For years now, actors and actresses have been pulling double duty and playing multiple roles on television. They take on more than one part in the same TV show, and it has to be extremely tiring. Here are just nine TV actors and actresses from past and current series that make us do a double take every time they appear on the small screen.
1. Alexandra Chando
Alexandra Chando is currently making her mark on ABC Family’s thrilling mystery “The Lying Game.” She portrays twins Emma Becker and Sutton Mercer, who have recently reunited after being apart for 16 years. She pulls off both roles beautifully, as Emma the “good” twin and Sutton the “bad” twin. As a first time viewer, you’d probably question whether it was one or two people playing the twins. That’s how good Chando is. At one moment she has the audience loving her as Emma, and the next minute hating her as Sutton.
2. Nina Dobrev
As Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce, Nina Dobrev rocks CW’s supernatural “The Vampire Diaries.” Dobrev doesn’t play twins, but dopplegangers. Katherine is a bitchy - for lack of a better word - vampire from the 19th century who will do anything to get what she wants. Elena is a sweet high school girl, from this century, who got mixed up in the mystical, yet dark world. She also recently turned into a vampire. Dobrev pulls off each part extremely well, and I personally love seeing her mean side. This season, we haven’t seen too much of Dobrev as Katherine, but since Damon (Ian Somerhalder) took away Elena’s emotions, we will most likely see Elena embracing more of her Katherine-like qualities.
3. David Schwimmer
Even though he didn’t play a twin or doppleganger for an entire series, David Schwimmer did pull double duty as Ross Geller and Russ in the “Friends” episode titled “The One with Russ.” As the above photo shows, Schwimmer has a new nose, different hair and is a lot uglier as Russ. Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) goes out with Russ, but doesn’t see right away that he looks very similar to Ross. Finally, she realizes it, and dumps Russ. Thankfully, Russ only appeared in one episode.
4. Christopher Knight
If you’re a fan of “The Brady Bunch,” then you probably recall the episode “Two Petes in a Pod,” where Christopher Knight plays Peter Brady and Arthur Owens. As Peter, Knight portrayed the middle Brady brother who constantly looked down on himself. As Arthur, Knight portrayed Peter’s non-related look-a-like and a transfer student at his school. The two characters pulled a little double duty themselves and swapped lives. It only lasted for one episode, and thank goodness, because if that family got any bigger I might have even got confused.
5. Elizabeth Montgomery
Back in the ‘60s, Elizabeth Montgomery was known and loved for playing witch Samantha Stephens in “Bewitched.” When she wasn’t busy being wife to Darrin, mom to Tabitha and twitching her nose, Montgomery was also playing Samantha’s cousin and witch Serena. Serena was more eccentric than Samantha, and even though they were somewhat opposite, they did end up on the same side on more than one occasion. In several episodes, Montgomery played both characters, but of course she will always be adored as Samantha.
6. Patty Duke
When Patty Duke’s name is uttered, automatically my mind goes to her show “The Patty Duke Show,” which aired in the ‘60s. Duke portrayed Cathy and Patty Lane, who weren’t identical twins, but identical cousins. As laughable as that is, audiences enjoyed seeing Duke play both roles. Besides being both high school girls who have the exact same features, the two really weren’t anything like.
7. Lisa Kudrow
Like her co-star David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow also pulled double duty on “Friends,” but on more than one occasion. Kudrow played twin sisters Phoebe and Ursula Buffay. Phoebe was one of the six main friends of the series, who was an odd hippie, but hilarious and lovable by her friends and the audience. Ursula, on the other hand, never treated her sister too nicely, and was even more off the wall than Phoebe. For example, she starred in pornos. Kudrow is a fantastic actress, and mastered the role of Phoebe.
8. Sarah Michelle Gellar
Even though CW’s “Ringer” didn’t last longer than one season, Sarah Michelle Gellar made her mark as twins Siobhan Martin and Bridget Kelly. Gellar was able to show off her troubled side as recovering drug addict and former stripper Bridget. She even showed off her darker side as backstabber Siobhan. Gellar definitely emulated a variety of character traits. Too bad the show wasn’t a big hit, because I enjoyed Gellar’s performances.
9. Barbara Eden
Cross your arms, give a head nod and bam you’re Jeannie from “I Dream of Jeannie.” Barbara originated the role of Jeannie aka a 2000-year-old genie who finds a master and a romance with astronaut Major Anthony Nelson (Larry Hagman). In addition to her role as bubbly Jeannie, Eden also played Jeannie’s sister Jeannie II, who was also a genie. Wow, that’s a lot of Jeannie’s and genie’s. As Jeannie II, Eden illustrated her mean streak and got to don a dark wig and a green costume.