19 Famous Actors You Didn’t Know Started on Soap Operas

We love soap operas (they are one of life’s greatest guilty pleasures, after all), but when you are engrossed in Days of Our Lives or The Young and the Restless, you’re not normally thinking, “Now that’s an Academy Award-winning performance!” as you watch all the drama unfold. On the contrary, the fact that the acting is sometimes truly awful is what makes soap operas so addicting. Sometimes, they’re so bad, they’re good.

But the truth of the matter is, as cheesy as soaps are, they’re a serious breeding ground for Hollywood’s elite. A ton of sitcom actors, movie stars and pop singers all got their feet wet in appearances on some of our favorite daytime soaps. Everybody’s got to start somewhere, right? 

You can hate on soaps all you want — but they’ve given birth to some pretty serious acting careers.

Originally published April 2015. Updated September 2017.

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