There’s no one way to carve out a career as an actor. Some enter the industry as children, while others slowly build a resume of commercial work and guest spots. Still, others work as background actors as a way to support themselves and grab that coveted SAG card. But there’s a whole other category of actors that actually began their careers in a different place — reality TV. You might be surprised to learn that quite a few popular celebrities were once on reality competition shows.
It’s no surprise that those who can sing or dance can — a lot of the time — also act. The performing arts tend to overlap with one another, which is why so many contestants on singing and dancing competition shows are able to make the short leap over to Hollywood. Plus, these types of reality shows are much more plentiful than ones centered on acting (VH1’s Scream Queens seems to be the only notable example, really).
In some cases, however, the actor in question isn’t doing any sort of performing on TV — they’re simply on the show as an average person, mingling with singles on The Big Date or guessing the price of a car on The Price Is Right. You really never know whose career is going to take off.
Below, you’ll learn about 10 now-successful actors who were on reality TV shows before they were famous. From Emma Stone to Jon Hamm, these actors prove that a path to stardom begins differently for everyone.
10 Famous Actors Who Got Their Start On Reality TV
12 Actors Who Started As Extras In Movies And Television
These famous actors all began their on-screen careers with uncredited roles in movies and TV.