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Why The Shopkeeper From 1883 Looks So Familiar

Seeing as "Yellowstone," created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson, is one of the most popular shows on television right now, it was only a matter of time until it got a spinoff. Thus, its prequel series, titled "1883," premiered on December 19, 2021, and is slated to air its season finale on February 26, 2022. The prequel follows James Dutton (Tim McGraw) — the great-grandfather of John Dutton (Kevin Costner) of "Yellowstone" — and his family as they move to Montana to begin their ranch, aka the ranch that eventually becomes the largest ranch in the state, Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. The series also stars Faith Hill, Sam Elliott, Isabel May, and Eric Nelsen.

The series also features a slew of supporting characters and actors in guest arcs, such as the shopkeeper named Carolyn, who showed up in the most recent episode, "Boring the Devil." Carolyn is the storekeeper of Doan's Crossing, which is located right at the border of Texas and Oklahoma. Margaret (Hill) meets Carolyn when she steps into Doan's Crossing and the two bond over drinks.

While watching the episode, you may have thought that Carolyn looks a bit familiar and wondered where you've seen her before. Actor Rita Wilson portrayed the storekeeper, in what is the latest in a long list of her roles. Wilson has been working as an actor since the early 1970s and has racked up over 80 acting credits. Here's a rundown of some of Wilson's most notable roles — and why she looks so familiar.

Wilson began with guest roles on popular TV shows

Wilson's first acting role ever was in 1972 when she guest-starred on "The Brady Bunch" as a character named Pat Conway (via IMDb). Pat is a peer of two of the Brady kids, Marcia (Maureen McCormick) and Greg (Barry Williams). In the episode, titled "Greg's Triangle," Pat and Marcia end up competing against each other to become the head cheerleader of the school's squad, with Greg being one of the voters. Despite Greg having a bias toward his stepsister, Marcia — as well as toward his girlfriend, who is also competing — he votes for Pat, securing her the position.

A decade later, in 1982, Wilson appeared in two episodes of "M*A*S*H" as Nurse Lacey. Nurse Lacey is supposed to go out on a date with Hawkeye (Alan Alda), but ends up backing out and going for a drink with Clayton Kibbee (Gene Evans) instead.

The following year, she had a one-episode arc in "Three's Company" as a character named Agnes Platt. In the episode, "Alias Jack Tripper," Agnes is an old childhood friend of Jack's (John Ritter), with who he is supposed to meet up. However, when Jack realizes that he has a date with a different woman booked for the same time that he is supposed to meet with Agnes, he sends Larry (Richard Kline), pretending to be Jack, on the date with Agnes to solve the scheduling problem. This backfires when Larry, as "Jack," and Agnes hit it off, ultimately leading to Jack's deception coming to light.

Wilson continued on to supporting film roles with Sleepless in Seattle and Jingle All the Way

Following these guest roles in popular TV shows, Wilson moved on to taking on supporting roles in popular films, such as Nora Ephron's 1993 romantic comedy, "Sleepless in Seattle" — which just so happens to star Wilson's real-life husband, Tom Hanks. However, in the film, Wilson plays the sister, Suzy, to Hanks' character, Sam. In a pivotal scene, Sam's potential love interest, Annie (Meg Ryan), sees Sam and Suzy together and assumes Suzy must be his girlfriend.

Additionally, in 1996, Wilson starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Christmas film "Jingle All the Way." Wilson plays Liz Langston, the wife to Howard (Schwarzenegger), who had asked Howard to buy their son the Turbo-Man action figures weeks prior. However, Howard forgot, leading him on the night-before-Christmas chase to retrieve the toy. Meanwhile, Liz is pursued by their divorced neighbor Ted Maltin (Phil Hartman), whom Liz rejects despite the fact that Howard is a workaholic without much time for his family. In the post-credits scene, when Liz asks Howard what he got her for a gift, he realizes that in the haste to get their kid's toy, he forgot to get Liz something.

In a 2020 interview, Wilson joked about how naive her character was in "Jingle All the Way" when Liz doesn't recognize her husband in the Turbo-Man costume. She told Insider, "Why did my character not know that her husband Howard, who talks like [Arnold Schwarzenegger] and is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, was Turbo-Man. How did she not know that?"

Wilson then had guest arcs in Frasier and Curb Your Enthusiasm

Returning to notable television roles, Wilson appeared in two episodes of the NBC sitcom "Frasier" in 1999 and 2001. In the first episode, titled "Momma Mia," Wilson plays two roles — Frasier's (Kelsey Grammer) mother, Hester, in a flashback scene, as well as a woman named Mia Preston, who Frasier begins to date without realizing she's the exact lookalike of his late mother. Two seasons later, Wilson returned to portray Frasier's late mother, Hester, once again, in "Don Juan in Hell: Part 2." In this episode, Frasier, confused about a romantic conundrum, imagines all of his major exes in the same room together — as well as his late mother, Hester — to discuss his love life.

Also in 2001, Wilson made a guest appearance on another popular sitcom, Larry David's long-running HBO series, "Curb Your Enthusiasm." In the episode, titled "The Doll," Larry pitches a new series to an ABC executive, Lane Michaelson (Zach Grenier), and soon attends dinner at Lane's house. There, he accidentally traumatizes Lane's daughter when he cuts off the hair of her doll after she asked him to, not realizing it wouldn't grow back. For the rest of the episode, Larry must try to make things right with Lane's daughter, often having to confront Lane's angry wife, Anne, played by Wilson.

Wilson showed up on The Good Wife

Wilson had a recurring role as Viola Walsh on the legal drama "The Good Wife" from 2011 to 2014. Viola, a West Coast lawyer, is an old friend of Diane Lockheart (Christine Baranski). The first time we see Viola, in "Net Worth," Viola asks for Diane's help in a case involving a billionaire and an unflattering film made about his life. Wilson appears in a total of six episodes.

The actress discussed her guest arc on "The Good Wife" in a 2012 interview with Parade. Interviewer Kate Meyers asked Wilson if it was fun to play a "nasty" character that is so different from Wilson's real-life personality. Wilson responded, "You have no idea! That's why I took the role. I've played so many moms, best friends, sisters, and understanding people. I said, 'Is there nobody out there I can play who's kind of cranky?' About a week later, 'The Good Wife' came up, and I was like, I'm in!'"

Wilson had a recurring arc on HBO's Girls

From 2013 to 2017, Wilson had a recurring arc on the HBO series "Girls," which follows the messy lives of four millennial women in New York City. Wilson played Evie Michaels, the mother of one of the main characters, Marnie (Allison Williams). Evie, much like Viola Walsh on "The Good Wife" also has plenty of "nasty" or "cranky" moments. Throughout her seven-episode arc, Evie and Marnie have quite the contentious relationship, frequently butting heads about everything from how Marnie handles stress to how Evie wants Marnie to treat her like a friend rather than her mother. In one of her final appearances on the series, in the final season, Marnie blames her failed marriage on the way that Evie raised her; Evie easily brushes off all of Marnie's harsh comments.

Ahead of her first appearance on the show in 2013, Wilson spoke to Us Weekly about her time working on "Girls." She said, "[Filming] was a blast. It's just one episode this season, but I hope there's room for [my character] to grow!"

Luckily, fans got to see Wilson's character several more times throughout the show's run. And when it ended, Wilson had nothing but high praise for the series finale. During an interview on Watch What Happens Live, Wilson said, "I loved [the finale] ... I just thought it was a great, sort of real process of what would have happened in these girls' lives."