Believe it or not, quite a few of you favorite actors and actresses started their careers on soap operas — including People magazine's 2020 Sexiest Man Alive cover star Michael B. Jordan. To celebrate the actor's honor, which People announced on Nov. 18, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at him and more of the celebrities who launched their careers on daytime dramas… After appearing on the acclaimed television series "The Wire," Michael B. Jordan went on to appear on 59 episodes of the popular ABC soap "All My Children" as Reggie Porter Montgomery from 2003 to 2006. Keep reading for more…
While he's now recognized for his starring role on the NBC hit drama "This Is Us," there was a time in which Justin Hartley was a relatively unknown actor. From 2002 to 2006, he had a major role on "Passions" as Fox Crane, the wealthy grandson of a ruthless billionaire. Later, from 2014 to 2016, he played Adam Newman on "The Young & the Restless."
"Selling Sunset" realtor and season 29 "Dancing With the Stars" competitor Chrishell Stause — who split from fellow former soap star Justin Hartley in 2019 — has been on multiple daytime dramas. From 2005 to 2011, she starred as Amanda Dillon on ABC's "All My Children." In 2016, she appeared as Bethany Bryant on "The Young and the Restless." And from 2013 to 2020, she played Jordan Ridgeway on "Days of Our Lives."
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Before Kelly Ripa ever hosted "Live With Kelly and Ryan" or "Live With Regis and Kelly," she was a fan favorite on ABC's "All My Children," on which she starred from 1990 to 2002. She met Mark Consuelos working on the show and — as seen in this photo — their characters, Hayley Vaughan and Mateo Santos, had some serious chemistry!
Long before she landed the iconic role of Charlotte York on HBO's "Sex and the City," Kristin Davis played Nurse Betsy Chilson on "General Hospital." She appeared on 23 episodes of the series in 1991.
Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Julianne Moore played the roles of Frannie Hughes and her identical half-sister, Sabrina, on "As the World Turns" from 1985 to 1988. She reprised her role as Frannie for one episode in 2010. In this photo, she's seen cozying up to actor Steve Bassett, who played Seth Snyder. Seth and Frannie were engaged on the soap.
Before she landed roles in the "Hunger Games" films and Hulu's political miniseries "Mrs. America," Elizabeth Banks appeared on a soap opera! In 1999, at the beginning of her career, Elizabeth was on an episode of "All My Children" playing a waitress who interacts with none other than a pre-fame Josh Duhamel!
Before he got famous starring in "Footloose," Kevin Bacon landed a role on "Guiding Light." From 1980 to 1981, he portrayed Tim Werner, an orphan who enrolls at Springfield High School after getting kicked out of his old preparatory school.
Back in 1999, Josh Duhamel starred on ABC's "All My Children" as Leo Du Pres.
Meg Ryan played Betsy Stewart on CBS's "As The World Turns" from 1982 to 1984. As Betsy, she married Steve Andropoulos, played by Frank Runyeon.
After getting her start on a soap, Renée Elise Goldsberry went on to craft an impressive career: She originated the role of Angelica Schuyler in the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton," appeared in the family drama "Waves" alongside Sterling K. Brown and starred on the hit CBS drama "The Good Wife." Before making it big, the actress played attorney Evangeline Williamson on the ABC soap "One Life to Live" from 1999 to 2007.
Prior to becoming the Academy Award-winning actress we know her as today, there was a time when Julianne Moore was on a soap opera. From 1985 to 1988, she played the dual role of Frannie and Sabrina Hughes on "As the World Turns." She reprised her role as Frannie for one episode in 2010.
So young! In 1983, acclaimed "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston played Douglas Donovan on the soap opera "Loving" for four episodes. He's seen here with co-star Patricia Kalember.
Before former Menudo member Ricky Martin was singing "Livin' La Vida Loca," he was playing the role of Miguel Morez on ABC's "General Hospital" from 1994 to 1996.
Prior to winnings an Oscar, Golden Globes and Emmys, Kathy Bates appeared on four episodes of "The Doctors" in 1978. She played the minor role (in two episodes she wasn't even credited) of Phyllis Gillette.
If you can remember Cassie and Andrew Carpenter's wedding on "One Life to Live," you might remember a young Ryan Phillippe being there. He played Billy Douglas from 1992 to 1993.
Margot Robbie played Donna Freedman on the Australian soap opera "Neighbours" from 2008 to 2011.
Eva Longoria was a dramatic diva on "Desperate Housewives" for years, but she got some of those skills from her "The Young and the Restless" days. She starred on the daytime soap as Isabella Brana from 2001 to 2003.
A young Demi Moore was a star on ABC's "General Hospital," where she played the role of investigative reporter Jackie Templeton from 1981 to 1984.
While we've come to know and love Brittany Snow for her work in films like "John Tucker Must Die" and the "Pitch Perfect" film franchise, at the beginning of her career, she starred on a soap opera! She played rebellious teen Susan Lemay on "Guiding Light" from 1999 to 2000.
Brad Pitt got his acting break on the primetime soap "Dallas" (pictured) playing Randy from 1987 to 1988. In 1987, he also played a guy named Chris on "Another World."
While she's best known for her titular, starring role on "Ally McBeal," Calista Flockhart is no stranger to soap operas. She played Elise on "Guiding Light" in 1989, which she followed with a gig playing Stacey on "As the World Turns" and a young woman on "Loving" in 1990.
We all know Laurence Fishburne from his "Matrix" days, but back in the '70s, he was an up-and-coming child star. Laurence originated the role of Josh West, a downtrodden kid and adoptee, on "One Life to Live" from 1973 to 1976.
