These Stars Have Soap Operas to Thank for Their Careers

What does the universe have in common with soap operas? Endlessness. Trends come and go but it seems like soap operas are an exception to that rule. With convoluted and absurd plotlines, soap operas have been captivating many throughout the years, reigning supreme as daytime TV overlords. Those daytime slots often tend to be looked down upon by fans of other TV genres, but the truth is that many of the film stars we know today have soap operas to thank for launching their careers.

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Modern-day Hollywood personalities and many Oscar winners such as Morgan Freeman and Leonardo DiCaprio had their big break in one soap opera or another. Keep reading for specifics and stop being ashamed of being a secret fan of General Hospital.

Robin Wright

Born in 1966, Robin Wright began her career in the early ‘80s with roles on Hollywood Vice Squad, The Princess Bride, and most notably in the Santa Barbara soap opera. She gained international attention with her role on Forrest Gump and she was also on Message in a Bottle, Unbreakable, The Conspirator, and Moneyball.

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In 2018, Wright appeared in box office hits such as Wonder Woman and Blade Runner 2049. Of course, she was also a familiar face on House of Cards. Robin has been married three times and has two children, including Dylan Penn. Dylan’s father is the actor Sean Penn.

Michael B. Jordan

Not to be confused with basketball player Michael (no B.) Jordan, this handsome fella is one talented actor. While he is definitely one of the popular kids on the block, Jordan has a geeky side too and he is a fan of anime as well as superheroes.

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In fact, the role of Erik Killmonger in Black Panther is what made him a household name. But if you happened to have some daytime to spare between 2003 and 2006, you might remember him playing the role of Reggie, Susan Lucci’s stepson on All My Children.

Tommy Lee Jones

At Harvard, where Tommy Lee Jones roomed with Al Gore and graduated cum laude in 1969, he played varsity football, as well. As an all-league offensive guard, he participated in the Harvard vs. Yale game known as “The Tie,” the most famous game in Ivy League history. He also appeared in undergrad theater productions. Students would find him in the sports locker room suiting up in costume for rehearsal! Acting won out. Now we know him as the big screen’s worst tough guy in films like MIB and The Fugitive.

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In between stage productions, Jones starred on daytime soap One Life to Live. It was not exactly his career dream, but the part led him on the path to the podium where he accepted an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in The Fugitive. It also scored him a sequel. He became one of the best paid and most highly sought-after actors in the industry. Like many Hollywood greats, he’s tried his hand at directing and producing. His theatrical feature film debut, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, earned him the Best Actor Award at Cannes.

Heather Locklear

Part of the enjoyment of watching the TV shows Spin City and Melrose Place was the gorgeous actress, Heather Locklear. Even decades after her role as Sammy Jo in Dynasty she looks just as vibrant.

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Maybe it’s the Hollywood glow, maybe it’s her second divorce, who knows? For now we can only enjoy her glow by watching her in her latest role as First Lady Katelynn Christian in the TV show Too Close to Home.

Alec Baldwin

The Baldwin brothers are the closest thing people used to have to the modern-day Hemsworths. And much like the Hemsworths, people always had to pick a favorite. In the Baldwins’ case, it was obviously Alec.

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He rose to prominence following his performance as Joshua Rush in season six and season seven of the CBS television drama, Knots Landing. Since then, he has appeared in numerous movies portraying various distinguished roles, including Jack Ryan in The Hunt for Red October.

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore is in it for the long haul. Just ask any TV show he’s been on. While TV and movie stars make a lot of money, they rarely know when they might get their next project. Moore is one of those rare actors who enjoy a steady income because he simply works on never-ending TV shows for years on end.

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Many might know him as Derek Morgan from his 12-year-long stint in Criminal Minds which began in 2005. But his acting career started way back in 1994 when he played Malcolm Winters in the soap opera The Young and the Restless. He played this part on and off until 2019! That’s more stable than most Hollywood relationships!

Julianne Moore

Don’t let that porcelain skin and red hair fool you, Julianne Moore is a total badass. Daughter of a U.S. Army Paratrooper and born at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Moore is a total military brat. She attended nine different schools as her father was relocated, which might explain how she can fit so well into any role she plays.

