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

Actors You Forgot Appeared In The Scream Franchise

The "Scream" series is one of the most iconic and highest-grossing horror franchises in history (per Forbes). The first "Scream" film was released in 1996, raking in over $100 million at the box office (per Box Office Mojo) and further solidifying the fame of stars like Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette. This was followed by "Scream 2" in 1997, "Scream 3" in 2000, "Scream 4" in 2011, and "Scream" in 2022, as well as a three-season television series originally aired on MTV. For years, Ghostface costumes were everywhere, becoming a Halloween staple. Even Budweiser got in on the fun with a "Scream"-inspired series of commercials in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Part of the appeal of "Scream" is its dark humor, poking fun at the cliches of horror movies, while still managing to be legitimately scary. This is due in no small part to the actors who have helped maintain the legendary brand. But rather than focus on the obvious stars, we want to highlight some people you may have forgotten appeared in the franchise.

Portia de Rossi

While she is now retired from acting and best known for her high-profile marriage to Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi had a substantial Hollywood career for many years. And though her most notable work has been in television –- on shows such as "Ally McBeal," "Arrested Development," "Nip/Tuck," "Better Off Ted," and "Scandal" — de Rossi also has a number of films on her resume, including "Sirens," "Stigmata," and "The Invisibles."

The Australian actress appeared in a number of horror films, including the 2005 film "Cursed," a movie that, like "Scream," was directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson. In fact, it is likely that de Rossi's brief appearance in "Scream 2" earned her the role in "Cursed." In "Scream 2," de Rossi portrays a sorority girl named Murphy, one of the leaders of Delta Lambda Zeta. She spends most of her screen time partnered with Rebecca Gayheart, who plays her sorority sister Lois. Both Murphy and Lois survive the copycat killer, though, evidently, they did not make enough of an impact to make an appearance in "Scream 3" or beyond.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

While Murphy and Lois survive "Scream 2," not all of their Delta Lambda Zeta sisters are so lucky. In fact, Sarah Michelle Gellar's Cici Cooper has one of the first deaths in the film, killed third after Phil Stephens (Omar Epps) and Maureen Evans (Jada Pinkett Smith). A student at Windsor College, CiCi is murdered when Ghostface finds her alone in the sorority house. He chases her, throws her through a glass door, then stabs her in the back before chucking her off the balcony for good measure.

Gellar was an established star at the time, and "Scream 2" is just one notch on Gellar's belt when it comes to the horror genre. In addition to her starring role in the famed show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Gellar has also appeared in the spooky classics "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "The Grudge," "The Grudge 2," and "The Return."

Omar Epps

Actor Omar Epps portrays Phil Stevens in "Scream 2," who has the sad honor of being the first death in the film. The opening of "Scream 2" is set at the premiere of "Stab," the movie-within-a-movie based upon the events of the Woodsboro murders in the first film. Phil is attending the movie with his girlfriend Maureen Evans (Jada Pinkett Smith). Ghostface corners Phil when he goes to the bathroom, stabbing him through the ear in a bathroom stall. Ghostface then takes Phil's place in the theater and hacks his girlfriend to death in front of a crowd that thinks it's all a publicity stunt. It's one of the more memorable death sequences in "Scream" history.

Epps was a relatively minor star when "Scream 2" was released in 1997. He had appeared in films such as "Major League II" and "The Program," but had yet to really break out. In the years since, he has made a name for himself in both television and film. On the TV front, his most noteworthy work has been on "House," where he played Dr. Eric Foreman in 174 episodes. He also had main roles on "Resurrection" and "Shooter." On the film side of things, Epps is known for movies like "Love & Basketball," "The Wood," and the Wes Craven-produced "Dracula 2000."

Patrick Warburton

At the point that Patrick Warburton shows up in 2000's "Scream 3," he was best known to audiences as Elaine's doofus boyfriend David Puddy on "Seinfeld." Since then, he has greatly expanded his career, both in front of the camera and as a voice actor. In the 2000s, he had starring roles in the sitcoms "Less Than Perfect" and "Rules of Engagement," and more recently played Lemony Snicket in Netflix's "A Series of Unfortunate Events." Warburton's film credits include "Ted" and "Movie 43," and he is also an accomplished voice actor. His most notable voice role has been Joe Swanson on "Family Guy," though he is also known for voicing characters in "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command," "The Venture Bros," and "The Emperor's New Groove."

In "Scream 3," Warburton plays Steven Stone, a bodyguard for actress Jennifer Jolie (Parker Posey), who portrays Gale Weathers in the "Stab" movies. He is killed while circling Jennifer's home to ensure her safety — stabbed in the back and also bludgeoned with a frying pan. Somehow he manages to make it to the door of Jennifer's house before collapsing on the floor in front of those he sought to warn.

