It's time for the Second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest! Details
ADeathInTheLimelight ADogNamedDog AFatherToHisMen AGodAmI AIIsACrapshoot AbusiveParents AccidentalInnuendo ActionDad ActionGirl ActorAllusion AdaptationalBadass AdaptationalVillainy AdoredByTheNetwork Adorkable AdultFear AffablyEvil AffectionateParody AfterTheEnd AgonyOfTheFeet AllThereInTheManual AlliterativeName AlphaBitch AlternativeCharacterInterpretation AlternativeForeignThemeSong AmbiguouslyGay AmusingInjuries AnachronismStew AndIMustScream AndTheFandomRejoiced Angrish AntiVillain Anvilicious AnyoneCanDie ArchEnemy ArsonMurderAndJaywalking ArtEvolution ArtifactTitle AscendedExtra AssholeVictim AttentionWhore Awesome AwesomeButImpractical AwesomeMcCoolname AwesomeMusic AxCrazy BLAM Badass BadassAdorable BadassBoast BadassBookworm BadassCreed BadassGrandpa BadassNormal BalloonBelly BatmanGambit BeamMeUpScotty BerserkButton BetterThanItSounds BettyAndVeronica BewareTheNiceOnes BeyondTheImpossible BigBad BigDamnHeroes BigEater BigNo BigOlEyebrows BittersweetEnding 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SeasonalRot SeinfeldIsUnfunny SelfDeprecation SerialEscalation SeriousBusiness ShaggyDogStory ShipTease ShipToShipCombat ShipperOnDeck ShirtlessScene ShootTheDog ShootTheHostage ShootTheShaggyDog ShoutOut ShowWithinAShow ShowerOfAngst ShownTheirWork ShrinkingViolet ShutUpHannibal SignatureStyle SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism SmallNameBigEgo SmallReferencePools SmugSnake SoBadItsGood SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped SomethingCompletelyDifferent SortingAlgorithmOfDeadness SoundtrackDissonance SpecialEffectFailure SpiritualSuccessor StalkerWithACrush StarMakingRole StealthPun StepfordSmiler StraightMan StuffBlowingUp Summary SuperWeight SuspiciouslySimilarSong SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute SuspiciouslySpecificDenial TakeAThirdOption TakeThat TalkingToHimself TearJerker TelevisionGeography TemptingFate TerribleTrio TheBadGuyWins TheBigGuy TheChewToy TheDogBitesBack TheDragon TheDreaded TheEeyore TheFaceless TheFool TheLancer TheLoad TheMole TheMovie TheOtherDarrin ThePollyanna ThePowerOfRock TheReasonYouSuckSpeech TheRival TheScrappy TheSmartGuy TheSmurfettePrinciple TheSociopath TheUnintelligible TheWorfEffect ThemeTuneCameo ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill TheyChangedItNowItSucks ThirdPersonPerson ThoseTwoBadGuys ThoseTwoGuys ThrowItIn ThrowTheDogABone TimeLord TitleDrop TonightSomeoneDies TooDumbToLive TookALevelInBadass TookALevelInDumbass TookALevelInJerkass TookALevelInKindness TotallyRadical TrademarkFavoriteFood TrailersAlwaysSpoil TrainingFromHell TropeNamers TropersDoIt TroubledProduction TrueCompanions Tsundere TurnOfTheMillennium UglyCute UncannyValley UnfortunateNames UnreliableNarrator UnresolvedSexualTension UnstoppableRage UnusualEuphemism UnusuallyUninterestingSight UnwinnableByMistake UpToEleven ValuesDissonance VerbalTic VerySpecialEpisode VillainDecay VillainSong VillainousBreakdown VillainousGlutton VillainsOutShopping VindicatedByHistory VitriolicBestBuds WMG WallBangers WarpThatAesop WellIntentionedExtremist WhamEpisode WhamLine WhatAnIdiot 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Star Making Role:
Live-action TV series
produce their own share of stars
, too. Some may stick with television, while others may make the jump to film to expand their audience.
: Star-making show for each of the four major leads – Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers - although only Reiner really achieved further fame after the show ended. O'Connor did have another successful TV role with All in the Family . But after that he disappeared.
In the Heat of the Night : Star-making role for several actors, but most notably Sherman Hemsley, who played lead protagonist George Jefferson. His original role on "All In The Family" could count to a lesser extent.
