Inside the biggest stars who started their careers on soap operas, including Brad Pitt, Alec Baldwin, Lindsay Lohan and more


BRAD Pitt, Alec Baldwin, Lindsay Lohan and Leonardo DiCaprio are just a few of the notable names who got their start on soap operas.

Guiding Light and General Hospital are two of the many well-known shows that have served as a launching pad for some famous stars.

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Many notable stars got their start in soap operasCredit: BNC
Some you might not even recognize at first

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Some you might not even recognize at firstCredit: Getty

Here are some of the biggest names to grace us with their dramatic acting abilities on the small screen.

BRAD PITT

Brad Pitt, one of the most famous actors in the world started on the small screen

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Brad Pitt, one of the most famous actors in the world started on the small screenCredit: NBC/GETTY

Before becoming one of the world’s biggest stars – a title he continues to hold – Brad appeared on Another world in 1987 for two episodes where he played a character named Chris.

It was the now A-lister’s first speaking role, and he’s had many more in his more than 30-year career.

ALEC BALDWIN

Alec Baldwin doesn't regret appearing on soap operas

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Alec Baldwin doesn’t regret appearing on soap operasCredit: Getty

Alec is known for many movie roles including Beetlejuice, The Hunt for Red October, The Departed and others. However, his first role on the small screen saw him playing Billy Aldrich on The Doctors from 1980 to 1982.

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“Soaps are the best. They really are. If you can make a soap, well, you can make anything…” Alec, now 63, once said Maintenanceproving he clearly doesn’t regret his time on daytime television.

LINDSAY LOHAN

Lindsay Lohan also appeared on Another World before her hit movie

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Lindsay Lohan also appeared on Another World before her hit movieCredit: NBC/Getty

Just as Brad was on Another World, so was Lindsay, but her appearance would take place a decade later.

Lindsay played Alli Fowler on the show from 1996 to 1997, but the young actress had already been modeling since she was three years old.

Of course, she would go on to appear in many memorable movies, including The Parent Trap, Mean Girls, and Freaky Friday, and star in two new Netflix movies in a bid to jump-start her acting career.

JOHN STAMOS

John Stamos appeared as Blackie Parrish on General Hospital before making it big on Full House

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John Stamos appeared as Blackie Parrish on General Hospital before making it big on Full HouseCredit: Getty

Casual fans will know John Stamos as Uncle Jesse from the iconic sitcom Full House, but true fanatics of the actor will also know that he appeared on General Hospital from 1982 to 1984.

John played a character named Blackie Parrish during his run on the show and even landed a Daytime Emmy nomination for his performance.

John’s Full House bandmate Bob Saget died on January 9, 2022, as he said he would “never have another friend” like Bob.

HAYDEN PANETTIERE

Hayden Panettiere was just a small child when she appeared on One Life to Live aged just four

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Hayden Panettiere was just a small child when she appeared on One Life to Live aged just fourCredit: Getty

There aren’t many four-year-olds who can claim to have starred on the small screen at such a young age, but Hayden Panettiere certainly can.

Hayden played Sarah Roberts on One Life to Live and would stay on the show for three years before taking on another soap opera role on Guiding Light.

The 32-year-old returned to her dramatic roots in 2012 on the popular series Nashville.

HALF MOORE

Demi Moore also appeared on General Hospital from 1982 to 1984

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Demi Moore also appeared on General Hospital from 1982 to 1984Credit: Getty

Although she’s known for several of her film roles, including sculpting wet clay with Patrick Swayze in Ghost, Demi Moore actually started her career on the small screen.

Demi played Jackie Templeton on General Hospital from 1982 to 1984, at the same time John was on the chat.

JUSTIN HARTLEY

Before his big role in This Is Us, Just Hartley was Fox Crane in Passions

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Before his big role in This Is Us, Just Hartley was Fox Crane in PassionsCredit: NBC/Getty

When you think of Justin Hartley, you think of his big role as Kevin Pearson on This Is Us, but that certainly wasn’t his first role.

Justin played Fox Crane on Passions from 2002 to 2006, then found himself on the iconic soap opera The Young and the Restless before hitting it big on the hit NBC series.

EVA LONGORIA

Eva Longoria not only appeared in General Hospital but also in The Young and the Restless

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Eva Longoria not only appeared in General Hospital but also in The Young and the RestlessCredit: Getty

Eva Longoria first appeared on General Hospital in 2000 before landing a role on The Young and the Restless as Isabella Brana.

However, her hard work paid off as in 2004 she found herself in a much larger role as Gabrielle Solis in ABC’s ratings Desperate Housewives.

Eva, now 47, would also bring her to the big screen with various films including Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

LORI LOUGHLIN

Lori Loughlin was on the soap opera The Edge of Night from 1980 to 1984

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Lori Loughlin was on the soap opera The Edge of Night from 1980 to 1984Credit: Getty

Although best known for playing Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis on Full House and Fuller House on Netflix, Lori Loughlin played Jody Travis on The Edge of Night from 1980 to 1984.

However, her career took a hit due to her shocking college admissions scandal where she pleaded guilty and agreed to serve two months in prison, perform 100 hours of community service and pay a fine of $150,000.

Lori, 57, and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have been accused of paying $500,000 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Leonardo DiCaprio was also no stranger to the small screen as a young actor.

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Leonardo DiCaprio was also no stranger to the small screen as a young actor.Credit: Getty

Just like Brad, Leonardo is also one of the biggest names in the world, and he’s had the acting bug since he was quite young.

Leonardo made a brief appearance on the soap opera Santa Barbara in a flashback in 1990, before appearing in high-profile sitcoms like Growing Pains and Roseanne.

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The star’s career has gone pretty well since, to say the least, as he’s appeared in box office hits like Titanic, Inception, The Wolf of Wall Street, and won an Oscar for his performance in The Revenant.

He recently appeared in the star-studded Netflix movie Don’t Look Up.

Demi during a scene at General Hospital

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Demi during a scene at General HospitalCredit: Getty
Brad on Another World

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Brad on Another WorldCredit: BNC
John on General Hospital

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John on General HospitalCredit: Getty

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