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TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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Old January 15 2009, 04:58 AM   #1
The Borgified Corpse
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Bit roles before they were "famous"

I recently got to thinking about watching old movies with actors in little bit roles that weren't anything back then but are suddenly noteworthy because the actor went on to become much more famous for something else.

This has happened to me a few times lately where I've gone, "Ooh! Ooh! It's that guy!"

An obvious one is a very young, pre-Buffy/Angel, pre-Playboy, prepubescent Mercedes McNabb appears a couple of times in the early 1990s movie versions of The Addams Family & Addams Family Values. She plays a girlscout selling cookies in the first film and has a sizable supporting role in the 2nd as the stuck up rich girl at camp.

A pre-Sex & the City Cynthia Nixon also appears in Addams Family Values as a hippy nanny.

A pre-Heroes Masi Oka plays a Japanese pedestrian who explains that, due to copyright reasons, the monster chasing them isn't actually Godzilla in Austin Powers in Goldmember.
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Old January 15 2009, 05:10 AM   #2
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Re: Bit roles before they were "famous"

I believe I read that Kevin Costner was the corpse being dressed in the opening credits of The Big Chill.

Johnny Depp has only a few lines in Platoon.
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Old January 15 2009, 05:17 AM   #3
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Re: Bit roles before they were "famous"

Farrah Fawcett had a minor role in Logan's Run but on some airings you would have thought she had the lead.
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Old January 15 2009, 05:18 AM   #4
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Re: Bit roles before they were "famous"

John Travolta in The Devil's Rain.

Jack Nicholson in Little Shop of Horrors.

Djimon Hounsou as a Horus guard in Stargate.
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Old January 15 2009, 05:25 AM   #5
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Re: Bit roles before they were "famous"

I was watching Dr. Strangelove the other day and noticed that a young James Earl Jones was one of the co-pilots on the plane. That was weird but cool.
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Old January 15 2009, 05:25 AM   #6
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Re: Bit roles before they were "famous"

Here's a good one. Remember the early GEICO Gecko ad where he tries out to be in a GEICO commercial?



Then, the Taco Bell Dog comes out of the interview.


"Oh great, a talking Gecko!"

Well, halfway through the ad, look who's sitting next to the Gecko!



It's Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen!

I can't PROVE this one...it's nowhere online. But damned if I'm not pretty sure! It's even more obvious in the moving video than it is in this still photo.
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Old January 15 2009, 05:30 AM   #7
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Re: Bit roles before they were "famous"

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post

A pre-Heroes Masi Oka plays a Japanese pedestrian who explains that, due to copyright reasons, the monster chasing them isn't actually Godzilla in Austin Powers in Goldmember.

Haha! I forgot about that.

How about Brad Pitt's guest spot on Growing Pains? Lame.
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Old January 15 2009, 05:44 AM   #8
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Re: Bit roles before they were "famous"

George Clooney was in several episodes of The Facts of Life back in the late '80s.
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Old January 15 2009, 06:04 AM   #9
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Re: Bit roles before they were "famous"

In the first episode of the TV show Angel, the first vampire to get dusted is Sawyer from Lost.

Of course, Kiera Knightely is barely noticeable in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

Liam Neeson has a minor role in a great movie called The Mission back in 1985, which starred Jeremy Irons and Robert DeNiro.

Brad Pitt in Cool World is pretty fun.

Daniel Craig is a pretty nasty Afrikaaner soldier in The Power of One which came out in the early 90's and starred Morgan Freeman among others.

Bill Pullman is a spiky-haired punk that is the first guy killed in the original Terminator.

Edward James Olmos is in Bladerunner.
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Old January 15 2009, 06:09 AM   #10
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Re: Bit roles before they were "famous"

Simon Pegg has a small role in Band of Brothers.
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Old January 15 2009, 06:15 AM   #11
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Re: Bit roles before they were "famous"

Magisterfrodo wrote: View Post
Bill Pullman is a spiky-haired punk that is the first guy killed in the original Terminator.
No, you're thinking of Bill Paxton.
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Old January 15 2009, 06:15 AM   #12
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Re: Bit roles before they were "famous"

I wouldn't call EJO's role in Blad Runner a bit role. as he's a pretty important character (and according to some theories the true Blade Runner)
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Old January 15 2009, 06:16 AM   #13
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Re: Bit roles before they were "famous"

Harrison Ford in American Graffiti. His role is small but pivotal. Taking on greater significance with knowledge of his later career. Bob Falfa is almost a prototype for Han Solo. Of course its also the first time he worked with George Lucas.
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Old January 15 2009, 06:19 AM   #14
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Re: Bit roles before they were "famous"

Teri Hatcher on ST:TNG
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Old January 15 2009, 06:20 AM   #15
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Re: Bit roles before they were "famous"

Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
I was watching Dr. Strangelove the other day and noticed that a young James Earl Jones was one of the co-pilots on the plane. That was weird but cool.
His first film role, actually.

The only thing that comes to mind for me is Jeff Goldblum in The Right Stuff, as the-dude-who-runs-down-corridors-at-NASA-a-lot.
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