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18 Celebs You Totally Didn't Know Got Their Start as Models

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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They did their little turn on the catwalk

Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/Getty Images
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They did their little turn on the catwalk

Celebs: they're just like us, right? Well, in some ways, yes. They're busy with work, they love their families and they hate having their picture taken when they run to the grocery store with no makeup on. But that's where a lot of the similarities end because there's no denying that 99.9 percent of celebrities are ridiculously good-looking.

And though they do usually have the extra pro help to get camera-ready, they're also blessed with some amazing genes. It's obvious that a lot of high-profile actors relied on more than just their acting chops to break into the biz, because there's a whole grip of them who started out as fashion models before they moved on to drama. Acting in Hollywood is hard to break into, but being incredibly photogenic really helps.

These 18 celebs used to be models, but they're definitely not just pretty faces.

Originally published January 2016. Updated August 2017.

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Mark Wahlberg

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Mark Wahlberg

A successful singer, model and actor, there's nothing that the former "Marky Mark" can't do.

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Cobie Smulders

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Cobie Smulders

We loved her on How I Met Your Mother, but this Canadian actress started modeling as a teen.  

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Jamie Dornan

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Jamie Dornan

Before he played a sadomasochist, Dornan was showing off his hot bod wearing nothing but Calvins.

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Cara Delevingne

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Cara Delevingne

Though she's just started her acting career, we expect to see her in a lot more than this Burberry ad.

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Cameron Diaz

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Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz made a name for herself on the cover of numerous magazines when she was just a teen. 

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Katherine Heigl

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Katherine Heigl

Heigl is simply adorable in this ad for Cover Girl makeup. 

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Ashton Kutcher

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Ashton Kutcher

Before That '70s Show, Kutcher showed off his square jaw and bare chest in this ad for Abercrombie & Fitch.

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Jennifer Lawrence

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Jennifer Lawrence

Way before Katniss Everdeen, JLaw also modeled for Abercrombie & Fitch.

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Kellan Lutz

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Kellan Lutz

Way before the vampire trend took over America's tweens, Kellan Lutz was also modeling for Abercrombie & Fitch.

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Ian Somerhalder

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Ian Somerhalder

Who knew modeling for Versace would lead Ian Somerhalder to the hit show The Vampire Diaries?

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Uma Thurman

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Uma Thurman

Though her natural beauty led to to the cover of many magazines, it's her acting talent that has forged her long career.

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Angelina Jolie

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Angelina Jolie

It's hard to imagine Angelina Jolie in a prom dress from JC Penney, but here's the proof!

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James Marsden

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James Marsden

Judging from this Versace ad, we're surprised James Marsden didn't end up on a Miami Vice spinoff.

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Geena Davis

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Geena Davis

The statuesque Geena Davis started her career by showing a bit of skin in those racy Victoria's Secret catalogues. 

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Whitney Houston

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Whitney Houston

Even Max Factor knew Whitney Houston was headed for greatness — what a smile!

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Jennifer Connelly

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Jennifer Connelly

Still drop-dead beautiful decades later, it's no surprise that Jennifer Connelly started modeling as a teen.

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Milla Jovovich

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Milla Jovovich

With her Eastern European good looks, Milla Jovovich made an easy transition from model to actress. 

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