Like most long-running television shows, Charmed featured its fair share of cameos and guest stars from actors that ended up being known elsewhere for other roles.
Charmed starred Holly Marie Combs (Piper), Alyssa Milano (Phoebe), Shannen Doherty (Prue), and later Rose McGowan (Paige) as the Charmed Ones. The show ran from 1998 to 2006, so it’s no wonder that plenty of actors made their way through the ranks, starring as demons, love interests, or sometimes even both!
We’ve compiled a list of 20 Charmed roles from some of our favorite actors and actresses. Some of these characters only showed up for a scene or two, while others went on to have significant moments or even season-long arcs. We’ll stay away from actors who had major roles on the show for multiple seasons, but there are a few we just couldn’t resist putting on the list (like our first one!).
Episode(s): Season 8, episodes 1-22
Character: Billie Jenkins
Known for: Penny on The Big Bang Theory
We’re starting off with a big one because this might just be the most memorable on our list. Before Kaley Cuoco was Penny on The Big Bang Theory, she was Billie Jenkins on Charmed for a total of 22 episodes. A year before Big Bang, Cuoco took on a significant role in Billie, who was a witch that enlisted the help of the Charmed Ones to develop her powers and teach her everything they knew. Her story began with the search for her sister, and came full circle when she had to defeat her.
Episode(s): Season 7, episodes 10-13, 17, 21-22
Known for: Ardeth Bay on The Mummy
Oded Fehr’s role was also a significant one, as he played Zankou for seven episodes during season 7. Zankou was a high-ranking demon who had the ability to steal the powers of others. He gave the Charmed Ones quite a run for their money! Although this role came after his time on The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, it’s always fun to see some of our favorite actors pop up in other places, playing completely different roles.
Episode(s): Season 7, episodes 1-6
Character: Leslie St. Claire
Known for: Singer, 98 Degrees
Unlike most of the actors on this list, Nick Lachey portrayed a totally mortal human and his main role was as a foil for Phoebe’s professional life. When she went on sabbatical in 2004, Elise hired him to ghost write Phoebe’s column for The Bay Mirror. There was, obviously, a little tension when Phoebe realized Leslie was a man, but he made it pretty clear very early on that he was right for the job.
Episode(s): Season 7, episode 3, “Cheaper by the Coven”; episode 5, “Styx Feet Under”; episode 10, “Witchness Protection”
Character: The Seer/Kira
Known for: Cordelia Chase on Buffy, Angel
Fans of supernatural shows from the ’90s and early 2000s should recognize the name Charisma Carpenter, but she also had quite a run on Veronica Mars as Kendall Casablancas. On Charmed, she played Kira, The Seer, for three episodes. Just like The Source, The Seer had more than one incarnation, but Carpenter’s might be the most memorable. Besides, how fitting is it that she landed this role after Cordelia Chase also had precognitive abilities?
Episode(s): Season 7, episode 14, “Carpe Demon”; episode 15, “Show Ghouls”; episode 16, “Seven Year Witch”
Known for: Titanic
Drake was a powerful Mercury Demon, but in an interesting turn of events, he struck a deal with a sorcerer to become human for a year with a real, live human soul. As a result, however, he gave up his immortality. He only had a three-episode arc, but he made an impact on the show’s penultimate season, as well as one Phoebe Halliwell.
Episode(s): Season 5, episode 20, “Necromancing the Stone” and episode 21, “Sense and Sense Ability”
Character: Nate Parks
Known for: Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead
Norman Reedus’ role on Charmed marks the final character on our list with a multi-episode arc. He played Nate Parks for two episodes. Nate was seemingly the perfect guy for Paige, until she discovered the little secret he was hiding in the form of a wife and two children. Nate was an interesting character in that he wasn’t tied to the supernatural world. Instead, he was just your run-of-the-mill douchebag.
Episode: Season 2, episode 7, “They’re Everywhere”
Character: Eric Bragg
Known for: Castiel on Supernatural
Eric Bragg and the angel Castiel might not be as different as they first seem. Both characters are a little naive and innocent, and Misha Collins easily adds those aspects to both of these roles. He played Eric Bragg for a single episode, bringing to life a character that solved the final riddle of the Akashic records and immediately found himself in danger of meeting the Collectors, who were demons that could suck knowledge out of people’s heads, effectively killing them during the process.
Episode: Season 1, episode 4, “Dead Man Dating”
Character: Mark Chao
Known for: Sulu on Star Trek
Mark Chao was one of the first roles John Cho ever had, and he appeared as the character just once during Charmed. He’s gone on to land some pretty significant roles, including Harold Lee from Harold & Kumar, Sulu in all three Star Trek movies, and Henry Higgins on
the ill-fated Selfie, but when this writer first saw him, he was just a poor dead guy haunting the Charmed Ones in order to get justice for his murder. Piper fell for him, and watching them say goodbye once Mark’s spirit moved on was devastating.
Episode: Season 1, episode 19, “Out of Sight”
Character: Brent Miller
Known for: Jiminy Cricket/Dr. Archie Hopper on Once Upon a Time
Raphael Sbarge portrayed a man who had gone blind thanks to some supernatural baddies when he was a kid. Bitter and hopeless, he had given up trying to prove what he saw when he was a kid. That is, until it started happening again. With the Halliwells on the case, they were bound to track down the Grimlock and save the day. And Brent Miller even got his eyesight back!
