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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    Homecoming, Bopha!, The 16th Man

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    Vault of Horror I, That Thing You Do!, Larry Crowne

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    Untitled Keith Richards Documentary, Stuff, The Brave

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    Quick Change, The Razor's Edge, Zombieland

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    Mystic River, Heartbreak Ridge, Play Misty for Me

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    The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, Hostage, Sunset

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    Antwone Fisher, The Great Debaters, The Equalizer

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    Sleepwalking, Surfer Dude, The 40th Annual Emmy Awards

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    Mrs. Doubtfire, Mrs. Doubtfire 2, Comic Relief: The Greatest... And the ...

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    Leatherheads, Good Night, and Good Luck, Suburbicon

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    The Legend of Cain, ATL, The American Can

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    Albino Alligator, Beyond the Sea, 21

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    Death to Smoochy, Matilda, Amazing Stories: Book One

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    Crazy, Stupid, Love., Parker Kane, Slums of Beverly Hills

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    Nothing but Trouble, Blues Brothers 2000, One More Saturday Night

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    Battlefield Earth, Hollywood Singing and Dancing: The 1970s, Michael

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    Harlem Nights, Tower Heist, Eddie Murphy Delirious

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    Jim Carrey: The Un-Natural Act, Bruce Almighty, Fun with Dick and Jane

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    Jamie Foxx: Straight from the Foxxhole, Life Support, Jamie Foxx: I Might ...

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    They Only Kill Their Masters, The Glitter Dome, Sayonara

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    Coldblooded, Poison Ivy, Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild

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    The Sentinel, The Rainmaker, The Reach

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    Beautiful, The Christmas Tree, Dying Young

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    Mr. Saturday Night, 61*, Forget Paris

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    Crazy, Stupid, Love., The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The 40-Year-Old ...

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    Neighbors, 1941, National Lampoon's Animal House

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    Adventureland, Coming Soon, X-Men Origins: Wolverine

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    The Chateau Meroux, Baby Geniuses, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai ...

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    Hope, Something to Talk About, Private Benjamin

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    What Planet Are You From?, The English Teacher, Little Miss Sunshine

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    The Cookout, The Perfect Holiday, Beauty Shop

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    Bachelorette, Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie, Casa de Mi Padre

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    ReGeneration, How to Catch a Monster, Drunk History Christmas

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    Shortcut to Happiness, Lymelife, The Confession

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    Crazy on the Outside, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, The Shaggy ...

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    The Very Best of Cher: The Video Hits Collection, If These Walls Could ...

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    Demons Never Die, Legacy, The Reaping

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    Billy Madison, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, The Animal

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    Captive Hearts, Amos, Spymate

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    Zookeeper, Here Comes the Boom, Paul Blart: Mall Cop

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    A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, You So Crazy, Martin Lawrence Live: ...

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    Then She Found Me, Child Bride of Short Creek, Stealing Home

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    Wayne's World, Black Sheep, Tommy Boy

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    Thomas Hayden Church

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    Project Five, Room 10 , The Goree Girls

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    I'm Not There, Oz: The Great and Powerful, Land of Plenty

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    Hot Fuzz, Run Fatboy Run, Shaun of the Dead

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    new! & added by beernbugs Butter, Escape from Planet Earth, Harold & Kumar Escape from ...

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    Jason Segel & Paul Rudd Meet Rush, Get Him to the Greek, The Five-Year ...

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