From Tom Hardy to Jimmy Fallon, the cast of HBO’s World War II drama miniseries Band of Brothers was packed with familiar actors in both major and minor roles. 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the show, which was created by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg and based on the book of the same name by Stephen A. Ambrose. Despite that time having passed, the show regularly still lands on lists of the greatest ever TV shows and is an annual rewatch event for countless fans.
At the simplest level, Band of Brothers follows E Company (a.k.a. Easy Company), a group of paratroopers within the United States Army’s 101st Airborne Division, from their early days of jump training through to the end of the war in 1945. But it’s so much more than a simple war show: it’s about camaraderie, the human spirit, and the absolutely unthinkable conditions – both physical and moral – that war put those men in. The actors in the show all play real soldiers who served in the war, some of whom appear in the series in interview segments where they recall their experiences. Over 10 episodes, Band of Brothers portrays Easy Company’s role in the D-Day landings and Operation Market Garden, their brutal winter spent holding the Allied line in Bastogne, and finally their capture of Nazi Party’s “Eagle’s Nest” in Bavaria and the end of the war.
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Though some episodes of Band of Brothers focus on the perspective of a particular member of Easy Company, with Damian Lewis’ Winters feeling like the main character for large portions of it. But the show is really an ensemble piece that boasts an enormous cast and some truly incredible performances. Some actors were already famous when they starred in the HBO miniseries, while others were newcomers in minor roles who went on to become household names. Here’s a complete guide to the cast and characters of Band of Brothers.
Damian Lewis as Richard D. Winters
In Band of Brothers, Richard Winters is first introduced as the second lieutenant of Easy Company’s 2nd Battalion during their training in Camp Toccoa. His great leadership and tactical expertise lead to him being promoted first to the rank of captain, and then finally becoming Major Winters by the end of the war. Throughout Band of Brothers, he is portrayed as a respected and even-tempered leader of Easy Company, who is left feeling conflicted by promotions that pull him further back from direct command of his men. Damian Lewis is also known for his roles in Billions and Homeland, and played Steve McQueen in Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood.
Ron Livingston as Lewis Nixon III
Richard Winters’ close friend and fellow second lieutenant of Easy Company’s 2nd Battalion, Nixon shares many of Winters’ campaigns during the war but does not have the same trajectory up through the ranks. From early on in Band of Brothers he is portrayed as having a reliance on alcohol that is only further compounded by the struggles and trauma of war. Ron Livingston is also known for his roles in Office Space, The Conjuring, and Loudermilk.
Neal McDonough as Lynn “Buck” Compton
Buck Compton is assigned as Easy Company’s 2nd Battalion assistant platoon leader during their training in Aldbourne, England. Though a capable fighter and leader, Compton’s enthusiasm for the war is shaken first by a severe gunshot wound, and then by Easy Company’s nightmarish weeks in the woods of Bastogne. Neal McDonough is also known for playing Damien Darhk in The CW’s Arrowverse shows, Timothy “Dum Dum” Dugan in Captain America: The First Avenger, and General James Harding in Project Blue Book.
Donnie Wahlberg as C. Carwood Lipton
C. Carwood Lipton begins Band of Brothers as a sergeant, having been recently promoted from the rank of private. Episode 7, “The Breaking Point,” focuses on Lipton’s perspective during the latter half of Easy Company’s time spent holding the line in Bastogne, and their capture of the nearby town of Foy. Donnie Wahlberg is a member of the boy band New Kids on the Block, and is also known for playing Eric Matthews in the Saw movie franchise.
David Schwimmer as Herbert Sobel
As first lieutenant and later captain of Easy Company’s 2nd Battalion during their training, Herbert Sobel becomes loathed by the men for his sadistic training regimens and his habit of seeking out and punishing the smallest infractions. David Schwimmer is best known for playing Ross Geller in the NBC sitcom Friends, and of course returned for HBO Max’s Friends reunion special.
