7 'American Horror Story' Stars From Past Seasons That Need To Return For 'AHS: Hotel'

Every day brings more casting news for the fifth season of American Horror Story , titled Hotel . Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, and Lady Gaga are among the most exciting recent additions, and just today it was announced that Evan Peters is also returning to American Horror Story! It's shaping up to be yet another season centered around a core group of talented series regulars. As most of the usual suspects come back for more — with the noticeable and depressing exception of Jessica Lange — it makes me wish they'd bring other guest stars from past seasons back into the AHS fold.

Often, American Horror Story can be a horrific maelstrom of plot holes and nonsense; what keeps the show from crossing into the line of absolute absurdity is the severely talented actors Murphy attracts to each season. The show's casting process is renowned for operating more like a theatrical troupe than a randomly organized body of actors-for-hire. Yet some actors have played guest starring roles with uncanny aplomb only to never return. No, I am definitely not talking about Adam Levine or Stevie Nicks. I'm talking about the unsung performers that took one small part and murdered it (figuratively speaking), that I desperately hope to see again.

Here are the top seven actors from past seasons that I hope return for Hotel!

Kate Mara (Hayden McClaine, Season 1: Murder House)

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Sister to Rooney Mara, Kate Mara is a supremely intelligent actress whose absence from later seasons is perhaps the most surprising on this list. Yes, she's done some high-profile projects sinceand is about to become a superstar thanks to Fantastic Four — but her performance as the dangerously co-dependent Hayden was chilling in its ability to engender both profound sympathy and absolute rage in viewers.

Eric Stonestreet (Derek, Season 1: Murder House)

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Most of America knows him as lovable gay dad Cameron Tucker on Modern Family, but Eric Stonestreet has been around as a character actor for decades. In Season 1, he played one of Dr. Ben Harmon's (Dylan McDermott) therapy patients for one episode before his brutal murder. While we haven't seen much of him in the AHS universe, his popularity and track record as a well-rounded actor make him a perfect addition to the cast.

Clea DuVall (Wendy Peyser, Season 2: Asylum)

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Clea DuVall is a goddess and should be in everything. Why she didn't win a Golden Globe for The Faculty will forever be beyond my level of understanding.

Mare Winningham (Rita Gayheart, Season 4: Freak Show/Alicia Spencer, Season 3: Coven)

The only performer on this list to appear in more than one season, Winningham is one of those character actors whom you've seen in everything without quite knowing it. Her versatility is so convincing, in fact, that you probably didn't realize while watching that Pepper's alcoholic housewife sister in Season 4 was being played by the same actor as Kyle's pothead mother from the season prior. Winningham is the master at bringing an insane amount of talent to small, but influential characters.

James Cromwell (Dr. Arthur Arden, Season 2: Asylum)

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James Cromwell has the gravitas of Morgan Freeman and the scariness quotient of Hannibal Lecter. He won an Emmy for his role in Season 2, probably because after seeing his performance the Academy was terrified of what he might do if they didn't give it to him. (Also, he deserved it and stuff.)

Erica Ervin (Amazon Eve, Season 4: Freak Show)

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Erica Ervin is a talented and beautiful trans actress who also happens to be 6'8" tall. This made her the ideal casting for Freak Show's Strong Woman, and she was a delightfully calming screen presence in a particularly violent season; the sincerity she brought to her role made her a fan favorite. Not only would casting her please fans, but bringing back one of the many actors from Season 4 who were cast particularly for their physical features would make the whole affair of Freak Show feel considerably less exploitative.

Connie Britton (Vivien Harmon, Season 1: Murder House)

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What is there to say about Connie Britton that hasn't already been said? Goddess, earth-mother, and Tami Taylor extraordinaire, viewers have waited four long years for Britton's return to the series. While her country musical drama Nashville surely keeps her busy, I will personally write a check for whatever amount it takes to get her back. (I will ask Ryan Murphy to cover me when that check bounces). #BringBackBritton

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