Curtain Time

Watch the 13 Best ‘Glee’ Guest Appearances

In advance of the Season 5 premiere, Anna Klassen looks back at the guest stars who rocked the Glee stage. From Britney Spears to Ricky Martin, see scenes from the 13 top performances.


Britney Spears

What happens when Britney Spears meets Brittany S. Pierce? Add in some mild hallucinations and perfectly choreographed dance numbers, and you’re in for one sexy and nostalgic ride.

Gwyneth Paltrow

One of the longest-running guest stars, Gwyneth Paltrow played the saucy substitute teacher who ended up in a relationship with Mr. Schue. Her talents include singing in the rain, speaking Spanish, and using elaborate costumes to teach students history lessons.

Helen Mirren

Although she doesn’t physically appear on the show, Helen Mirren lends her perfectly British voice to the inner monologue of Cheerios co-captain Becky Jackson, otherwise known as the Queen of England.

John Stamos

Known for his luscious locks and those pearly whites, it was nothing but appropriate that John Stamos played a dentist on Glee (who rivaled Will Schuester for the affections of Emma the school counselor).

Kate Hudson

Playing the relentless yet sultry dance teacher at NYADA, Kate Hudson lends her voice, moves, and killer bod to the college campus of Rachel Berry’s nightmare. Sabotaging her budding relationship and tormenting her in class, Hudson plays bitch with a capital B.

Kristen Chenoweth

You saw this one coming. The blonde, petite, and oh-so-squeaky voiced Chenoweth was made to guest star on Glee. And she did in Season 3, portraying a Broadway star tempting Will Schuester to leave his post as a teacher for a life of Broadway bows.

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily Digest

Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast.

Cheat Sheet

A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don't).

By clicking “Subscribe,” you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.

Lindsay Lohan

In her cameo on Glee, Lindsay Lohan is introduced non-ironically (we think) as “America’s Sweetheart.” The rehab enthusiast plays a judge for a singing competition in which New Directions is performing. While fellow guest star Perez Hilton likes the group, Lindsay is unsure, but eventually ends up voting to award the high-school singers first place. Way to go, LiLo!

Matt Bomer

Fifty Shades of Grey fan favorite Matt Bomer took a spin on Glee to play big brother to Darren Criss’s character. Bomer poked fun at his profession, portraying a self-involved commercial actor whose idea of quality acting involved screaming and pointing wildly.

Neil Patrick Harris

Tony and Emmy Awards’ host Neil Patrick Harris is known for his song-and-dance expertise, so it’s only fitting that he play the primary antagonist to glee-club leader Will Schuester. Like his character on How I Met Your Mother, Harris plays a ladies' man as well as a former Glee club member and crack addict.

Olivia Newton-John

Reprising her “Physical” music video routine from 1981, Oliva Newton John pairs with Jane Lynch to perform an updated rendition of the song, complete with a bevy of half-naked, spandex wearing bodybuilders.

Ricky Martin

Latin lover Ricky Martin showed off his Spanish skills and scandalous dance moves when he took over the clase de español for subpar Spanish speaker Will Schuester.

Sarah Jessica Parker

Sex and the City actress Sarah Jessica Parker stepped into her old Jimmy Choo’s to play a New York fashionista and magazine editor thriving in the big city. She employs Kurt as an intern, and when Kurt breaks into her office to give Rachel a makeover, Parker isn’t even upset. “Did someone say makeover?!”

Whoopi Goldberg

Playing a recruiter for NYADA college, Sister Act star Whoopi Goldberg wasn’t offering any sisterly love to Rachel Berry when she blew her audition and asked to start over for a third time. Tough love and discipline are the lessons this View host offered her wide-eyed applicant.