23 “Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life” Guest Stars You Probably Recognize

1. Alex Kingston

Who she plays: Naomi Shropshire, the boozy, eccentric woman who hires Rory to help write her memoir.
Where you’ve seen her before: As River Song on Doctor Who and Dr. Elizabeth Corday on ER.

2. Jack Carpenter

Who he plays: Paul, Rory’s instantly forgettable boyfriend. (Even Rory, who has dated him for two years, can’t seem to remember him.)
Where you’ve seen him before: As Dash on The Return of Jezebel James and Patric Edelstein on The Good Wife.
The Gilmore connection: Like Paul, Amy Sherman-Palladino’s series The Return of Jezebel James, on which Carpenter had a recurring role, was quickly forgotten and deserved more love than it got. Carpenter was also on The Good Wife, which starred Matt Czuchry, who plays the guy Rory is cheating on Paul with.

3. Roy Choi

Who he plays: Himself, cooking in The Dragonfly kitchen and annoying Lorelai by virtue of not being Sookie.
Where you’ve seen him before: On Food Network, or maybe you’ve eaten at one of his restaurants.

4. Ray Wise

Who he plays: Jack Smith, an old friend of Emily and Richard’s who grows closer to Emily after Richard’s death.
Where you’ve seen him before: As Leland Palmer on Twin Peaks, The Devil on Reaper, and Marvin on Fresh Off the Boat.

5. Louise Goffin

Who she plays: Louise, the sister of the town troubadour.
Where you’ve seen her before: It’s more likely that you’ve heard her — Goffin is a successful recording artist who…
The Gilmore connection: Sings the Gilmore Girls theme song “Where You Lead” along with her mother, Carole King.

6. Jason Mantzoukas

Who he plays: Robert Castellanos, a lawyer for Naomi Shropshire.
Where you’ve seen him before: He’s popped up on a number of TV series (like Parks and Rec) and movies (like Neighbors). And you may have seen him do live comedy or heard him on a podcast (he co-hosts How Did This Get Made? and has been a guest on countless others).
The Gilmore connection: Mantzoukas has long been an outspoken Gilmore Girls fan who tried to get on the series during its original run. Speaking of podcasts, he’s been on Gilmore Guys several times.

7. The Gilmore Guys

Who they play: Unnamed guests at The Dragonfly.
Where you’ve seen them before: You may not have seen them, but if you’re a Gilmore Girls fan, you’ve almost certainly heard them as the hosts of Gilmore Guys.
The Gilmore connection: I think it’s clear.

8. Dan Bucatinsky

Who he plays: Jim Nelson, a GQ editor Rory is working with.
Where you’ve seen him before: As James Novak on Scandal and Billy Stanton on The Comeback.

9. Kelly Wolf

Who she plays: Ida, the woman Emily hires to help Luke expand his diner into a franchise, whether he wants to or not.
Where you’ve seen them before: As Mrs. McKindall on Parenthood.
The Gilmore connection: After Gilmore Girls, Lauren Graham moved on to the similarly beloved Parenthood. Wolf is the first of several Parenthood alumni to pop up — she didn’t have a big part on the late NBC drama, but she was in a handful of episodes and is also the real-life mom of Parenthood star Max Burkholder.

10. Julia Goldani Telles

Who she plays: Sandee, the editor and namesake of the hip website Sandee Says, where Rory is applying to work.
Where you’ve seen her before: As Sasha Torres on Bunheads and Whitney Solloway on The Affair.
The Gilmore connection: While she was never on Gilmore Girls, Telles was one of the titular bunheads on Amy Sherman-Palladino’s canceled-too-soon ABC Family series. She’s the first of a handful of Bunheads actors to show up in the Gilmore revival.

11. Kerry Butler

Who she plays: Claudia, a therapist with the seemingly insurmountable task of helping Lorelai and Emily work through their issues.
Where you’ve seen her before: While Butler has done plenty of work in film and on TV, she’s best known as a Broadway star, having appeared in Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can, Little Shop of Horrors, and Xanadu.

