Celebrities Started Soap Operas
Celebrities Started Soap Operas. The most famous celebrities to have started their career in soap operas. When actor James Franco appeared for the first time last year on the popular soap opera, General Hospital, many criticized what they saw as a major step down from a very successful movie career. Often viewed as mediocre at best, soap operas started airing on television in the 1950s and continue to this day.

Generally the actors on such shows are seen as second-rate, but many find their time on daytime dramas to be a useful starting out point. Some of today’s biggest stars wouldn’t be where they are today without the “soaps”.
Meg Ryan knows a thing or two about it. Before Harry Met Sally, Betsy Stewart (Ryan) met Steve Andropoulos (Frank Runyeon) on As the World Turns, where Ryan was a star from 1982-84. Their much anticipated 1984 wedding was the second-highest rated episode in soap history. Also making an appearance on the popular show from 1985-88, was Julianne Moore. Long before she was a four-time Oscar nominee, Moore played fan favorite, Frannie Hughes. Never forgetting her roots, she returned to the show for a special guest appearance in April 2010, 5 months before the show went off the air.

If you starred on Guiding Light in 1980, you don’t need 6 degrees to connect yourself to Kevin Bacon. The popular actor played teenager Timothy “TJ” Werner for one year before moving to the big screen in such hits as Footloose, A Few Good Men and Apollo 13. Others benefiting from soap stardom include Sarah Michelle Gellar playing Susan Lucci’s daughter on All My Children from 1993-95. She even won a Daytime Emmy for her performance. Ryan Phillippe also made waves as daytime’s first gay teenager, Billy Douglas, on One Life to Live from 1992-93.

Ricky Martin and Demi Moore have at least one thing in common, they both starred on General Hospital. Moore played sexy reporter Jackie Templeton from 1982-83, while Martin played Puerto Rican singer, Miguel in 1994. Though neither lasted long, no doubt GH helped put them on the celebrity map. Moore continued to play the sexy parts through the 80s and 90s, while Martin persisted in his role as a Puerto Rican singer.

Though sometimes over-the-top and cheesy, soap operas can also be a helpful springboard for aspiring actors. So the next time you come across a soap on the screen, don’t change the channel. Stick around for a while and see if you can spot the next superstar in the making.