Hollywood Celebrities That Appeared on Friends as Guest Starsby Sabera Surovy on Sep 11, 2021
Friends, a sitcom that has a huge fan base like no other TV show. With a total of 10 seasons and 235 episodes, Friends (1994-2004) is probably the most successful and famous Sitcom (Situational Comedy) in television history. The story of six friends, each with a different personality, yet relatable to all, has made the audiences laugh, cry, frustrated, and fall in love with the characters. Which reminds me, 235 episodes is a no joke. It means the show has starred a lot of guest celebrities and some of them are really hotshot Hollywood personalities. So let’s take a look at which Hollywood celebrities have appeared on Friends as Guest stars. This list follows the episode order. So let’s see how many of them you could recognize while watching the show.
1. Helen Hunt
Appeared in: Season 1, Episode 16
Character Name: Jamie Buchman
Helen Hunt appeared as a guest star in the episode named The One with Two Parts: Part 1 as Jamie Bunchman, the attractive coworker of Chandler. After getting a promotion and an office room of his own, Chandler was given the responsibility to fire one of his co-workers which happens to be Jamie. But as Chandler being Chandler, he had a great struggle firing someone so beautiful.
- This is the first episode where Lisa Kudrow made her appearance as Phoebe’s twin sister Ursula.
2. George Clooney
Appeared in: Season 1, Episode 17
Character Name: Dr. Michael Mitchell
After Rachel had to go to the hospital due to an accident, she and Monica met two extremely hot but cute doctors, and guess what? One of them happens to be played by George Clooney.
- George Clooney has also played the role of a doctor in the soap opera ER.
3. Julia Roberts
Appeared in: Season 2, Episode 13
Character Name: Susie
Julia Roberts was already a hotshot Hollywood actress when she made her appearance as a guest star in Friends. She played the role of Susie, Chandler’s schoolmate. Now Susie seems like a nice attractive woman with her weird fetishes and really interested in Chandler, but deep down she has a plan for something else.
- Julia Roberts and Matthew Perry actually dated each other after filming this episode.
- This is the most-watched episode of Friends.
- Though George Clooney and Julia Roberts both appeared as guest stars on Friends (in different episodes), they actually didn’t meet each other until co-starring in Ocean’s Eleven.
4. Charlie Sheen
Appeared in: Season 2, Episode 23
Character Name: Ryan
Charlie Sheen played Phoebe's old flame boyfriend Ryan. Ryan is a Navy officer who has only a few days leave to be with Phoebe. But problems appear when Phoebe catches chickenpox. But that won’t stop them from romancing each other, will it?
- Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards appeared as guest stars in different episodes of Friends. They later got married in 2002. Sadly, they got divorced in 2006.
5. Robin Williams & Billy Crystal
Appeared in: Season 3, Episode 24
Character Names: Tomas & Tim
Nobody knew Robin Williams and Billy Crystal would make cameos in Friends until the day of the shooting. These two men just happened to be in the building and the writer asked if they wanted to participate. The whole screen time of Robin Williams and Billy Crystal was fully improvised. They appear at the very beginning of the episode The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion. So if you missed it, go check it again.
6. Ben Stiller
Appeared in: Season 3, Episode 22
Character Name: Tommy
In the episode The One with the Screamer, Rachel brings a date to one of Joey’s stage shows. Tommy (the date, played by Ben Stiller) has a really bad temper. He screams at people and behaves rudely without any serious reason. But it seems that Ross is the only person to witness it.
- Ben Stiller’s wife (then future wife) Christine Taylor also appeared in Friends as a guest star for three episodes. She played the role of Bonnie, Ross’s love interest who later becomes bald because of Rachel’s manipulation.
7. Charlton Heston
Appeared in: Season 4, Episode 14
Character Name: As Himself
Yes, the Oscar-winning actor from Benhur (1959) is also a guest star in Friends. He played the director of a film in which Joey was supposed to star. But Joey messes it up all when he takes a shower in the director’s bathroom.
- This is also the first episode in which Ross’s second wife Emily appears.
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8. Hugh Laurie
Appeared on: Season 4, Episode 24
Hugh Laurie, the lead actor of the famous medical drama series Doctor House, appears very briefly on the episode The One with Ross's Wedding: Part 2. He was the passenger sitting next to Rachel when she was on her way to tell Ross how she actually feels. The passenger was greatly annoyed by her behavior and when Rachel was telling another passenger about her and Ross’s situation, Hugh Laurie admits that yes, they were indeed on a break.
- It is also the episode when the whole Monica-Chandler thing started.