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Her soap opera stint includes a triple (!) role in As the World Turns. For three years, she played two identical half-sisters and their cousin. It looks like some things can only happen in soap operas.

Morgan Freeman

It sure seems as if Morgan Freeman has always been around, which makes sense since he’s been acting for almost six decades now. He is best known for his incredible voice and narrating skills, although he did have a few Oscar-winning films throughout his career.

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He’s been a champion and an inspiration for many African Americans in the United States. The actor has also given many motivational speeches throughout his career. Morgan Freeman is the seventh-highest grossing actor of all time, with a combined box office gross of just over $4.5 billion. We wonder how much of this money was earned from the soap operas Another World and Ryan’s Hope.

Kevin Bacon

At age 17, Kevin Bacon left home for the Big Apple looking to make it there (because if you make it there, you can make it anywhere). As a high school student, he developed a passion for the arts and wanted to become a serious actor. In N.Y.C. he found some theatre gigs and a big role in the slasher horror flick Friday the 13th. Things were picking up. He debuted on Broadway with Sean Penn and Val Kilmer. Soon, he landed the monster smash hit, Footloose, and became a pop star.

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He’s starred in JFK, A Few Good Men, Apollo 13, and Mystic River, to name a few blockbusters. He won a Golden Globe Award and a SAG for Taking Chance, an HBO original movie. But before his film success came along, there was his soap stint in Guiding Light.

Johnny Depp

An actor, musician, and producer, Johnny Depp has done a lot in film. But before any of his iconic roles came along, he too had a small role in a soap drama — Aaron Spelling’s Hotel. Three years later he landed the role of Edward in Edward’s Scissorhands. Among his numerous awards and nominations, there are ten Golden Globes nominations, one of which he won.

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He is known for playing eccentric characters and for his many collaborations with filmmaker Tim Burton, but his most memorable part in the last 20 years is definitely that of Captain Jack Sparrow, the pirate from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. As the perpetually drunk captain with never-ending luck, Depp’s Sparrow redefined the way we think of pirates today.

Jason Biggs

Forever cast as an awkward white kid, Jason Biggs is primarily known for his work in the American Pie franchise. He later made a comeback starring in the hit TV show Orange Is the New Black.

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Biggs had another notable role that people might forget about — Pete Wendall in As the World Turns. The part even got him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Young Actor in a Drama Series. Pretty fly for a white guy.

John Stamos

John Stamos can have as many roles as he wants in film and TV, but for some of us he will always be Uncle Jesse from Full House.

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Stamos is also quite the musician and he even performed with The Beach Boys occasionally. General Hospital appreciated his musical talent and cast him as Blackie Parish, a romantic musician with perfect hair.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

We don’t need to tell you what Sarah Michelle Gellar is best known for. Of course, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and who could forget Cruel Intentions? The star won five Teen Choice Awards and a Golden Globe Award nomination for the series.

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Did you know that she too has had her days in the soaps? She was highly praised for her portrayal of Kendall Hart in All My Children. She has even won an Emmy for the part (much to the disapproval of her co-star Susan Lucci).

Lindsay Lohan

Many millennials grew up with Lindsay Lohan in the background. They first met her playing a double role in The Parent Trap, tapped into her teen angst in Freaky Friday, and learned about high school cliques with her in Mean Girls.

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As it turns out, Lohan was on TV even before her Parent Trap days. She played little Allie Fowler in the soap opera Another World for four episodes.

Kathy Bates

Oscar winner and movie star Kathy Bates has been acting since 1963. When your acting career is that long, it should be safe to say you’ve done all that there is to do. Bates has done theater, been on Broadway, film, television, and yes — soap operas too.

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Bates’s soap opera record includes roles in All My Children, One Life to Live, and The Doctors. She is still as active as ever and was most recently seen in American Horror Story.

Kelly Ripa

Kelly Ripa has been around the news block for a long time, and yet, it seems like she looks younger and younger by the day. She began her career in 1998 on the popular soap, All My Children where she played Hayley Vaughan. In 2000, she got her breakthrough role alongside Regis Philbin co-hosting Live With Regis and Kelly. When Regis left the show, Kelly took over the show as the lead host.