The Jeffersons : At age 6, cute little red-headed, freckle-faced Ron Howard became a true star, and it really opened the doors for his later role in The Andy Griffith Show and his legendary career as a director.
Happy Days Also, while he'd earned some coverage for his work in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow years before, it was the role of Barney Fife that would truly put Don Knotts on the map.
: Happy Days Ron Howard was already an established star, thanks to his role as Opie Taylor on . Several of his co-stars would forever become ingrained in popular culture afterward, most notably Henry Winkler (The Fonz), but also Marion Ross (Mrs. C) and Tom Bosley (Mr. C). Howard would achieve greater notability as a director.
The Andy Griffith Show : Although Michael Landon (the youngest of the four lead characters) had his breakthrough a couple of years earlier with Bonanza I Was a Teenaged Werewolf, his co-stars — Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker and Pernell Roberts — weren't really that well known until they and Landon appeared one September 1959 evening in living color on NBC. Although this was Blocker's only major role (due to his 1972 death), Greene went on to star in the original and Roberts would later become Battlestar Galactica Trapper John M.D.; Landon, of course, would be forever tied to and Little House on the Prairie .
Highway To Heaven : This series provided the first starring roles for series stars John Schneider, Tom Wopat and Catherine Bach. However, the trope truly fits the two other stars of this series – James Best and Sorrell Booke. Both Best and Booke had been somewhat well-known and landed occasional leading roles, but never anything that made them instantly household names to fans until their legendary roles as dim-witted sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane and corrupt county commissioner Boss Hogg, respectively.
The Dukes of Hazzard : The Hogan Family Jason Bateman had supporting roles in and Little House on the Prairie , plus starred in the short-lived sitcom Silver Spoons It's Your Move. But it wasn't until his role as eldest teenaged son David Hogan that Jason became a true star, paving the way for his later stints as director and creator of .
Arrested Development Game Shows: Here's a list of several star-making hosting stints for these legendary hosts (note that several of these hosts may have been well known in other genres or as radio hosts):
Truth or Consequences Tom Bergeron: (1990s-2000s revival)
The Hollywood Squares Dick Clark: Already famous for , Clark had his first successful game show run with the American Bandstand franchise.
Pyramid Bill Cullen: Winner Take All, a quiz show from 1948 that was his first long-running gig, although he is better known for his hosting the original .
The Price Is Right Richard Dawson: As guest panelist on , as a host on Match Game (his only truly successful game show hosting stint).
Family Feud Bob Eubanks: .
The Newlywed Game Monty Hall: Although he hosted a game based on a board game called Video Village, his true star-making hosting gig came with .
Let's Make a Deal Jim Lange: .
The Dating Game Allen Ludden: G.E. College Bowl, an academic quiz bowl series from the late 1950s, although like Cullen, a later hosting gig – his run at is where he is best known.
Password Tom Kennedy: You Don't Say, a Password-type game from the mid-1960s. For 1970s audiences and later, he truly came of age with .
Name That Tune Peter Marshall: (original version).
The Hollywood Squares Jim Perry: , the original from 1978.
Card Sharks Gene Rayburn: . A curious example in that he hosted both the original 1960s version and most-famous 1970s revival, but is more known for the latter than the former.
Match Game Pat Sajak: . Same with Vanna White.
Wheel of Fortune Alex Trebek: , although to today's audiences, his true High Rollers die was cast in
Jeopardy! Wink Martindale: While well known for in the 1970s, his true superstardom came with Gambit .
Tic-Tac-Dough Chuck Woolery: Like his successor, Pat Sajak, it's . Same with his co-host, Susan Stafford.
Wheel of Fortune provided quite a few of these: Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined) Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, Grace Park, Tricia Helfer, Tahmoh Penikett, Aaron Douglas and James Callis.
Kim Coates in
Sons of Anarchy Jessica Alba in
Dark Angel Tim Allen in
Home Improvement Richard Dean Anderson in
MacGyver David Hasselhoff in .
Knight Rider Pamela Anderson and Carmen Electra in .
Baywatch Also something of a Career Resurrection for " The Hoff", as he hadn't starred in much of anything of note between this show and the aforementioned Knight Rider.
Basically the whole cast of as the producers cast nearly unknown actors for all the lead roles. Try calling Friends Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry and to a lesser extent Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matt Leblanc unknown now.
Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal, and Ed O'Neill in . Even today, people still only recognize O'Neill as Al Bundy, although his role on Married... with Children may be changing this. Sagal went on to Modern Family , 8 Simple Rules and Futurama .
Sons of Anarchy Rowan Atkinson in . In the UK Blackadder Blackadder had Star Making Roles for Atkinson, Hugh Laurie, Tony Robinson, Stephen Fry and Miranda Richardson. In the U.S., Laurie didn't become a star until the debut of after House made Atkinson a star there.
Mr. Bean Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Gina Torres, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Alan Tudyk, and Summer Glau in .
Firefly Christina Hendricks and Jon Hamm in .
Mad Men Neil Patrick Harris in as a child star, and in Doogie Howser, M.D. (coupled with How I Met Your Mother ) as an adult.
Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle Josh Radnor, Jason Segel (TV wise) and Cobie Smulders in too.
How I Met Your Mother Michael J. Fox in
Family Ties Claire Danes in .
My So-Called Life Zhao Wei shot to stardom after
Princess Returning Pearl Sean Bean in
Sharpe Alan Alda in
Mash Pierce Brosnan in
Remington Steele David Caruso had been on for only the first season and was labeled the next big thing, but a series of box office bombs shifted him to back burner status. Then NYPD Blue came around, CSI: Miami and the rest... is history.
George Clooney, Julianna Marguiles and Noah Wyle in
ER Stephen Colbert on , which eventually led to him getting The Daily Show his own series.
The Daily Show put quite a few people on the map. Obviously, Jon Stewart got the biggest boost from the show. It's also given a shot in the arm to John Oliver, Aasif Mandvi, and (debatably) Lewis Black.
Katie Couric on
Today Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson in
Cheers Cheers spawned , which provided Star Making Roles for Frasier Kelsey Grammer (although "Cheers" itself could count.) and later David Hyde Pierce.
Tony Danza and Alyssa Milano in
Whos The Boss Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain in
Lois and Clark : Doctor Who David Tennant and Matt Smith. Also Christopher Eccleston (to an extent), John Barrowman, Billie Piper and Karen Gillan. This trope happens for most of the Doctors and their companions, particularly William Hartnell and Tom Baker.
Averted with the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi. His star-making role was in The Thick of It.
Also averted with John Hurt, who had a long and prolific career in stage, film, and TV before playing the War Doctor.
Eva Longoria in
Desperate Housewives Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Topher Grace, Wilmer Valderrama and Laura Prepon in .
That '70s Show Charlie Murphy on , following the Chappelle's Show C: True Hollywood Stories skits in the second season.
The Olsen twins, Mary Kate and Ashley, on . They started Full House much younger than most examples.
This trope would also apply to the likes of Bob Saget, Dave Coulier, and Candace Cameron. John Stamos had already been a big star for five years, since starting out on General Hospital.
Hayden Panettiere (Arguably coupled with ) and Remember the Titans Zachary Quinto (Coupled with the 2009 film) in Star Trek .
Heroes Ty Pennington from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
John Ritter and Suzanne Somers in
Three's Company Jeri Ryan in
Star Trek: Voyager Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman, Grant Imohara, Tory Belleci, and Kari Byron from .
Mythbusters William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy from
Star Trek: The Original Series Will Smith in . The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Independence Day carried Smith to greater heights on the silver screen.
Men In Black Martin Lawrence in
Martin Amanda Tapping in .
Stargate SG-1 Bob Vila from
This Old House Robin Williams in
Mork and Mindy produced a few: Taxi Andy Kaufman, Judd Hirsch, Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd
provided several: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendon, Charisma Carpenter, David Boreanaz, Julie Benz, Eliza Dushku, Alexis Denisof, James Marsters, Juliet Landau, and to a lesser degree, Michelle Trachtenberg.
It would take a while to name all of the big-time sportscasters who became famous after anchoring , however some of the most notable are:
SportsCenter Chris Berman
Keith Olbermann; he would eventually become more famous for "Countdown with Keith Olbermann"
Robin Roberts; she would eventually achieve further fame through "Good Morning America."
has generated many, Saturday Night Live many stars over its long run. Most of those people have DVD sets dedicated to their best performances on the show. To name a few (regular cast members only, not guest hosts):
made stars out of SCTV John Candy, Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, and Catherine O'Hara, to name a few.
Some reporters and the news stories that made them famous:
Wolf Blitzer rose to prominence by covering the Gulf War.
