The Best Actors to Start Their Careers on Soaps People In TV
Vote List
66  items 9,659 votes 631 voters 105,474 views by  more info

The Best Actors to Start Their Careers on Soaps

List Criteria: Famous Actors Who Got Their Start On Soap Operas

This is a list of the best actors to start their careers on soap operas, as voted on by experts and fans alike. Like the best film actors who got famous on TV first, one can take many routes to become Hollywood stars. Some actors start out on in theatre, while others start out in modeling. Many notable actors though start their careers on daytime soap operas. Famous actors that started on soaps gained credits and notoriety on daytime television so they could move on to land bigger roles. While many of them are now bigshots in Hollywood, to some, they will always just be old soap opera stars. 

Soap operas are a guilty pleasure among many television viewers, whether they are during the daytime or at night. The stories may be far-fetched -- with the dead returning as their own twin and heiresses who have been switched at birth -- and even sexy, with several characters bedding one another at the same time -- but they are nonetheless intriguing escapism. The plots keep viewers glued to their television sets and the acting is larger than life. No one has ever said that a soap opera is boring.

The list contains many notable actors. Actors like Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Pitt, and Sarah Michelle Gellar all appeared on soap operas before moving on in their professional acting career. Latter generations of film and television fans will be surprised to find out a top-notch actor like Kevin Kline and Susan Sarandon got their starts as part of the cast of the long-forgotten "A World Apart"

This answers the question "What actors got their starts on soaps?" and "What actors started out in soap operas?"

Vote for the greatest actors who got their start on soaps. If you don't see your favorite performers on this list, feel free to add them so that other voters could chime in. And when you're done, please check out this list: Best Film Actors Who Got Famous On TV First.

Check out more lists like the actors who became musicians, actors who hate what made them famous, and the most intense method actors in the business
  • 11 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
</> Rerank List
  1. 1
    Up 259
    Down 46

    The Executioner's Song, Lonesome Dove

    open
  2. 2
    Up 295
    Down 61

    The Civil War, Slavery and the Making of America, The Electric Company

    open
  3. 3
    Up 222
    Down 52

    The Sacketts, Las Vegas, Blue Bloods

    open
  4. 4
    Up 211
    Down 58

    Jesus of Nazareth, Vegetable Soup, Paris

    open
  5. 5
    Up 233
    Down 74

    Greensburg, Roseanne, Growing Pains

    open
  6. 6
    Up 190
    Down 62

    Zapata, Texas, The Following, Bored to Death

    open
  7. 7
    Up 162
    Down 55

    As the World Turns, Game Change, I'll Take Manhattan

    open
  8. 8
    Up 163
    Down 58

    General Hospital, Full House, You Again?

    open
  9. 9
    Up 180
    Down 71

    Freedom: A History of Us, Glory Days (1990), Directors: Terry Gilliam

    open
  10. 10
    Up 159
    Down 69

    The Six O'Clock Follies, Pee-wee's Playhouse, CSI: Crime Scene ...

    open
  11. 11
    Up 175
    Down 81

    Two Guys and a Girl, Firefly, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

    open
  12. 12
    Up 136
    Down 58

    added by persongee Churchill, David Copperfield, Theatre Night Started of in Coronation street back in the day. (British ongoing tv drama)

    open
  13. 13
    Up 121
    Down 49

    added by Benjamin Dunn Dawson's Creek, Smallville, Supernatural The Animation

    open
  14. 14
    Up 153
    Down 72

    Independent Lens, You Don't Know Jack, Frank Herbert's Children of Dune ...

    open
  15. 15
    Up 137
    Down 63

    Faerie Tale Theatre, The Carol Burnett Show (1991), Love of Life

    open
  16. 16
    Up 146
    Down 70

    Game Over, A Different World, Leg Work

    open
  17. 17
    Up 149
    Down 73

    One of the Boys, Wildside, Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for ...

    open
  18. 18
    Up 139
    Down 67

    Another World, Our Family Honor, Smith

    open
  19. 19
    Up 138
    Down 67

    The Wonderful Maladys, A Woman Named Jackie, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    open
  20. 20
    Up 108
    Down 50

    All My Children, Bomb Patrol Afghanistan, Fanboy and Chum Chum

    open
  21. 21
    Up 103
    Down 49

    added by JimJennings Criminal Minds, South Beach, Birds of Prey

    open
  22. 22
    Up 122
    Down 65

    Friends, Misfits of Science, Judith Krantz's Till We Meet Again

    open
  23. 23
    Up 125
    Down 75

    If These Walls Could Talk, The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet, Eric B ...

    open
  24. 24
    Up 111
    Down 64

    The Doctors

    open
  25. 25
    Up 115
    Down 70

    Another World, American Gangster, Gravity

    open
  26. 26
    Up 103
    Down 64

    Filmland, Cinema 3, Search for Tomorrow

    open
  27. 27
    Up 104
    Down 67

    Great Performances

    open
  28. 28
    Up 95
    Down 61

    Mind Games, Breaking In, The Forgotten

    open
  29. 29
    Up 101
    Down 70

    Zapata, Texas, The Closer, Another World

    open
  30. 30
    Up 82
    Down 55

    House of Cards, Santa Barbara, A TV Dante

    open
  31. 31
    Up 62
    Down 38

    added by hiitsjustme Summerland, Doing Time on Maple Drive, Full House

    open
  32. 32
    Up 91
    Down 65

    Capitol, Sunday Dinner, Desperate Housewives

    open
  33. 33
    Up 58
    Down 36

    added by hiitsjustme Alice in Wonderland, Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, Knots Landing: Back ...

    open
  34. 34
    Up 92
    Down 67

    Malcolm in the Middle, A Will of their Own, Skater Boys

    open
  35. 35
    Up 85
    Down 63

    Married... with Children, Another World, L.A. Dragnet

    open
  36. 36
    Up 91
    Down 69

    Little Bill, Do No Harm, Cosby

    open
  37. 37
    Up 85
    Down 66

    added by ginac02013 General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, Desperate Housewives

    open
  38. 38
    Up 74
    Down 56

    General Hospital, Two and a Half Men, Joan of Arcadia

    open
  39. 39
    Up 77
    Down 59

    Ryan's Hope, Equal Justice, Stat

    open
  40. 40
    Up 21
    Down 7

    added by dee123 Home and Away, Guinevere Jones

    open
  41. 41
    Up 72
    Down 61

    Damages

    open
  42. 42
    Up 72
    Down 62

    Dirty Sexy Money, High Incident, In Treatment

    open
  43. 43
    Up 15
    Down 6

    added by dee123 Hey Dad..!, Brides of Christ, Sleepwalkers

    open
  44. 44
    Up 17
    Down 8

    added by dee123 The Elephant Princess

    open
  45. 45
    Up 76
    Down 68

    Generation Boom, Hank, Boss

    open
  46. 46
    Up 74
    Down 69

    Another World, Alex Haley's Queen, Ally McBeal

    open
  47. 47
    Up 38
    Down 36

    added by neilp Mildred Pierce, The Man from Snowy River, Jack Irish: Bad Debts

    open
  48. 48
    Up 70
    Down 72

    Another World, Everwood, Hung

    open
  49. 49
    Up 12
    Down 11

    added by dee123 Bay City, Paradise Beach, Home and Away

    open
  50. 50
    Up 63
    Down 67

    Bored to Death, Tracey Ullman Takes On New York, The Return of Jezebel ...

    open
  51. 67 +

    Something missing? Add it!

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS

items 1 - 50 of 66

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists