 feature film version, with "Ant-Man" star Michael Pena's Roarke overseeing a more nightmarish version of the wish-granting island. Neither version was well-received, but the new series, produced by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, appears to have earned generally favorable reviews

Chief among the new show's positive aspects are its willingness to add some drama and emotion to the premise, along with its appealing cast. Many of them may be familiar to you as part of your weekly TV diet; if not, here's a chance to find out where you've seen the cast of the new "Fantasy Island" before.

Note: spoilers will definitely follow.

Don't call Kiara Barnes Tattoo

The revival of "Fantasy Island," and the decision to make the new host a descendant of Mr. Roarke, invited a thorny question: would Tattoo also return? The new series' producers came up with a novel solution: in Episode 1, "Hungry Christine/Mel Loves Ruby," Elena Roarke offers Ruby — a terminally ill woman — a chance to enjoy youth and health again with her husband. During their time on the island, Ruby obtains a tattoo on her back, which makes Elena's offer to stay on the island in her young state a foregone conclusion.

Actress Kiara Barnes, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, was a model, commercial actor, and singer before landing her career-making role as Zoe Buckingham on "The Bold and the Beautiful." While on the series, she also appeared in the Urban Movie Channel series "Stuck With You" and the Lifetime thriller "The Wrong Wedding Planner," with Vivica A. Fox. Barnes departed "The Bold and the Beautiful" in 2021 shortly after being cast as Ruby on "Fantasy Island."

TV star Rosalyn Sanchez is the island's new Roarke

The new "Fantasy Island" makes subtle efforts to connect with the original series. Chief among these is the "new Mr. Roarke" — Elena Roarke, who is the grandniece of Ricardo Montalban's mystical, if congenial Mr. Roarke. Elena shares some of her granduncle's mysterious vibe, though as conversations with Ruby and some guests show, she also brings heart to her hosting duties.

Rosalyn Sanchez, who plays Elena, made her first screen appearances on TV with recurring roles on "As the World Turns" and "Fame L.A." before earning her feature film debut in 1992's "Captain Ron," starring Kurt Russell. Her breakout screen role came as a Secret Service agent in "Rush Hour 2," which led to more screen time in films like "Basic," with John Travolta, and "Act of Valor." Sanchez also co-wrote and produced the 2006 indie "Yellow," about a student who becomes a stripper.

TV remained her highest-profile showcase: she won an ALMA award after joining "Without a Trace" in its fourth season, and starred in the "Desperate Housewives" spin-off "Devious Maids." Guest shots on "Grand Hotel" and "The Rookie" led to her casting as Elena Roarke in 2021.

John Gabriel Rodriguez is your ride to Fantasy Island

If you want to get to the new Fantasy Island, you need Javier. The resort's head of transportation, Javier handles flights coming onto and off the island, as well as any mechanical or repair issues that may arise once on solid ground. And speaking of issues: it seems that Javier and Elena Roarke shared a romantic past, and may have a chance at a similar future.

Actor John Gabriel Rodriguez plays the recurring role of Javier on "Fantasy Island." It's one of his largest roles to date: previous credits — for which he's been billed as either John Gabriel or John Rodriguez, in addition to his full name — have included numerous shorts and independent films, as well as minor roles in TV series and made-for-TV movies. Rodriguez's career appears to have gained some steam around 2013, when he landed a pair of guest shots as the witch Massak on "The Vampire Diaries." More episodic TV followed, including appearances on "NCIS" and "Rosewood," as well as a part in the 2016 sci-fi film "Allegiant," prior to joining the cast of "Fantasy Island."

Prodigal Son's Bellamy Young is a guest with taste

In the series' first episode, "Hungry Christine/Mel Loves Ruby," a TV newscaster has a curious request for Elena Roarke: she wants to eat to her heart's content, but not gain a pound. The wish is granted, but this being "Fantasy Island," it reveals a much deeper need than satiated hunger. One of those issues is to dispel the stigma of her verbally abusive stepfather (played by Rick Holmes), which is resolved in one of the most unusual moments in any version of "Fantasy Island."

Actress Bellamy Young plays hungry Christine in the episode, which allows her to flex her comic talents after years in straight and often tension-filled dramas. A former Broadway actress, Young got her start in the late '90s with a recurring role on the daytime soap "Another World." Guest shots on shows like "The X-Files" and "Castle" followed, as did recurring roles on "Scrubs," "CSI: Miami," and "Criminal Minds."

In 2011, Young gained her breakout role as First Lady/presidential nominee Melody Grant on "Scandal." The series earned her a Critics' Choice Television Award, as well as acting opportunities like "A Wrinkle in Time" with Reese Witherspoon. In 2019, she returned to series work on "Prodigal Son," starring Michael Sheen, which ran its course in 2021.

Fantasy Island gives Odette Annable an unexpected adventure

The second episode of "Fantasy Island" ("His and Hers/The Heartbreak Hotel") focuses in part on a successful married couple whose romantic lives are in the doldrums. Elena dispatches them on an adventure that causes them to switch bodies (!) in order to learn how they view each other from different perspectives and gain new appreciation for their relationship.

