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Famous Actors You Forgot Showed Up On House M.D.

It's been years since one of the most popular medical dramas ended on television. David Shore's "House M.D." was a fan favorite for several reasons. It showcased a painstakingly accurate depiction of medical professionals, and its writing was sharp, focused, and funny, always evoking interest by presenting the most unusual cases of various patients. Yet that wouldn't have been so effective and entertaining without a strong cast. Hugh Laurie's genius as Dr. Gregory House was on full display here. He'd been one of the primary reasons the show maintained its quality during its long run, however, the rest of the crew were just as essential for making the series as successful as it had been.

Given the TV program's formula, we got to see new patients every week played by different actors. For eight years, "House M.D." featured many remarkable and famous guest stars. Here, we gathered some of the most noteworthy appearances by prestigious actors who you might've forgotten showed up in the series.

Jeremy Renner

In Season 4, Episode 9, "Games," House picks up a patient from the Emergency Room, who's a burned-out, middle-aged, punk rock star with years of alcohol and drug abuse behind him. His name is Jimmy, and he's played by none other than one of the Avengers himself, Jeremy Renner. The actor's portrayal of him is especially memorable since his odd and self-destructive behavior evokes an interest in House. Jimmy cares more about his music than he cares about life or death. He leads a lifestyle with no regrets, and that's not easy for House and his employees to rationalize. Interestingly, Renner also guest-starred in Louis C.K.'s television series, "Louie," portraying a morally bankrupt and abusive drug dealer.

Apart from his famous blockbuster role as Hawkeye, Renner played in many critically acclaimed and commercially successful films. He was in Ben Affleck's heist flick, "The Town," Taylor Sheridan's crime-drama, "Wind River," and Kathryn Bigelow's war feature, "The Hurt Locker" — for which he was nominated for an Oscar as the lead in 2010. His performance is truly a highlight of Season 4 as far as guest appearances go.

Andre Braugher

Andre Braugher's fame exploded after 2013 when Dan Goor and Michael Schur's sitcom, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," became a hit. Yet before that, he appeared in many acclaimed movies and TV shows, too. One of which was Season 6 of "House M.D.," where he played the titular character's therapist and treating physician at Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital. Although he only showed up in three episodes throughout the season, his role was crucial in House's recovery over the course of one year. The therapy sessions between the two helped the viewers understand the diagnostician's struggle with constant pain and addiction.

Throughout his career, Braugher appeared in the 1989 Oscar-winning historical war drama, "Glory," Frank Darabont's highly praised sci-fi horror, "The Mist," and Gregory Hoblit's cult classic sci-fi, "Frequency." He also has an impressive list of roles in dozens of tv shows such as "Homicide: Life on the Street," "Last Resort," "Men of a Certain Age," and many more. He was nominated 11 times for an Emmy, from which he had won the award twice for his portrayal in "Thief" and "Homicide: Life on the Street."

Mira Sorvino

Mira Sorvino was a huge fan of David Shore's drama ever since its premiere. In a 2008 interview with ET, she said, "I'm a crazy 'House' fan. Everything about it just drew me in every week and continues to do so." She also praised the show's lead, saying, "Hugh is so fantastic. I met him at the Golden Globes three years ago... and I just started gushing about how much I loved the show. And I think I might have frightened him." That explains why she took the opportunity to appear in the 4th season of "House."

In Season 4, Episode 11, "Frozen," Sorvino plays Dr. Cate Milton, a researcher and psychiatrist who's stuck at the South Pole. When she develops a peculiar and deadly illness, House gets involved and tries to diagnose and cure her through a webcam from his office. Understandably, the episode became a favorite among fans and set a rating record when it first aired after the 2018 Super Bowl.

Sorvino won the Oscar in 1996 for her supporting role in Woody Allen's "Mighty Aphrodite" and was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy for her leading role in the TV movie "Norma Jean & Marilyn."

