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Christopher Walken does not appear in the opening or end credits of Sleepy Hollow, although he has an important role as "Hesse". What is the reason for this? I searched a bit about this, but only found dead links and speculation, but I am sure there must be a reliable, fact based answer to this question.

  • Probably because it is basically a cameo. Martin Landau also isn't credited, nor is Tom Stoppard's (apparently substantial) work on the script. – BCdotWEB Aug 24 '15 at 8:13
  • Yes, i read that when searching for it. But Walkens part is like a main role, so i just wonder about it. Some speculate it is because he has no speaking role. I guess there must be a statement from walken or burton about this, but i could not find anything... – kl78 Aug 24 '15 at 8:17
  • Walken was probably only on set for that one scene where you see his face. I very much doubt he played the Headless Horseman; that was most likely a stuntman. – BCdotWEB Aug 24 '15 at 8:22
  • Yes, the horseman are stuntmens (including the actor of darth maul from star wars), but there is more then one scene where you see walken. At least i remember 2 scenes, at the end and there is also a flashback scene where you can see him in the past... – kl78 Aug 24 '15 at 8:28
  • Also, Christopher Lee has a very small role before the opening credits, but he is creditet, that landau is not creditet is also strange but a different question... And even if walken is only shortly seen, it is an important appearance and an impressive character... – kl78 Aug 27 '15 at 7:46
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Often actors are uncredited because they are making cameo appearances. To quote from the wiki:

A cameo role or cameo appearance...is a brief appearance or voice part of a known person in a work of the performing arts, typically unnamed or appearing as themselves. These roles are generally small, many of them non-speaking ones, and are commonly either appearances in a work in which they hold some special significance (such as actors from an original movie appearing in its remake), or renowned people making uncredited appearances.

Of course, there are other reasons as well, including contractual disputes, oversights, lack of speaking parts, no renumeration for part and thus no interest in crediting.

To give a number of examples, along with Christopher Walken in Sleepy Hollow, of actors being uncredited:

  • Don Cheadle is famously uncredited for Ocean's Eleven (due to a dispute about where he appeared on the billing for the film).
  • Ashton Kutcher is uncredited for Cheaper by the Dozen (despite being arguably the main antagonist).
  • Owen Wilson is uncredited for Night at the Museum.
  • Raúl Juliá is uncredited for Havana.

So in short - the reason he was uncredited isn't specific to Sleepy Hollow or Christopher Walken. There are a variety of reasons why actors sometimes choose to be uncredited and for this reason (likely due to the fact he has no spoken lines) he chose to be uncredited.

  • Don't forget robin williams being uncredited in Aladdin, then Disney screwed him over. – cde Feb 15 '16 at 21:41
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    This is a great answer to the question "Why aren't high-profile actors always credited?" It doesn't seem like it really answers this particularly question, though. Which of the "variety of reasons" applies to this particular case? – Anthony Grist Feb 16 '16 at 10:28
  • @AnthonyGrist: The point is we don't know - no one really does. But the question implies this is particularly unusual, given how high profile Walken is and how prominent he is in the film. I tried to show that the very premise of the question isn't all that unique - there are a number of actors who have gotten similar "large" roles in films and not been credited. So in this situation, I've no idea why Walken wasn't credited, but I speculated it was due to the fact he had no spoken lines. – Andrew Martin Feb 16 '16 at 10:30
  • @AndrewMartin If the point is that we don't know, and you're speculating that it's because he made a cameo, I think explicitly stating those things (rather than just implying them with a general answer about why actors aren't always credited) would be a huge improvement to your answer. – Anthony Grist Feb 16 '16 at 10:52
  • @AnthonyGrist: Last line of the answer does explicitly state it. – Andrew Martin Feb 16 '16 at 10:54

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