Hollywood power producer Ryan Murphy more or less launched his highly decorated career in television with the 2003 FX hit series Nip/Tuck. The medical drama series not only established Murphy as a talented writer and showrunner, but it also began his long-running relationship with FX, the network that would go on to produce Murphy’s American Horror Story, Feud: Joan and Betty, Pose, and American Crime Story.
As for Nip/Tuck, the series featured a wide array of impressive guest stars and recurring roles to help support the two depraved plastic surgeons, Dr. Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon), as they navigate glitzy Los Angeles.
Beloved child actress, world-class supermodel, five-time People’s Choice Award Winner, and all-around high-profile celebrity Brooke Shields graced Nip/Tuck with her radiant presence during Season 4 of the show.
In three episodes of Season 4, Shields portrayed the character of Dr. Faith Wolper, Christian’s personal therapist. The sixth episode “Faith Wolper, Ph.D.,” is particularly memorable for its steamy romance scenes that result from Faith confessing to Christian.
Before he won the world over with his commanding turn as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones, Peter Dinklage increased the quality of acting on Nip/Tuck Season 4. He played the role of Marlowe Sawyer in seven episodes that aired in 2006.
Sawyer starts his character arc as Conor’s (Stark Sands) nanny who, over time, begins a romantic affair with Julia. The sexual indiscretion stuns Sean because of Sawyer’s stature, causing Sawyer to leave town. Before he does so, it’s revealed that Sawyer has a wife and child.
Super talented Brown Sugar and Love & Basketball star Sanna Lathan enjoyed a juicy 12-episode guest-starring arc during Season 4 of Nip/Tuck. She played Michelle Landau, a woman who begins an affair with Christian after her wealthy older husband dies.
Following her husband’s death, Michelle and Christian get engaged to marry while Michelle plans to adopt Wilber. However, when sordid details from her time in college emerge, Christian and Wilber become imperiled. Once their engagement is ended, Michelle uses her wealth to purchase McNamara/Troy and forces the surgeons to relocate to California.
Sarah Paulson began her long-running collaborative friendship with Ryan Murphy on Nip/Tuck, playing Agatha Ripp in the eponymous eighth episode of Season 2. In just one episode, Paulson stole the show as a sex worker who self-administers stigmata.
The surgeons treat Agatha pro bono, who continues to encounter a series of supernatural events while under care. The case mystifies everyone involved, including Father Malley (John Aylward). Since her time on Nip/Tuck, Paulson has starred in Murphy’s American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Feud, and Ratched.
Alec Baldwin/Joan Rivers
Academy Award nominee and three-time Emmy Award winner Alec Baldwin made an ephemeral guest appearance during Season 2 of Nip/Tuck. He played the character of Dr. Barrett Moore in the episode entitled “Joan Rivers” (who also makes an appearance).
The hilarious episode entails Joan Rivers storming into the surgeon’s office demanding all of her facial reconstruction surgery to be reversed. Rivers, revealing her real name to be Joan Alexandra Molinsky, feels responsible for turning plastic surgery into a Hollywood trend and wants to disassociate from the entire process.
Hollywood royalty and Oscar nominee Melanie Griffith made a single-episode guest appearance on Nip/Tuck‘s 14th episode of Season 6. The episode is named after her character, “Sheila Carlton.”
Sheila Carlton is Kimber Henry’s estranged mother who helps console the surgeon following Christian’s ex-wife’s shocking suicide. Considering Griffith’s infamous facial reconstruction surgery after being mauled by a lion on the set of Roar in 1981, the irony of her casting is not lost.
Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave lent an air of regality on her 10-episode stint on Nip/Tuck. Appearing in seasons 2, 3, and 6, Redgrave played Dr. Erica Naughton, Julia’s cunning and calculating mother and child psychologist.
By the end of her series run, the disapproving Erica tried to gain sole custody of her grandchildren Annie and Conor. However, Julia mercilessly has her mother sent to jail after planting cocaine in her travel bag.
A decade before he won an Academy Award for his terrifying turn in Whiplash, J.K. Simmons made a single-episode appearance in Nip/Tuck Season 10. He portrayed the character of Ike Connors in the episode entitled “Kimber Henry.”
To better understand the pain his wife experiences in the wake of her breast cancer diagnosis, Ike Connors makes a request to undergo breast implant surgery. Meanwhile, Kimber reveals that she’s become a successful adult film actress.
Three years before she won an Oscar for her heartbreaking role in Precious, Mo’Nique showed up in Season 4 of Nip/Tuck in the role of Evetta Washington. She joined guest stars Peter Dinklage and Burt Bacharach in the episode.
The episode sees Christian’s vainglorious new client Hedda Grubman (Ruth Williamson) asking to be turned into the most attractive corpse at her impending funeral. However, the real crux of the drama revolves around Conor’s upcoming operation.
The best Nip/Tuck guest star is Bradley Cooper, the 8-time Oscar-nominated actor, writer, director, producer, and bona fide A-list movie star. From 2007 to 2009, Cooper played the role of Aiden Stone in six episodes.
Aiden Stone is a lecherous soap actor starring in the medical drama “Hearts ‘n Scalpels,” who implores Sean on the ways of appearing youthful without surgical augmentation. The brash and immature actor gets fired from his TV show after a sex tape he participated in gets exposed to the public.