James Earl Jones

In Season 6, Episode 3, "The Tyrant," James Earl Jones plays a ruthless African dictator, president Dibala. He's the most controversial and powerful person House and his team ever treated. His involvement is consequential in the arc of Chase (Jesse Spencer) and Cameron's (Jennifer Morrison) relationship, and the moral repercussions of treating a mass-murderer effects the diagnostic team heavily on several levels. Eventually, Dibala dies of a treatment that one of his doctors gave him, purposely committing murder while masking it as the cause of his illness. His performance as a cruel, paranoid, and aggressive leader is a terrifyingly impressive portrayal.

James Earl Jones is as legendary an actor as it gets when it comes to pop culture. Among various exceptional acting roles, he was the voice of Darth Vader in "Star Wars" and Mufasa in "The Lion King." In 1971, he was nominated for an Oscar for his leading role in Martin Ritt's sports drama, "The Great White Hope."

Leighton Meester

Before Leighton Meester's popularity skyrocketed with Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz's teen soap series, "Gossip Girl," the actress guest-starred in many long-running television shows. Besides appearing in "24," "7th Heaven," and "Veronica Mars," she played a teenager in Season 3 of "House M.D." Her character, Ali, is a 17-year-old obsessed with the narcissistic doctor. In "Lines in the Sand" and "Informed Consent," she tries to seduce House with not much success. Although he finds her attraction flattering, he's never serious about pursuing any kind of relationship with her — even if she turns 18 in a few months. He rather uses this pseudo-romance between the two to annoy Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein), who threatens the young woman with a restraining order if she doesn't stop calling and showing up unexpectedly at the hospital.

Meester played in a variety of films and television shows in the last 20 years. Released earlier in March, she plays the lead in Kim Farrant's Netflix movie, "The Weekend Away." Meester is also a singer, songwriter, model, and she had her debut on Broadway in the adaptation of "Of Mice and Men" in 2014.

Mos Def

Season 5, Episode 19, "Locked In," is shot and told from the perspective of a patient called Lee (portrayed by Hip-Hop legend and actor Mos Def). Lee suffered an accident in a small town and got paralyzed to the extent that he lost his ability to communicate. His rare syndrome gets noticed by House, who lays next to him in a hospital bed after a minor motorcycle mishap. He discovers that Lee is very much there and can only communicate by blinking. Once he manages to convince Lee's doctor about the condition, he transfers him to Princeton Plainsboro where he and his team begin treating him — and eventually solve his case.

Before his fruitful and influential music career, Mos Def (real name Dante Terrell Smith) began his stardom as a child actor, appearing in movies, TV programs, and plays. As an adult, he returned to both the small and the big screen, acting in such acclaimed films as the award-winning "Monster's Ball," "The Italian Job," "16 Blocks," and more. He had a recurring role in Showtime's fan-favorite drama series, "Dexter," in which he played Brother Sam — an ex-convict and shop owner who turned to religion after his release. Mos Def was nominated for an Emmy for his leading role in Joseph Sargent's 2004 biopic drama, "Something the Lord Made."

Amanda Seyfried

In Season 1, Episode 11, "Detox," House treats a young guy, Keith (Nicholas D'Agosto), whose girlfriend, Pam (Amanda Seyfried), is a natural troublemaker. When she takes Keith and his dad's Porsche for a ride, he starts coughing up blood — which distracts her, and they almost crash the vehicle two times. Later on, Keith gets hospitalized with a mysterious sickness, and Pam visits him every day. Even though his dad doesn't really like Pam — he thinks she has a bad influence on his son — she stays supportive all along, until House diagnoses and cures her boyfriend.

After her role on "House M.D.," Seyfried went on to appear in such critically and commercially successful films as Nick Cassavetes's "Alpha Dog," "Mamma Mia!," "Chloe," and Tom Hooper's Oscar-winning musical, "Les Misérables." She was nominated for an Academy Award for a Supporting Role in David Fincher's biopic, "Mank," in 2020. Currently, she portrays Elizabeth Holmes in Elizabeth Meriwether's limited drama series, "The Dropout," which is based on Rebecca Jarvis's podcast of the same name. It's about the disgraced biotechnology entrepreneur who was convicted of criminal fraud.

