Bruce Campbell (My Name Is Bruce)
Real-life version: Something of a cult hero amongst movie geeks for his role as Ash in the Evil Dead trilogy.
Now plying his trade on TV in spy show Burn Notice .
Movie version: Campbell also directed this tale starring himself as himself – who is then mistaken for his Evil Dead character and ask to help the locals fend off a monster.
Bob Barker (Happy Gilmore)
Real-life version: Legendary host of America’s version of The Price Is Right .
Carried on doing the job into his 80s.
Movie version: Partnered with Happy on the golf course, Barker gets increasingly furious until, as you might imagine in an Adam Sandler movie, fisticuffs break out.
Jackie Robinson (The Jackie Robinson Story)
Real-life version: A remarkable man, who along with Jesse Owens helped break down the barriers for African-Americans by becoming the first black baseball player of the modern era.
As such, he was a champion of the civil rights movement. It helped that he was brilliant.
Movie version: No-one would claim Robinson was much of an actor, but this 1950 biopic is guaranteed to cause a few tears and remarkably did pretty well at the box office despite being released during segregation.
Tommy Steele (The Tommy Steele Story)
Real-life version: Generally considered to be the first British teen music idol, Steele is still going strong at 75.
Fun fact: he once showed Elvis round London, despite Presley supposedly never setting foot in Britain other than a stopover at Prestwick Airport.
Movie version: Who else but the man himself could essay a cinematic version of the star’s rise to fame?
This 1957 musical cemented Steele’s celebrity.
Megan Fox (The Dictator)
Real-life version: Sex bomb. The Transformers star is supposed to look good on-screen and she tends to achieve this goal (see How To Lose Friends And Alienate People , Jennifer’s Body ).
She pleased many by slagging off director Michael Bay.
Movie version: Riffing on her sexual persona, Fox sleeps with Baron Cohen’s title character, then whinges about his method of payment.
Cate Blanchett (Coffee and Cigarettes)
Real-life version: Oscar-winning actress whose presence guarantees quality.
And because she’s an Aussie, she’s also really nice.
Movie version: This quirky series of black and white vignettes sees Blanchett play herself and the woman she’s talking to in the same scene.
Donald Trump (Home Alone 2: Lost In New York)
Real-life version: Strangely-coiffed property mogul who wants to dig up the Scottish countryside and likes saying "You’re fired!"
Movie version: Hey, New York is The Donald’s town, baby.
It would be a travesty if he didn’t appear.
Bruce Willis (What Just Happened)
Real-life version: Charismatic leading man actor who used to be married to Demi Moore and made one of the greatest action movies of all time.
Soon to be seen in Looper , one of the greatest time travel movies of all time.
Movie version: Makes fun of himself as a demanding actor who won’t shave his beard off for a role.
Which is obviously nothing like him whatsoever.
Interestingly, in the book by producer Art Linson the film is based on, the star who wouldn’t shave his beard is Alec Baldwin.
Hulk Hogan (Gremlins 2)
Real-life version: Amongst the most famous wrestlers ever, Hogan was a national hero in the '80s and '90s, parlaying that fame into movies like Rocky 3 and Suburban Commando .
Movie version: If you haven’t seen Gremlins 2 , do, it’s really subversive.
Hogan appears in a Fifties-style, breaking-the-fourth-wall gag, urging the mini monsters to restart the film when they have seemingly stopped showing it in real life. Geddit?
Frank Wills (All The Presidents Men)
Real-life version: A security guard, he alerted police to a possible break-in at Watergate after noticing a piece of duct tape on one of the locks.
He died almost penniless.
Movie version: Keen to lend an air of authenticity, the filmmakers hired Wills to recreate his role in the scandal.
He also appeared in Forrest Gump years later.
Oscar Goodman (Casino)
Real-life version: A celebrated Mob lawyer, Goodman subsequently turned his hand to politics and became, appropriately enough, Mayor of Las Vegas.
Movie version: As the man who had defended real-life gangsters Lefty Rosenthal and Anthony Spilotro (veiled versions of whom were played in the film by Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci), director Martin Scorsese must have thought it made sense to have him do it again on camera.
Vanilla Ice (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze)
Real-life version: Known to his mother as Robert Van Winkle, Ice has recently became a reality show staple.
Caused thousands of white middle class boys to try rapping thanks to Ice Ice Baby.
Movie version: While his contribution should have been limited to Ninja Rap on the soundtrack, Mr. Ice also demonstrates his MC skills during a nightclub scuffle.
Michael Jordan (Space Jam)
Real-life version: The greatest basketball player of all time, who sparked a shoe revolution and led the Chicago Bulls to numerous championships.
Movie version: One of the many people to have been upstaged on-screen by cartoon characters.
Another reason why Bugs Bunny is awesome.