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Ryan Seacrest started hosting with her in 2017. Ripa makes a salary of $22 million and has a net worth of $120 million. She has been married to her former co-star on All My Children, Mark Consuelos, since 1996.

Ricky Martin

If the song “Livin’ La Vida Loca” comes up and the people around you don’t get up to dance, you might want to reconsider being around them. Ricky Martin doesn’t only know how to make dance hits, he knows how to dance, how to sing, and how to make his many fans scream for the best reasons.

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As it turns out, Martin can also act and has even appeared for a short while in General Hospital. He played Miguel Morez, a long-haired singer who had some issues to solve. Then again, don’t all soap opera characters have some issues to solve?

Courtney Cox

You simply can’t look at Courtney Cox without thinking ‘Monica’. She may have played other roles after Friends was over but she will always be the shrill clean-freak we all know and love. Playing a certain character for 10 years straight can do that to you.

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Apparently, Courtney Cox’s first TV acting credit ever goes to As the World Turns — a soap opera in which Cox played a character named Bunny for a single episode in 1984.

Heath Ledger

One of Hollywood’s darling actors, Heath Ledger became internationally famous after his excellent acting in the teen comedy film 10 Things I Hate About You. Australians knew him way before that when he starred in the soap opera Home and Away. The young actor continued to rise in popularity when he appeared in A Knight’s Tale two years later. In 2005, he took the legendary role of Ennis in Brokeback Mountain and shook audiences. His last and arguably greatest performance was as the Joker, in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

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There’s no denying that Ledger was an absolute force of brilliance in this one. Fans were originally horrified when they heard that the actor was cast as the Joker, until they saw his performance and realized it was the best film portrayal of the character they’d ever seen. Unfortunately, the actor died shortly around the time of the film’s release, he was posthumously awarded an Oscar for his role.

Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts was trying to pursue a career in modeling at first. Actually, that’s how she met her friend Nicole Kidman. The two met as teens while auditioning for a bikini ad in Australia. Neither of them got the job but they both went on to become successful actresses.

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Watts owes some of her success to Julie Gibson, her recurring role in the Australian soap opera Home and Away.

Judith Light

Highly respected in her field, Judith Light brought a lot to the set of One Life to Live. She played the melodramatic and manipulative Karen Wolek and even won an Emmy for the part.

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She then went on to play on the iconic sitcom Who’s the Boss? opposite of Tony Danza. And make no mistakes, Angela was definitely the boss.

Nathan Fillion

Soap operas excel in spinning the most outrageous romantic tales. Just ask Nathan Fillion and he will tell you. Fillion’s character in One Life to Live was named Joey Buchanan, and it was outrageous alright.

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Teenage Buchanan apparently had a thing for older women, and he was often seen in the company of his lover, Dorian Lord, who was also his mother’s sworn enemy. Thank god it was just a show!

Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan’s face might as well appear in the dictionary under the definition of romantic comedy. She is Sally from When Harry Met Sally and Kate from Kate and Leopold. Basically, if it’s a rom-com — she’s there.

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Before her days as ruler of the genre, Ryan was also part of a soap opera cast. The show was As the World Turns, and she played Betsey Stewart Montgomery Andropholous. A name longer than her marriage to Dennis Quaid.

Ellen Burstyn

Ellen Burstyn got her to break as a dancer on The Jackie Gleason Show during the mid-1950s. Soon after, various acting jobs began falling her way. One of those opportunities was starring as Dr. Kate Bartok in The Doctors. She later landed the lead in The Last Picture Show (1971 and her performance brought showbiz attention plus Oscar and Golden Globe award nominations.

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For her role in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore directed by Martin Scorsese, Burstyn won the Best Actress Oscar. Three years later, in 1978, she received the Best Actress nomination for Same Time, Next Year, and in 1980 and in 2000 she received it for Resurrection and Requiem of a Dream, respectively. What a busy lady!

David Hasselhoff

Blue eyes, perpetually tanned skin, and shoulders broad enough to land a helicopter on — David Hasselhoff has got it all. And when you have it all, you are bound to get snatched by a soap opera at some point.