Patrick Dempsey

Patrick Dempsey is known as "McDreamy" to most television fans, but five years before he and his perfect hair took over Seattle Grace Hospital on "Grey's Anatomy," the actor starred in "Scream 3" as Mark Kincaid. Mark is a detective tasked with investigating the murders surrounding the cast of "Stab 3," assigned to the case after Cotton Weary (Live Schrieber) and his girlfriend are found dead. While he is stabbed in the chest after pushing Sidney (Neve Campbell) out of the line of fire, Mark survives "Scream 3," although he is not featured in "Scream 4."

Best known for "Grey's Anatomy," Dempsey has been working in Hollywood since the mid-1980s. His noteworthy films pre-"Scream 3" include "Can't Buy Me Love," "Some Girls," "Loverboy," and "With Honors." Since then, he has starred in films such as "Made of Honor," "Enchanted," and "Bridget Jones's Baby." Dempsey left "Grey's Anatomy" in 2015 but returned for a short arc during the coronavirus pandemic (despite his character being dead).

Adam Brody

Aside from Dewey (David Arquette), detectives are pretty disposable in the "Scream" universe. In "Scream 4," one of the officers, Ross Hoss, is played by none other than the lovable Adam Brody. Deputy Hoss is a Woodsboro agent assigned to protect Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and her young cousin Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts). In a surprise twist, it is actually Jill — as Ghostface — who kills Deputy Hoss, stabbing him in the back while his partner looks helplessly on.

Although Brody is arguably best known for his work as Seth Cohen on "The OC", he has also appeared on "Gilmore Girls," "The League," "StartUp," and "Single Parents," alongside his real-life wife Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf of "Gossip Girl" fame). Brody has had film roles in everything from "Thank You For Smoking" to "Shazam!," and has more than his fair share of horror cred, having appeared in "Jennifer's Body" and "Ready or Not."

Anthony Anderson

Deputy Ross Hoss does not work alone in "Scream 4" — the officer has a partner, Anthony Perkins, who witnesses his murder before being stabbed and killed himself. When Hoss comes back to their shared cop car after making rounds to find Perkins slumped over the steering wheel, he is relieved to learn that Perkins was just playing a joke on him. "You should've seen the look on your face, rookie," he laughs. But the relief is short-lived, as Hoss is immediately gutted before Ghostface turns the blade on Perkins, beginning with a stab to the forehead.

Perkins is played by Anthony Anderson, the acclaimed star of "Black-ish." Anderson was nominated for 11 Primetime Emmy awards for his work as an actor and producer on "Black-ish." Prior to "Scream 4," Anderson was known for shows like "The Shield" and "All About the Andersons," as well as movies such as "Barbershop," "Malibu's Most Wanted," and "The Departed." He also starred in two of the "Scary Movie" films, which satirize "Scream" and other slasher flicks.

Laurie Metcalf

Some of the most fun characters in horror films are the ones who pretend to be someone else, only to have their true identity revealed in dramatic fashion. One example is "Scream 2" character Debbie Salt, who is introduced as an overzealous reporter with a professional crush on Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox). She pops up here and there in the film, but we never register her much. Later, we find out that Debbie Salt is actually Debbie Loomis — the estranged mother of Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), one of the killers from the first film. Debbie leaves her son when she finds out her husband is having an affair with Maureen Prescott — Sidney's mother — but returns to the grid to avenge his death.

Debbie is killed at the end of "Scream 2," typical for a "Scream" film. She is shot in the head and neck, killed by Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber) and Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell). The role is filled by acting legend Laurie Metcalf, the Oscar-nominated star of "Lady Bird" and iconic Aunt Jackie on "Roseanne," for which she has won multiple Emmy Awards. Metcalf is also known for her roles in "Desperately Seeking Susan," "Uncle Buck," "JFK," and "The Norm Show," as well as for playing Sheldon's uber-religious mother on "The Big Bang Theory."

Jerry O'Connell

Jerry O'Connell's career started when he was a child, and you may still remember him as the chunky kid from "Stand by Me." In the years following that iconic Rob Reiner film, O'Connell appeared in fare such as "Calendar Girl," "Joe's Apartment," and the TV series "Sliders." Then, in 1997, he appeared in "Scream 2" as Sidney Prescott's boyfriend Derek Feldman. Derek is a frat boy who Sidney mistakes for the killer after one of the actual killers — Mickey Altiere (Timothy Olyphant) — claims him as an accomplice. "I would never hurt you," says Derek, after Mickey shoots him in the chest.

O'Connell has starred in many films and television shows since "Scream 2," including a leading role on "Crossing Jordan." His notable film credits include "Body Shots," "Kangaroo Jack," and "Scary Movie 5." He has also appeared in a few other horror films, including "Room 6" and "Satanic Panic," but comedy seems to be his real forte. Interestingly, like "Scream 2" star Laurie Metcalf, O'Connell has also appeared as a relative of Sheldon Cooper on "The Big Bang Theory."

