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16 Actors who transitioned from 'SNL' to a successful film career

Shanee Edwards is a screenwriter who earned her master's degree at UCLA Film School. She recently won the Next MacGyver television writing competition to create a TV show about a female engineer. Her TV pilot, Ada and the Machine, is cur...

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From SNL to films

NBC
#1/17:

From SNL to films

Saturday Night Live has a 40-year history of launching comedians to movie stardom. Here are 16 of our favorite actors who used the iconic sketch comedy show as a path to box-office success on the silver screen.

#3/17:

Bill Hader

NBC/Universal
#3/17:

Bill Hader

Oh, how we miss the quirky Stefon from Weekend Update. Luckily, we can see Hader in the new film Trainwreck, opposite Amy Schumer, out this July. 

#4/17:

Jason Sudeikis

NBC/Relativity Media
#4/17:

Jason Sudeikis

Jason Sudeikis played a lot of fun characters during his stint on SNL. Now, he's starring with sketch comedy alums Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon in Masterminds

#5/17:

Kristen Wiig

NBC/Universal
#5/17:

Kristen Wiig

Dooneese, one of the four sisters who sang in a strange cabaret act, stole our hearts with her high forehead and tiny hands. After killing it in Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig is in very high demand, starring in the upcoming Masterminds and next year's female-centric Ghostbusters.

#6/17:

Robert Downey Jr.

NBC/Marvel
#6/17:

Robert Downey Jr.

We completely forgot Robert Downey Jr. did a stint on SNL, given that he's proved himself as a film star. We could never see anyone else in the role of Iron Man.

#7/17:

Sarah Silverman

NBC/Disney
#7/17:

Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman was only 23 when she started her lonely year on SNL. Now, the funny gal has worked her way up to film star, performing in such movies as The Muppets and A Million Ways to Die in the West.

#8/17:

Will Ferrell

NBC/Lifetime
#8/17:

Will Ferrell

The sketch where a song needs "more cowbell" has become one of the funniest SNL sketches of all time, thanks to Will Ferrell. Lifetime scooped up both Ferrell and SNL alum Kristen Wiig for very awkward but lovable performances in the recent A Deadly Adoption

#9/17:

Ben Stiller

NBC/Fox
#9/17:

Ben Stiller

The Zoolander star spent a brief four episodes on SNL, leaving the show to pursue other comedy adventures. From a showbiz family, Ben Stiller is still going strong 20 years later and recently announced he'll be producing Dodgeball 2.

#10/17:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

NBC/Fox Searchlight
#10/17:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Though she's best known for Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus appeared on SNL from 1982 to 1985. While she's made her career in television, she does do movies from time to time, like 2013's Enough Said, opposite the late James Gandolfini.  

#11/17:

Gilbert Gottfried

NBC/Universal
#11/17:

Gilbert Gottfried

It makes sense that Gilbert Gottfried appeared on SNL in the 1980s, but he certainly didn't have any breakout characters. We did love him as a very annoying Abraham Lincoln in A Million Ways to Die in the West.

#12/17:

Chris Rock

NBC/Paramount
#12/17:

Chris Rock

Chris Rock spent three years on SNL before heading over to In Living Color. Now, Rock not only stars in films like Top Five, he also produces them.

#13/17:

Eddie Murphy

NBC/DreamWorks
#13/17:

Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy was hands-down hilarious as Gumby on SNL and was destined to be a film star. Once he made Beverly Hills Cop, his career took off. 

#14/17:

Adam Sandler

NBC/Columbia Pictures
#14/17:

Adam Sandler

Using his vocal ability, Adam Sandler created the iconic character Opera Man, who was beloved by many. Once he left SNL, his movie career hit many high notes. This summer, he's using his voice again for two animated films, Pixels and Hotel Transylvania 2. 

#15/17:

Chevy Chase

NBC/Warner Bros.
#15/17:

Chevy Chase

After becoming famous as one of the original SNL cast members, Chevy Chase had huge box office success in movies like National Lampoon's Vacation. Now, his character Clark Griswold is back in a new sequel to Vacation, also starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate.  

#16/17:

Bill Murray

NBC/Focus Features
#16/17:

Bill Murray

We have always loved Bill Murray. The fact that he's been able to go from sketch comedy to dramatic films such as Lost in Translation proves he's one of America's greatest talents. 

#17/17:

Steve Martin

NBC/Universal
#17/17:

Steve Martin

Another great talent, SNL owes much of its success to the wild and crazy guy, Steve Martin. Lucky for us, he is still making movies like It's Complicated with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. 

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