As a bonus, two more Once Upon a Time actors have also made cameos on Charmed. David Anders, who plays Dr. Whale on Once, portrayed Count Roget in season 7, episode 15, “Show Ghouls.” Meanwhile, Lee Arenberg, better known as Grumpy on Once, played a demon in season 5, episode 22, “Oh My Goddess!: Part 1.”
Episode: Season 3, episode 12, “Wrestling with Demons”
Character: Mr. Kellman
Known for: Hellboy in Hellboy
Ron Perlman lent his face and imposing demeanor to the character of Mr. Kellman, the leader of the Demonic Academy, which turned humans into demons. Once a human himself, Kellman also went through the program and eventually ended up serving under The Source of All Evil. He had some pretty cool powers, but none of them were enough to keep the Charmed Ones from taking him down.
Episode: Season 6, episode 5, “Love’s a Witch”
Character: Olivia Callaway
Known for: Victoria in Twilight
In a witch-y twist on the Romeo and Juliet tale, Rachelle Lefevre portrayed Olivia, a witch who fell in love with a member of a rival coven. However, she was killed in the crossfire because of the feud between the two families. Angry she was never avenged, she returned with a vengeance and the battle between the two families picked up fire. Luckily, in the end, Paige was able to talk her down, allowing her to move on.
Episode: Season 1, episode 22, “Déjà Vu All Over Again”
Known for: Kill Bill
If you’re talking a true cameo, this is the role you’re looking for. David Carradine is known for many, many, many movies, but Kill Bill is a personal favorite. His role on Charmed is also well-regarded by fans, despite the fact that it wasn’t recurring. Tempus was a powerful sorcerer who could manipulate time and he certainly did his best to make the Charmed Ones’ lives a living hell for the season 1 finale.
Episode: Season 7, episode 1, “A Call to Arms”
Known for: Philip Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bell-Air
Unfortunately for the iconic James Avery, Zola didn’t last long in the Charmed universe. In the beginning of season 7, he was sent to talk to Leo about his son Wyatt. But after his other son, Chris, was killed by the Elder Gideon, Leo didn’t trust Zola. Leo is then tricked by a demon into killing Elder Zola. This was, in many ways, the final straw in the (mostly) passive battle between the Council of Elders and the Charmed Ones.
Episode: Season 7, episode 11, “Ordinary Witches”
Character: Jack Brody
Known for: Don Draper in Mad Men
That hair! Jack Brody was the father of Kyle Brody and a professor at the University of Columbia. After coming into possession of an Egyptian artifact, he and his wife were killed by a group of demons. This drove their son into working against the Avatars, a group of neutral albeit powerful beings he held responsible for the act.
Episode: Season 6, episode 20, “Witch Wars”
Character: Upper Level Demon
Known for: John Diggle on Arrow
David Ramsey appeared on Charmed for just one episode in season 6 in order to play an upper level demon. And, believe it or not, he was one of the smarter ones we ever came across. Corr and Clea, who were a pair of demons that ran the game show Witch Wars, tried to recruit him for their reality TV series, but this upper level demon was going to have none of that. Maybe Corr and Clea should’ve walked away at the same time, and maybe they’d still be alive.
Episode: Season 1, episode 21, “Love Hurts”
Known for: Samuel Anders on Battlestar Gallactica
Alec was a Darklighter, the exact opposite of Leo’s Whitelighter. It was his job to impregnate a mortal woman named Daisy with his evil seed, but he ended up falling in love with her. She also loved him…until she found out that he was basically pure evil. Daisy was to become a future Whitelighter, and Leo was tasked to protect her. Alec shot Leo with a poisoned arrow, nearly killing him, and in the end, Prue defeated Alec with his own powers.
Episode: Season 1, episode 12, “The Wendigo”
Character: Teri Lane
Known for: Singer
Although the main portion of this episode was based around the tricky case of the Wendigo, we got to see Phoebe’s powers at work helping someone who wasn’t affected by the supernatural. Teri was kidnapped by her father when she was five years old, and thanks to a bracelet and a bit of sleuthing, the Charmed Ones were able to return her to her mother years later. Christina Milian looks so young here!
Episode: Season 2, episode 16, “Murphy’s Luck”
Character: Maggie Murphy
Known for: Lois Lane from Man of Steel
Maggie Murphy was as good as they came. She did a lot of work with charity, and was just an all around amazing woman. This was why she was tapped to be a future Whitelighter, and this was why she was targeted by a Darklighter. The Darklighter cursed her with bad luck and planted thoughts of suicide in her head, but Prue created her first original spell and gave Maggie some good luck to counteract the evil.
Episode: Season 8, episode 2, “Malice in Wonderland”
Known for: Tyler Lockwood on The Vampire Diaries
Alastair was a mere mortal who ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time…as well as falling for the wrong demon. Black Heart was a demon who worked for Paul Haas, whose goal was to lure the Charmed Ones out of hiding. Alastair was kidnapped because his name bore resemblance to Alice from Alice in Wonderland. He lost his mind thanks to an illusion set up by Haas, but presumably returned to normal after the two were vanquished.
Episode: Season 5, episode 18, “Cat House”
Known for: Spock on Star Trek
Zachary Quinto might just be our favorite find when it comes to these Charmed cameos. He portrayed a demon who hunted familiars — animals whose duties include protecting and guiding witches. When Quinto’s character decided to hunt down Kit, the Charmed Ones got involved. And — no surprise here — it didn’t end so well for him.
Which ‘Charmed’ cameo or guest role were you most surprised by?
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on November 10, 2018 to incorporate some of the suggestions provided by our readers.