A. General Notes
B. Gender Rules
C. Cast Attributes - Valid Attributes | Invalid Attributes | Uncredited | Archive footage
D. Voice Credits
E. Motion Capture Credits
F. Character Names - TV Rules | Punctuation | Superheroes | Self Credits | Descriptions | Groups | Spoilers | Language
G. Cast Orders
H. Soap Opera Credits
(Note: For simplicity, "actor" is interchangeable with "actress" in all the sections below.)
- The term "actor" covers everyone whose image or voice appears in a recognised title. This would include documentary subjects, hosts, narrators, athletes, or other people not "acting" in the traditional sense.
- Valid actor credits can be added to any title on IMDb, i.e. movies, TV episodes, short films, TV movies, video games etc.
- Animals and inanimate objects (i.e., Wilson the Volleyball) can be listed as actors if they appear in the credits as cast members. Please use your best guess as to gender. (After the new name page is created, you should probably also include a biographical trivia note (i.e., "Is a dog").
Exceptions: Corpses, paintings, mummies, etc, should not be listed as cast members in any title. People who appear only in still photographs can be included in filmography based on these guidelines:
The content was created specifically for the title and
- they do receive an on screen credit: they should be credited as reflected on screen with the addition of a (credit only) attribute.
- they are not featured in the end credits: they can be listed with the 'uncredited' attribute (as defined in the guide I worked on a title but did not receive a screen credit. Can it be listed on IMDb?') This should be submitted as Photographic Model in Miscellaneous crew.
If the content is not explicitly created for the title and
- they are credited: they should be listed with the 'credit only' attribute
- they are not credited: they are not eligible for listing as a filmography item, but can be submitted as “Bio: Other Works” or “Title: Trivia” (as long as it adheres to our Trivia policies)
- At present, Groups are also listed under similar rules; there are some old entries for groups under individual member names, but these are being phased out.
- If someone appears in footage from a different title that is already listed in the database (or that should be listed), they should not have an additional cast credit added. The footage should instead be noted as a movie link.
- If a cast member is listed more than once in the credits for playing multiple roles, list them once in the position of their first appearance (see cast orders), and separate the other roles in the character field with slashes, i.e., Role1/Role2/Role3 (This refers to the cast member's first appearance in the cast list rather than the appearance order of the multiple characters). Please do not put spaces either side of the slashes. If you notice that one of their multiple roles is missing or needs correcting, please submit your amendment with all the roles again, as above, separated by slashes. Do not submit the missing or corrected role on its own. If the same individual is credited twice under different names in the credits roll as well as playing separate characters you would need to add multiple (as) credits for each credited name in the attribute field in the order they appear e.g. (as Tim Smith) (as Timothy Smith).
- If a title is later shown as an episode of a series then it should be added as a shell episode. No filmography credits relating to the original title should be added to the shell to avoid crediting the work twice on the name pages of those involved. If the individual contributed to new material relating solely to that episode i.e. hosting segment then they are valid credits and may be added to the shell episode). Please also add a trivia item and a movie connection linking the episode to the original title page.
The acting lists are the largest part of the database so to make them more manageable, we separate acting credits by gender, i.e. Actor and Actress.
- Identifying performers by gender makes it easier to distinguish between several people with the same name.
- For example: if you are faced with several people named "Pat Carroll," knowing that one is an actress and the others are actors can cut down your search.
- We generally use an individual's chosen gender; an individual who identifies as male performing in drag would still be listed as "actor".
An attribute is a snippet of explanatory information signifying the status of a credit. Cast attributes are entered into the 'attribute' field when adding credits during the submission process
- (uncredited) - No on-screen credit. For acting credits, this must include a character name or some kind of description. For further details, please see section E, 'Cast Attributes: uncredited' below.
- (credit only) - Someone is credited, but did not appear in the title. This is common in TV shows where regular performers sometimes do not appear in a particular episode but retain a screen credit.
- (unconfirmed) - The name has been added to a title on the authority of a secondary source, but there is reason to believe it may be subject to change.
- (rumored) - The name has been added on the authority of a secondary source (usually the entertainment media), and is based on a strong industry rumor.