12. Michael Ausiello

Who he plays: An unnamed line-dweller.
Where you’ve seen him before: If you haven’t seen him, you’ve probably read him. Ausiello is the founder of TVLine and has made his fair share of cameos on TV series he’s written about.
The Gilmore connection: He’s written about Gilmore Girls. Like, a lot.

13. Mae Whitman

Who she plays: Marcy, a line-dweller who befriends Lorelai and snags a donut.
Where you’ve seen her before: As Amber Holt on Parenthood and Ann Veal on Arrested Development.
The Gilmore connection: Whitman played the daughter of Lauren Graham’s Sarah Braverman on Parenthood.

14. Rachael Ray

Who she plays: Herself, another celebrity chef who finds her way into Lorelai’s kitchen at The Dragonfly.
Where you’ve seen her before: On the talk show that bears her name or any number of food-related series she’s appeared on over the years.

15. Sam Pancake

Who he plays: Donald, one of the few out gay men in Stars Hollow.
Where you’ve seen him before: He’s been a guest star on a whole bunch of TV shows, including Friends, Will & Grace, and Arrested Development.
The Gilmore connection: Pancake and Lauren Graham are BFF IRL, which is pretty cute.

16. Sutton Foster

Who she plays: Violet, the star of Taylor’s Stars Hollow musical.
Where you’ve seen her before: As Liza Miller on Younger and Michelle Simms on Bunheads. And on Broadway in many musicals, including Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Drowsy Chaperone, Anything Goes, and Violet. (Note her Gilmore character’s name.)
The Gilmore connection: She’s another Bunheads transfer.

17. Christian Borle

Who he plays: Carl, the other Stars Hollow musical star.
Where you’ve seen him before: As Tom Levitt on Smash, but he’s best known for his work on Broadway — he won Tony Awards for Peter and the Starcatcher and Something Rotten!, and he’s now starring in Falsettos.

18. Jackie Hoffman

Who she plays: Esther, one of two employees Rory inherits as editor of the Stars Hollow Gazette.
Where you’ve seen her before: All over theater, film, and TV, including voiceover work. Most recently, Difficult People and Girls.
The Gilmore connection: None really, although she did share the stage with Kerry Butler in Hairspray and Xanadu.

19. Bailey De Young

Who she plays: Heidi, proud member of the Thirtysomething Club.
Where you’ve seen her before: As Ginny Thompson on Bunheads and Lauren Cooper on Faking It.
The Gilmore connection: Surprise, it’s another bunhead!

20. Peter Krause

Who he plays: A park ranger who promises good hiking conditions for Wild fans.
Where you’ve seen him before: As Nate Fisher on Six Feet Under, Adam Braverman on Parenthood, and Benjamin Jones on The Catch.
The Gilmore connection: Krause played the brother of Graham’s Sarah on Parenthood (and in real life, he and Graham are a couple).

21. Jason Ritter

Who he plays: Ranger Bill, who doesn’t know the difference between the book Wild and the movie Wild.
Where you’ve seen him before: As Mark Cyr on Parenthood, Scott on Girls, and Lord Frederick Bellacourt on Another Period.
The Gilmore connection: He was the man Sarah Braverman should have picked on Parenthood. Sigh.

22. Stacey Oristano

Who she plays: Allie, a hiker who befriends Lorelai.
Where you’ve seen her before: As Mindy Riggins on Friday Night Lights and Truly Stone on Bunheads.
The Gilmore connection: You think Amy Sherman-Palladino was going to let you go without one last Bunheads connection?

23. Mary Pat Gleason

Who she plays: A nun looking to make a profit.
Where you’ve seen her before: In just about everything. Gleason’s credits include How to Get Away With Murder, Shameless, Mom, Scandal, and many, many more.

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