9. Ralph Lauren
Appeared in: Season 6, Episode 08
Character Name: As Himself
Yes, Ralph Lauren himself appeared in an episode of Friends. It was when Rachel was working as an employee at Ralph Lauren. He was in an elevator scene and had only two lines.
10. Reese Witherspoon
Appeared in: Season 6, Episode 13
Character Name: Jill Green
Reese Witherspoon appeared as the youngest of the Green sisters. She is just as spoiled as Rachel was. She is also a shopaholic like her sister. But trust me, among Jill and the other Green sister, she is the most tolerable one.
11. Bruce Willis
Appeared in: Season 6, Episode 21 to 23
Character Name: Paul Stevens
Bruce Willis played the father of Elizabeth Stevens, the college student that Ross was dating. Paul Stevens was a very possessive father, who had Elizabeth really young and lost his wife very early as well. And he did not approve of Ross at all.
- Bruce Willis won an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for playing Paul Stevens.
12. Kristin Davis
Appeared in: Season 7, Episode 7
Character Name: Erin
Kristin Davis was already playing Charlotte in the popular TV show Sex and the City when she appeared as a guest star in Friends. She played one of Joey’s one-night stands. But Rachel and Phoebe took the matter into their own hands to make Erin something more than a one-night stand.
- Willie Garson appeared as a guest star in season 5, episode 15, as Ross’s neighbor after he moved to his new apartment. Kristin Davis and Willie Garson both starred in Sex and the City.
- This episode is directed by none other than David Schwimmer.
13. Susan Sarandon
Appeared in: Season 7, Episode 15
Character Name: Cecilia Monroe
What Susan Sarandon did was like a movie in a movie. She played the role of Cecilia Monroe who plays Jessica Lockhart in Days of Our Lives. But thanks to Dr. Drake Raymore’s come back to the drama, she has to leave the show.
- In season 3, episode 5, the friends made a list where they get to sleep with 5 people and can get away with it. Susan Sarandon is Ross’s on that list.
- Susan Sarandon was nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for playing Cecilia Monroe. She lost the award to Jean Smart (Frasier).
14. Winona Ryder
Appeared in: Season 7, Episode 20
Character Name: Melissa
Melissa (played by Winona Ryder) was Rachel’s college mate. After a while, they meet one day and Rachel tells Phoebe that she once kissed Melissa after a drunk night. But Phoebe doesn’t believe it and laughs it off. So, Rachel becomes desperate to make Phoebe believe that yes, she once indeed kissed a girl.
- Winona Ryder was also on Ross’s list.
15. Gary Oldman
Appeared in: Season 7, Episode 23 and 24
Character Name: Richard Crosby
In the world of Friends, Richard Crosby is a three-time Oscar Nominated actor and Joey becomes to be a lucky co-star of his in a war movie. But there might be two slight problems. One, Mr. Cosby spits too much during his dialogues, and two, he might have a drinking problem.
- Though not three times, Gary Oldman himself was an Oscar-nominated actor when he acted on this series.
- He was also nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for playing Richard Cosby but lost the award to Derek Jacobi (Frasier).
16. Sean Penn
Appeared in: Season 8, Episode 6 and 7
Character Name: Eric
Sean Penn was already a two-time Oscar-nominated actor when he appeared in two episodes of Friends. He played the role of Ursula’s fiancé who happens to be a school teacher. But when Phoebe finds out that Ursula has been lying to Eric about almost everything, she is in a great dilemma to spill the beans or not.
- Season 8, Episode 6, The One with the Halloween Party, is the only Halloween episode in the entire series.
- It is also the last episode of the series in which Lisa Kudrow acts as Ursula.
17. Brad Pitt
Appeared in: Season 8, Episode 9
Character Name: Will
Brad Pitt is probably the most well-remembered guest star that ever appeared on Friends. Because, one, he had become a heartthrob from a very early age, and two, Jennifer Aniston and Brad were married then.
- Brad Pitt is uncredited on this episode.
- Though uncredited, Brad Pitt earned an Emmy nomination for his guest-starring but lost the award to Anthony LaPaglia (Frasier). It is also his first-ever Emmy nomination.
18. Alec Baldwin
Appeared in: Season 8, Episode 17 and 18
Character Name: Parker
Alec Baldwin starred in two episodes of Friends. He first appeared in episode 17 at the end for a brief time. So you might have missed him. In episode 18, he is shown as Phoebe’s date Parker, at Mr. and Mrs. Geller’s anniversary party. Parker is over-enthusiastic at everything, which might be cute sometimes but annoying most of the time.
