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Celebrities The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012  

Tanner Arnold
3.2k votes 404 voters 23.7k views

List Rules Film, TV and/or musicians who had breakout careers in 2012.

The hottest breakthrough celebrities of 2012 include a wide variety of actors, actresses, musicians and TV stars who, for whatever reason, became all the rage during the year. Who do you think deserves the honor of biggest breakthrough celebrity of 2012? Time to vote! Be sure to vote down anyone listed here that you don't think really broke through in a major way this past year.

In some cases, an artist made this list because he or she hit it big with a breakout film performance. Examples of this include Quvenzhané Wallis ('Beasts of the Southern Wild'), Ezra Miller ('We Need to Talk About Kevin') or Suraj Sharma ('Life of Pi'). In other cases, the only reason a person is listed here is because he (or she) got super famous for oh, say, they starred in a certain TLC reality show and have the nickname Honey Boo Boo (just for the record, her real name is Alana Thompson).

Reality television stars aren't the only TV stars considered among the hottest breakthrough celebrities of 2012. It's hard to argue that Maisie Williams shouldn't be at or near the top of this list for her role as Arya Stark on HBO's 'Game of Thrones,' for example. Damian Lewis is phenomenal as Nicholas Brody on Showtime's 'Homeland' (he also won a 2012 Emmy for the role). And, with emphasis on the word "hottest," shouldn't 'Arrow' star Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen) also get some votes?

If you know of a celebrity who had a huge breakout year in 2012, be sure to add them here.
list ordered by

1
80 41
Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Actor, Voice acting

2
99 60
Channing Tatum is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Film Producer, Model, Actor

3
99 61
Richard Ayoade is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Television director, Comedian, Screenwriter

4
72 44
Damian Lewis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Film Producer, Actor

5
81 56
Rebel Wilson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Spokesperson, Television producer, Entrepreneur

6
59 37
Martin Freeman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Actor, Voice acting

7
62 54
McKayla Maroney is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Gymnast

8
56 51
Gotye is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Musician, Singer-songwriter, Multi-instrumentalist

9
46 40
Lana Del Rey is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Fashion Model, Musician, Singer-songwriter

10
58 57
Carly Rae Jepsen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Singer-songwriter, Music artist

11
42 40
Lily Collins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Model, Actor

12
69 75
Psy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Record producer, Songwriter, Rapper

13
40 40
Kerry Washington is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Actor, Narrator, Voice acting

14
42 44
Quvenzhané Wallis is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Child Actor, Actor

15
40 42
Samantha Barks is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Actor, Singer

16
34 35
Joe Manganiello is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Stunt Performer, Actor

17
38 40
Stephen Amell is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012

18
43 47
Frank Ocean is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Songwriter, Rapper, Singer

19
8 4
Maisie Williams is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012

20
35 40
Ezra Miller is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Musician, Actor

21
34 39
Taran Killam is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Comedian, Screenwriter, Actor

22
32 39
Ben Whishaw is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Actor

23
13 20
Dave Franco is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
PeteBoyle added Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor

24
24 36
Bérénice Marlohe is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012

25
26 39
Andrew Rannells is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Actor, Voice acting, Singer

26
21 33
Naomie Harris is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012

27
22 35
Sarah Paulson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012

28
21 34
Fran Kranz is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Actor

29
21 34
Suraj Sharma is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Actor

30
14 24
Cher Lloyd is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
raulruiz added Rapper, Singer-songwriter, Model

31
20 33
David Oyelowo is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting

32
16 29
Jacob Artist is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Jacob Artist

33
16 29
Jessica Paré is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012

34
12 23
Mackenzie Foy is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Lexie added Model, Actor

35
16 31
Jeremy Jordan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Pornographic actor

36
14 28
Dane DeHaan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Actor

37
17 35
Taylor Kitsch is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Model, Actor

38
12 27
Robert Griffin III is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
kaylive added Athlete, American football player

39
16 37
Joey Badass is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Record producer, Songwriter, Rapper

40
18 46
Ryan Lochte is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Swimmer

41
7 27
Pierce Gagnon is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Pierce Gagnon

42
9 32
Diego Boneta is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Actor, Singer

43
5 29
Scoot McNairy is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting

44
23 90
Alana Thompson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012

45
2 19
Dwight Henry is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Biggest Breakthrough Stars of 2012
PeteBoyle added Dwight Henry