- (scenes deleted) - Someone has a screen credit for a scene that was filmed, but does not actually appear because the scenes were left on the cutting room floor.
- (as...) - Someone is credited with a different name from their usual name. Example: when Francis Ford Coppola is credited as Francis Coppola, the entry includes "(as Francis Coppola)".
- (voice) - Voice performance in a film, TV show or videogame (For further details, see section D: Voice credits below)
- (voice: English version) - Someone is credited in an animated title or videogame on the USA English-language release of a title originally released in another language. (For further details, see section D: Voice credits below)
- (motion capture) - Motion capture performance in a film, TV show or videogame (For further details, see section E. Motion Capture Credits below)
- (archive footage) - A cast member appears in some footage, such as newsreel, behind-the-scenes, or home movies. For further details, please see section E, 'Cast Attributes: archive footage' below.
- (singing voice) - Singing voice performance in a film, TV show or videogame.
- (archive sound)
The following attribute should never be used and will not be accepted:
- (In Negotiations)
- (In Talks)
- (Guest Star)
- Any TV series info, i.e. (Season 8, 9 and 10)
(Note: Specific rules relating to the use of (archive footage) and (uncredited) are outlined below.)
The (uncredited) attribute is used to indicate that a person's name does not appear in the main or end titles of a title. A typical example is when a famous actor has an unbilled cameo appearance in a movie.
Uncredited appearances in a movie or show can be extremely difficult to verify, as they do not conform to IMDb's general principle for cast; we always follow the onscreen credits. Likewise, none of the following have any bearing on whether they were, by our definition, credited: pay stubs, call sheets, agent listings, press mentions, resumes, and their visibility on screen. The only thing that matters is the actual, onscreen credits. If their name was not on screen, but they were in the movie or show, they were uncredited.
Uncredited submissions require more work than other types of credits, and are often a particularly contentious area. Ideally we would like to be able to verify every individual submission, but this is not realistic so we apply a number of criteria when assessing uncredited attributes, the tenets of which are captured below.
Please note that a cast member needs to have at least one credited entry in the database before we will list their uncredited work. If we have accepted uncredited entries, these will automatically go live upon acceptance of credited entries. We may make an exception in very rare/specific circumstances (i.e. on movies released before 1990, episodes released before 2000 and/or for high-profile credits, such as an uncredited cameo appearance by a celebrity), but in most cases we will not list an uncredited credit unless you have a pre-existing credited filmography.
The principle of how to submit cast credit attributes is captured in the following table:
Do they Appear in the Title? Are they listed in the Credits? Attribute Yes No (uncredited) Yes Yes Credit with no attribute No No Do not credit at all No Yes (credit only)
The following credits are likely to be discarded:
- Submissions with an empty character field or with descriptions such as "lead", "supporting" or "featured".
- We will accept "background" or "extra" if that's how the credit appears on screen, but "background", "extra" or "bit-part" will not be accepted as a character name on the title if the role does not receive an on-screen credit. If that is the case the character name should include a description of the part - Woman with Dog, for instance - and (uncredited) in the 'attribute' box. But see below - they must be recognizable.
- It is not enough to have just worked on a production: Their scenes must be included in the final cut and it must be possible to easily identify their appearance.
- Background/extra work as a crowd member (or a similar role where it's impossible to recognize the subject)
We will usually discard credited submissions where, in the vast majority of cases the character/role name would be uncredited, such as "waiter", "bus driver", "pedestrian", "bar patron", "party goer" etc. If they are credited with such a character or role name, you are able to provide evidence and the credit does not appear on the site within 10 days, please contact our team using the form below with verifiable proof of the credit.
Please also note that we place a lot of weight on submitter history, so submitters who have previously attempted to submit false information, such as listing an uncredited role as credited, will find it extremely difficult to get future submissions accepted. Please see the Contributors Charter for more information.
Please also note:
We reserve the right to remove uncredited work at any time. We periodically revise and adapt these criteria and reserve the right to retroactively restrict our eligibility rules for uncredited work.
We do not add additional uncredited roles to titles with a cast that has already been locked. Existing listings should not be taken as an indication that similar entries are automatically eligible. Please do not assume that the presence of a similar credit automatically implies that your entry should and will be accepted.
