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20 Stars You Forgot Starred on ‘True Detective’

True Detective premiered in January 2014 to excellent reviews and became a cultural phenomenon. While this distinctive crime drama series has had its highs and lows in the latter two seasons, its heat never really died down. So far, each season has consisted of eight episodes, each telling a unique story.

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The show’s popularity is due not just to its creative and dedicated writers and producers but also to big-name actors like Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Colin Farrell, Mahershala Ali, and others. Furthermore, True Detective features a large and excellent supporting cast, which viewers may recognize, who help the show function smoothly. These supporting actors range from Grey’s Anatomy’s regular to DCEU superheroes.

This article contains spoilers for all three seasons of True Detective.

Alexandra Daddario

Alexandra Daddario played the mistress of Woody Harrelson’s Detective Marty Hart in the first season of True Detective, and her brave decision in a naked scene launched her career. She is most recognized for her role as Annabeth Chase in the Percy Jackson series and she also appeared in many blockbusters such as Baywatch and San Andreas. Daddario is recently seen in HBO’s miniseries The White Lotus as a journalist honeymooner, Rachel Patton.

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Kevin Dunn

Kevin Dunn will most likely be remembered for his roles as White House Chief of Staff Ben Cafferty on HBO’s Veep and Communications Director Alan Reed in the 1993 political comedy Dave. In the first season of True Detective, Dunn portrayed Major Ken Quesada, “Rust” Cohle’s (McConaughey) and Marty’s tough boss. He was most recently seen in the 2021 biopic King Richard, along with Will Smith.

Erin Moriarty

In True Detective, Erin Moriarty played Audrey, Marty Hart’s daughter, when she was a teenager. Moriarty is most known for her role in the Amazon original superhero series The Boys as Annie January/Starlight. She also appeared in several well-known films and television shows, such as Jessica Jones and Captain Fantastic. Moriarty will reprise her role as Starlight in The Boys season 3 and in the upcoming horror thriller True Haunting, set to air in 2023.


Ann Dowd

Ann Dowd, who won a Primetime Emmy Award and a Critics’ Choice Award for her work on The Handmaid’s Tale in 2017, made a brief appearance as Betty Childress in the True Detective Season 1 finale. Dowd’s notable acting credits include The Leftovers, Olive Kitteridge, and Girls.

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She will portray President Jillian Stroud in the TV series The President Is Missing, based on the novel of the same name written by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and award-winning novelist James Patterson.

Michael Harney

Michael Harney played Sheriff Steve Geraci in True Detective Season 1, a cop who at first appeared to be a friend of Rust and Marty’s but ended up withholding more information than he should. Harney is widely known as Sam Healy to Orange Is the New Black fans; he is also featured in films such as A Star Is Born, Widows, and A Star Is Born, Widows, and most recently, FBI: Most Wanted. 88, his latest thriller, will premiere in June 2022.


Shea Whigham

Shea Whigham was a familiar face to HBO viewers when he played disgraced preacher Joel Theriot in True Detective Season 1, courtesy of his role as Elias “Eli” Thompson on Boardwalk Empire. Whigham is also a well-known actor who has been in shows like Fargo, Narcos, and Waco, as well as films like Joker and First Man. Fans will be able to see Whigham again in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, which is scheduled to premiere next summer.

Glenn Fleshler

Even though Glenn Fleshler only appears in three episodes of True Detective Season 1, his depiction as Errol Childress, the monster responsible for the kidnapping and death of many children in southern Louisiana, is one of the most memorable characters in television history. Fleshler has appeared in films such as Joker and A Most Violent Year and television shows such as Waco, The Twilight Zone, Watchmen, and, most recently, The Thing About Fam.


Abigail Spencer

Abigail Spencer played the ex-wife of Colin Farrell’s Detective Ray Velcoro in True Detective season two. Fans of Grey’s Anatomy will remember Spencer as Dr. Megan Hunt, while Suits fans will recognize her as Dana Scott. She is a familiar face in the world of TV who has appeared in several television shows throughout her career, including Burning Love, Rectify, Timeless, and Reprisal.

Adria Arjona

Adria Arjona made a brief appearance in True Detective season 2 as Officer Paul Woodrugh’s girlfriend. The actress has starred in blockbusters such as 6 Underground, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Triple Frontier, and Morbius, as well as television shows such as Good Omens and Emerald City. Father of the Bride, Arjona’s upcoming project, will premiere on HBO Max on June 16th.

