Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Before They Were Famous

Oh sure, they’re household names now. But everyone has to pay their dues.

Before They Were Famous
 Check out the surprising first roles of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and watch videos of others before they struck it big.
Ben Affleck
Long before he was an Oscar winner for this film, a pre-teen Ben starred in the educational series “Voyage of the Mimi” in 1984. (Watch clips.) He recently directed and starred in this critically acclaimed film.
Jennifer Aniston
Before she was a favorite on this TV show or known for her high-profile romance with this A-list star, Jennifer starred in the critical bomb “Leprechaun” (watch clips). That was two years before she became a household name.
Jennifer Lopez
When she was just Jenny From the Block, before she was an international star, Jennifer made her debut with a small role in “My Little Girl” (see the trailer). She also was a Fly Girl on "In Living Color" with another familiar face.
Tom Cruise
The high-profile star played a small role in 1981’s “Endless Love” (watch clips), which starred this well-known actress, whom he famously criticized many years later.
Sylvester Stallone
Sly’s first role won’t go down as a cinematic achievement. “The Party at Kitty and Stud’s” was re-released after the actor’s star rose dramatically with this film. Upon re-release, it was called “The Italian Stallion.” (See the trailer.)
Keira Knightley
Blink and you’ll miss her, or you’ll think she’s Natalie Portman in her non-speaking role in this film. She was hired specifically for her resemblance to Portman. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2005 for this film.
Tom Hanks
Even two-time Oscar winners for Best Actor had to start somewhere. Tom starred on this TV series at the same time the made-for-TV movie “Mazes & Monsters” was released. (Watch clips.)
Angelina Jolie
Her first role was in a film with her father called “Lookin’ to Get Out” (watch clips) when she was 6 years old, and her first major role came in “Cyborg 2” at age 17. (Watch clips.) Check out her other films.
Naomi Watts
Known for her dramatic roles in acclaimed films like “21 Grams” and “Mulholland Drive,” it’s a surprise that one of her first roles was in this horror flick, based on a book by Stephen King.
Denzel Washington
This Oscar winner started out humbly enough, in a 1977 TV movie called “Wilma” (about this real person). Just nine years later, he won his first Academy Award for a role in this film.
John Travolta
Before “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease,” Travolta’s movie debut came in the laughably bad “The Devil’s Rain.” (Watch clips.) It’s nice to know there’s life after a film where most of the cast is melted by Satan. (You can’t make this up!)
Evangeline Lilly
When she was cast as the female lead in this popular TV series, most wondered where she came from. We have the answer. She made her debut in this advertisement. Really.

Hilary Swank
This Oscar winner got her start with a single line of dialogue in the original “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” movie. (Watch clips.) She also put her role on this TV series far, far behind her.

Brad Pitt
A lot of people consider this film Brad’s big debut. But no, it was the 1989 film “Cutting Class.” (Watch clips.) This low-budget slasher flick was the world’s first glimpse of the future Mr. Jolie.
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