Geraldo Rivera shot to fame by reporting on treatment of the mentally retarded, but it was the Al Capone's Vault thing that really skyrocketed him.
Nancy Grace became famous by commenting on the Natalee Holloway disappearance. She got another big boost from the Casey Anthony trial.
Dan Rather first gained prominence covering the John F. Kennedy assassination for CBS.
David Mitchell and Robert Webb on . Mitchell has claimed that they would have kept doing radio and perhaps a television sketch show as a Peep Show Double Act, but this was what made them household names.
Breaking Bad Definitely for Bryan Cranston. Cranston had become " Hey, It's That Guy!" because of his roles on , Seinfeld and various bit parts in other shows and movies. While Malcolm in the Middle Malcolm had a cult following, it's Breaking Bad that has made Cranston a star winning him four "Best Actor" Emmys and making him an in-demand actor for supporting roles in films starting in 2010.
Aaron Paul, a relatively great actor, he was only an extra in shows and commercials. After starring in Breaking Bad he is now a three-time Emmy winner for his role and is moving on to even bigger roles in the near future.
Anna Gunn, RJ Mitte, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, Giancarlo Esposito and Jesse Plemons, too.
Tetsuo Kurata in .
Kamen Rider Black Darren Criss, Chris Colfer, Lea Michele, Dianna Agron, Grant Gustin and Jane Lynch in .
Glee did this for Gossip Girl Blake Lively.
Julianne Hough on
Dancing with the Stars. Some of the other pros, including her brother, Derek, to lesser extents.
Nao Nagasawa in
Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger Tori Matsuzaka in
Samurai Sentai Shinkenger :
Game of Thrones Takeru Sato in
Kamen Rider Den-O Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in . Duchovny had done movies and TV before (notably, he played a transvestite DEA agent on The X-Files ), but Twin Peaks The X-Files turned them both into household names.
Terry O'Quinn, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly and Jorge Garcia in .
LOST Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman (coupled with below), The Office Andrew Scott and Louise Brealey in .
Sherlock Both Claire Holt and Phoebe Tonkin in
H2O: Just Add Water. The various series have brought us
Law & Order Don Adams on .
Get Smart Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman on .
I Dream of Jeannie became much more of this for Hagman, though.
Dallas Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on .
I Love Lucy Catherine Bell on
JAG Matthew Gray Gubler on
Criminal Minds Kiefer Sutherland for , although it borders more on 24 Career Resurrection.
Tom Welling, Allison Mack, Kristen Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, Erica Durance and Cassidy Freeman in .
Smallville Stephen Amell, Colin Donnell, David Ramsey, Colton Haynes (tied with ) and Emily Bett Rickards in Teen Wolf .
Arrow Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes and Tom Cavanagh in .
The Flash (2014) Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore in .
The Dick Van Dyke Show Speaking of Mary Tyler Moore, brought The Mary Tyler Moore Show Edward Asner, Valerie Harper, Ted Knight, Cloris Leachman and Georgia Engel to prominence. Betty White and Gavin MacLeod could count, as well, though White is typically more well-known for her work on , while MacLeod is more associated with his work on The Golden Girls .
The Love Boat Peter Capaldi in .
The Thick of It Julia Sawalha in . She'd previously had a public profile as Lynda Day on Absolutely Fabulous , but Press Gang Ab Fab was the show that gave her name recognition beyond the children's TV arena.
Wayne Brady on the U.S. version of .
Whose Line Is It Anyway? Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg in . Johnny Galecki, however, is also pretty well-known for his earlier work on The Big Bang Theory . Cuoco had earned some notoriety as well for appearing as one of the late John Ritter's kids in Roseanne , but it was this show that really made her a household name.
8 Simple Rules for The Office Ricky Gervais, and Lucy Davis
Stana Katic and Molly Quinn in .
Castle Wade Williams in .
Prison Break Leonid Bronevoy in .
Seventeen Moments of Spring is known today for making many of its cast members into stars. Besides the producer Kennan Ivory Wayans, who was already well known for his classic parody film, In Living Color! , many of his family members showed their talents and became stars later in television and film as well. Some of the cast members on the show include:
I'm Gonna Git You Sucka Damon Wayans, would later star in some hit movies, but is best known for his sitcom .
My Wife and Kids Brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans later worked together and made some successful parody films. See the film section.