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“The Hoff” was indeed snatched by the soap opera The Young and the Restless. He put his assets to work and played Dr. William Foster (AKA Snapper) for several years.

Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei is a simply gorgeous actress who comes across as being unchanged by the passing of time. People who haven’t been keeping tabs on her professionally over time wouldn’t remember that she’s now 55, let alone that she started in As the World Turns.

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Jealous folks are convinced that plastic surgery or at least a host of beauty procedures are responsible for this. However, we can’t believe this is true. We maintain that Marisa is a natural celebrity beauty.

James Earl Jones

Those who don’t recognize James Earl Jones’s face are sure to recognize his voice. He has used his unmistakable basso profundo to voice the characters of Darth Vader in the Star Wars films and Mufasa in The Lion King.

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In 1966, however, the man was busy playing doctor. Literally. He was cast as two separate doctor characters in the soap operas As the World Turns and Guiding Light. That authoritative voice must sound incredible telling you to take your new pills twice a day on a full stomach.

Laurence Fishburne

Some people seem to have been born fully grown adults. It would simply be too weird to think they were ever children. Can you imagine Meryl Streep as a two-year-old playing in the sand? How about Sir Ian McKellen’s first day of preschool? We didn’t think so.

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Laurence Fishburne is also one of those people. But in his case, we have TV archives to prove he was, indeed, a child once. As a child actor, Fishburn played Josh West Hall in One Life to Live from 1974 to 1976.

Justin Hartley

Justin Hartley was a cast regular in TV shows such as Smallville and Revenge, but you probably remember his face from the recent NBC drama This is Us.

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Hartley and that lovely square jaw of his were actually around for longer than you think. In 2002, he got the part of Fox Crane in the soap opera Passions. He served as the on-set heartthrob for four years and left the show two years before it came to an end.

Amber Tamblyn

When a soap opera has been around for 58 (!) seasons, it stands to reason that almost any actor in Hollywood would have passed through it at some point. General Hospital is one such show.

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Amber Tamblyn started her acting career as a child actress, playing the role of Emily Quartermaine from 1995 to 2001. She later gained world fame when she starred in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Now you may slap your own forehead and say “So that’s where I know her from!”

Josh Duhamel

Prior to his acting career, Josh Duhamel played quarterback for the Beavers while dreaming of an NFL career. He loved playing football but settled for acting. As fate would have it, he started out as a model and transitioned into acting through his popular role of Leo in All My Children.

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Transformers just would not have been the same without drop-dead-gorgeous knockout Duhamel. He recently became single after divorcing Black Eyed Peas popstar, Stacy Ferguson. Ladies, get in line.

Liam Hemsworth

Taking a dip in the Hemsworth gene pool would have been a service we would all happily pay good money for. With 6′ 3″ of blue-eyed charm and sexy Australian accent, Liam is not only great to watch but also wonderful to hear.

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Liam gained world fame playing Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games franchise, but his fellow Australians knew him way before that. His first acting credit was a guest appearance in Home and Away, the same soap opera his brother Chris starred in for several years.

Elizabeth Banks

Actress, producer, and overall goddess Elizabeth Banks started out small. Before becoming the trailblazer she is and landing her role in The Hunger Games franchise, she had to settle for smaller roles.

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One such role was that of a young waitress named Rosalie in All My Children. The part was tiny but the rest of Banks’s career was nothing like it.

Jensen Ackles

Jensen Ackles is known for playing the role of cocky, cute, and deadly Dean Winchester for 15 years on the TV show Supernatural. His fans might be surprised to hear it, but Ackles actually had other acting jobs before he started doing Supernatural.

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From 1998 to 2000, Ackles played the role of Eric Brady in the soap opera Days of Our Lives. Supernatural has even included a little nod to Ackles’s soap days, sending its characters into a parallel universe in which they meet a soap opera actor named Jensen Ackles.

Bryan Cranston

In the first few decades of his career, most people knew Bryan Cranston as either Dr. Tim Whatley from NBC’s popular sitcom Seinfeld, or as Hal from the Fox sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle”. Few people know of his portrayal of Dean Stella in the soap opera One Life to Live. He was considered your average nice, goofy, and funny older male actor, but everything changed when he took the role of Walter White on AMC’s iconic “Breaking Bad”, which is known as one of the best TV shows of all time.