Howard Stern (Private Parts)
Real-life version: There are few people megalomaniacal enough to play themselves in their own biopic.
This taboo-shattering shock jock was one of them.
Movie version: Stern shows surprisingly impressive acting chops in what is a thoroughly entertaining trawl through what many blame for contributing to the decline of standards in popular culture.
Babe Ruth (The Pride Of The Yankees)
Real-life version: Many consider this former Boston Red Sox-er who broke Fenway hearts when he transferred to the New York Yankees as the greatest baseball player of all time.
Movie version: Ruth played himself alongside other Yankees in this biopic of Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper), a brilliant player who contracted the terminal illness amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Gehrig died a year before the film came out in 1942 at the age of 37.
Audie Murphy (To Hell And Back)
Real-life version: The most-decorated US soldier in WWII was spotted by James Cagney after appearing on a 1945 LIFE magazine cover and brought to Hollywood.
He subsequently appeared in 44 movies.
Movie version: This 1955 film was based on Murphy’s wartime exploits.
Murphy only appeared after suggesting Tony Curtis for the role.
Norah Jones (Ted)
Real-life version: She’s the daughter of Ravi Shankar who sold millions of album sitting at a piano singing winsome ballads. More recently, she’s gone a bit more rocky. But then you can when you’ve got squillions in the bank.
Movie version: Jones gamely lets Mark Wahlberg sing a dreadful version of the Octopussy theme tune at one of her gigs to impress his ex-girlfriend. She also admits to having sex with a teddy bear.
Spice Girls (Spiceworld)
Real-life version: They helped to further the potency of girl power and as you might expect, pop Svengali Simon Fuller thought a cash-in film would be perfect.
Movie version: The girls muck about in a bus. Richard E. Grant, Meatloaf and Roger Moore just some of the British cheque-grabbers along for the ride.
Posh Spice manages the unique feat of playing herself unconvincingly.
Lou Ferrigno (I Love You Man)
Real-life version: A former bodybuilder who rose to fame painted green as television’s Incredible Hulk.
Little-known fact: he has only 20% hearing capacity.
Movie version: Lou wants to sell his house. Paul Rudd wants to broker the deal.
Only Jason Segel can get in the way.
Alice Cooper (Waynes World)
Real-life version: A glam rock pioneer whose educational anthem School’s Out has graced many a movie, including Dazed And Confused .
As an older gentleman, he has been known to play a lot of golf and show up at Lord’s.
Movie version: In this paean to heavy metal, it is only proper that one of its most famous citizens show up to be worshipped.
Mike Myers takes this a stage further by having Alice mockingly hold out his hand to be kissed.
Martin Sheen (Hotshots Part Deux)
Real-life version: On-screen president in The West Wing , real-life father to Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen.
All-round cool guy.
Movie version: In a comedy riffing on Rambo and starring his son Charlie amongst other things, Sheen Sr. shows up drifting down the river on a boat, echoing his role in Apocalypse Now .
The father-son joint declaration that ÏI loved you in Wall Street is another neat touch.
Marshall McLuhan (Annie Hall)
Real-life version: Academic McLuhan became known for his writings on culture and for coining the phrase: The medium is the message.
Movie version: In a brilliant piece of wish fulfilment, Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) gets annoyed at a couple debating McLuhan’s work in a cinema queue and pulls the man himself into the discussion to refute their theories.
Billy Idol (The Wedding Singer)
Real-life version: Peroxide-haired punk pop singer who became a superstar with hits like Rebel Yell and White Wedding.
Movie version: Ends up giving romantic advice to Adam Sandler on a plane. Which doesn’t seem very punk.
Dan Marino (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective)
Real-life version: Marino took the Miami Dolphins to Superbowl glory as quarterback and has since become a commentator.
Movie version: Kidnapped by a transsexual lunatic, Marino does good bug eyes when he finds out he may have slept with one of his old teammates.
Dustin Diamond (Made)
Real-life version: Screech from Saved By The Bell has never escaped his Saturday morning past and spends most of his time spoofing himself.
Movie version: Jon Favreau’s follow-up to Swingers is not as good, but is still a funny comedy.
Especially when Favs and Vince Vaughn’s characters bump into the actor on a New York street.
Mike Tyson (Black & White)
Real-life version: One of the greatest boxers of all-time had an astonishing fall from grace after being imprisoned for rape. His rehabilitation continues. With a face tattoo.
Movie version: You might think we would have chosen The Hangover . But no, Tyson’s appearance in this 1999 indie is way more interesting.
Propositioned by Robert Downey Jr.’s character, Tyson lashes out in anger – and it looks all too real.
Some behind-the-scenes rumours suggest it was, after director James Toback decided not to tell Tyson what Downey Jr. was going to do.
