Entertainment

Famous Film Actors Who Started on Stage 

Celebrity Lists
24.8k views 26 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: 34

Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel

More Natalie Portman 

#30 of 80 Who Is the Coolest Actor in the World Right Now? #13 of 380 The Best American Actresses Working Todayfeaturing The Best Natalie Portman Movies

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 

#43 of 275 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #38 of 80 Who Is the Coolest Actor in the World Right Now?featuring Kristen Bell And Dax Shepard Don't Consider Each Other To Be "The One"

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, California, United States of America

More Gwyneth Paltrow 

#193 of 556 The Most Beautiful Women Of 2019, Ranked #1 of 122 The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Everfeaturing The 20+ Best Gwyneth Paltrow Movies of All Time, Ranked

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: 50

Birthplace: Nelsonville, Ohio, United States of America

More Sarah Jessica Parker 

#198 of 505 The Best TV Actors of All Time #407 of 470 Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer Withlisted on Unicef Goodwill Ambassadors For The United States