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“Breaking Bad” revolves around Walter White, an aging and depressed chemistry teacher, and his new partner, Jesse Pinkman, a high-school dropout. The two decide to work together and open a meth business after Walter discovers he has terminal cancer and that his family isn’t financially secure. Bryan Cranston’s performance in the show is considered among the best on-screen acting of all time.

Mark Consuelos

Mark Consuelos met Kelly Ripa, actor and co-star, and host of ‘Live! With Kelly’ on the set of All My Children. After falling in love almost immediately, the two eloped the following year in May 1996 and played lovers on screen for twelve years.

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The couple had three children together thereafter. Although the two are working parents and can often be found on different coasts, they have remained a strong unit who’s very much in love.

Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman is one of Hollywood’s biggest underdogs. The actor has been a consistent ‘tour de force’ throughout the years when it comes to acting, but it took him a long time to get acknowledgment. Many blame his lack of accreditation on his quiet nature, as well as the way he props up other actors with his supportive acting rather than trying to take over the scene. His acting career dates back to the 80s, which included a short appearance in the soap opera Knots Landing.

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Oldman finally got his first Oscar after his brilliant performance as Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hour. His most popular role to date was Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series. If you love Gary Oldman and want to check out some of his best work, we recommend that you watch the actor completely transform his appearance and personality in The Darkest Hour, where he plays the devil himself in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Also, don’t miss his legendary performance as Lee Harvey Oswald, former President JFK’s assassin, in the biopic film about John F. Kennedy, titled JFK.

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has one of the world’s most recognized faces. We first recognized it, and the rest of him, in Thelma and Louise as a hitchhiking charmer who Geena Davis’ “Thelma” falls for. But a few years before that, young Pitt played Chris, the basketball player from Another World.

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Since his Thelma and Louise days, Pitt has portrayed many unforgettable characters in films such as Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Ocean’s Eleven, Interview With the Vampire, Fight Club, and more. There are simply too many to choose from, but we will never forget where he started.

Jordana Brewster

The beautiful Jordana Brewster first erupted as an American model and actress in an episode of All My Children 1995. It was quickly followed by her role in As The World Turns, as Nikki Munson, which got her a Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding teen performance in 1997.

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What launched Jordana Brewster to substantial fame was when she got cast for a role in the Fast and the Furious franchise. Her IQ of 130 proves she has beauty AND brains! What a killer combo!

Richard Simmons

Richard Simmons wasn’t your ordinary actor or movie star; he became a health nut and owner of a fitness club after he managed to go from an obese 268-pound teen to dropping an astounding 123 pounds. By the 1960s, he launched a career as a motivational fitness advisor with his high-energy talk and exercise show, The Richard Simmons Show. He was one of the pioneers of group exercise on TV, long before yoga was a thing. His fitness-loving self was featured in General Hospital in the ’80s.

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With the fitness business saturated, Simmons’ approach gradually went out of style. He’s spent recent years in somewhat of seclusion from public life. Rumors surfaced that he was being held hostage by his housekeeper, so he appeared on the ‘Today Show’ to dispel the rumors. In November 2016, his fitness gym closed. He’s now 71 years old and keeping a low profile.

Leonardo Di Caprio

Hollywood’s golden boy, Leonardo DiCaprio, rose to worldwide fame when he portrayed Jack in the iconic historical drama “Titanic”. The actor has been in Hollywood since his early teens and is known for dating almost the entire Victoria’s Secret lineup over the decades.

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As a kid in the 80s, he played in the soap opera Santa Barbara. At about 45 years of age, the actor is not showing any signs of slowing down and keeps taking on challenging and rewarding roles. He has starred in some of the world’s most successful films and is also an avid environmental advocate.

Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen is known for his on-screen work in films such as Badlands and The Subject Was Roses. He has a Golden Globe and more than 250 acting credits in his name.

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One of the earliest roles in his career was that of Jack Davis in the soap opera As the World Turns.  Sheen’s character had a steady 5 year run in the show, but the series itself ran from 1956 to 2010!

