All the Oscar Winners and Nominees Who Guest-Starred on ‘Friends’
While Matt LeBlanc tragically wasn’t recognized by the Academy for his work in Ed (I’d like to see Meryl Streep convincingly pretend to play Major League Baseball with a chimp), a lot of the actors who showed up as guests on Friends have been nominated for, and in some cases, even won, Oscars. It’s an inherently illustrious group that includes…
Oldman has been nominated several times over the years, winning in 2018 for playing Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, a role that seemingly involved less projectile saliva than his work as Joey’s cinematic co-star Richard Crosby.
Roberts, who won Best Actress for playing Erin Brockovich, previously portrayed Susie, who steals Chandler’s clothes and leaves him naked in a public restroom. Roberts was reportedly hired only thanks to the efforts of Matthew Perry, who flirted with the actress using a fax machine, presumably because his telegraph was out-of-order.
Speaking of Erin Brockovich, one of its producers, nominated in the Best Picture category, was the great DeVito, who showed up on Friends as an over-the-hill stripper hired for Phoebe’s bachelorette party.
Pitt has been nominated for Oscars multiple times for both his acting and producing work, and recently won for playing a sleazebag who totally killed his wife in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He popped by Friends for a Thanksgiving episode, playing Monica, Ross and Rachel’s old classmate who hates Rachel with a passion. (Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were married at the time, in case you weren’t an US Weekly subscriber in 2001.)
Ben-Hur’s Heston played himself in an episode where the legendary actor catches Joey using his private shower and somehow resists the urge to gun him down in cold blood.
Best Supporting Actor nominee Kinnear played Ross’ smarmy romantic rival, the Nobel Prize-winning paleontologist Benjamin Hobart. In the end, Hobart wins the heart of Ross’ girlfriend, Charlie, but on the plus side, Ross sucks anyway. And as for his As Good As It Gets co-star…
The Best Actress winner reprised her Mad About You role, mistaking Phoebe for her twin sister Ursula.
The Walk the Line actress famously played Rachel’s spoiled little sister Jill, who was in two episodes in Season Six, briefly dates Ross (again, Ross sucks) and then, bizarrely, was never seen or heard from again.
When Joey returns to Days of Our Lives, he has an affair with fired actress Cecilia Monroe, played by Sarandon. After several nominations, Sarandon finally won for Dead Man Walking, also starring this guy…
Despite seeming about as funny as a gravestone epitaph written by Morrissey, Penn played Ursula’s clueless fiancé Eric in “The One With The Halloween Party.”
Multiple Oscar nominee and mascot for Gen X angst, Ryder dropped in as Rachel’s old sorority sister, who drunkenly made out with Rachel in their college days.
Rash, aka Dean Pelton from Community, memorably mimicked Angelina Jolie’s leg pose during his acceptance of the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The Descendents. And before that, he had a brief part in the Friends finale as a freaked-out airplane passenger concerned about the status of the “left phalange.”
Before he won an Oscar for directing the documentary The Cove, Stevens weirded the gang out as Phoebe’s psychiatrist boyfriend.
McKean was nominated for co-writing the song “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow” from A Mighty Wind. He also popped up as Mr. Rastatter in Friends, one of the executives behind Mockolate, the “completely synthetic chocolate substitute” that Monica is tasked with turning into semi-edible Thanksgiving desserts.
Future awards show regular Clooney appeared in the first season of Friends back in his ER days, really stretching his range by playing a handsome doctor who’s buddies with Noah Wyle.
One-time nominee Baldwin played Phoebe’s overly-enthusiastic boyfriend in an episode we’re pretty sure was called “The One Where Phoebe’s Boyfriend Is Inexplicably Played By Alec Baldwin.”
Williams cameoed on Friends with his Father’s Day co-star Billy Crystal for a bizarre, nakedly promotional appearance that feels like it was beamed in from a scrapped Comic Relief skit.
Balaban, who played Phoebe’s estranged father, Frank, has had a long and successful acting career, but he scored his only Oscar nomination for producing the Best Picture candidate Gosford Park.
In the first season’s “The One With The Boobies,” the show’s obligatory “one sitcom character sees another one naked” episode, we meet Joey’s mom Gloria Tribbiani (in a storyline that doesn’t involve nudity). Gloria is portrayed by Brenda Vaccaro, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for 1975’s Once Is Not Enough.
You'd think that Goldblum would have won at least one Oscar for his acting by now — hell, how did the Academy not give him three awards for acting like his soul wasn’t slowly dying every second he appeared in Jurassic World: Dominion? Weirdly, his only nomination came in 1996 for directing a short film called Little Surprises.
And, of course, on Friends, Goldblum played the theatrical director who is impressed by Joey’s acting — but only after he drinks a bladder-testing amount of Yoo-hoos.
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