Matthew Settle as Ronald Speirs
Initially a leader of Dog Company in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Captain Ronald Speirs is viewed with trepidation and awe by the soldiers in Band of Brothers due to a number of stories circulating about him. When he later joins Easy Company during their capture of Foy, they witness his fearlessness and cool under fire first hand. Matthew Settle is also known for playing Rufus Humfrey in Gossip Girl and Larson in U-571.
Scott Grimes as Donald Malarkey
Nicknamed “Private Bulls**t” by David Schwimmer’s Sobel, Donald Malarkey is eventually promoted to the rank of first sergeant by the end of World War II. In Band of Brothers, he is one of the few members of Easy Company never to be seriously wounded, which means that he gets no respite from the fighting and ends up serving more consecutive time than any other member of the company. Scott Grimes is also known for playing Archie Morris in ER and voicing Steve Smith in American Dad!
Shane Taylor as Eugene “Doc” Roe
A medic with Easy Company’s 2nd Battalion, Eugene “Doc” Roe is the focal point of Band of Brothers episode 6, “Bastogne.” During the harsh winter spent encircled by German troops, Roe fights to save his fellow paratroopers from the horrifying injuries inflicted on them by artillery shelling, with so few supplies that he’s left to beg morphine syrettes from soldiers’ aid kits and use torn bedsheets for bandages. Shane Taylor is also known for his roles in Walking With the Enemy and Hunter Killer.
Michael Cudlitz as Denver “Bull” Randleman
Along with several of his fellow non-commissioned officers, Denver “Bull” Randleman risks execution with a mutiny to protest the poor leadership of Captain Sobel in the first episode of Band of Brothers. This same fearlessness is on display throughout the rest of the series, but particularly in episode 4, “Replacements,” when Randleman is wounded and forced to hide out in a barn surrounded by enemy soldiers. Michael Cudlitz is also known for playing Abraham Ford in The Walking Dead and John Cooper in Southland.
Dexter Fletcher as John W. Martin
One of the original 140 members of Easy Company who jump into Normandy on D-Day, Staff Sergeant John Martin fights in all of the company’s major engagements in Band of Brothers, and is close friends with William “Wild Bill” Guarnere. Dexter Fletcher is known for his roles in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Layer Cake, and directed the Elton John biopic Rocketman. He also has Sherlock Holmes 3 on his docket as his next directing gig.
Frank John Hughes as William “Wild Bill” Guarnere
Known by his nicknames “Wild Bill” and the somewhat less flattering “Gonorrhea,” William Guarnere is distinguished by his strong Philadelphia accent and fierce fighting style. Shortly before his first combat jump into Normandy in Band of Brothers, Guarnere learns that his brother has been killed in the war, which leaves him with a furious drive to kill every German soldier he sees. Frank John Hughes is also known for playing Walden Belfiore in The Sopranos and Tim Woods in 24.
Kirk Acevedo as Joseph D. Toye
One of Easy Company’s most relentless fighters, Staff Sergeant Joe Toye is injured in every major military operation depicted in Band of Brothers, and earns four Purple Hearts (the medal given for being wounded or killed in combat). Kirk Acevedo is also known for playing Miguel Alvarez in Oz and Ricardo Diaz in Arrow.
James Madio as Frank Perconte
Like Joe Toye, Frank Perconte also earns several Purple Hearts: one each for tank shrapnel in his shoulder and leg, and another for a boil that needed to be lanced. These injuries aren’t quite enough for a ticket home, so Perconte is a mainstay of Easy Company throughout Band of Brothers, with a habit of looting wristwatches from the bodies of dead Germans. James Madio is also known for his roles in USA High and Jersey Boys.
Rick Gomez as George Luz
Radio technician George Luz is popular among Easy Company due to his uncanny impressions of their higher-ups, including an impersonation of Major Horton that’s good enough to fool poor Captain Sobel into taking orders from Luz. Rick Gomez is also known for playing David Vasquez in Justified and Nestor Rosario in The Crossing.
Ross McCall as Joseph Liebgott
Joe Liebgott’s Jewish heritage means that he has a particularly intense hatred for Nazis, which is only compounded after Easy Company discovers and liberates a concentration camp in Band of Brothers episode 9, “Why We Fight.” Ross McCall is also known for playing Kenny Battaglia in the Starz series Crash and Matthew Keller in White Collar.