Please also keep in mind that, on new and/or yet-unreleased titles, all credits we list are not final and are subject to change, especially until they can be checked against an actual film print. It's fairly common, for example, for uncredited roles to be removed from the site when final credits become available to us, or when/if a scene has ended up on the cutting room floor.
The (archive footage) attribute is used for footage that was shot for a separate, earlier production (and not for the same series if TV), such as a newsreel, home movie, outtakes, etc., or for archival documentation and not the specific production it is used in. Please remember to append (archive footage) with (uncredited) where necessary, as this is often the case. Essentially, we allow or exclude archive footage credits based on the following guidelines (it's implied that we reserve the right to make exceptions for special cases where necessary):
- The "on screen credit" rule: If someone's appearance is credited on screen it automatically qualifies as a valid archive footage credit, regardless of what type of archive footage it is. This supersedes any of the potential exclusions below. The only exception to this is "In Memorium" tributes (where a still photograph or video clip of the individual in one of their famous roles appears on screen), these should be added to the "thanks" section using the appropriate "occupation". They are not eligible for a cast (archive footage) credit. A movie connection should be added instead linking to the title from which the footage originates.
- The "movielink" rule: If someone's appearance is uncredited and covered by a movielink entry (i.e., footage from a film is recycled as a "prologue" or flashback in a sequel or subsequent film in a series) it does not qualify as "archive footage”.
- The "Forrest Gump" rule: If archive footage is an integral part of the film's narrative, it's eligible. Additional examples: scenes from Poor Cow creatively used as flashbacks in The Limey; President Clinton's appearance in Contact.
- The "Bowling for Columbine" rule: If the film is a documentary and the archive footage is an integral/essential part of the story/topic, it qualifies (which means that even if he didn't appear as himself towards the end of the film, Charlton Heston's NRA rally footage would be enough to qualify as a valid "archive footage" entry, while Willie Horton's brief clip from the old anti-Dukakis campaign ad probably wouldn't).
- The "That's Entertainment" compilation rule: If the film is a compilation/retrospective made up entirely or almost entirely of archive footage, then the people appearing in that footage qualify for archive footage credits.
- The "no degrees of separation" rule: Only "archive" footage that is used directly in the film is eligible. If an actor appears in a film shown as being watched on TV in a scene of another film, then the first film clip is not eligible as archive footage. In other words, James Stewart's footage from Vertigo shown in a scene in Twelve Monkeys where Bruce Willis' character goes to the movies is not eligible.
- The "must be real footage" rule: If someone's stock likeness appears as a photograph or as a poster on a wall, or on the cover of a magazine etc. in a scene of a film, it's not eligible.
- Note: The standard "two wrongs don't make a right" rule also applies: just because we have credits that violate some of the above, doesn't mean that the rules are not valid (it just means that those credits were accepted before the rules were established, or we didn't know better, or we just made a mistake).
Voice performances in a film, TV show or videogame can be credited in the database as Cast or Other Crew credits (or not at all), depending on the type of voice work and how the actor was credited. Such credits are signified by the (voice) attribute.
In order to be listed in the Cast section of the credits, actors performing voice work on a film need to fulfill these four eligibility rules:
- They must have received an on-screen credit (i.e. no uncredited performances)
- They must have been credited in the cast section of the end titles (i.e. no 'background voices' or adr work). Additional Voice credits are permitted for animated titles or videogames as long as they are listed within, or immediately after, the main cast list.
- Adr/looping/background voices must be submitted as Miscellaneous (Other) Crew credits. When in doubt, send it as a Miscellaneous (Other) Crew credit. Announcer credits for non-fiction titles (game shows, sporting events etc) should be submitted as Miscellaneous (Other) Crew unless they are credited in the cast section of the end titles. If the person is playing the character "Announcer" they should always be listed in cast.
- Their work must be featured in either the original language version of the film or (for animated titles and videogames) on the USA English-language release (i.e. no dubbing credits)
We make rare exceptions to rule #1 for 'voice cameos' by high-profile actors (i.e. Quentin Tarantino's uncredited "answering machine" voice in Jackie Brown (1997)). Only the original voice actors can usually be credited. For example, on an Italian non-animated film, only the actors providing Italian voices on the original version of the film can be credited in the database. We won't list the actors providing French voices for the French release of that film. The only exceptions to this rule are animated titles and videogames, where we may list both the original-language cast and the English-language cast, if applicable. Dubbing credits for foreign languages are currently not eligible to be listed in the database.
