'Veronica Mars' Most Famous Guest Stars Who You Totally Forgot Were Ever On The Show

It's no secret to any fan of the series that Veronica Mars packed a ton of famous guest stars in its short three-season run — many of whom were actually at their height of fame when the show was on. After all, this is the show that boasted Paris Hilton as one of Neptune High's signature mean girls in its very first season! (Her character's sudden disappearance was never explained, but perhaps it had something to do with another season of The Simple Life).

It makes sense why we saw so many new guest stars on the series — since Veronica Mars followed a semi-procedural format with a new mystery for Veronica to crack each week, the show had plenty of room for characters that could drop in and out of the series. But, while Veronica Mars certainly attracted major talent, some of the show's guest stars went on to become even more famous after the series. In fact, a few of them reached the peak of fame long after the show ended — and you might not remember they ever appeared on the show at all.

The list of Veronica Mars most famous guest stars includes Oscar winners, iconic directors, a Queen of the Upper East Side, and even a Breaking Bad favorite. Veronica Mars was the perfect stomping ground for these actors to explore before they made their way to bigger roles.

Here's a list of the guest stars who got huge after Veronica Mars ended:

Melissa Leo

Episode: "Meet John Smith"

Before scoring her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Fighter, Leo played the missing parent of one of Veronica's classmates. Her character came out as transgender and underwent surgery to treat her gender dysphoria.

Kevin Smith

Episode: "Driver Ed"

Smith, a huge Veronica Mars fan, appeared on a Season 2 episode of the show as a convenience store clerk — likely as a nod to his first feature Clerks. He later cast Veronica Mars actor Kyle Gallner (Beaver) in his 2011 film Red State.

Jessica Chastain

Episode: "The Girl Next Door"

The Golden Globe winner for Zero Dark Thirty appeared as Veronica's neighbor who goes missing from her apartment complex.

Kristin Cavallari

Episode: "Versatile Toppings"

The Laguna Beach star guest starred on the series as a Neptune High cheerleader who wants her girlfriend to come out of the closet.

Joss Whedon

Episode: "Rat Saw God"

Long before he brought The Avengers together, the Buffy, the Vampire Slayer creator — whom you can credit for creating that other scrappy blonde TV heroine — played a car rental salesman on an episode of Veronica Mars. The director admits that he's still a huge fan of the series.

Aaron Paul

Episode: "Silence of the Lamb"

Before he was Breaking Bad's Jesse, Paul guest-starred on Veronica Mars as a creepy criminal nicknamed "The Worm."

Ari Graynor

Episode: "Driver Ed"

The actress notorious for playing hot messes — like her character on the short-lived sitcom Bad Teacher — played the daughter of an ill-fated bus driver in Season 2 of the series.

Jane Lynch

Episode: "Return of the Kane"

Seems like Glee's Sue Sylvester was always destined to give high schooler's a hard time. She played a teacher in Season 1 of the series.

Dianna Agron

Episode: "Weevils Wobble But They Don't Go Down," "Papa's Cabin," "President Evil"

Lynch wasn't the only Glee actress to appear on the series. Agron had a three-episode arc as a student at Hearst College who frames Weevil for a fake ID scam.

Adam Scott

Episode: "Mars Vs. Mars"

The Parks and Recreation actor played a teacher accused of sleeping with his student, who was played by...

Leighton Meester

Episodes: "Mars Vs. Mars," "A Trip to the Dentist"

Meester had a recurring role as Carrie Bishop on the series. The character briefly appears in the Veronica Mars film (her death is the catalyst for the murder-mystery within the film) but Meester was replaced by another actress in the role which, according to The Hollywood Reporter, was due to scheduling conflicts.

Images: The CW (13)