understudy

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understudy

an actor or actress who studies a part so as to be able to replace the usual actor or actress if necessary
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"I threw myself into understudying for the challenge and to have the other dancers' backs, and I really think that contributed to my being promoted," she says.
"It's a massive privilege to be understudying Viva and a great opportunity for me," says Carmen-Jones, whose mother Gill still lives in Swansea.
But we've got great understudies with Ed Bennett, whose playing Hamlet, and all the other guys who are understudying," he said.
Crossley is keen to move on after spending two years understudying Edwin Van Der Saar and his chances have been improved by the signing of Czech stopper Jaroslav Drobny from Greek club Panionios.
I was understudying the role Hyman was playing, and George Fisher was also understudying the same role.
He made his Broadway debut in 1963, understudying Herschel Bernardi in "Bajour"
The amazing Mark Setlock (whose previous claim to fame was understudying Angel in rent on Broadway) plays not only Sam but also every person he's in contact with by phone, intercom, and hot line.