In other words, the actor who provides the voice of Jack Nicholson in the French version of his movies, or the actress who dubs Julia Roberts on all her Italian films cannot receive a credit in the database for their voice work at this time. We might relax this policy and allow foreign/localized credits to be added at some point, but not at present. In the meantime, such credits can be noted as "other works" in the biographies of the relevant people.
Here are some examples of voice work and whether or not they are eligible to be listed as cast credits in the database:
Actor Title Credit Eligible? Reason Tom Hanks Toy Story (1995) Voice of Woody Yes Provided original (English language) voice for an American animated film Catherine Zeta-Jones Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003) Voice of Marina Yes Provided original (English language) voice for an American animated film Monica Bellucci Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003) Voice of Marina in French version No Dubbed a character in language other than the original Yoji Matsuda Princess Mononoke (1997) Japanese voice of Prince Ashitaka Yes Original voice of a character in the original-language version Gillian Anderson Princess Mononoke (1997) English voice of Moro Yes English-language voice of a character in a non-English language animated film Giancarlo Giannini Carlito's Way (1993) Dubbed Al Pacino's voice in Italian version No We don't list dubbing credits Larry King Shrek 2 (2004) Voiced the Ugly Stepsister in the US version Yes Original (US) voice cast member Jonathan Ross Shrek 2 (2004) Voiced the Ugly Stepsister in the UK version No His voice was featured only in the UK version, not the original US release
Motion capture performances in a film, TV show or videogame can be credited in the database as Cast or Other Crew credits (or not at all), depending on the type of motion capture work and how the individual was credited. Such credits are signified by the (motion capture) attribute.
In order to be listed in the Cast section of the credits, actors performing motion capture work on a film need to fulfill these four eligibility rules:
- They must have received an on-screen credit (i.e. no uncredited performances)
- They must have been credited in the cast section of the end titles (i.e. no 'other motion capture' included elsewhere in the end credits or 3D modelling work).
- Unspecific motion capture/3D modelling work must be submitted as Miscellaneous (Other) Crew credits. When in doubt, send it as a Miscellaneous (Other) Crew credit.
- Their work must be featured in the original version of the title (i.e. no digital remasters)
Wherever possible, we list character names as they appear in the on-screen credits. We make occasional exceptions when character names are not listed on-screen or when the character descriptions in the end titles include spoilers, but as a rule we try to stick to credits as closely as possible. If you don't know what is the on-screen character name or one isn't listed, here are some guidelines to help with character name submissions and corrections:
- Please omit redundant information/irrelevant details: Ralph Fiennes' character in Red Dragon is called Francis Dolarhyde, and that's how he's listed in the credits. It's simply overkill to have him listed as "Francis Dolarhyde/The Tooth Fairy/The Red Dragon" even though those are factually correct descriptions.
- Names are usually enough and character name shouldn't be descriptive, unless absolutely necessary to identify the actor (i.e., if a role doesn't have a name, someone may be identified as "Man in Van" or "Woman with Umbrella").
- Avoid extra embellishments/repetitions/nicknames unless they are part of the credited character name: it's enough to list Robert Patrick as John Doggett in the "X-Files" TV series, instead of "Special Agent Jonathan Jay 'John' Doggett"; Jeri Ryan played Seven of Nine on "Star Trek: Voyager", not "Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01, aka Annika Hansen"; Edward Norton played Will Graham in Red Dragon, not "William Graham" or "Special Agent Graham" or "FBI Special Agent William 'Will' Graham"; Matt LeBlanc plays Joey Tribbiani in "Friends", not "Joseph 'Joey' Francis Tribbiani".
- If an actor is listed more than once in the credits for playing multiple roles, list them once in the position of their first appearance (see cast orders), and separate the other roles in the character field with slashes, i.e., Role1/Role2/Role3 (This refers to the actor's first appearance in the cast list rather than the appearance order of the multiple characters). Please do not put spaces either side of the slashes.
