The X-Files attracted a veritable who’s-who of guest actors during its heyday, some of which were just on the cusp of joining Hollywood’s elite. While actors like Bryan Cranston famously used bit turns on the ’90s show as a vehicle to success, others, like Peter Boyle, solidified their stardom with award-winning appearances. Let’s look back at the most memorable guest stars from The X-Files‘ initial run.
Samaire Armstrong, Aaron Paul and Jane Lynch – “Lord of the Flies”: Season 9, Episode 5
“Lord of the Flies” featured several other even bigger stars, including our first Breaking Baddie on the list, Aaron Paul, and eventual Gleek Jane Lynch as Anne Lokensgard, the fly-boy’s mother.
Ed Asner and Lily Tomlin – “How the Ghosts Stole Christmas”: Season 6, Episode 6
This beloved holiday episode centered around a haunted house and the (bickering) ghostly couple that inhabited it.
Tomlin is still kicking at 76 and performs stand-up in between filming Netflix’s Grace and Frankie. Asner, at 86, hasn’t stopped since leaving Lou Grant behind – in fact, the actor’s IMDB page boasts an impressive 338 credits, some of which are debuting in 2016.
Richard Belzer – “Unusual Suspects”: Season 5, Episode 3
It should come as no surprise that Richard Belzer’s X-Files character is the same one he played throughout most of his career: Detective John Munch.
The flashback episode dedicated mainly to the Lone Gunmen was, interestingly, also a cross-over episode with series Homicide: Life on the Street, Munch’s first TV outing.
Jack Black and Giovanni Ribisi – “D.P.O”: Season 3, Episode 3
It’s electric! Black portrayed “Zero,” an arcade owner whose villainous friend (Giovanni Ribisi) has some dangerous lightning abilities, in one of his earliest roles.
The 1995 monster-of-the-week episode only led to bigger and better things for Black and Ribisi, whose latest feature film was Ted 2.
Peter Boyle – “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose”: Season 3, Episode 4
The late Peter Boyle won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for portraying Clyde Bruckman, a man who foresaw deaths – including his own.