Jim Carrey went on to became a movie star. See the film section for his star making role.
David Alan Grier starred in a number of films and television shows afterwards.
Tommy Davidson starred in some hit comedy films, however, is best become known as a voice actor for western animation shows.
Jamie Foxx, who later went on to have a hit sitcom on The WB, and successful careers in film and music.
The show is know for making Jasmine Guy, Lisa Bonet, and Jada Pinkett Smith into stars.
A Different World Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in . They ( Spaced along with director Edgar Wright) would later gain fame outside of the U.K. with the films and Shaun of the Dead ).
Hot Fuzz Laura Vandervoort in , Instant Star Smallville and V.
Sara Paxton in .
Darcys Wild Life Sofia Vergara and Ariel Winter in
Modern Family Kevin Sorbo in , and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Lucy Lawless from its spinoff, .
Xena: Warrior Princess Raymond Burr in
Perry Mason Frankie Muniz in (but not Bryan Cranston, see above).
Malcolm in the Middle Amanda Bynes, Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell in
All That Drake Bell and Josh Peck first in , but moreso in The Amanda Show
Drake & Josh Miranda Cosgrove and Jerry Trainor first in but moreso (particularly in Trainor's case) in Drake & Josh
iCarly Jennette McCurdy, Nathan Kress and Noah Munck in .
iCarly Victoria Justice in and furthermore in " Zoey 101 Victorious''
Elizabeth Gillies and Ariana Grande in .
Victorious Mr. T and Dwight Schultz in .
The A-Team Kat Dennings in .
2 Broke Girls Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza and Chris Pratt in .
Parks and Recreation Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson and Michelle Williams in .
Dawson's Creek John Goodman in .
Roseanne America Ferrera in .
Ugly Betty is this for House Hugh Laurie, Olivia Wilde, and to a lesser extent, the entirety of the original cast. Omar Epps, Lisa Edelstein, Jennifer Morrison, and Jesse Spencer are all currently or in the process of starring in their own shows as leads.
Danny McBride in .
Eastbound And Down Idris Elba and Aidan Gillen in .
The Wire Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn and Brent Spiner in .
Star Trek: The Next Generation Gilbert Gottfried and Rhonda Shear as host of the wraparound segments on USA Network's USA Up All Night. Gottfried hosted on Saturdays (1989-1998), and Shear hosted on Fridays (1991-1998).
Shailene Woodley (coupled with ) in The Descendants . Both The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Divergent gave her a further boost in 2014.
The Fault in Our Stars Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment, Mitchell Musso, Jason Earles and Moises Arias in .
Hannah Montana Jon Bernthal, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Emily Kinney and Brighton Sharbino in . Lead star The Walking Dead Andrew Lincoln is already well-known for his role in , while Love Actually Laurie Holden is from her roles in , Silent Hill and even The Mist .
The X-Files Manu Bennett, Katrina Law and Jai Courtney in . It was also building up to be this for the late Spartacus: Blood and Sand Andy Whitfield until his tragic illness ensued.
Hilary Duff in .
Lizzie McGuire Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Joel McHale, Yvette Nicole Brown and Danny Pudi in . It also served as a Community Career Resurrection for Chevy Chase.
Chad Michael Murray, Hilarie Burton and Sophia Bush in .
One Tree Hill Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh and Patrick Dempsey in .
Grey's Anatomy Emilie De Ravin and Katherine Heigl in . Roswell and LOST will respectively give them further boost.
Grey's Anatomy Kerry Washington in .
Scandal Kristen Bell in , though to this day fans are still divided whether this or Veronica Mars is her SMR.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall Emily VanCamp and Gabriel Mann in .
Revenge Bridgit Mendler in .
Good Luck Charlie John Kassir in (albeit a voice acting role).
Tales from the Crypt Jennifer Love Hewitt and Neve Campbell (coupled with ) in Scream .
Party of Five Patrick Wilson in .
Angels In America Charles Dance has two. He got his big break in his native UK for apperaring in the mini-series, The Jewel in the Crown. But most people in America know him best for playing Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones.
Mark Gatiss in .
The League of Gentlemen Mia Wasikowska in . In Treatment Tim Burton's would later give her a very big boost.
Alice in Wonderland Natalie Dormer in .
The Tudors Thomas Haden Church in .
Wings Keri Russell in .
Felicity Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, and Mark Sheppard in .
Supernatural William Katt in .
The Greatest American Hero