Michael Fassbender as Burton “Pat” Christenson
Years before his star became one of the most impressive in Hollywood, a then-unknown Michael Fassbender appeared in Band of Brothers as machine-gunner Burton Christenson, one of the original 140 members of Easy Company. Today Fassbender is best known for playing Erik “Magneto” Lensherr in the X-Men movies and David in Alien: Covenant. Christenson survived the war and returned to his unit for occupation duties in Germany and Austria, eventually attaining the position of Technical Sergean.
Eion Bailey as David Kenyon Webster
The focal character of Band of Brothers episode 8, “The Last Patrol,” David Webster first joins Easy Company in Operation Market Garden, during which he is injured and has to spend a lengthy time recovering in the hospital. When Webster later rejoins Easy, he finds himself met with a chilly reception due to being absent from the company’s ordeals in Bastogne and Foy. Eion Bailey is also known for playing Ricky in Fight Club and August W. Booth in Once Upon A Time.
Colin Hanks as Henry Jones
Introduced in “The Last Patrol,” Lieutenant Henry Jones is a fresh-faced West Point graduate hoping to get some combat experience with Easy Company before the end of the war. He’s played by Colin Hanks, who is, of course, the son of Band of Brothers creator Tom Hanks, and is also known for playing Alex in the Jumanji movies and Greg Short in CBS sitcom Life in Pieces.
Andrew Scott as John “Cowboy” Hall
Featured in Band of Brothers episode 2, “Day of Days,” John Hall is a member of Alpha Company who crosses paths with Lieutenant Winters after the chaotic D-Day landings and joins Easy Company in their assault on the German guns targeting Utah Beach. Andrew Scott is also known for playing Moriarty in BBC’s Sherlock and the “Hot Priest” in Fleabag.
Marc Warren as Albert Blithe
A member of Easy Company’s 1st Battalion, Albert Blithe is discovered by members of 2nd Battalion in Band of Brothers episode 3, “Carentan,” and is the focal character for that episode. Marc Warren is also known for his role in the Doctor Who episode “Love and Monsters,” and for playing Nick Savarese in The Good Wife. Though the series carries the sad message that Blithe didn’t recover from his injuries after being shot through the neck after the Battle of Carentan, it was a false message. Blithe actually lived until 1967, having re-enlisted in the army in the 1950s.
James McAvoy as James Miller
A baby-faced James McAvoy has a small role as James Miller, one of the titular Easy Company replacements in Band of Brothers episode 4, “The Replacements.” McAvoy is best known for his roles as Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men movies and Wesley in Wanted. Miller is of course killed during Operation Market Garden in 1944.
Simon Pegg as William Evans
British comedy legend Simon Pegg also has a minor role in Band of Brothers as William S. Evans, Captain Sobel’s first sergeant. Pegg starred in director Edgar Wright’s “Cornetto Trilogy” movies: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End. He also plays Benji Dunn in the Mission: Impossible franchise. He’s the first named character to be confirmed killed in Band Of Brothers alongside 1st Lieutenant Thomas Meehan when their plane is shot down by enemy fire on June 6, 1944.
Tom Hardy as John Janovec
First introduced naked when he’s caught fraternizing with a fraulein in episode 9, “Why We Fight,” John Janovec is a replacement who joins Easy Company towards the end of the war. Boasting a physique far removed from his later hulking size for The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy was a novice at the time and Band of Brothers was his very first TV role, and was released in the same year he also appeared in Black Hawk Down. Hardy is now best known for playing Bane in Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Max Rockatansky in Mad Max: Fury Road, and Eddie Brock in the Venom movies.