- Whether the extra info is accurate or not doesn't matter - Robert Englund's character in the Nightmare on Elm Street films is known as Freddy Kruger, not Frederick Kruger or Frederick 'Freddy' Kruger, even though Freddy is probably the diminutive form for Frederick.
For TV episode appearances it is no longer necessary to include 'appearance' details in the character field (as the appearance is itself, now unique to an episode). Thus:
- John Smith (1956, 1960-1975) should now be entered as John Smith
- Peter Parker #2 (1999-2002) should now be entered as Peter Parker
- Sarah Thomas (season 2) should now be entered as Sarah Thomas
- If an actor played a range of characters, or held different military rankings during the history of a TV series, only the actual characters played or rank held for a particular episode should be entered in the character field.
- The main cast for a TV series is derived from the episode listings (where available). Changes to the existing TV series main cast lists are generally no longer accepted.
Avoid punctuation within character names where possible:
- Slashes should be used only to separate two different characters played by the same actor.
- Commas should not be used.
- Use a hyphen as a general separator if you need one.
- Parentheses should only be used to define segments a character appears in (for productions with multiple segments): i.e. Friendly John (segment "Star Struck").
Please use standard English capitalization rules as used for titles in the database. All words in a character name should start with an uppercase letter except for prepositions and non-leading articles, for example:
- Security Guard
- Police Officer
- Woman with Dog
- Captain of the Guard
- Woman at the Auction
Superheroes/Supervillains and other characters with secret identities are considered to be two characters. Sometimes, Superheroes and their alter-egos are manifestly distinct personalities - bumbling, clumsy Clark Kent vs. Self-assured, confident Superman, for example. Most of the time, the alter-ego is literally playing a different character to disguise their superhero status.
- Unless otherwise displayed in the credits, character names for Superheroes and their alter-egos should be separated by a slash on the site (i.e. Bruce Wayne/Batman).
- If the character names are displayed differently in the credits, the 'as credited onscreen' rule applies. Example: If Christian Bale is credited as 'Bruce Wayne - Batman', in the next Batman movie, then that is what will be displayed on the site.
- If only one character name is displayed in the credits (either the Superhero name OR the alter-ego name), the ‘as credited onscreen' policy again applies.
- Where no superhero/alter-ego names are credited onscreen, one or both may be submitted.
- In the rare cases where no screen credit exists in any capacity (i.e. both actor and character names are missing), one or both character names can be submitted with an (uncredited) attribute.
For 'self' type appearances, 'Himself' or 'Herself' should be used as the character name ('Themselves' for groups). This should, where appropriate, be followed by a hyphen and a short description of their role in the title (rather than role in 'life'). For example:
- Himself - Judge
- Himself - Panelist
- Herself - CEO Acme Corp.
- Herself - NASA Scientist
- Himself - Comedian
- Herself - Guitarist
For news and current affairs programs/documentaries, the description given in the subtitle when the name appears on screen is preferred. Long biographical descriptions should be avoided here and should be submitted to the individual's biography section instead. Appearances where an individual is interviewed as well as performing an act - or where an individual has multiple and distinct roles - can be submitted using a forward slash as a separator. For example:
- Himself - Interviewee/Guitarist
- Herself - Singer/Comedienne
If in the above examples, the individual is appearing as part of an 'act', the act name should be submitted instead of the individual names when the act is credited. Use of the act name as an attribute i.e. (as Aerosmith) is no longer valid.
"In Memorium" tributes (where a still photograph or video clip of the individual in one of their famous roles appears on screen) should be added to the "thanks" section using the appropriate "occupation". They are not eligible for a cast (archive footage) credit. A movie connection should be added instead linking to the title from which the footage originates.
Where someone is billed in the credits as Himself/Herself in a fictional piece and are playing a scripted, fictional version of themselves, we use the performer's name as the character name to avoid moving the credit to the 'Self' category even if the credits say Himself/Herself.
Character descriptions must be limited to the context of the film, and Including extra information that comes from other sources than the film is not permitted. For example:
- Anthony Hopkins plays Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs; Brian Cox plays Hannibal Lecktor in Manhunter. Yes, they're the same character but the spelling is different and we will stick to each film's peculiar version.
