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Which celebrities starred on daytime dramas before hitting it big?

Shemar Moore as Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless.
Shemar Moore returned to The Young and the Restless earlier this year. Pic credit: CBS

Plenty of celebs have crossed over to daytime, taking a turn in the soapy spotlight. Usually, it’s because they’re a fan of the show, like Elizabeth Taylor who appeared on General Hospital as the original Helena Cassadine or Snoop Dogg who appeared on One Life to Live — as himself of course!

But do you know which megawatt stars got their start on soaps? Plenty of A-listers started their careers on soaps, even though some of them try not to talk about it—shame on them!

Talented morning show host Kelly Ripa is one superstar who always acknowledges her soapy turn on All My Children as Hayley. And why wouldn’t she, it’s also where she met her hubby, Mark Consuelos.

Many viewers know handsome Shemar Moore best for his role on Criminal Minds, but before that he got his start as Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless.

Before Hayden Panettiere starred on Heroes and took a side trip to Nashville, she was a child actor on One Life to Live and Guiding Light.

Way back in the day, Michael B. Jordan spent time in Pine Valley as Reggie on All My Children.

Way, way, back in the day legendary actor James Earl Jones played a doctor, not once, but twice on daytime. First, he appeared as a doctor on Guiding Light, and then again on As the World Turns.

General Hospital fans may remember that Demi Moore was Jackie Templeton before launching her film career in movies like St. Elmo’s Fire and Ghost.

Even though it was just for two episodes, a baby-faced Brad Pitt appeared on Another World before becoming an international star.

Like Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio has a global following but before he became a household name he popped up on Santa Barbara.

Remember Ryan Phillippe? One Life to Live fans may, as the former Mr. Reese Witherspoon spent a year in Llanview as Billy Douglas.

Lindsay Lohan also spent a year in the daytime world, starring as Alli on Another World.

And who could forget Justin Hartley, the current star of This is Us? He made his mark as Fox Crane on Passions before taking on the role of Adam Newman on The Young and the Restless, a role he departed in 2016.

Plenty of well-known names began in soaps and while some may have moved on, others embrace their roots and come back “home” when needed for special events.


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