POPSUGAR Celebrity

The 18 Stars Who Keep Popping Up on American Horror Story

Apr 16 2015 - 8:00am

American Horror Story [1] switches up its spooky theme each year, but there are usually a handful of recurring actors. Series staples like Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, and Sarah Paulson have appeared every season — except the upcoming one. Lange recently announced her exit from the show [2], and Murphy is switching things up for the new season, introducing fresh actors (and yes, a few familiar ones) for Hotel [3]. We've gotten caught up theorizing how all the seasons are connected [4], but before we get too ahead of ourselves, let's revisit all the characters played by our favorite repeat offenders, shall we?

Jessica Lange

Seasons: Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show

The anchor of American Horror Story, Lange appeared in the first season as Constance Langdon, the Harmons' nosy neighbor. She took on Sister Jude Martin, a party-girl-turned-nun-turned-institution-patient, on Asylum, before starring as Supreme Witch Fiona Goode on Coven. It was nice to see her back in shape (mentally) there, and she was even better as ringmaster Elsa Mars on Freak Show. Too bad she won't be back for Hotel [5]!

Lily Rabe

Seasons: Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show

First, Lily Rabe was Nora Montgomery, a mother haunted by the death of her child, in the first season. She played Sister Mary Eunice on Asylum, and turned up on Freak Show as that same character. She also starred as Misty Day, a witch with the power to bring animals back from the dead, on Coven.

Sarah Paulson

Seasons: Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, Hotel

Paulson has been involved since the first season, in which she had a smaller part as Constance's psychic, Billie Dean Howard. She was arguably the main character on Asylum as Lana Winters, an intrepid reporter with terrible luck, and on Coven, Paulson was Cordelia Foxx, headmistress at the boarding school for young witches. On Freak Show, she returned as Bette and Dot Tattler, a new addition to the freak show. Paulson is the latest to join the Hotel cast.

Evan Peters

Seasons: Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show

Portraying everything from a depressed ghost to a wrongly convicted felon to an ill-fated frat boy, Peters is one of the show's main players. He played the trapped spirit Tate Langdon on Murder House, Kit Walker on Asylum, and in Coven, he returned as Kyle Spencer, a college student who immediately forms a bond with Zoe (Taissa Farmiga). On Freak Show, he played Jimmy Darling, a sideshow act with lobster hands.

Taissa Farmiga

Seasons: Murder House, Coven

Farmiga portrayed Violet Harmon, the teen trapped in her family's haunted house, in the first season. She returned to pursue the love of Evan Peters's character as young witch Zoe Benson on Coven.

Frances Conroy

Seasons: Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show

Conroy has been a constant presence on the show, playing the Harmon family's maid, Moira O'Hara, in season one. She had the smaller role of the Angel of Death on Asylum then played Myrtle Snow, an employee of the boarding school for witches, on Coven. She took an elegant turn on Freak Show as a society woman Gloria Mott.

Jamie Brewer

Seasons: Murder House, Coven

Brewer's first role ever was Adelaide "Addie" Langdon, the troubled daughter of Jessica Lange's character, in the first season of American Horror Story. She came back for Coven to play Nan, a witch with clairvoyant powers attending the boarding school. She also briefly turned up on Freak Show as an evil puppet.

Denis O'Hare

Seasons: Murder House, Coven, Freak Show

O'Hare made his AHS debut in the first season as Larry Harvey, a horrifically scarred man obsessed with the Harmons. He returned to the show on Coven as Spalding, the butler who serves the girls at Miss Robichaux's Academy For Exceptional Young Ladies. On Freak Show, he was back as Stanley, a con artist.

Dylan McDermott

Seasons: Murder House, Asylum

McDermott starred as philandering therapist Ben Harmon in the first season and returned unexpectedly for Asylum as a disgruntled murderer. He skipped Coven and Freak Show — fingers crossed he'll return for Hotel!

Emma Roberts

Seasons: Coven, Freak Show

On Coven, Roberts portrayed Madison Montgomery, a headstrong young witch. A year later on Freak Show, she played Maggie Esmerelda, a faux fortune teller in cahoots with Stanley.

Zachary Quinto

Seasons: Murder House, Asylum

Quinto played Chad Warwick, a former owner of the "murder house," in a handful of episodes in season one. He returned with a bigger role as the mysterious Dr. Oliver Thredson on Asylum.

Angela Bassett

Seasons: Coven, Freak Show

Ever the commanding presence, Bassett turned up on Coven as voodoo queen Marie Laveau. On Freak Show, she was Desiree Dupree, a woman who is obviously an asset to the freak show.

Kathy Bates

Seasons: Coven, Freak Show, Hotel

Bates joined the cast as Madame Delphine LaLaurie during Coven. On Freak Show, she was less murder-y and more scruffy as Ethel Darling, the bearded lady. Bates will also return for the upcoming season five.

Chloë Sevigny

Seasons: Asylum, Hotel

Sevigny is the latest actor to join the cast of Hotel [6]. Though she was only a recurring character as Shelley on Asylum, she'll be a series regular this time. Let's also hope she'll get to keep her legs.

Matt Bomer

Seasons: Freak Show, Hotel

After a very brief appearance as an unlucky prostitute on Freak Show, Bomer will be a main player on Hotel.

Wes Bentley

Seasons: Freak Show, Hotel

Bentley has a memorable part on Freak Show as the legendary Edward Mordrake [7], and he'll be back for more as a main cast member on Hotel.

Naomi Grossman

Seasons: Asylum, Freak Show

Grossman appeared as Pepper in both Asylum and Freak Show, earning her the distinction of portraying the first crossover character.

Gabourey Sidibe

Seasons: Coven, Freak Show

Sidibe joined the cast on Coven to play a young witch, then she showed up in a few episodes of Freak Show as a concerned daughter.


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