Taye Diggs

Taye Diggs has proved his versatility acting on nearly any possible platform. He has been on film, television, and Broadway. His very first on-screen appearance was in 1997 in the soap opera Guiding Light.

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He later acted in some other small roles before reaching his more memorable parts such as Jackson Duper in Ally McBeal or his unforgettable performance in Chicago.

Mark Hamill

Luke Skywalker held various ranks in the Rebel Alliance, but Hamill likely drew at least some inspiration from his father, who was a captain in the United States Navy. The family moved all over the country and even to Japan, where Hamill eventually graduated from high school.

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Prior to his Star Wars days, Mark Hamill took various roles in television shows and made-for-tv films. One of those early roles was Kent Murray in General Hospital. We wonder who might have been his inspiration for his soap stint.

Tom Selleck

Tom Selleck’s acting career is about as diverse as it gets. The heartthrob acted in widely popular shows and movies like Magnum, P.I. to Friends to Three Men and a Baby. But before appearing in any of those, he had a short stint playing Jed Andrews in The Young and the Restless.

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Selleck’s 6’4” frame also served him well on the court as a basketball player. The fact that he managed to balance playing basketball, joining a fraternity, and working as a model while earning a business degree is just plain ridiculous.

Ray Liotta

Ray Liotta’s most memorable role was that of Henry Hill in Goodfellas, but it was hardly his first one. His first big role on TV was Joey Perrini in Another World. He did that for an overall of three years, from 1978 until 1981.

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He kept playing in smaller roles for ten long years until his Goodfellas run came through and turned him into a household name. He sadly passed away in 2022 before being able to complete his latest project, a film named “Dangerous Waters”.

Lisa Rinna

Lisa Rinna and her pouty lips are a soap opera staple. She is known to have played in Days of Our Lives and Melrose Place. Her most recent on-screen activity is being herself in the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

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She met her husband, Harry Hamlin, almost 30 years ago. It was love at first sight. He first laid eyes on her when she worked as an eyeglasses clerk. He calls their movie star marriage a miracle, she says they’re “soulmates” because they’re crazy about each other, and he says they never get tired of each other’s stories. Now is when you say ’aww’.

Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe’s portrayal of Maximus the gladiator won him an Academy Award for Best Actor. This film is what made him world-famous, but he played in other films and TV shows before that. One of his earlier works was a teeny-tiny part in the Australian soap opera The Young Doctors. Crowe later appeared in ‘Body of Lies’, where he played a CIA agent. For the part, and as per Ridley Scott’s request, Crowe had to gain weight to portray the heavy, sedentary Ed Hoffman, which meant Crowe had to give up his gladiator body.

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Crowe claimed that he just “decided to eat whatever he wanted”, and made sure he had the most sedentary lifestyle possible. In an interview with E! News, the former gladiator rightly said, “If you want to put on weight, you just elect to live a sedentary lifestyle,”. That definitely sounds like a diet plan we can get behind.

Chris Hemsworth

When casting for the Thor franchise, the producers needed to find someone who looks like a god to play a god. Then they found Chris Hemsworth and all was well with the world. Before becoming widely known as Thor, the god of thunder, Hemsworth has had a score of other roles. One such role was that of Kim Hyde in the Australian soap opera Home and Away.

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He played that role for nearly 200 episodes before turning to film and other endeavors. Those fine Hemsworth genes, as well as a talent for acting, run in the family, as Chris’s two brothers are also not bad to look at and have on-screen careers.

Eva Longoria

Among the most vivacious Latinas that Hollywood has to offer is Eva Longoria. It’s insane that she’s in her 40s! Eva has proven herself to be a successful businesswoman and an actress of worth who keeps the big bucks coming in.

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Apart from being an actress, she’s now a producer as well. In 2017, she brought some of her best acting skills to the table through the role of Margot Beste-Chetwynde in the miniseries Decline and Fall, released in 2017, and we loved it. But long before that, Longoria has appeared in both General Hospital and The Young and the Restless.