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Leven Rambin

Leven Rambin played Athena Bezzerides, sister of Detective Sergeant Antigone “Ani” Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) and a web-camera performer. Rambin has appeared in a number of TV episodes, including Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Grey’s Anatomy, All My Children, Scoundrels, and, most recently, Gone. Mank and The Forever Purge are two of her most recent feature films.

Kelly Reilly

In the second season of True Detective, British actress Kelly Reilly portrays Jordan Semyon, the wife of Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn), who suffers from not only her life choices but also her husband’s. Reilly was recently nominated for several awards for her role in the Western television series Yellowstone. She previously portrayed Mary Watson in Guy Ritchie‘s Sherlock Holmes films.


W. Earl Brown

Detective Teague Dixon, played by W. Earl Brown, was a dishonest Vinci PD detective and Ray Velcoro’s partner in Season 2 of the show. Brown is mainly known for his roles as Warren in There’s Something About Mary, Dan Dority on Deadwood, and Meat Loaf in Meat Loaf: To Hell and Back. He also guest-starred as Weequay Proprietor in the Disney+ series The Mandalorian.

Timothy V. Murphy

Fans of Sons of Anarchy will recognize Timothy V. Murphy as Galaan and Commander Grey in TNTDrama’s Snowpiercer. In Season 2 of True Detective, Murphy portrayed Osip Agronov, a Russo-Israeli businessman and mafia lord. He was engaged in a major rail deal with Frank Semyon and Jacob McCandless (Jon Lindstrom). Murphy is a busy man currently working on several projects, including Guerrilla, Resurrected, and Fire Island.


David Morse

In the second season of the show, the Green Mile alum, David Morse, portrayed Elliot Bezzerides, a yoga lecturer who travels the world and is also the father of Ani and Athena Bezzerides. Morse recently appeared as Hank Crawford and Dean Paul Larson in the hit TV programs Blindspot and Netflix’s The Chair.

RELATED: How ‘The Chair’ Challenges the Culture of White Privilege in Academia

Ray Fisher

Ray Fisher, a Justice League alum, portrayed Henry Hays, the son of Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali) and Amelia Reardon (Carmen Ejogo), who became a detective with the Arkansas State Police in Season 3 of True Detective. Fisher most recently appeared as Gene Mobley in the television series Women of the Movement.

Scoot McNairy

Scoot McNairy played Tom Purcell, one of the main protagonists and the devastated father of two missing children, Julie and Will Purcell, in the most recent season of the show. McNairy is a well-known TV personality who appeared in the Netflix western Godless and the FX drama Halt and Catch Fire.


‘Brandon Flynn’

Viewers of 13 Reasons Why will identify Brandon Flynn as Justin Foley, while fans of True Detective will remember him as Ryan Peters, a youngster who saw Will and Julie Purcell before their 1980 disappearance. Flynn recently appeared in Netflix’s Ratched and will shortly star in Hellraiser, a horror picture set to hit theaters in 2022.

‘Josh Hopkins’

Josh Hopkins plays Jim Dobkins, a recurring character in Season 3 of True Detective. Dobkins is a private attorney who is looking at the conviction in the 1980 disappearance of Will and Julie Purcell, and he takes the case’s deposition from Detective Wayne Hays. Hopkins had extended acting credits on Ally McBeal, Swingtown, Private Practice, and Quantico, but fans might remember him as a member of Cougar Town‘s Cul-de-sac Crew.


‘Mamie Gummer’

Lucy Purcell, Tom Purcell’s wife and mother of two lost children, was played by Mamie Gummer, a Ricki and the Flash actress. Gummer is most known for her role as Dr. Emily Owen in Emily Owens M.D., a short-lived CW drama. She also starred in the films like Side Effects and Evening alongside her famous mother.

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‘Michael Rooker’

Michael Rooker is best known for his roles as Yondu in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and Merle Dixon in The Walking Dead. In the latest season of True Detective, Rooker played the owner of Hoyt Foods Company, Edward Hoyt. He will soon appear on the television show, The President Is Missing as Greg Parkes, alongside Ann Dowd, another True Detective alum.

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