19. Christina Applegate
Appeared in: Season 9, Episode 8 and Season 10, Episode 5
Character Name: Amy Green
Christina Applegate appeared as the middle Green sister in two episodes of different seasons. She played probably the most air-headed and hated character in the entire series. If you think Rachel’s younger sister Jill was infuriating, trust me, you have yet to see Amy do her tricks.
- Christina Applegate was nominated for both of her appearances as Amy Green. She won the award for season 9. But lost the second time to Laura Linney (Frasier).
20. Jeff Goldblum
Appeared in: Season 9, Episode 15
Character Name: Leonard Hayes
The famous lead actor from The Fly (1986) and the Grandmaster from Thor: Ragnarok, appeared as the director and the co-star of one of the stage dramas that Joey auditioned for. And he is on a mission to give Joey a hard time.
21. Greg Kinnear
Appeared in: Season 10, Episode 6
Character Name: Dr. Benjamin Hobart
Greg Kinnear is best known for his iconic supporting role in As Good as It Gets (1997) for which he also earned an Oscar nomination. He also appeared as Dr. Benjamin Hobart, a Nobel Prize-winning Paleontologist who also happens to be Ross’s then girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend. Things get complicated and messy when Dr. Benjamin Hobart becomes the reviewer of a grant that Ross needs very badly.
22. Danny DeVito
Appeared in: Season 10, Episode 11
Character Name: Roy the Stripper
At Phoebe’s bachelorette party, Monica and Rachel forget to hire a stripper. So in the moment of crisis, Rachel contacts a stripper (Danny DeVito) and hires him who happens to be a 50-year-old very short man.
- Danny Devito was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for his guest appearance in this episode.
- Danny Devito was 60-year-old when he played his role in Friends.
23. Anna Faris
Appeared in: Season 10, Episode 9, 13, 16 and 17
Character Name: Erica
When Monica and Chandler found out it was most likely impossible to have a baby naturally, they applied for adoption. And that baby mama who was going to give up her child to adoption happens to be played by none other than Anna Faris. Anna Faris is mostly known for her role in the parody horror movie series Scary Movie. She is also the ex-wife of Chris Patt.
24. Ellen Pompeo
Appeared in: Season 10, Episode 11
Character Name: Missy Goldberg
Ellen Pompeo is best known for her lead role in the long-running medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy. In the episode The One Where the Stripper Cries, we see a glimpse of Ross and Chandler’s college life and Missy Goldberg (played by Ellen Pompeo) happens to one of their classmates both of them were interested in.
- Another actor from Grey’s Anatomy appeared on Friends. Jason George who played Ben Warren for multiple seasons in Grey’s Anatomy also acted as a fireman in Friends on Season 7, Episode 12.
25. Dakota Fanning
Appeared on: Season 10, Episode 14
Character Name: Mackenzie
The ending of Friends is fulfilling and bittersweet both at the same time. And the 8-year-old little girl named Mackenzie (played by Dakota Fanning) is a part of it. When Monica and Chandler decide to buy a new house, it was Mackenzie’s parents’ house that they liked the most. Joey, when he visited the house, built a very interesting friendship with Mackenzie.
- Dakota Fanning was 10 years old in this episode.
- She is also the elder sister of Elle Fanning.
- Jon Favreau: Appeared on multiple episodes of the season as Monica’s billionaire boyfriend.
- Freddie Prinze Jr.: Appeared in Season 9, Episode 6 as Sandy, Emma's babysitter.
- Dermot Mulroney: Appeared in Season 9, Episode 11 to 13. He played the role of Rachel’s handsome colleague who also happens to have a crush on her. (Dermot Mulroney also starred By Best Friend’s Wedding along with Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz).
- Craig Robinson: Appeared on the episode (Season 10, Episode 14) where Phoebe changed her name to Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock. He also played Dough Judy in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
- Jim Rash: Yes, this Oscar-winning scriptwriter appeared as a guest star in the very last episode of Friends: The Last One (Part II).
Some Other Interesting Facts about Friends:
- Among the main six characters, David Schwimmer was the first one and Jennifer Aniston was the last one to be cast.
- Just like his character Ross, David Schwimmer is also a Jew in real life. He also directed 10 episodes of Friends.
- Lisa Kudrow was the first one among the six to win an Emmy.
- The highest-rated Friends episode is The Last One and the lowest-rated episode is The One with the Invitation (season 4, episode 21, IMDb rating: 7.1).
About The Author
Khulna University of Engineering and Technology
Bachelor of Engineering (BEng),
Industrial Engineering 2017-2021
"Psycho-trillers and paradoxes are my jam. I spend my free time watching true crime documentaries."