Hayden Panettiere

Heroes actress Hayden Panettiere started acting as a child actress, and much of her screen time as a kid was in soap operas. She spent three years on the set of One Life to Live playing little Sarah Roberts, but that doesn’t conclude her entire soap opera career.

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Her next soap opera part was a two-year-long stint as Lizzie Spaulding in Guiding Light. She then started focusing on a film career and went back to TV, though she hasn’t been seen in another soap opera since.

Brittany Snow

This blue-eyed blonde is not only a great actress, but she can also sing. In 1998 she started playing Susan Lemay (AKA Daisy) in the soap opera Guiding Light. She even won a Young Artist Award for that role.

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Snow later went on to act in TV shows and films such as the Pitch Perfect franchise and Hairspray, which gave her a chance to prove her vocal cords’ worth.

Chadwick Boseman

Another Black Panther alum, Chadwick Boseman has also appeared on All My Children. In fact, he was the original guy cast to play Reggie. He played that role for a few episodes before being replaced by Michael B. Jordan.

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You would expect that both Jordan and Boseman would be asked about this interesting parallel in their careers but the truth is that they have both been reluctant to talk about it. Great job not making people curious, guys.

Susan Sarandon

One of Hollywood’s favorite actresses, Susan Sarandon has definitely made her mark in the industry. Aside from acting, she’s been involved in social and political causes. Now, Susan has won numerous Academy Awards and BAFTA Awards, which must be on display in a huge trophy case somewhere.

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Sarandon’s early career includes two years in the soap opera industry. In 1971 you could find her playing the role of Patrice Kahlman in A World Apart. The year after that, she appeared as Sarah Fairbanks in the daytime soap Search for Tomorrow.

Ryan Phillippe

This handsome fella had his breakthrough role as Billy Douglas in the soap opera One Life to Live, and it wasn’t long until he had many other on-screen appearances.

Getty Images Photo by Steve Fenn/Disney General Entertainment Content & Alamy Stock Photo

Phillippe is also interested in martial arts and has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. That sounds like a good thing to have around.

Demi Moore

Demi Moore stepped into her soap opera shoes in General Hospital. It was right after popular soap star Genie Francis left the show and the producers needed to fill the void with another female role.

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Moore then filled that void as Jackie Templeton, the flirty reporter to play a love interest for Anthony Geary. She was on the show from 1982 to 1983 and then went on to focus on film and on finding a Bruce Willis to marry.

Christopher Reeve

Christopher Reeve is known for his portrayal of Superman and for the most unfortunate accident that left him paralyzed for the last nine years of his life. But before any of that happened, Reeves was making his way in Hollywood as an actor and taking all the small parts he could get.

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One of those parts was Ben Harper in the soap opera Love of Life. The series ran for a total of 7,316 episodes (29 seasons!), but Reeve’s character only appeared on three of them.

Eric Bana

Before he became one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors, Eric Bana did mostly comedy. He started with a couple of sketch comedy shows but soon transitioned into drama. The transition was made possible thanks to him playing the part of Joe Sabatini in the Australian soap opera Something in the Air.

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Bana’s following project was Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down, which was incredibly popular. The film was nominated for numerous awards and even won two Oscars.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Movie fans and actors all across the world cried when the beloved actor Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away. The actor starred in some of the most incredible films of all time and had a knack for movies that explored people’s psyches and motivations. Hoffman’s big break was in 1992 in the film Scent of a Woman. He later appeared in classics like The Big Lebowski, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Capote, which awarded him with an Oscar for Best Actor. His first TV credit goes to a small role in the soap One Life to Live in 1989.

Getty Images Photo by Steve Eichner & Gareth Cattermole

One of his best movies, and arguably his most incredible performance, came in 2012’s The Master. A psychological drama film starring him, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, in a deep exploration story that closely parallels that of the Church of Scientology. The film received critical acclaim and got Hoffman three Oscar nominations. Paul Thomas Anderson, the award-winning director of the film, claims this is his favorite film of all time.

71 thoughts on “These Stars Have Soap Operas to Thank for Their Careers

  1. Reading your article helped me a lot and I agree with you. But I still have some doubts, can you clarify for me? I’ll keep an eye out for your answers.

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