Steve Coogan & Rob Brydon (A Cock & Bull Story)
Real-life version: Small screen comedy legends – Coogan on The Day Today and I'm Alan Partridge , Brydon as star of Marion & Geoff and Gavin & Stacey .
Movie version: In Michael Winterbottom’s bizarrely-constructed adaptation, both of them appear as absurd versions of themselves as well as characters in the actual Tristram Shandy story.
They repeated the trick more recently in The Trip .
Ben Affleck & Matt Damon (Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back)
Real-life version: Best friends since forever and Oscar-winning screenwriters, Affleck has since forged a career as a critically-acclaimed writer/director, whilst Damon is one of the biggest movie stars in the world.
Movie version: Both of them are friends with Kevin Smith and Affleck made early acting inroads in Smith’s films Mallrats and Chasing Amy , whilst they appeared together in Dogma .
It’s all rather meta, but here they make fun of themselves by starring in Good Will Hunting 2 .
Kelly Brook (Keith Lemon: The Movie)
Real-life version: Buxom model and part-time actress ( Piranha 3D ) who makes much of her living appearing scantily-clad in the press. Seems like a really nice woman.
Movie version: Judging by the trailers, Keith wants to sleep with her because she’s hot and wears lingerie a lot. That’s about it.
Stan Lee (Mallrats)
Real-life version: The ultimate comics guru created iconic characters like Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk and The Fantastic Four amongst hundreds of others.
Movie version: Devoted comics nerd Kevin Smith got a chance to genuflect before one of his heroes in this follow-up to Clerks , with Lee doling out romantic wisdom.
Pauly Shore (Pauly Shore Is Dead)
Real-life version: Pauly Shore is one of those strangely American anomalies. Someone whose schtick was utterly unfunny being cast in comedies revolving around said schtick. Kylie Minogue even agreed to participate in the debacle that was Biodome.
Movie version: Surprisingly, it seemed Pauly was aware how many audience members hated him and this mockumentary was mildly clever and subversive.
Pamela Anderson (Borat)
Real-life version: Playboy covergirl, the greatest woman ever to wear a red swimsuit and run in slow motion, star of Barb Wire , that woman with the fake boobs getting it on in a sex tape.
Pammy is all things to all people.
Movie version: We wouldn’t blame you if you thought Pamela wasn’t in on Sacha Baron Cohen’s prank – in which he goes into a book store and tries to kidnap her in a sack.
It’s still a brilliantly uncomfortable moment.
Joshua Jackson (Oceans Eleven)
Real-life version: We all love the actor for his time as fast-talking Pacey Witter on Dawson’s Creek.
Movie version: Jackson is just one of the Young Hollywood crowd making fun of himself while they learn how to play poker from Brad Pitt’s character Rusty.
Bruce Springsteen (High Fidelity)
Real-life version: The Boss wears denim like no-one else and recently annoyed the residents of Mayfair with his London concert. Has a penchant for playing gigs with barely any of the hits.
Movie version: A bit of a coup for the filmmakers this one, as John Cusack’s take on Nick Hornby’s classic piece of man-lit scored Springsteen acting as a kind of musical Cupid. Briefly.
Brian Austin Green (Domino)
Real-life version: Goofy star of the original Beverly Hills, 90210. He played the one no-one cared about. Latterly, he’s best known as Megan Fox’s beau.
Movie version: This kooky real-life tale with Keira Knightley playing a model who became a bounty hunter throws even more weirdness into the mix when Green shows up with old co-star Ian Ziering as hosts of a reality show about bounty hunters. And yes, the movie is as confusing as it sounds.
Tom Cruise (Austin Powers in Goldmember)
Real-life version: Action star extraordinaire of the Mission: Impossible franchise, whose Eighties high concepts made way for award-worthy performances in Born On The Fourth Of July and Magnolia .
Movie version: Cruise’s ability to take himself less seriously has been shown recently in Tropic Thunder and Rock Of Ages, but Goldmember is where it began, with Tom playing himself, playing Austin in a movie version of Austin’s life within the film. Phew.
Cher (Stuck On You)
Real-life version: Oscar-winning actress, platinum-selling singer, gay icon.
Cher is all those things and more. Plus she’s got great hair.
Movie version: Desperate to get out her TV series contract, the multi-hyphenate insists on one half of a conjoined twin as her detective show co-star.
The result? Ratings gold and an incredibly funny scene on the set of the fictional drama.
Elisabeth Shue (Hamlet 2)
Real-life version: The subject of many young men’s fantasies thanks to her roles in Cocktail and Adventures In Babysitting , she also used to be really good at footie.
Movie version: This Steve Coogan comedy about a hubristic high school theatre teacher may be patchy, but Shue’s turn as herself – sick of Hollywood and relocated to a small town where she’s now a nurse – is anything but.
Kurt Vonnegut (Back To School)
Real-life version: The American author – who died in 2007 at the age of 84 – is generally considered one of the 20th century’s greatest writers.
