What film stars did television first?

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  • Anonymous
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    #279078

    What film stars either started out in television or easily navigated back and forth between film and television throughout their careers?

    In other words, what stars weren’t reluctant to headline television productions even at the height of their film careers and back when television was seen as somewhat of a step down (some still see it as such)?

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    Anonymous
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    #279080

    I’ll name two:

    Meryl Streep – Basically started on television with The Deadliest Season (1977), winning her first Emmy the following year for Holocaust (1978).  She continued to return to television throughout her career in productions such as …first do no harm (1997) and Angels of America (2003), for which she won her second Emmy.

    Jessica Lange
    – Made her foray into television early on in her career.  She had just
    won her first Oscar and would go on to produce her first film, which
    would garner her a third Oscar nomination in just as many years, when
    she starred in this production – an uncensored adaptation of Tennessee
    Williams’ classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1984), for HBO.  Kim Stanley, who played Lange’s mother in Frances (1982),
    and Tommy Lee Jones, who would go on to star opposite Lange in the role
    that would earn her a second Oscar, both co-starred.  She would go on
    to receive critical acclaim in television adaptations of Willa Cather’s O Pioneers! (1992) and Williams’ seminal work, A Streetcar Named Desire (1995), opposite Alec Baldwin.  She also starred opposite Tom Wilkinson as the wife of a man who decides to undergo sex reassignment surgery in Normal (2003).  She would go on to win her first Emmy for Grey Gardens (2009), co-starring Drew Barrymore, and won her second Emmy last year for the anthology series, American Horror Story (2011-present).  She is expected to win her third Emmy this year for the second installment of the series.

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    Riley
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    #279081

    George Clooney is the first that comes to mind.

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    Halo_Insider
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    #279082

    Denzel Washington on St. Elsewhere.

    Michelle Williams on Dawson’s Creek. 

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    A Person
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    #279083

    People who had regular roles on a TV show before hitting it big in film:  Little guest spots don’t count, every actor does those when starting out:

    – George Clooney (ER)
    – Jennifer Aniston (Friends)
    – Johnny Depp (21 Jump Street)
    – Bradley Cooper( Alias and Jack and Bobby)
    – Jennifer Lawrence (The Bill Engvall Show)
    – Lots of SNL people: Chevy Chase,Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, etc.
    – Emma Stone (Drive)
    – Leonardo DiCaprio (the original Parenthood)
    – Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun)
    – James Franco (Freaks and Geeks)
    – Seth Rogen (Undeclared)
    – Bruce Willis (Moonlighting)
    – Jeremy Renner (The Unusuals)
    – Henry Cavill (The Tudors.  Technically he hasn’t hit it big yet, but Man of Steel will be huge so he’ll be A-list at least for a while)

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    Halo_Insider
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    #279084

    Jason Bateman is probably a King of this. “Little House on the Praire”, “Silver Spoons”, and “The Hogan Family”, not to mention “Arrested Development” bringing him back to the spotlight. 
    -I suppose Maria Bello could count. She was a series regular on the 4th season of “ER”, then got accolades for her work in The Cooler and A  History of Violence.
    Jim Carrey in “The Duck Factory” and “In Living Color”. 
    Billy Crystal on “Soap”. 
    Danny DeVito on “Taxi”. 
    Tom Hanks was a regular on “Bosom Buddies”.
    Woody Harrelson on “Cheers”.  
    Sally Field on “Gidget” and “The Flying Nun”. 
    Michael J. Fox on “Family Ties”. 
    Morgan Freeman on “The Electric Company”. 
    Ryan Gosling on “The Mickey Mouse Club”.
    Kevin James on “The King of Queens”.  
    Mila Kunis on “That 70’s Show”.   
    Ashton Kutcher on “That 70’s Show”.
    Christopher Lloyd on “Taxi”. 
    Sarah Jessica Parker was on “Square Pegs” before just about anything else she did.  
    Molly Ringwald was on “The Facts of Life”. 
    Jason Segel on “Freaks and Geeks”.  
    Marisa Tomei was (briefly) a cast member on “A Different World”.
    John Travolta was on “Welcome Back, Kotter”. 
    Robin Williams on “Mork and Mindy” and “The Richard Pryor Show”. 

    Some who got started on Soaps include:
    Kevin Bacon on “Guiding Light” (admittedly, this was after National Lampoon’s Animal House).
    James Earl Jones on “As the World Turns” and “Guiding Light”.
    Tommy Lee Jones on “One Life to Live”.
    Ray Liotta on “Another World”.
    Demi Moore on “General Hospital”.
    Christopher Reeve on “Love of Life”. 
    Meg Ryan on “As the World Turns”.    
    Susan Sarandon on “A World Apart”. 
    Marisa Tomei on “As the World Turns”, as well. 
    Kathleen Turner on “The Doctors”. 
    Cicely Tyson on “Guiding Light”. 

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    Anonymous
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    #279085

    I just remembered one!

    Julianne MooreAs the World Turns

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    Choice Chayawat
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    #279086

    Will Smith – The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

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    Madson Melo
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    #279087

    Will Smith and George Clooney are prime examples for me.

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    SaraR
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    #279088

    I think the back and forth cases are more interesting and there’s lots of those, too.

    Glenn Close, Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith.

    For TV to film, basically all the most successful SNL players — Sandler, Myers, Will Ferrell, etc.

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    Marcus Snowden (The Artist Formerly Known as msnowden1)
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    #279089

    Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, and Leonardo DiCaprio are the first to come to mind.

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    Choice Chayawat
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    #279090

    Glenn Close (in case she is still considered a film star), who started her career as a stage actress, did a few TV movies before making film debut in The World According to Garp.

    Jessica Chastain guest-starred in a number of TV series before her film debut in Jolene. I’d love to see her coming back to TV for a little while to guest star in Homeland as Maya. She could be nominated for Emmy and Oscar for portraying the same role. Please someone… make it happen!

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    SaraR
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    #279091

    Jessica Chastain guest-starred in a number of TV series before her film debut in Jolene. I’d love to see her coming back to TV for a little while to guest star in Homeland as Maya. She could be nominated for Emmy and Oscar for portraying the same role. Please someone… make it happen!

    I’m still waiting for the supercut of Maya and Carrie Mathison yelling at each other. I feel like she and Carrie would either be fast friends or absoute mortal enemies. Can you imagine the screaming matches they’d have? Crossover, please…

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