What do Denzil Washington, Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis and George Clooney have in common? They began their acting careers on television and later went on to mega movie stardom. But what about those actors who do the reverse? Well, they're often though of as washed up has-beens, but for some, success on television and cable has been oh so sweet.
Here are ten of my fave movie to tv/cable transplants. There're more out there but these are the ones I'm familiar with:
10. Sarah Jessica Parker. While it may not be 100% true to say that Parker made her name in movies before television (I still remember her from 3-2-1 Contact days), I first took notice of her in 1985's Girls Just Want to Have Fun. She also appeared in Footloose, the First Wives Club and more before really making it big as Carrie Bradshaw on Sex in the City. Thanks to her, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and cosmopolitans became household names.
9. Dominic Monaghan. When I first spotted Dominic Monaghan on Lost I thought, wait, isn't he the small fella from Lord of the Rings? Indeed he was, and little Merry the hobbit had a good run as Charlie the castaway on the hit ABC drama. I still miss Frodo, Pippin and the rest of the gang, though....
8. Rebecca Romijn. A lot of people didn't even realise that Rebecca Romijn starred in the X-men trilogy because she was covered from head to toe in blue paint for her role as shape shifter Mystique. In Ugly Betty, she's the sex change character Alex/Alexis who loves to stir up trouble. Nothing much has changed....
7. Geena Davis. Before becoming the United States' first female Commander-in Chief, at least on tv, Geena Davis found fame as the character Thelma from the cult hit Thelma and Louise. And of course she did a commendable job as the assassin Charlie Baltimore in Long Kiss Goodnight. All hail the Chief!
6. Jennifer Beals. To me, Jennifer Beals will always be that cool chick from Flashdance. Back in the 80's she had people going around with sweatshirts hanging off one shoulder. She's still a bad chick, but in a different way. If you've ever watched The L Word on Showtime you'll know what I mean....
5. Pam Grier. Ms. Foxy Brown herself is still doing her thing, appearing on The L Word as the sister of Jennifer Beals' character. The Queen of Blaxploitation movies, she made her mark long before settling into series television.
4. Felicity Huffman. My fave girl from Desperate Housewives is a bona fide Oscar and Golden Globe nominated actress. Like many of the other persons listed here she dabbled with television as well. I love me some Lynette. She crazy.
3. Martin Sheen. The patriarch of the Sheen family of actors was born to play the President of the United States, which he did until last year in The West Wing. His acting credits are a mile long, but he'll always be remembered as President Bartlett.
2. Vanessa Williams. I cheated on this one because I couldn't leave my girl out. She's more a music star than a movie star per se, but she did a good job in Shaft, Soul Food, Eraser and other films. As Ugly Betty's Wilhelmina Slater she has me in a quandary ever week; I should dislike her but she's so much fun to watch.
1. Kiefer Sutherland. Name five movies Kiefer Sutherland appeared in. Can't do it, huh? His character of Jack Bauer on Fox's 24 is so overwhelming that it has erased my memory of his movies. Do Stand By Me, The Lost Boys, Young Guns, Flatliners, A Few Good Men, A Time to Kill, or The Three Musketeers ring a bell? And there're plenty more besides those.
Have a good weekend!