Cameo appearance

A cameo or short cameo [ kæmioʊ ] is the surprising and temporally very short appearance of a known person in a movie or a series or as a character in a comic book or a computer game (guest appearance ). Often the person is not mentioned in the advertising for the movie and in the credits, but sometimes uncredited. A uniform and precise definition of what relates to the mention in the opening and closing credits or the length and scope of the role, but there is no. The term comes from English and means a cameo (English cameo ), so a relief on a gemstone. If a prominent person represented, they can be - as the Cameo - immediately recognize.

The American movie producer Michael Todd is said to have coined the term, which has placed in his film in 80 Days around the World (1956 ) dozens of cameos.


There are different manifestations of a cameo appearance. In one form, a celebrity mixed in with the extras. He puts it not important to be recognized and plays no individual role. Most of them are directors, writers or producers who choose this short and inconspicuous appearance in " their " movie.

In another form, a celebrity wearing a small but full voice. In some cases, it appears as " himself " on, albeit sometimes in disguise. The appearance of the celebrity may have different reasons. For example, as a favor for the film participants and appreciation of the film by the celebrities, as homage to earlier parts of the film or a remake of the original. This form is often called a guest role.

In another form of contact persons who served mainly as a model or inspiration for characters from the film, in a Mini-Reel.

If the celebrities not mentioned in opening and closing credits, this can have several reasons. So it may be about that, for example, directors or writers do not see as an actor, or that the presence of celebrities supposed to be a special surprise.


In connection with the term is mainly brought Alfred Hitchcock, who in 1927 became the tenant in appearance in the film. The original reason for Hitchcock's appearances was conveniently nature. Since some scenes of his first films were missing extras, he mingled with parts of the film crew under the existing amount. Out of necessity at the beginning but very soon became a tradition and a means of self-marketing. In later years it was more of a chore. Since the audience stayed less and less on the action and instead waited for the appearance of Hitchcock's more, his performance was staged as early as possible in the film. ( See also the list of Hitchcock 's cameo appearances ). The brief appearance of the producer or director is not limited to pure entertainment films. In the German auteur cinema in particular Rainer Werner Fassbinder showed in his films as an extra or extra, as in The Marriage of Maria Braun in a scene as a black market dealer. The Danish film director Lars von Trier was in his spirits epic Riget a little further and came during the end credits in appearance to give a brief summary of just experienced. This he finished off by saying that he introduced himself to the audience verbally. Today, especially Quentin Tarantino, Stephen King, Enzo G. Castellari, M. Night Shyamalan and Peter Jackson are known for short mini-rolls usually in their own films.

In addition to the occurrence of contributors, there are also often cameos by the original creators of the filmed material. Thus, for example, was Erich Kastner often seen briefly in the film adaptations of his children's books, such as Emil and the Detectives as a passenger on the tram. Helmut Käutner occurred in almost all his films to short and had, moreover, also usually a small role for his wife Erica Balque. Especially many cameo appearances included Big Star Parade, a hit movie of 1954. Moreover joined Stan Lee, creator of many of Marvel comic heroes in many film adaptations of his characters in mini rolls on, but is usually named in the credits.

In addition, there are often cameos in which former actor of a character in a new adaptation in the form of new films or television series occur in this Mini-Reel. For example, Kevin McCarthy in The Body Snatchers (1978), Jaclyn Smith in Charlie's Angels 3 - Full Throttle (2003) and Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul in Starsky & Hutch ( 2004). In the movie Coming to America with Eddie Murphy are nearing the end of Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy to see a beggar, with the characters from the previous movie Trading Places come.

Another category of cameos is the appearance of real personalities, which served as a model or inspiration for characters in the converted factory. An example of such a Cameo is the appearance of the real Apollo 13 astronauts Jim Lovell as captain of the aircraft carrier USS Iwo Jima at the end of the movie Apollo 13 He shakes the film Lovell Tom Hanks hand for successful homecoming. Other such examples are the involvement of the real Frank W. Abagnale in the film version of his autobiography, which came under the title of Catch Me If You Can in the cinema, as one of the officers who were present at his arrest, or the occurrence of the real Erin Brockovich in named after her film about her life in which she in a scene a waitress named Julia (Julia Roberts stars in this film Erin Brockovich ) embodied in the restaurant, as well as the final scene of the Will Smith film the Pursuit of Happyness, in which Chris Gardner - a model for the film of the same figure - as a passer runs through the picture.