Franka Potente

Season 6 is a huge turning point in House's character arc. It's the first time the egocentric doctor accepts to face his addiction and the mental struggles he'd put off for years. He admits himself into a psychiatric hospital to get better. During his 2-months-long stay, he meets a regular visitor, Lydia (Franka Potente), a close friend of one of the residents. As they get to know each other more, House falls for the woman. In the history of the series, it's the first time that he has a love interest and truly attempts to pursue a relationship with someone. However, their romance has no future as Lydia is married and her family will move away to Phoenix soon.

Potente is an acclaimed German actress who made a name for herself in Hollywood in the early 2000s. She received plenty of accolades for her role in Tom Tykwer's classic 1998 action thriller, "Run Lola Run," and later for her portrayal of Marie in "The Bourne Identity" and "The Bourne Supremacy." Besides guest-starring in David Shore's drama, she also made appearances in other television programs, such as "American Horror Story" and "The Bridge."

David Morse

In Season 3, House wrongs Detective Michael Tritter (David Morse) during a routine medical check-up by giving him a rectal exam for no legitimate reason. As a result, he finds himself in trouble when Tritter goes on a mission to destroy his life and career for the humiliation he caused him. He uses House's Vicodin addiction to attempt to get his medical license revoked. As the season moves forward, House realizes he won't be able to get rid of this man with his usual bag of tricks. Despite his unwillingness, he decides to apologize to Tritter. Although the cop accepts the apology, he doesn't intend to stop pursuing ruining House's career. Eventually, his boss, Cuddy, saves House by giving false testimony in court.

For his recurring role, Morse was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 2006. Among his many impressive performances, he played memorable characters in critically acclaimed and beloved classics like "The Green Mile," "12 Monkeys", and "The Hurt Locker." His resume is full of great films, and he's one of the most underrated actors of his generation. In 2008, he collected his second Emmy nomination for his part in the historical miniseries, "John Adams." He also starred in other outstanding TV shows like "Treme," "True Detective," and "Escape at Dannemora."

Judy Greer

In Season 5, Episode 18, "Here Kitty," House sets a goal to disprove a superstition while treating a nursing home worker, Morgan (Judy Greer), who claims that a cat can predict death. She tries to get the diagnostician's attention by faking symptoms. Although she can't fool House for long, Morgan says that Debbie, the cat in the nursing home, only sleeps next to people who are about to die. Of course, House ignores her until she mysteriously falls ill — for real this time — after he discharges her from the hospital. Eventually, he cracks the mystery and finds a rational explanation for why the kitten slept next to dying people.

Greer is an actress and comedian who rose to fame in the late 90s and early 00s, acting in comedies like "Jawbreaker," "Three Kings," and "13 Going on 30." As her career progressed, she'd taken on serious and dramatic roles in other genre films such as Spike Jonze's "Adaptation", M. Knight Shyamalan's "The Village," and Payton Reed's Marvel flick, "Ant-Man." After her guest appearance on "House M.D.," Greer also starred in dozens of other accomplished television shows like "How I Met Your Mother," "Two and a Half Men," and "Arrested Development." She made her directorial debut in 2017 with a feature called "A Very Bad Day" — aka "A Happening of Monumental Proportions" — which failed both critically and commercially.

R. Lee Ermey

In Season 2, Episode 5, "Daddy's Boy," we're introduced to House's parents, Blythe (Diane Baker) and John (R. Lee Ermey), for the first time — even though House desperately tries to come up with excuses to avoid meeting them. However, they show up at the hospital unexpectedly, and no matter how hard their son wants to get out of this situation, he eventually agrees to grab a bite with them at the cafeteria. Soon, it becomes obvious why he wanted to skip the encounter. His father still looks at him as little more than a disability and tells him that he's lucky to still have two legs. Knowing House's backstory and battle with pain, we immediately empathize with him and understand that his relationship with his father is a difficult one. Ermey plays the role perfectly, embodying a cold and harsh parent who doesn't really accept his son's life decisions and self-absorbed worldview.