Jimmy Fallon as George Rice
Jimmy Fallon makes a brief appearance in Band of Brothers episode 5, “Crossroads” as 2nd Lieutenant George Rice, who hands off ammunition to Easy Company as they head towards Bastogne. Fallon is now the host of The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, but when Band of Brothers was released he was best known as one of Saturday Night Live’s featured players. Fallon appears in the episode directed by Tom Hanks, and notoriously had difficulty with the required driving involved, and failed to get the jeep to even move:
“It’s a real WWII jeep, so you’ve got to, like, press the thing, put it in neutral … I don’t know how to drive. And I just say my line, and I’m supposed to look really heroic. So I’m so nervous. There’s like 200 extras. So I drive, I hit my spot. I go, ‘Good luck, boys, and I forget to press the clutch, and these two dudes are pushing the car, and the wheels aren’t moving because the clutch isn’t in. I don’t know how they made it work, but they made it work.”
Dominic Cooper as Private Allington
The hardest Band of Brothers cameo to spot is that of Dominic Cooper as an Easy Company private called Allington. Though this may have been a speaking role at one point, in the final cut of Band of Brothers Cooper was effectively an extra and only appeared in the first episode, “Currahee.” He can be spotted briefly when the paratroopers are enjoying their spaghetti meal in the mess hall. Band of Brothers marked Cooper’s first time on a film set, and he later said in an interview with the Guardian that he was “terrified” by it. Cooper is now best known for playing Jesse Custer in Preacher and Howard Stark in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Tom Hanks as Red Devil
Band of Brothers creator and the director of one episode Tom Hanks has a small cameo role in episode 5, “Crossroads,” as one of the Red Devils, a British parachute regiment. The Red Devils are rescued from a dangerous situation by Easy Company reinforcements, and Hanks can be seen at the back of a crowded room in the following scene while a toast is being made to Easy Company.
Edward “Babe” Heffron as Dutch Man
As well as sitting in as one of the real 501st talking heads, one of the real veterans of Easy Company, Edward “Babe” Heffron (played by Robin Laing in the series) has a cameo role in episode 4, “Replacements.” After Easy Company arrive in the town of Eindhoven to a rapturous welcome from its citizens, Heffron can be seen playing a Dutch man sitting at a table while a member of Easy Company fraternizes with one of the locals.
Other Band of Brothers Cast Members
Such is the huge scale of the Band of Brothers cast that characters appear for mere scenes or in single episodes in any sort of prominent way, but each is familiar to those fans who make an annual event of watching the show. And among the supporting roles are actors who have gone on to impressive bodies of work. Stephen Graham (Myron Ranney) is a stalwart of British TV and starred in Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides for instance, and many of the actors – largely British – turned up in British shows right up to 2021. Matthew Leitch (Talbert) meanwhile, runs events reuniting the cast of Band Of Brothers for special event podcasts under the banner We Happy Few 506.
Doug Allen as Alton MoreNicholas Aron as Robert “Popeye” WynnJamie Bamber as Jack FoleyPhilip Barantini as Wayne “Skinny” SiskGeorge Calil as James “Mo” Alley Jr.Ben Caplan as Walter “Smokey” Gordon Jr.Dale Dye as Robert SinkEzra Godden as Robert van KlinkenStephen Graham as Myron RanneyCraig Heaney as Roy CobbNolan Hemmings as Charles “Chuck” GrantMatt Hickey as Patrick O’KeefeAndrew Howard as Clarence HesterNigel Hoyle as Leo BoyleMark Huberman as Lester HasheyAdam James as Cleveland PettyLucie Jeanne as Renee LamaireRobin Laing as Edward “Babe” HeffronMark Lawrence as William Dukeman Jr.Matthew Leitch as Floyd “Tab” TalbertRocky Marshall as Earl “One Lung” McLungTim Matthews as Alex Penkala Jr.Peter McCabe as Donald HooblerStephen McCole as Frederick “Moose” HeyligerPhil McKee as Robert StrayerRene L. Moreno as Joseph RamirezDavid Nicole as Thomas PeacockKieren O’Brien as Allen VestJason O’Mara as Thomas MeehanPeter O’Meara as “Foxhole” Norman DikeAndrew Lee Potts as Eugene JacksonBart Ruspoli as Edward TipperSimon Schatzberger as Joseph LesniewskiDouglas Spain as Antonio GarciaRichard Speight Jr. as Warren “Skip” MuckRick Warden as Harry WelshPeter Youngblood Hills as Darrell “Shifty” Powers
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