SEE­ING STARS

Dur­ing fi ve years on the air, Medium has at­tracted some big names … some­times un­ex­pect­edly. Guy Davis looks over a stel­lar cast list.

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Since it pre­miered in 2005, the su­per­nat­u­ral se­ries Medium, star­ring Pa­tri­cia Ar­quette as a woman who can see the fu­ture, read peo­ple’s thoughts and com­mu­ni­cate with the dead, has as­sem­bled a fairly im­pres­sive line of guest stars – some of whom ap­peared without ac­tu­ally be­ing hired.

That was the case when UK co­me­dian Sacha Baron Co­hen, per­haps bet­ter known as the man be­hind the wildly in­ap­pro­pri­ate Bo­rat, man­aged to sneak onto the set of the show in the guise of his lat­est char­ac­ter, fl am­boy­ant Aus­trian fash­ion re­porter Bruno.

Po­si­tion­ing him­self as a mem­ber of the jury while a tense court­room scene was be­ing shot, Co­hen cheek­ily in­ter­rupted the fi lm­ing sev­eral times be­fore se­cu­rity staff re­moved him from the stu­dio.

It was only then that the iden­tity of the in­truder was re­vealed. “ No one had a clue it was Sacha play­ing Bruno,” a Medium source later told the me­dia. “ It’s amaz­ing he was able to infi ltrate the set and pull this off .”

While there’s no word as to whether Co­hen’s an­tics will ap­pear in the up­com­ing movie Bruno, sched­uled for release this July, it’s highly likely that Co­hen didn’t make the fi nal cut of the Medium episode he gate­crashed.

It’s also highly likely that Medium isn’t too con­cerned – af­ter all, the show isn’t ex­actly short of in­ter­est­ing per­form­ers pop­ping up in guest roles or play­ing re­cur­ring char­ac­ters.

Of course, Ar­quette’s im­me­di­ate fam­ily is chock-full of ac­tors, so there’s no sur­prise her sis­ter Rosanna and broth­ers David and Rich­mond have made ap­pear­ances.

And while Ar­quette and for­mer hus­band Thomas Jane sep­a­rated ear­lier this year af­ter two years of mar­riage, Jane played a piv­otal role in the pre­miere episode of the show’s third sea­son play­ing a for­mer lover of Ar­quette’s char­ac­ter, Al­li­son DuBois. Nat­u­rally enough, Jane’s char­ac­ter was a ghost who didn’t re­alise that he had died.

Se­ries cre­ator Glenn Gor­don Caron hasn’t yet been able to en­tice Bruce Willis or Cy­bill Shep­herd, the stars of his ’ 80s hit Moon­light­ing, into drop­ping by. How­ever, he did get Al­lyce Beasley, who played Moon­light­ing’s dippy re­cep­tion­ist Agnes.

And Willis’s daugh­ter Rumer re­cently had a guest role in an episode.

Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer ( and Frasier star) Kelsey Gram­mer has made a cameo, play­ing Death, no less.

There have also been ap­pear­ances by ’ 80s stars like Molly Ring­wald and Eric Stoltz and ’ 90s sen­sa­tions like Party of Five’s Neve Camp­bell and Ja­son Pri­est­ley of the orig­i­nal Bev­erly Hills, 90210.

There have been nice TV dads like Fam­ily Ties’ Michael Gross and nasty TV dads like That ’ 70s Show’s Kurt­wood Smith.

Even the late David Car­ra­dine made a one-episode ap­pear­ance!

One of the big­gest names to be part of the Medium cast, how­ever, has come aboard in a re­cur­ring role. Os­car win­ner An­jel­ica Hus­ton joined the show in its fourth year as Cyn­thia Keener, who ap­peals to both Al­li­son’s bet­ter in­stincts and empty purse in re­cruit­ing her to help track down miss­ing peo­ple.

“ To rely on movie work th­ese days — es­pe­cially if you’re an ac­tress over the magic age of 40 — is to rely on some­thing quite fl imsy,” said Hus­ton, ex­plain­ing why she took a reg­u­lar TV gig.

Hus­ton was drawn to Medium by Ar­quette. “ I’m her big­gest fan!” she laughed. “ I fall back in ad­mi­ra­tion of her and the tal­ent and en­ergy she puts into the show.”

There’s a chance that their union will con­tinue a lit­tle while longer, de­spite a pe­riod where it seemed like Medium was done for.

NBC, the US net­work be­hind the show, re­cently can­celled it, with co-chair­man Ben Sil­ver­man call­ing it “ an age­ing fran­chise, without a sin­gle fan let­ter, with no pas­sion”. How­ever, ri­val net­work CBS picked up it al­most im­me­di­ately.

CBS saw Medium as a show that “ has al­ways per­formed with dis­tinc­tion both cre­atively and com­mer­cially. The awards and rat­ings speak for them­selves. We be­lieve the show has a sig­nifi cant fu­ture and await de­vel­op­ments.”

Roll call: Among the mul­ti­tude of high-profi le Hol­ly­wood stars who have

guest-starred along­side Pa­tri­cia Ar­quette in Medium are, inset from top, Thomas

Jane ( Ar­quette’s for­mer hus­band), Neve Camp­bell,

Ja­son Pri­est­ley, Balt­hazar Getty ( Ar­quette’s co-star in the 1997 fi lm Lost High­way)

and An­jel­ica Hus­ton.

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