Ronald Lee Ermey was a celebrated actor, who became an iconic figure in pop culture due to his portrayal of Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann in Stanley Kubrick's war classic, "Full Metal Jacket." He received a Golden Globe nomination for the role. Thanks to his firm and strict presence on screen, he mostly played authority figures with strong principles throughout his career. He appeared in David Fincher's "Se7en," Alan Parker's "Mississippi Burning," and he gave the voice of Sarge in the "Toy Story" movies. The actor died at 74 due to complications of pneumonia in 2018.

Meat Loaf

In Season 5, Episode 20, House treats an aging woman, Charlotte (Colleen Camp), who spent the last six months looking after her dying husband, Eddie (Meat Loaf) — before collapsing next to his bed. When Eddie becomes determined to save his wife before he passes, his deadly condition mysteriously starts to improve — which intrigues House and his crew to diagnose and examine both of them.

Meat Loaf (born Michael Lee Aday) was known as a rock singer and musician throughout his life. But he also pursued a career as an actor later in life. He appeared in over 50 films and TV shows and regularly acted in plays on and off-Broadway. His most famous roles include the depiction of Robert Paulsen in David Fincher's "Fight Club," Eddie in Jim Sharman's "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," and Tiny in Penelope Spheeris's musical comedy, "Wayne's World." According to TMZ, the rock veteran died at 74 years of age, after he became ill with Covid-19. He left behind plenty of accomplishments after a six-decade-long career, which he clearly made the most out of.

Zeljko Ivanek

In Season 5, Episode 9, "Last Resort," House is taken hostage along with other patients by a man named Jason (Zeljko Ivanek), who desperately wants to find out what disease is killing him. After a rejection from House to take his case — and several other doctors unable to come up with a diagnosis — he rather takes the risk of spending the rest of his life in jail than not knowing what's making him sick. But in the end, thanks to House's obsession, he manages to crack his case and find out what he has.

In his four-decade-long career, Ivanek played many compelling characters in films and television shows. For the portrayal of Ray Fiske in the crime-drama series "Damages," he won the Primetime Emmy Award as an Outstanding Supporting Actor in 2007. He also appeared in such classics as HBO's prison drama "Oz," Chris Carter's legendary "The X-Files," and Tim Kring's widely popular "Heroes." Viewers can also remember him from Ridley Scott's war epic, "Black Hawk Down," Mike Newell's gangster drama, "Donnie Brasco," and more recently, Martin McDonagh's fantastic crime dramedy, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," and more.

Michael B. Jordan

In Season 8, Episode 14, "Love is Blind," House treats Will Westwood (Michael B. Jordan), a blind man who develops strange symptoms after picking out the engagement ring for his girlfriend. Before he could ask her to marry him, Will gets hospitalized due to having seizures. Although House and his team manage to cure him, the treatment comes with unwanted consequences. Nevertheless, once he's better, Will still decides to ask his partner to marry him.

Michael B. Jordan is an award-winning actor whose fame skyrocketed in 2018 when he portrayed Erik Killmonger in Marvel's superhero movie, "Black Panther." Even before that role, the actor appeared in several critically acclaimed films like "Fruitvale Station" and "Creed," delivering spectacular performances. Jordan also had recurring roles in "Friday Night Lights," "Parenthood," and "Raising Dion," among others. He guest-starred in the Emmy-winning gangster drama "The Sopranos" and David Simon highly praised crime-epic, "The Wire." Besides acting, Jordan is also a film producer who was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for the movie "Fahrenheit 451." In 2020, Time magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world