Actress Odette Annable joins her off-screen husband, Dave Annable, to play the adventurous pair in the "His and Hers" segment. Annable began her screen career at the age of five in "Kindergarten Cop," for which she was billed under her birth name, Odette Yustman. Minor roles in 2007's "Transformers" led to her breakout project, "Cloverfield," which cast her as a twenty-something separated from her boyfriend by a monster's assault on New York City.

The success of "Cloverfield" led Annable to a star turn in the supernatural thriller "The Unborn" and ensemble work with Kristen Bell, Sigourney Weaver, and Jamie Lee Curtis in "You Again." After marrying Dave Annable in 2010, she worked largely in television, with series regular roles on "House," "The Astronaut Wives Club" and "Supergirl" as supervillain Reign. In 2021, Annable also appeared in a recurring role on another reboot: the "Walker, Texas Ranger" revamp "Walker."

Dave Annable co-starred with his real-life spouse

Real-life marrieds Odette and Dave Annable play the body-swapping couple in "His and Hers." The pair, who recently reconciled after a nine-month split, previously appeared together in the 2016 Freeform movie "No Sleep 'Til Christmas." Like his wife, Dave Annable is a TV veteran who has starred in such series as "Brothers and Sisters," "666 Park Avenue," and the cult favorite "Red Band Society." In 2019, he co-starred in the TV miniseries "What/If."

Annable got his on-screen start in commercials before moving on to guest roles on television series. A brief run in feature films — most notably "Little Black Book" with the late Brittany Murphy — preceded his first stint as a series regular on the short-lived mystery series "Reunion."

Annable is also a frequent guest star on other series, including "Yellowstone" and "This is Us." His feature film credits include the 2011 comedy "What's Your Number?" with Anna Faris and Chris Evans, and the WWE Studios production "Armed Response," with Wesley Snipes.

Melrose Place alum Josie Bissett is an island guest

Episode 6 of the new "Fantasy Island," which is titled "The Big Five Oh," follows a single-track storyline, though its plot carries slightly less freight than its guest stars. The premise — about three longtime friends who travel to the island to celebrate their 50th birthdays — is enlivened by the presence of Josie Bissett, Laura Leighton, and Daphne Zuniga as the trio, which makes the episode as close to a "Melrose Place" reunion as possible.

Josie Bissett, who plays Camille in "The Big Five Oh," was Jane Andrews/Mancini on five and a half seasons of "Melrose Place" before taking off time in the 1996-97 season after a real-life health issue. She returned to the show for its final season in 1998, and later reprised Jane for the CW's revival of "Melrose Place" in 2009.

Between "Melrose" assignments, Bissett has also enjoyed recurring roles on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" and "When Calls the Heart," as well as guest appearances on "Law & Order: Special Victim Unit," among other series. She's hosted several specials on parenting, and co-edited two books on advice for parents. Bissett is also a longtime advocate for breast cancer awareness.

Laura Leighton joins her Melrose castmates

Joining Josie Bissett on "The Big Five Oh" is fellow "Melrose Place" alum Laura Leighton, who plays Nettie on the "Fantasy Island" episode. Leighton is best known for her Golden Globe-nominated turn on "Melrose" as the doomed Sydney Andrews, who departed the Fox series in Season 5 when she was struck by a car shortly after marrying David Charvet's Craig. In real life, Leighton married her "Melrose" co-star, Doug Savant, shortly after departing the series.

Sydney appeared to return from the dead for the CW revival of "Melrose," which cast her as the landlord of the property. Between these appearances, Leighton also played actress Sophie Burns in six episodes of the "Melrose" sister series, "Beverly Hills 90210."

In 2007, Leighton returned to primetime as the mother of Ashley Benson's Hanna Marin on "Pretty Little Liars." She's also made numerous guest appearances on series like "The Outer Limits" and "CSI: Miami," and co-starred in the underrated Western horror film "The Burrowers".

Daphne Zuniga makes it a Melrose trifecta

Completing the "Melrose Place" triple header on "The Big Five Oh" is actress Daphne Zuniga, who played Jo Reynolds in the first four seasons of the primetime soap. Zuniga later played Jo in the pilot for the short-lived "Melrose" spin-off, "Models, Inc." and reprised the character in two episodes of the 2009 revival.

Zuniga made her screen debut in the low-budget 1982 slasher film "The Dorm That Dripped Blood," but would wait another three years before earning her breakout role as John Cusack's reluctant travel partner in Rob Reiner's well-loved comedy "The Sure Thing." Zuniga enjoyed leading lady status for much of the 1980s, appearing in Mel Brooks' cult sci-fi comedy "Spaceballs," as well as "The Fly II" and "Gross Anatomy."

Zuniga worked extensively on television after her "Melrose" days, including recurring roles on "One Tree Hill" and "American Dreams." In 2007, she made her directorial debut as co-director of "The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED" about the organization behind the TED Talks. Zuniga later produced the 2010 Hallmark TV-movie "A Family Thanksgiving" and helmed the thriller "Deadly Assistant" for Lifetime in 2019.