His work includes Cat’s Cradle and 1969’s seminal Slaughterhouse-Five.
Movie version: Quite odd to see Kurt turn up in a Rodney Dangerfield film but that he did.
Dangerfield is a millionaire who enrols in college to spend time with his son, paying Vonnegut to write an assignment about himself.
Of course, that leads to a professor saying whoever wrote the essay didn’t know anything about the author. Ha, er, ha.
Bill Murray (Zombieland)
Real-life version: A man many consider the world’s greatest movie comedian and certainly one of cinema’s great enigmas, Murray’s deadpan delivery has been put to use in blockbusters ( Ghostbusters ) and indie gems ( Lost In Translation ).
Movie version: The funniest sequence of an impressive movie features a sad-sack Murray hiding out from the apocalypse in his mansion.
We won’t tell you what happens next.
Tom Jones (Mars Attacks)
Real-life version: The Welsh belter has latterly become a mentor on The Voice , but is best-known as the singer of songs your male mates ruin at karaoke when they’re drunk.
Thunderball is still brilliant though.
Movie version: Jones was cast in Tim Burton’s 1996 oddity after the director visited him backstage to ask.
As one of the all-star cast trying to evade those pesky aliens, he does a surprisingly solid job.
Billy Zane (Zoolander)
Real-life version: The man of a thousand toupees started out as an on-screen hero in The Phantom , but became far better known as a baddie in movies like Titanic and that one with the clips on the internet in which his ex-fiancee Kelly Brook takes her top off.
Movie version: A genuinely hilarious cameo from the Zanemeister in Ben Stiller’s supermodel send-up, playing one of Derek’s protective showbiz mates.
Steve Carell (Knocked Up)
Real-life version: Beginning life as a supporting player in movies like Anchorman and as a correspondent on The Daily Show , Carell hit the big-time as Ricky Gervais’s alter ego in The Office and The 40-Year-Old Virgin .
Movie version: Paying a debt to one of the architects of his breakthrough, Carell showed up as himself in Judd Apatow’s pregnancy comedy, looking all embarrassed as he gets a ticking off on the red carpet by Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl).
Jean-Claude Van Damme (JCVD)
Real-life version: Renowned butt-kicker, the man whose signature splits move is most often witnessed in the Olympics rather than the cinema and all-round straight-to-video hero.
Movie version: Weird.
Part philosophical treatise, part action movie, this came genuinely out of left field for The Muscles from Brussels.
Bit like a reality show, it’s one of the more inspired ways to send yourself up.
Will Smith (Jersey Girl)
Real-life version: One of the biggest stars on the planet – and everyone likes him.
Movie version: Just as likeable.
Showing up very surprisingly at the end of this average but unfairly savaged romcom, he dishes to Ben Affleck about what really matters in life.
And no, it’s not J.Lo.
Chuck Norris (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story)
Real-life version: Purveyor of one of the world’s finest beards and star of the magnificently crap Invasion USA and Walker, Texas Ranger , Norris should get some respect for training with Bruce Lee and managing to convince Sly to put him in the Expendables sequel.
Movie version: Doesn’t do much as a dodgeball championship judge other than smile and give a thumbs up.
Possibly his finest acting performance to date.
Paul Giamatti (Cold Souls)
Real-life version: An Oscar-nominated actor whose doleful presence brightens up any film.
Even Big Fat Liar with Frankie Muniz.
Movie version: A really weird film this, in which actor Paul Giamatti decides to put his soul in storage because he’s having a mid-life crisis, only to end up traversing Russia in a bid to get it back.
Definitely worth a look on DVD.
Neil Patrick Harris (Harold & Kumar series)
Real-life version: Ex-Doogie Howser, Broadway star, awards show host and proudly gay, Harris earns his keep as a womaniser on TV’s How I Met Your Mother .
Movie version: Fond of his Class A drugs, irresponsible and a shagger, Harris’s appearance in the first film precipitated his current re-invention. Which is great, because he’s awesome.
Charlton Heston (Waynes World 2)
Real-life version: The late actor was a bona fide Hollywood legend, star of The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur.
Unfortunately, most youngsters remember him for liking guns and looking stupid when Michael Moore ambushed him.
Movie version: Unsatisfied with the performance of a garage attendant, Wayne (Mike Myers) steps out of the film and ushers the big man in instead. His line delivery is definitely a significant improvement.
John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich)
Real-life version: Serious actor with theatre background, who seems like he might be a bit scary if you met him, thanks to baddie roles in Con Air and In The Line Of Fire .
Movie version: Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman wisely chose him as the man whose mind you can enter if you crawl down a strange hole.
As the film goes on and you see more of him as himself, he is, for the most part, a complete douchebag – selfish and arrogant.
Though with a previously-unseen, but fantastic cleavage.