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The Shameless Star You Probably Didn't Know Played An Iconic Pixar Character

Pixar searches far and wide for actors when it comes to casting roles. In the "Toy Story" franchise alone, you've got TV regular Tim Allen, movie star Tom Hanks, and even late comedian Don Rickles popped up in the films as Mr. Potato Head (via IMDb).

The variety of actors pulled in for projects leads to Pixar movies having odd connections to a wide array of projects that typically wouldn't be associated with the family-friendly brand. One recognizable face from the Showtime series "Shameless," which follows the Gallagher family headed by proud alcoholic father Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy), plays an iconic Pixar character, but many may not have made the connection.

Sheila Jackson (Joan Cusack) is a great character from the world of "Shameless" — Cusack appeared in 44 episodes of "Shameless" — a Gallagher neighbor who has agoraphobia and serves as an early romantic partner for Frank. Cusack's performance is made all the more impressive when you learn she was not the original choice for the role, but rather a replacement for Allison Janney (per Playbill).

Cusack's Sheila is a fairly wild character with a surprising wholesome facade at the beginning of the show, something not always seen in the series. Beyond her work on the hard-R series, though, Cusack also portrays an iconic "Toy Story" character across multiple films.

Joan Cusack is Jessie in the Toy Story franchise

Joan Cusack debuted as the cowgirl toy Jessie in 1999's "Toy Story 2," a sequel that almost didn't happen. In the sequel, Woody (Tom Hanks) is separated from his fellow toys and finds himself with Jessie, Prospector (Kelsey Grammer), and his horse Bullseye (Frank Welker). All are characters from the TV series that the Woody toy is based on: "Woody's Roundup."

While Prospector and Woody eventually faced off as adversaries in the film, Jessie became a mainstay in the series, with Cusack going on to voice the character in 2010's "Toy Story 3" and 2019's "Toy Story 4." She also becomes a surprising love interest for Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen).

Cusack has also joined her fellow cast members for numerous short films set in the "Toy Story" world, including "Toy Story That Time Forgot," "Toy Story of Terror," "Toy Story Toons: Partysaurus Rex," "Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation," and "Toy Story Toons: Small Fry."

Cusack told Radio Disney ahead of the release of "Toy Story 3" that being part of the massive franchise is a highlight in her career.

"It's the best. It's the brass ring, the cream of the crop, the Oscars for kids. They're so meticulous and take so much care and believe in kids and believe in imagination and playing the importance of that for children," she said (per Radio Disney).