Entertainment

Famous Film Actors Who Started on Stage  

Celebrity Lists
21.8k views 20 items

Several famous film actors and actresses started their careers in theater. Some of these famous actors started in musicals on Broadway and others started in small Shakespearean theaters. Several Academy Award-winning actors even got their start performing in front of a live audience. This list of famous film actors who started on stage has been loosely ranked by fame and popularity. 

Who is the most famous film actor who started on stage? Natalie Portman tops our list. In 1992, when she was just 10 years old, Natalie Portman landed an understudy role in the off-Broadway musical Ruthless!. Five years later, she played the role of Anne Frank in a Broadway adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank.

In 1968, Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman made his Broadway debut appearing in Hello, Dolly! with Cab Calloway. Fellow Oscar-winner Alan Arkin appeared in the Broadway production of Enter Laughing 1963.

Do you think that having a background in theater helped these actors to succeed? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Film Actors Who Started on Stage
Photo:  Erik Vanden/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0
In 1992, when she was just 10 years old, Natalie Portman landed an understudy role in the off-Broadway musical Ruthless!. Five years later, she played the role of Anne Frank in a Broadway adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank.

Age: 37

Birthplace: Jerusalem, Mandatory Palestine

More Natalie Portman

#36 of 475 on Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With #23 of 58 on Who Is the Coolest Actor in the World Right Now? #7 of 401 on The Most Beautiful Women Of 2019, Ranked #95 of 312 on The Best Marvel Movie Actors Ever

see more on Natalie Portman
Kristen Bell is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Film Actors Who Started on Stage
Photo:  David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
In 2001, Kristen Bell portrayed Becky Thatcher in a Broadway musical version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Age: 38

Birthplace: Huntington Woods, Michigan, United States of America

More Kristen Bell

#37 of 296 on The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #5 of 475 on Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With #34 of 58 on Who Is the Coolest Actor in the World Right Now? #19 of 401 on The Most Beautiful Women Of 2019, Ranked

see more on Kristen Bell
Gwyneth Paltrow is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Film Actors Who Started on Stage
Photo: Georges Biard/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
Gwyneth Paltrow first appeared on stage in 1990 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. She made her film debut one year later appearing in Shout and Hook.

Age: 46

Birthplace: Los Angeles, USA, California

More Gwyneth Paltrow

#47 of 312 on The Best Marvel Movie Actors Ever #79 of 322 on The Best Actresses Working Today #47 of 69 on Celebrities Who Get A Way Worse Rep Than They Deserve #75 of 85 on The Most Influential Women of 2019

see more on Gwyneth Paltrow
Sarah Jessica Parker is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Film Actors Who Started on Stage
Photo:  David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0
Sarah Jessica Parker played Annie in the Broadway musical Annie in 1979.

Age: 53

Birthplace: Nelsonville, Ohio, United States of America

More Sarah Jessica Parker

#34 of 69 on Celebrities Who Get A Way Worse Rep Than They Deserve #65 of 114 on The Greatest '80s Teen Stars #45 of 80 on The Most Stylish Female Celebrities #91 of 222 on The Greatest Former Child Stars

see more on Sarah Jessica Parker