Kelly Rutherford

Actress Kelly Rutherford is best known for her work as a television mom, most famously as Lily van der Woodsen on the original "Gossip Girl." Her other television credits include "Melrose Place," "Dynasty," and "Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionist." Rutherford has never had a particularly prolific film career, so "Scream 3" remains one of her top-grossing films to date. She plays Christine Hamilton in the film, and is the first person to die in the 2000 meta-slasher.

Christine is notable for being the girlfriend of Cotton Weary (Liev Schrieber), who is mistakenly sent to jail for the rape and murder of Sidney Prescott's (Neve Campbell) mother Maureen before the events of the first "Scream" film. Cotton survives "Scream" and "Scream 2," only to succumb to Ghostface in "Scream 3," just after Christine goes down. Confused by Cotton and the actual killer, Christine is stabbed in the back after hitting Cotton with a golf club, believing him to be Ghostface.

Scott Foley

"Scream 3" has a lot of celebrity stars you may have forgotten about: Everyone from Parker Posey to Emily Mortimer to Jenny McCarthy. But "Felicity" and "Dawson's Creek" fans may have been especially excited to see Scott Foley, who plays killer Roman Bridger. It's an especially fun role for Foley, given his boy-next-door persona in many of his television roles. He has gone darker in years since — especially on the hit show "Scandal," where his character goes truly off the rails — but "Scream 3" was our first chance to see Foley play a true villain.

Foley's Roman is a director introduced in "Scream 3," but it is later revealed that he has actually served as the mastermind for the murders since the first film. His motive was pretty straightforward: As the abandoned son of Maureen Prescott, who was raped at a party as a young woman, Roman seeks revenge on his half-sister Sidney (Neve Campbell). His mother rejects him when he comes knocking as an adult, and it is revealed that his video footage of Maureen's affair with Hank Loomis convinces "Scream" killer Billy (Skeet Ulrich) to go on a murder spree in the first place. Roman is killed at the end of "Scream 3" after trying to frame Sidney for the murders. Sidney stabs him with an ice pick and, when he comes up for one final scare, Dewey (David Arquette) shoots him multiple times.

Alison Brie

Like its predecessors, "Scream 4" has plenty of star power. But one face that might surprise you is that of Alison Brie, who was not quite a household name when the film came out in 2011. At the time, she was on "Community," and had the recurring role of Trudy on "Mad Men." She has since gained fame for her voice work on "BoJack Horseman," her starring role in the Netflix series "GLOW," and performances in films like "How to Be Single" and "Promising Young Woman."

Brie portrays Sidney Prescott's publicist and personal assistant Rebecca Walters in "Scream 4," and she actually gets a wonderful death sequence. Her death comes just after her firing; Sidney is fed up with Rebecca's attitude and the fact that she has not even read the book they're promoting. She gets a call from Ghostface as she is walking in the hospital parking garage and, despite the horror movie cliché, climbs into her car anyway. Ghostface turns out to be on the roof and stabs Rebecca in the stomach as she is running back to the elevator. She is later thrown off the roof, landing on a news van.

Nico Tortorella

Nico Tortorella had only been acting onscreen for two years when they appeared as Trevor Sheldon in "Scream 4," with minor roles on "The Beautiful Life" and "Make It Or Break It." They have since catapulted to fame on "The Following," "Younger," and "The Walking Dead: World Beyond." They have also appeared as Lyle Menendez in "Menendez: Blood Brothers," and in films like "Hunter&Game" and "Fluidity."

Trevor is a key character in "Scream 4," the ex-boyfriend of Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts). Trevor is said to have dated and slept with Jill before dumping her for someone else, although to be fair, this information is coming from a less than reliable source. Jill — not Ghostface — kills Trevor, tying him up with tape and shooting him in the crotch and forehead. He is the 12th death in "Scream 4" and the final main character to die before Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin) and Jill Roberts.

Henry Winkler

One of the biggest unsung celebrities in "Scream" is none other than "The Fonz" himself, Henry Winkler. Though his role in the first "Scream" is minor, Winkler is nonetheless memorable as Principal Arthur Himbry. He is shown assisting authorities who are investigating the murders of students Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) and Steve Orth (Kevin Patrick Walls). We also see him playing around with a confiscated Ghostface mask in the bathroom mirror, despite expelling two students for bringing the mask to school one scene earlier. Himbry is later killed in his office, stabbed three times by Ghostface, then hanged from the goalpost on the Woodsboro High School football field.

As previously mentioned, Winkler is best known for the iconic role of Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli, which he played on "Laverne & Shirley" and "Happy Days." He also voiced the character on "The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang" and "Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour." In more recent years, Winkler has won acclaim for his work on the TV series "Arrested Development" and "Barry," the latter of which earned him his first career Emmy Award back in 2018.