- Sigourney Weaver's character in Alien is called simply Ripley. The fact that her first name is Ellen is not disclosed/introduced until the sequel Aliens; therefore her character name in Alien is Ripley, not Ellen Ripley.
- Nichelle Nichols plays "Uhura" in the TV series "Star Trek" and in the films. According to some Star Trek books and novelizations, Uhura's first name is Nyota, but that name is not used in the films or TV series, so it should not be used on the site.
- Various Star Wars books and novelizations may include name, rank and serial numbers for every single Imperial Stormtrooper ever shown in the films but we'll still list them all simply as "Stormtroopers" unless the on-screen credits have a different description.
Where necessary, plural/group names should be converted into their singular form. Here are a series of examples that hopefully cover most eventualities.
EXAMPLE CREDITS CORRECT CHARACTER NAMES REASONS MOVIE PATRONS + PARTYGOERS
Joe Blow - Movie Patron/Partygoer
Nancy Doe - Movie Patron/Partygoer
We don't know which actor was specifically a Movie Patron or a Partygoer. It could be the case that both actors played Movie Patrons and Partygoers.
Joe Blow - Newlywed
Nancy Doe - Newlywed
They are, in fact, individually newlywed!
Joe Blow - Swinger
Nancy Doe - Swinger
Joe Blow - Private Pyle
Nancy Doe - Corporal Vasquez
Joe Blow - Private Pyle
Nancy Doe - Corporal Vasquez
In this example, there is a sub-heading in the end credits detailing what type of characters the actors play, and each actor also has a separate character name. However, the subheading (i.e. U.S. Marines) is NOT a character name, so it should NOT be included with the credit.
When a group with identifiable members appears on screen, we credit according to the way they are credited in the production.
- If The Beatles are credited that way, we would not enter "Lennon, John (as The Beatles); McCartney, Paul (as The Beatles); Harrison, George (as The Beatles); Starr, Ringo (as The Beatles)" Instead, they would simply be credited as "Beatles, The".
- In the above cases, individual members of the group can be added to credits with the (uncredited) attribute.
i.e. Help! (1965): Paul McCartney ... Paul - The Beatles (uncredited), or if appropriate (documentaries, talk shows etc.) Paul McCartney ... Himself - The Beatles (uncredited).
Please note we prefer the "Paul - The Beatles" hyphenated character notation, rather than "member of" or "one of".
- If they are credited both as a group and individually (i.e.: "The Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr"), then both the group name and individual names would be listed as they are in the credits.
- Where a band is credited in the form 'Bandleader and The Musicians' (Elvis Costello and the Attractions, for instance) they should be credited that way and will have an entry in the database all of their own. It's possible, though, that in other titles they'll be credited separately or independently. If either Bandleader or The Musicians appear somewhere on their own we could end up with an entry for 'Bandleader' as well as one for 'The Musicians'. So we have a page for Elvis Costello on his own as well as one for Elvis Costello and the Attractions. So far we have no page for The Attractions, but if they ever get a qualifying credit on their own without Costello we'll create one. As long as they are credited on screen that way, this is fine.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
- Ian Hart plays Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. You're not supposed to know he's also Voldemort. Ian Holm plays Sir William Gull in From Hell. His character name is not "Jack the Ripper". Those are both supposed to be surprises. If you haven't seen those two films, we just spoiled them for you. Sorry about that, but imagine how our users feel when they come to the site and see those character names before seeing the film. Even if factually correct, character names that constitute spoilers must be avoided at all costs.
- This is especially true for multiple character names that can be easily omitted: it's just as effective to say that Cary Grant plays "Peter Joshua" in Charade. There is no need to say that he plays "Peter Joshua/Alexander Dyle/Adam Canfield/Brian Cruikshank", even if that's true.
- David Prowse plays Darth Vader in Star Wars. Clint Eastwood plays Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry. Even though the Italian release of those films changed those two names to Darth Fener and Harry Callaghan respectively, we will stick to the character names used in the original version.
- For descriptive character names (i.e., Mayor, Man #1), they should generally be entirely in the language of the original version, but English can be used if the original is not known.
Order numbers are used to control the display of credits within a title. The order of credits for a particular person's filmography is determined automatically by the release dates of the titles, and cannot be changed.
