With Bruce Willis once again moonlighting on TV — he plays himself in the Mad About You season finale on May 20 — we thought back to when he was just one of the weekly delinquents on that felonies-by-the-sea show Miami Vice. In fact, during Vice‘s 1984-89 NBC run, so many stars-to-be shared scenes with Crockett (Don Johnson) and Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas) — including Wesley Snipes, John Leguizamo, and Ben Stiller — the series has become the TV equivalent of Kevin Bacon. (By the way, Bacon’s wife, Kyra Sedgwick, appeared in a 1985 Vice.) Read on for more celebrity-casting oddities.
Vice squad member: Bruce Willis Booked in ’84 as: Weapons trader Tony Amato Post-Vice rap sheet: Plays weapons-toting action hero in films such as Die Hard and The Fifth Element
Vice squad member: Nathan Lane Booked in ’85 as: An abusive stand-up comic who gets stabbed in the gut with a kitchen knife Post-Vice rap sheet: Was The Birdcage‘s kitschy, gay cabaret star who takes a stab at acting butch
Vice squad member: Liam Neeson Booked in ’86 as: An Irish Republican Army terrorist Post-Vice rap sheet: Played Irish revolutionary credited with founding the IRA in the 1996 film Michael Collins
Vice squad member: Annette Bening Booked in ’87 as: A government staffer whose beau tries to seduce Tubbs into illegal goings-on Post-Vice rap sheet: Seduced The American President; got Warren Beatty to make their goings-on legal
Vice squad member: Julia Roberts Booked in ’88 as: An alluring mafia moll who helps an amnesiac Crockett get hooked into the ”family” Post-Vice rap sheet: Played an alluring hooker who Richard Gere can’t forget in Pretty Woman
Vice squad member: Steve Buscemi Booked in ’86 as: A weaselly henchman for a violent drug lord Post-Vice rap sheet: Played weasels or henchmen in such violent films as Reservoir Dogs, Billy Bathgate, and Fargo