The Best Film Actors Who Got Famous on TV First People In Film
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The Best Film Actors Who Got Famous on TV First

List Criteria: Notable Actors Who Made It Big On TV Before Jumping To Movies

This is a list of famous film actors who got famous on TV first, as ranked by experts and fans alike.

There are many routes an actor can take to make it big. Some actors start out on in theatre, while others start out in modeling. Many notable actors though start their careers in television.

Television, at one time, was the main gateway to film stardom. In some ways, it still is but now many film actors, like Steve Buscemi and Laura Dern have gone the other direction and found a very lucrative career on hit TV shows. Before the advent of cable -- and quality programming -- actors had to toil on low-rated sitcoms and mediocre dramas before finding that one movie script that could shoot them to superstardom. But sometimes, the actor finds superstardom on television. Massive, worldwide superstardom that easily parlays into film roles.

Many on this list can be considered the greatest actors who were famous on TV first. Actors like Tom Hanks, George Clooney, and Clint Eastwood. Latter generations of film and television fans will be surprised to find out a top-notch actor like Denzel Washington got his start as one of the cast members of "St. Elsewhere" or that Academy Award-winning actress Melissa Leo was one of the stars of "Homicide: Life On The Streets". Maybe this list will prompt them to Netflix a couple of those old episodes.

Please check out this list of top actors who had TV fame before becoming film stars and rank them. And if you don't see your favorite TV-turned-film actors here, feel free to add them so that others can vote for them.
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  1. 1
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    Homecoming, Bopha!, The 16th Man More
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    Vault of Horror I, That Thing You Do!, Larry Crowne More
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    Untitled Keith Richards Documentary, Stuff, The Brave More
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    Quick Change, The Razor's Edge, Zombieland More
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    The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, Hostage, Sunset More
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    Antwone Fisher, The Great Debaters, The Equalizer More
  7. 7
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    Mystic River, Heartbreak Ridge, Play Misty for Me More
  8. 8
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    Sleepwalking, Surfer Dude, The 40th Annual Emmy Awards More
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    Mrs. Doubtfire, Mrs. Doubtfire 2, Comic Relief: The Greatest... And the ... More
  10. 10
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    Leatherheads, Good Night, and Good Luck, Suburbicon More
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    The Legend of Cain, ATL, The American Can More
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    Death to Smoochy, Matilda, Amazing Stories: Book One More
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    Albino Alligator, Beyond the Sea, 21 More
  14. 14
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    Harlem Nights, Tower Heist, Eddie Murphy Delirious More
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    Crazy, Stupid, Love., Parker Kane, Slums of Beverly Hills More
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    Jamie Foxx: Straight from the Foxxhole, Life Support, Jamie Foxx: I Might ... More
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    Nothing but Trouble, Blues Brothers 2000, One More Saturday Night More
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    Battlefield Earth, Hollywood Singing and Dancing: The 1970s, Michael More
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    Coldblooded, Poison Ivy, Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild More
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    Jim Carrey: The Un-Natural Act, Bruce Almighty, Fun with Dick and Jane More
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    Beautiful, The Christmas Tree, Dying Young More
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    They Only Kill Their Masters, The Glitter Dome, Sayonara More
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    The Sentinel, The Rainmaker, The Reach More
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    Crazy, Stupid, Love., The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The 40-Year-Old ... More
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    Mr. Saturday Night, 61*, Forget Paris More
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    Neighbors, 1941, National Lampoon's Animal House More
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    Adventureland, Coming Soon, X-Men Origins: Wolverine More
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    The Chateau Meroux, Baby Geniuses, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai ... More
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    The Cookout, The Perfect Holiday, Beauty Shop More
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    Hope, Something to Talk About, Private Benjamin More
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    Bachelorette, Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie, Casa de Mi Padre More
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    What Planet Are You From?, The English Teacher, Little Miss Sunshine More
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    Crazy on the Outside, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, The Shaggy ... More
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    Shortcut to Happiness, Lymelife, The Confession More
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    The Very Best of Cher: The Video Hits Collection, If These Walls Could ... More
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    ReGeneration, How to Catch a Monster, Drunk History Christmas More
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    Billy Madison, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, The Animal More
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    Demons Never Die, Legacy, The Reaping More
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    Zookeeper, Here Comes the Boom, Paul Blart: Mall Cop More
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    Captive Hearts, Amos, Spymate More
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    A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, You So Crazy, Martin Lawrence Live: ... More
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    Wayne's World, Black Sheep, Tommy Boy More
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    Thomas Hayden Church

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    Then She Found Me, Child Bride of Short Creek, Stealing Home More
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    Project Five, Room 10 , The Goree Girls More
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    I'm Not There, Oz: The Great and Powerful, Land of Plenty More
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    The Human Contract, After Earth, The Karate Kid More
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    Hot Fuzz, Run Fatboy Run, Shaun of the Dead More
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    Jason Segel & Paul Rudd Meet Rush, Get Him to the Greek, The Five-Year ... More
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    Butter, Escape from Planet Earth, Harold & Kumar Escape from ... More
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