If anyone thought that the cameo — the unannounced appearance of a star in a film — had disappeared, rest easy: The venerable Hollywood tradition is alive. Robert Altman’s The Player, due out in April 1992, could feature a grand total of 80 cameos, including ones by Bruce Willis and Julia Roberts; Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Hook will spotlight Glenn Close, Quincy Jones, and Phil Collins as some of the Captain’s throat-slitting pirates. Here are a few recent celebrity sightings:
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Sean Connery as King Richard the Lionhearted, who shows up at the finale and gives his blessing to the marriage of Robin and Maid Marian.
Impact: Connery, who played an aging Robin Hood in 1976’s Robin and Marian, reminds critics what real star charisma is and makes Kevin Costner look pale.
Ellen Burstyn as Julia Roberts’ working-class mom, who watches Home Shopping Network and advises Roberts to feed her cancer-stricken patient ”some ham.”
Impact: Burstyn gives a solid performance, reminding audiences she’s still around.
Defending Your Life
Shirley MacLaine as the sunshiny host of a celestial video about past lives that’s shown to Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep.
Impact: Shirley’s willingness to goof on her space-cadet image is especially appealing.
David Crosby as a resident of a burning apartment building, who stands on the sidewalk in his bathrobe, begging Kurt Russell to save his home.
Impact: None, except for Crosby’s gratitude to director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer for giving him a shot at immortality.
Robin Williams as an ex-psychiatrist who works as a stock boy at a Spanish food market and offers penetrating insights on past lives and possible murder motives.
Impact: This is a nice boost for the film.
George Hamilton as the ponytailed owner of Beverly Hills plastic surgery clinic, who convinces Michael J. Fox that life as a face-lifter is empty and vapid.
Impact: Hamilton is more important to Doc, uncredited, than he was to Godfather III, credited.