9 Actors You Didn’t Know Started in Theater

Just in case you needed an excuse to fall in love with theater and sign up for CYT, here are some famous actors who got their start on the stage.

[Disclaimer: While all of these celebrities have gone on to have impressive film careers, we are especially fond of #7]

1. Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson

Yup, Edward of Twilight fame started off performing in amateur theatre. Notable roles included unnamed Cuban Dancer in Guys and Dolls and Lord Evelyn Oakleigh in Anything Goes.

2. Lea Michele

Lea Michele

Long before she was our favorite character on Glee, Lea Michele was the understudy for the role of Young Cosette in the Broadway musical Les Miserables at age 9 in 1995. 

3. Andrew Garfield

Andrew Garfield

The Amazing Spiderman movie franchise star played Billy in Kes at the Manchester Royal Exchange and Romeo in a 2005 stage production of Romeo and Juliet.

4. Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell

Kristen’s debut into acting was as the (hugely integral) dual role of a banana and a tree in a suburban Detroit production of Raggedy Ann and Andy. She also appeared in the short- lived Broadway musical The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

5. Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker

She was the lead in the Broadway revival of Annie in 1979!

6. Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman

Wolverine. Van Helsing. Curly? Yes. Hugh Jackman become semi-famous for his role as Curly in the production of Oklahoma! at the Royal National Theatre in 1998. Before that, he played Gaston in Beauty and the Beast at a local theater in Melbourne, Australia.

7. Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

This three-time Oscar nominated actress spent much of her childhood on the CYT San Diego stage in shows like Sound of Music, Annie, and Tom Sawyer. No matter how hard we try, we could not be more proud of her and all that she has accomplished since then.

8. Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Before being Queen Amidala in the revamped Star Wars movies or winning an Oscar for Black Swan, she grew up going to theater camps and was an understudy for the lead role (along with Britney Spears) in the Off-Broadway musical Ruthless.

9. Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow

In 1990, she took to the stage at the acclaimed Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts. She started garnering fame in movies in 1995 and went on to win an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love in 1998.

(Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)


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