Every Lee Child Cameo In The Jack Reacher Adaptations (Movies & TV)

Here's every cameo appearance by author Lee Child in the Jack Reacher adaptations. Child's first novel with 1997's The Killing Floor, which introduced readers to the former military police officer with the mind of a great detective and the physique of Dolph Lundgren. Child intended Reacher to be the polar opposite of the other popular fictional detectives of that era, who tended to be defined by their addictions, mourning for lost loved ones or general nihilistic outlook.


Reacher has attracted a passionate fanbase, and the book series has run for over 20 novels thus far. Given his popularity, it was inevitable a live-action movie or show based on Reacher would happen - but it took a surprisingly long time. The casting of Tom Cruise should have guaranteed its success, but longtime readers were left unhappy with this decision. The character in the books is a hulking 6 foot 5 - which Cruise most definitely is not. Having failed to find an A-list actor of that size to carry the film, however, the studio opted to find a star who could bring out Reacher's intensity in other ways.

Related: Every Live-Action Jack Reacher Adaptation, Ranked (Movies & TV)

After two successful films with Cruise, the character received a small screen reboot with Amazon's Reacher. Alan Ritchson captures both the look and attitude of the character from the books, with the show receiving mostly positive reviews. Lee Child himself has cameoed in every live-action iteration so far, and here's where to spot him.

Jack Reacher (2012) - "Desk Sergeant"

tom cruise rosamund pike and lee child in jack reacher

Child's cameo in the first Jack Reacher movie comes as the titular character is leaving jail, having been arrested for beating up a gang of would-be assailants. Child plays the desk sergeant who gives Reacher back his items as he speaks with Rosamund Pike's Helen; while he doesn't have any lines, he does give a comical response to a question from Jack.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) - "TSA Agent"

tom cruise and lee child in jack reacher never go back

Continuing with the original's theme of Lee Child playing authority figures, his next cameo was as a TSA agent Reacher has to get past in the sequel. Since Cruise's Reacher is wanted by authorities, he has to steal the ID of another passenger to get on board. After a cursory glance of the stolen Driver's License for "Jeffrey Scott," Child's agent shrugs and wishes Mr. Scott a good flight.

Reacher: Season 1 (2022) - "Diner Patron"

Lee Child Cameo Reacher 2022 Alan Ritchson

Lee Child's final cameo - to date - in a Jack Reacher adaptation came in the finale of Amazon's series. As Reacher returns to the diner he was arrested at in the very first episode to eat some peach pie. When he enters, a patron played by Child walks past, mumbling "excuse me" as he does so. It's an unflashy appearance that viewers unfamiliar with the character or books are unlikely to notice, but it's a fun easter egg nonetheless.