Hayden Panettiere was only 5 when she landed her first role in 1994. She played Sarah Roberts, the daughter of super-couple Tina Lord and Cord Roberts, on ABC's "One Life to Live." She left the show in 1997 to star as Lizzie Spaulding on CBS's "Guiding Light."
Years before his Oscar nominations and blockbuster movies, Tommy Lee Jones played Dr. Mark Toland on "One Life to Live." The future A-lister starred as the cunning physician from 1971 until the character's on-screen death in 1975.
Leonardo Dicaprio played young Mason Capwell on an episode of "Santa Barbara" in 1990.
While he's best known for his roles as teen Jim Levenstein in the "American Pie" film franchise and Larry Bloom on "Orange Is the New Black," Jason Biggs first appeared on an episode of "As The World Turns." In 1994, he played Pete Wendall, the son of Frank Wendall and Julie Kinney.
"Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and "Joan of Arcadia" actress Amber Tamblyn is another star who got her start on a soap opera! At the beginning of her career, she played Emily Quartermaine on "General Hospital" from 1995 to 2001.
Before starring on hit television shows like "S.W.A.T." and "Criminal Minds," from 1994 to 2005, Shemar Moore starred as Malcolm Winters on "The Young and the Restless," a role he briefly reprised in 2014.
Lacey Chabert was one of Hollywood's most charming child actresses — so it's no surprise she also acted in a popular soap! Before her days as a Salinger sibling on "Party of Five," she played Bianca Montgomery on "All My Children" from 1992 to 1993. She's pictured here with soap sensation and "AMC" mom Susan Lucci.
"House of Cards" star Robin Wright appeared on the soap "Santa Barbara" from 1984 to 1988 as Kelly Capwell Conrad, the beautiful daughter of C.C. Capwell.
Have mercy! Before he was Uncle Jesse on "Full House," John Stamos played Blackie Parrish on ABC's "General Hospital" from 1982 to 1984. In this photo, he's seen with actress Danielle Von Zerneck, who took on the part of Louisa "Lou" Swenson.
Long before she was a star on "Melrose Place" or "Desperate Housewives," Marcia Cross was a scheming socialite on daytime television. Her first role was as Tanya on "Another World" in 1986. A year later, she played Kate Sanders, a jilted anthropologist, on "One Life to Live."
Ted Danson became a household name thanks to his starring turns on primetime shows "Cheers" and "The Good Place," but before that, he played Tom Conway on NBC's "Somerset" in 1970. From 1975 to 1977, he also portrayed Mitch Pierson on "The Doctors."
Before he voiced Mufasa or Darth Vader, James Earl Jones was an up-and-coming soap opera star. In 1966, he played Dr. Jerry Turner on "As the World Turns" (pictured) and Dr. Jim Frazier on "Guiding Light."
Years before Susan Sarandon was an Oscar winner, she was a young teen on two soap operas. She played single mother Patrice Kahlman on "A World Apart" on ABC and troubled murderer Sarah Fairbanks on CBS's "Search for Tomorrow" between 1970 and 1972.
Before she was known as Amy Santiago on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," Melissa Fumero appeared on the long-running soap "One Life to Live." She played Adriana Cramer from 1998 to 2011. Fun fact: Melissa met her husband, David Fumero, on the series!
While she's best known as Dominic Toretto's younger sister from the "Fast & Furious" franchise, Jordana Brewster is another celebrity who got her start on a soap opera. From 1995 to 2001, she starred as Nikki Munson on CBS's "As the World Turns."
Vivica A. Fox got her start on the NBC soap opera "Generations." From 1989 to 1991, the actress played Maya Reubens.
Long before she was known as Monica Geller on "Friends," Courteney Cox made her acting debut as Bunny on "As the World Turns" in 1984. Over the next three years, she moved from daytime to primetime with roles on TV shows like "The Love Boat," "Murder, She Wrote" and "Family Ties" (pictured).
How adorable! Two years before the release of her Disney film "The Parent Trap," Lindsay Lohan appeared on the soap opera "Another World." From 1996 to 1997, she played Alli Fowler on the daytime drama.
Prior to winnings Emmys and an Oscar, Allison Janney appeared on "Guiding Light." In 1995, she took on the role of Ginger, the Spaulding maid.
Before she was the lead on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Sarah Michelle Gellar starred as Kendall Hart Lang on ABC's "All My Children."
Mark Hamill would eventually become an international superstar thanks to "Star Wars," but he started out as a little-known actor on "General Hospital." He played Kent Murray, Jessie Brewer's teenage nephew, on the ABC soap in 1972.
Alec Baldwin starred on CBS's nighttime soap opera "Knots Landing." He played Joshua Rush from 1984 to 1985. His character was killed when Joshua fell off a roof.
David Hasselhoff took on the role of Snapper Foster on "The Young and The Restless" from 1975 to 1982 and reprised the role briefly in 2010.
Alison Sweeney started playing Sami Brady on "Days of Our Lives" in 1993. She left Salem in 2014 but returned for a special episode in 2015. Since then, she's starred in a couple of TV movies: "Murder, She Baked: A Plum Pudding Murder Mystery" and "Murder, She Baked: A Peach Cobbler Mystery." She also hosted "The Biggest Loser" for eight years.
Before Christopher Reeve suited up as Superman, he starred as Ben Harper, the adult son of a main character, on "Love of Life." The future Clark Kent portrayed Ben from 1974 to 1976.
Before her big role as Mona Lisa Vito in "My Cousin Vinny," Marisa Tomei was on CBS's "As the World Turns." She played Marcy Thompson in 1984 and starred alongside Christian LeBlanc, who played Michael Baldwin.