- Most credits can only be displayed in alphabetical order. However, in certain lists, the credits can be forced to appear in the order in which they appear on screen.
- In general, the order is a simple sequence number, beginning at 1 and increasing by 1 for each entry. However, the rules for writing credits are complicated, and are explained in the writers guide.
- Where actors are listed more than once in the credit roll (as often happens in animation, for example) we list the characters as detailed in the Character Names section. Order numbers then skip the place where the actor's name appears again.
(as seen in the end credits)
1 Alison Adams ... Ann
2 Bill Brown ... Bobby
3 Charlotte Clearwater ... Claire
4 David Dewhurst ... Donald
5 Alison Adams ... Abigail
6 Eric Ehrhardt ... Ernest
7 Francesca Fitzherbert ... Fiona
(as listed on the site)
1 Alison Adams ... Ann/Abigail
2 Bill Brown ... Bobby
3 Charlotte Clearwater ... Claire
4 David Dewhurst ... Donald
6 Eric Ehrhardt ... Ernest
7 Francesca Fitzherbert ... Fiona
Note that number 5 has been skipped so that all subsequent order numbers remain the same.
- Acting credits are ordered according to the most comprehensive cast list (the one listing the most actors); in most cases, this will be the list appearing in the end credits.
- In some cases (i.e., TV movies), the cast list is split between the opening credits and end credits; in those cases, the two portions should be treated as one long cast list that happens to be interrupted by the actual movie. This also applies to some movies from the 1950s, where a list of the main cast appeared at the beginning, and was then repeated in reverse order at the end, with pictures, followed by additional cast members.
- For documentaries or talk shows where the people appearing on camera are generally not in a separate cast list, their first onscreen appearance where they are identified either by a caption or spoken name is used to determine the order. Any narrator/host listed in opening or closing credits would be treated as the first cast member, and would precede people identified only within the documentary.
- We are aware that casts in order of appearance or alphabetical order sometimes mean a lead actor is buried relatively deep in the cast list. This is somewhat unfortunate. We do have a separate system for indicating the lead actors via the "Stars" section, but this can only be amended internally by IMDb staff members.
- Do not enter an order number for someone who is uncredited.
- Please note that order numbers are not honored for projects before they have begun filming; such orders are far too subject to change. In addition, the order numbers will not affect the display of credits until a significant percentage of the credited cast has order numbers.
Although the display of credits for some U.S. daytime Soap Operas can differ from episode to episode, and this can sometimes cause confusion, the basic principles of how we list credits still apply. We apply credits for any individual episode of any show based on the credits for that specific episode, as per the table below:
Do they Appear in the Episode? Are they listed in the Credits? Attribute Yes No (uncredited) Yes Yes Credit with no attribute No No Do not credit at all No Yes (credit only)
Note that this table is identical to the table explaining the uncredited attribute.
Opening and End Credits
Some shows have episodes with both opening (title sequence) credits and end credits. The above principles still apply. Where there are both opening and end credits, always use the end credits only. The only exception is where the main characters are only listed in the opening credits, in which case the main characters should be credited in the order they appear in the opening credits, followed by the rest of the cast in sequential order as they appear in the end credits.
If characters are duplicated in both opening and end credits, then the end credits always take precedence.
Please ensure that IMDb's general guidelines for adding credits are followed, especially with regards to character names, order numbers and uncredited/credit only attributes. This may lead to situations where main cast members have 'uncredited' attributes next to their names, but if they are not credited onscreen then that is the correct credit format.
Please do not remove or change valid order numbers and/or attributes because you want to 'fix' the cast list so that it reflects how you feel the cast list should be presented. Please also refrain from embellishing character names with honorifics and/or nicknames in quotations marks. (See the character names section above for further details on the correct format of character names).
'The Bold and the Beautiful' and 'The Young and the Restless' list their credits in specific ways on different days throughout the week. However the above guidelines still apply in exactly the same way.
Submissions that attempt to incorrectly modify correct cast lists and/or do not adhere to the above guides will not be accepted.
If you need further help understanding/interpreting these guidelines, please post your question on the IMDb Get Satisfaction user community, where experienced users of the site will be happy to help in any way they can.