All About Cameos


 All About Cameos

A cameo is a short appearance by an actor in a film or television show. The term itself is derived from the phrase "to cameo". The role of a celebrity, artist, or other historical figure in a movie may be very small or even non-speaking. This may serve to introduce the audience to the character and enhance anticipation for their full appearance later in that story. Cameos have long been used in films and literature and are common today in TV shows as well as on stage. For example, Kim Kardashian was featured on "Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami" during its first episode while Robert De Niro was played by Laurence Fishburne in Spike Lee's 1993 film Jungle Fever. Other examples of cameos can be found in films such as Short Circuit 2 (1993) and Jaws 3 (1987). The stage is a known place for cameo appearances. Historical figures who have also made cameo appearances on stage include Richard III (the first historical figure to have a production of his life staged), George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, among others.

In the earliest known film ever made, "The Birth of Venus" (1938), American actress Mary Pickford appeared on screen with Clark Gable in one scene. In the 1922 story The Man Who Laughs, by Victor Hugo, Eugène Delacroix appears as himself after dark.

The term may have been used as early as the late 18th century, though it was not until later that extensive use had spread to the United States.

For example, in 1869, a silent film, "The Uninvited", featured Virginia MacFarland in a short role as a boy who enters a room where his mother is entertaining and attempts to impress her by imitating her. When she turns to look at him he faints and she says "Why, Baby!" In the 1920s and 1930s cameo appearances became more commonplace. For many actors cameo appearances were their only significant work in film history. In fact, some up-and-coming actors died before they had the chance to earn another prominent role, a fate suffered by Robert Donat and Claude Rains.

"Cameo roles" are often used for a number of reasons with varying degrees of success. Sometimes they may be used to allow an established star or that star's fans the opportunity to see the star in a different type of role. A typical example is Harrison Ford playing himself in the film "K-19: The Widowmaker", or the use of James Doohan's character Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in various episodes of "". Another reason for the use of a cameo appearance is to leave the audience in suspense as to whether or not an actor will appear. On the other hand, some directors are known to use cameos as a means to great satire or to show off the skills of a relative unknown actor. The most famous example of this is in "The Empire Strikes Back".

Sometimes cameos are used to forward a plot element from one character or scene to another. This can be seen in Oliver Stone's 1989 film "Wall Street", and again in "The Usual Suspects" (1995) where Kevin Spacey's character, Verbal Kint, walks by multiple characters but does not interact with them. In "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991), director Jonathan Demme used cameo appearances to connect protagonist Clarice Starling to story elements in other scenes. This was done using a distinctive color scheme for each cameo, as well as Demme's directing style of shooting cameos in one short scene while another is simultaneously playing out in the background. A more recent example can be seen in "Ocean's Twelve" (2004), where director Steven Soderbergh cast his leading actors as different characters with the same names throughout the movie.

Conclusion to this article by: Jake

Cameo appearance examples in literature
Some of the notable cameo appearances in literature include: 'The Tale of Two Bad Mice' (circa 1712) where a mouse appears on a sheet. In this story, it's an illustration displayed on a painting of two mice.[1] The first example of the term "cameo appearance" in literature was not likely due to art but rather as a pun on Shakespeare's name. The book, "The New Art of Currying Pots" published in 1657 by George Speck shows an illustration of a man with William Shakespeare's nose.

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