Soap vet Debbi Morgan appears and disappears

Episode 3 ("Quantum Entanglement") offers a different take on the "Fantasy Island" story format: it focuses on a single storyline that unites two island guests whose wishes come together to bring both of them happiness. Eileen is one-half of the episode's equation: a mother whose estrangement from her family has rendered her literally invisible to them.

Soap fans know Debbi Morgan, who plays Eileen, for her long, Emmy-winning run as Angie Baxter Hubbard on "All My Children." Morgan has moved between daytime and primetime throughout her career, which has encompassed stints on "Generations" and "Loving" as well as appearances in "Roots: The Next Generation," "Boston Public," and more recently, the Starz drama "Power."

In addition to her TV work, Morgan has also enjoyed supporting roles in a number of features, including "Eve's Bayou," which earned her an Independent Spirit Award. Other film roles include "She's All That," "The Hurricane," and "Coach Carter."

Cliff Chamberlain makes a quantum leap for love

The other half of "Quantum Entanglement" is Cliff Chamberlain's Charles, a physics professor who feels burnt out by his academic pursuits. Though doubtful that Elena Roarke can do anything to improve his lot in life, the island shows him that the missing component in his equation is someone to care for — like Eileen (Debbi Morgan), who wants to mend fences with her estranged family. Their mutual need for a deeper connection ultimately brings them together.

A member of Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chamberlain has been a frequent guest or supporting actor in series and indie films since the early 2000s. He's probably best known for recurring roles on series like "State of Affairs" and "Law & Order: True Detective" (as LA detective Tom Linehan). He later played the much-loathed CIA station chief Mike Dunne on "Homeland," and malpractice lawyer Rich Crowley in "Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story." Chamberlain has also enjoyed a recurring stint on the Netflix comedy "The Chair," with Sandra Oh.

Francois Chau hides his heartbreak

Among the intriguing twists on the new "Fantasy Island" is the idea that guests can stay for extended periods of time, if their fantasy warrants it. One such longtime resident is Brent, who in Episode 3 is revealed to have been on the island for more than three decades. The reason for his semi-permanent stay is a tragic one — he wanted to stay asleep in order to avoid experiencing the pain and loss after his wife's death — but Elena and Ruby help Brent face his emotions and consider returning to his old life.

Veteran actor Francois Chau plays Brent in "His and Hers/The Heartbreak Hotel." He began his screen career in the mid-1980s, voicing characters for animated series like "G.I. Joe" (he was Quick Kick). Live-action roles on "Hill Street Blues," "Baywatch," and "MacGyver" followed, as well as parts in feature films like "Rapid Fire" with Brandon Lee. Chau moved up to recurring roles on TV, most notably as the Dharma Initiative scientist Pierre Chang on "Lost" and as Julie Mao's father, Jules-Pierre, on "The Expanse."

Chau later played Arthur's stepfather, Walter, on "The Tick," before enjoying a string of motion picture roles, including a mob boss in "Birds of Prey" and the voice of a soldier in Disney's animated "Raya and the Last Dragon."

It's a soap reunion for Adain Bradley

Adain Bradley played the youthful version of Ruby's husband, Mel Akuda, in the series opener, "Hungry Christine/Mel Loves Ruby." Though his role is secondary, Bradley is also given a portion of the episode's emotional weight to bear — it's his version of Mel that allows Ruby (Kiara Barnes) to see the full scope of her life, including a long-hidden romance, and influences her decision to remain behind on the island with Elena Roarke.

The Kansas-born Bradley previously appeared opposite Kiara Barnes when the pair played a romantic couple on the long-running daytime soap "The Bold and the Beautiful." Prior to that role, Bradley worked on stage and in short films before earning his big break as high school football player Trev Brown on "Riverdale." That trio of appearances was followed by roles on several short-lived series before his year-long stint on "The Bold and the Beautiful."

When his tenure on the soap ran its course, Bradley made his feature film debut in the reboot of the backwoods horror franchise "Wrong Turn." He then returned to TV, tackling another football player for the CW's "All-American" before signing on for his "Fantasy Island" guest shot.

Rick Holmes bites off more than he can chew

Though the Episode 1 segment "Hungry Christine" is essentially light-hearted, there's an emotional streak that runs underneath its humorous premise. To help Bellamy Young's Christine understand her wish to eat with abandon and not gain weight, Elena transports her back to her childhood in a trailer park. There, the teenage Christine is terrorized by her mother's cruel stepfather, who mocks her physical appearance.

Handling the unpleasant role of Christine's stepfather, Landon, is character actor Rick Holmes. A prolific TV guest star since the mid-1990s, Holmes — who was also billed as Rick Vincent Holmes — made appearances on various "Law and Order" franchise titles and other series in the 2000s. His screen work appears to have picked up in the last decade with guest shots on "Atlanta," "Modern Family," and "The Punisher."

Between TV assignments, Holmes has also appeared in several features, including Steven Spielberg's "The Post." More recently, he earned recurring roles on several high-profile series, including the Emmy-winning "Fosse/Vernon" and "Dead to Me."