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Home Features Top of the Week Hollywood Hunks Who Got Their Start on Soap Operas

Hollywood Hunks Who Got Their Start on Soap Operas

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Nathan Fillion (Richard Castle, Castle) (c)Soapdom/LMSIf you look at old episodes of the top soap operas, you may be surprised to see a familiar face here and there. Many leading primetime television and film actors today can attribute their early success to their beginnings on top soap operas, which have helped them propel their career. Stars like John Stamos, Nathan Fillion, Brad Pitt and others owe their start to daytime TV.

On the other hand, several established actors, like James Franco, who recurs as the character "Franco" on General Hospital, reach out to soap operas for short term story arcs.  Yet --

-- we can't help but wonder if any have experienced "bad press" online, or have had their reputation somehow tarnished. 

The following are several leading Hollywood actors that got their start on soap dramas.

John Stamos

Who can forget the dashing good looks of Uncle Jesse in Full House, the rebellious, reckless member of the Tanner family? However, this television role was not his first; in fact, John Stamos got his start on the show General Hospital, playing Blackie Parrish. This role quickly allowed him to become a teen heartthrob, and even scored him a Daytime Emmy nomination.

Nathan Fillion

Nathan Fillion is most recognizable in the current TV series Castle and cult classic Firefly as the incorrigible Captain Malcolm Reynolds. But his TV career didn't start here; in fact, it began on the show One Life to Live, as Joey Buchanan. He appeared on the show from 1994 to 1997, and his youthful performance allowed him to score a Younger Actor Emmy nomination.

Brad Pitt

This hunky actor is consistently named as one of the most handsome men in the world, and is one of the top leading actors in Hollywood. But prior to starring in blockbuster hits, Brad Pitt got his start through the soap opera Another World. On this television series, he was able to score his first speaking role, playing a young basketball player named Chris in 1987. He went on to appear in various other television roles such as Growing Pains and Dallas before his breakout performance in Thelma and Louise.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Headlining movies such as Catch Me If You Can, Titanic, and Inception, Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the first names that come to mind when thinking of A-list stars. But this actor got his start playing a character named Mason Capwell on the soap Santa Barbara. In fact, his role on the acclaimed soap allowed him to win awards, leading to his current acting career.

Josh Duhamel

Josh Duhamel's first acting credit was in the top soap drama All My Children, where he played Leo du Pres, the con artist with the tragic past. He quickly established popularity with this role, allowing him to win Daytime Emmys and another accolades. Josh Duhamel has since gone on to star in TV series such as Las Vegas and the blockbuster Transfomers series.

Kevin Bacon

Most known for his roles on Footloose, Tremors, and the more recent X-Men: First Class, Kevin Bacon is one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood today. However, this esteemed actor can recall his beginnings in soap operas, such as Search for Tomorrow and the highly popular Guiding Light. Playing T.J. Werner on Guiding Light, this show provided the springboard for his rise to fame.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg. You'd be surprised at just how many Hollywood stars got their start on soaps.  Click to find out who else went from soaps to stardom.


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Linda Marshall-Smith (QueenRuler, www.Soapdom.com)
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