Michael Chiklis as Vic Mackey is an iconic television creation, but The Shield was filled with other great characters and fantastic actors. Other main cast members like Walton Goggins have gone on to impressive careers, but there are also some big-name actors fans might have forgotten from the series.
Some of the actors who appeared on The Shield have already been established as great actors, some used the show as a way of showing a new side of their talents, and some of these actors appeared on the show before going on to become bigger stars.
10 Katy Sagal
Katy Sagal has an impressively varied career in television having been a part of a number of iconic shows. Her most famous role was likely Gemma Teller on Sons of Anarchy. The brutal crime show was created by Sagal’s husband Kurt Sutter who also produced The Shield.
While her role on The Shield was not nearly as substantial as any of those roles, Sagal still brought her considerable talent to the part. She appeared in two episodes as the wife of a disgraced police official who died. Sagal was quite effective as the grieving yet angry widow.
9 Clark Gregg
Though he has had a very long career in movies and in television, Clark Gregg is certainly best known for playing Agent Phil Coulson in the MCU. As the kind yet stern S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Coulson was very much the glue that helps Phase 1 of the cinematic universe together. He was also able to take center stage as Coulson in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
MCU fans will likely be quite shocked to see the much darker turn Gregg played in The Shield. He appeared in two episodes in the third season as a chilling and remorseless serial killer.
8 Andre Benjamin
Most people probably know Andre Benjamin as one half of the groundbreaking rap group Outkast or by his own solo music career as Andre 3000. However, he also proved himself an impressive actor with a number of television and movie roles, including Four Brothers with Mark Wahlberg.
Benjamin first appeared in season 3 of The Shield as a local comic book store owner named Robert Huggins who wanted his neighborhood cleaned up. Huggins then reemerged in one of the show’s final episodes, revealing that he was a mayoral candidate.
7 Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker was already a very well-respected character actor by the time he joined The Shield and was one of the biggest names to appear on the show. But it also happened right around the time Whitaker delivered his Oscar-winning performance in The Last King of Scotland.
Whitaker had a large role in the fifth season of The Shield as Jon Kavanaugh, an Internal Affairs agent who is deadest on taking down Vic Mackey and his team. However, Kavanaugh’s own arrogance leads to him becoming as corrupt as Vic himself.
6 Anthony Anderson
Though it was years before his Emmy-nominated role on Blackish, Anthony Anderson was already a successful comedic actor. He had already starred in hit comedies like Barbershop and Scary Movie 3 before landing a very different role on The Shield.
Anderson dropped his funny guy persona to play the ruthless drug lord Antwon Mitchell. Anderson appeared in the recurring role over the span of three seasons, making him one of the most chilling adversaries Vic and the others came up against.
5 Carl Weathers
Carl Weathers is a legendary actor who has countless classic projects to his name. He has appeared in too many iconic projects to name, in both television and movies. But he will always be beloved by fans as Apollo Creed in the Rocky franchise.
While his guest-starring role on The Shield was not quite as famous as some other roles in his career, Weathers’s strong presence was put to good use. He played a former partner of Vic who was kicked off the force and provides a glimpse into a possible future for Vic if he doesn’t clean up his act.
4 Sung Kang
Sung Kang is best known for his role as Han in the Fast and Furious franchise which he joined in the third movie. Recently, he made his surprising and much-anticipated return to the series in F9 and will next be seen in the long-awaited Star Wars series Kenobi.
Before all that success, Kang appeared in one episode of The Shield. He played a young man who gets caught up in an old family rivalry that turns deadly.
3 Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell is an actor who seemed to find fame and success very early in her career. She rose to fame with her title role in the cult favorite Veronica Mars before going on to star in the equally acclaimed The Good Place.
However, Bell’s success was not overnight and The Shield marks one of her earliest roles, long before she became a star. Bell appeared in the second season of The Shield as a young woman who was kidnapped and assaulted as part of a gang feud, Bell played a much darker role than she is known for.
2 Glenn Close
Glenn Close was already a Hollywood icon by the time she had appeared in The Shield. She is best known for her chilling performance in Fatal Attraction and also preceded Emma Stone as the first live-action Cruella De Vil in 101 Dalmatians.
At the time, it was unusual for a successful movie actor to switch to television, but Close made an impression with her time on The Shield. She played Monica Rawlings in the show’s fourth season. She was a dedicated and fearless cop who took over “The Farm” for a brief time.
1 Michael Peña
Michael Peña seems to be one of the hardest working and most likable actors in Hollywood. He is one of those rare actors who can effortlessly jump between dark and gritty dramas and wacky comedy roles such as his scene-stealing role as Luis in the Ant-Man movies.
Peña was still working on making a name for himself when he landed a sizable supporting role in The Shield‘s fourth season. He played Army, the new partner of Shane Vendrell who is quickly roped into Vendrell’s corrupt activities.