The Jennifer Garner 'Mother's Day' Cameo Is A Total Tearjerker

Director Garry Marshall has one of the most diverse résumés in all of Hollywood. He created or co-created several of the most popular TV shows of all time in the '70s; Happy Days, The Odd Couple, Mork & Mindy, and Laverne & Shirley, before moving onto directing blockbuster movies like Beaches, Pretty Woman, and The Princess Diaries. In the current decade, he's remade himself again with a series of impossibly star-studded rom-coms centered around holidays, with the latest being the upcoming movie Mother's Day. And among the most surprising stars to pop up in Mother's Day is Jennifer Garner. So why is that surprising?

Well, because she's a big star but basically no one knows she's in the movie. She has not appeared in any of the marketing for the film, and she's not even listed on the movie's IMDb page. Her cameo is also pretty out of the blue. She plays the deceased wife of Jason Sudeikis' character, and she's only briefly seen on a TV screen as he watches her sing karaoke while away at war. It's a short, but effective cameo, and it's proud to bring you to tears.

Interestingly, Garner is hardly the first big name to show up in a surprising way in one of Marshall's films. Here are 11 other stars who have gotten the cameo treatment in a Garry Marshall movie.

1. Anne Hathaway In New Year's Eve

The star of The Princess Diaries pops up out of nowhere kissing a marine near the end of this ensemble film.

2. Michael Bloomberg In New Year's Eve

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The former mayor of New York appears as himself as the ball drops, which I assume didn't require many acting lessons.

3. Ryan Seacrest In New Year's Eve


Hey, you can't have the ball drop without Seacrest, right?

4. Matthew Broderick In New Year's Eve

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Since his wife Sarah Jessica Parker stars in the film, it's not all that shocking that he would appear. What is shocking is that the name of his character is "Buellerton".

5. John Lithgow In New Year's Eve

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Is it me, or does this movie have a lot of cameos?

6. Joe Mantegna In Valentine's Day

The voice of The Simpsons' Fat Tony gets to yell at Ashton Kutcher during his brief appearance. Talk about a fun cameo!

7. Johnny Unitas In Runaway Bride

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Cameos don't get more random than this. The legendary Colts quarterback can be seen sitting on a bench outside a bakery in this Julia Roberts movie.

8. Allan Kent In The Princess Diaries

This is more of a character cameo than an actor cameo, as Kent plays a waiter who says the exact same line that he said as a waiter in Pretty Woman over a decade earlier.

9. Penny Marshall In The Princess Diaries


The actor and director is Garry's sister, and she appears in a number of his films. This time, she's a guest at the independence ball.

10. Stan Lee In The Princess Diaries 2

That's right, the master of the Marvel cameo doesn't just show up in superhero movies. His superpower is apparently the ability to cameo in anything.

11. Garry Marshall In... Practically Everything

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If there's one cameo in a Garry Marshall movie you can expect, it's the director himself, who almost always appears in his films in one fashion or another.

Garner is joining a crowded field of stars as someone who's cameoed in a Marshall movie, and the director will likely continue packing his movies with as many big names as possible. At this rate, in a couple of years he'll probably make a movie about Arbor Day and somehow get Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio to appear in it. Seriously, nothing would surprise me at this point.

Images: Walt Disney Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures