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32 movie and TV roles we forgot these A-list celebrities starred in, from early cameos to forgotten cult gems

 Movies and TV shows you forgot included Jessica Chastain, SJP and Julia Roberts.
Movies and TV shows you forgot included Jessica Chastain, SJP and Julia Roberts.

When it comes to some of our favourite Hollywood stars, we never can quite get enough. 

Off-screen, we love Julia Roberts' best looks, taking inspiration from her oversized suits and striking dresses. Then there's also the effortless cool of Courteney Cox's best looks or Jennifer Aniston's most memorable fashion moments.

On-screen, we tune in to anything featuring some of the most iconic stars. But is it possible there are some roles from our favourite thespians we've forgotten all about? And are there some roles they'd prefer we forget?

Let's take a look at some of the movies and TV shows you might not realised featured some of the biggest names in showbiz.

Movies and TV shows we forget these 32 celebs were in

Amy Adams, Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

Amy Adams
Amy Adams

Amy Adams is now considered one of the most celebrated actresses working today (not to mention one of the best dressed). With six Academy Award nominations under her belt - tying her with Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter as the actresses with the second most nominations without winning (yet), Amy's first film role was the 1999 black comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Set like a mockumentary following a small-town beauty pageant which turns deadly, Amy plays a hilarious vixen. Before she landed her roles in films like Arrival and Vice, her other early roles included guest stints on television shows including Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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Jessica Chastain - Veronica Mars (2004)

Jessica Chastain with her Oscar
Jessica Chastain with her Oscar

The striking star of stage and screen, Jessica Chastain has the sort of career anyone in Hollywood could dream of.

She has received various accolades, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, in addition to nominations for two Tony Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award.

Way back in 2004, the up-and-coming star had a guest appearance in the first series of Veronica Mars, alongside Kristen Bell.

Scarlett Johansson - Home Alone 3 (1997)

Scarlett Johansson on the red carpet
Scarlett Johansson on the red carpet

Scarlett Johansson is now one of the most famous women in the world. Her films have grossed over $14.3 billion worldwide, making her the highest-grossing box office star of all time, thanks in part to her turn in the huge Marvel blockbusters. But she's also earned praise for her acting skills in films like Jojo Rabbit and Marriage Story, which saw her achieve the rare feat of being nominated for two Academy Awards in the same year (for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress).

One of her earliest roles which may surprise a lot of fans was as the meaner older sister in the third instalment of the Home Alone franchise.

George Clooney - The Golden Girls (1987)

George and Amal Clooney
George and Amal Clooney

Sure, plenty of people know about George Clooney starring in the TV series E.R. before he became the quintessential Hollywood leading man, oozing charm and charisma in the likes of Ocean's Eleven and Out of Sight.

But what some might not know is even before he was in E.R., George appeared in an episode of the iconic classic, Golden Girls.

He played a young cop who spends some time staking out a criminal living next door to Blanche, Rose, Sophia and Dorothy.

Viola Davis - Out of Sight (1998)

Viola Davis
Viola Davis

A titan of acting, Viola Davis is one of the rare recipients of the EGOT - meaning she has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony.

When her name appears on the bill for something these days, she's usually the reason people tune in - from How to Get Away With Murder to the ferocious epic Woman King.

However, back in the '90s, people might have forgotten Viola starred alongside George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez in the hugely successful thriller, Out of Sight.

Saoirse Ronan - I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007)

Saoirse Ronan on the red carpet
Saoirse Ronan on the red carpet

Saoirse Ronan may be young (born in 1994), but she's fast become one of the most well-regarded actresses working today.

With four Academy Award nominations under her belt, plus five BAFTA nominations and a Golden Globe win, Saoirse has starred in the likes of Little Women and The Lovely Bones.

Fans may already recall her early role in Atonement alongside Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, but one of her oft-overlooked roles was playing Michelle Pfeiffer's quirky daughter in the indie flick, I Could Never Be Your Woman.

Ben Affleck - Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez

Actor. Director. One half of Bennifer. Ben Affleck is known for many things these days, but some might be surprised by some of his earlier roles.

Before he cracked Hollywood with the likes of Good Will Hunting, Ben starred in the 1992 movie, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The film came out before the hugely popular Sarah Michelle Gellar fronted TV series, so there might be a reason this role is often forgotten.

Carey Mulligan - Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Carey Mulligan on the red carpet
Carey Mulligan on the red carpet

Carey Mulligan's first film role was in 2005's film adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, playing Lizzie Bennett's sister, Kitty.

Carey might not have been the protagonist of the classic romance, but she has quickly risen to be an undisputed megastar, notching up two Academy Award nominations.

Her continued streak of successful films has carried on with the likes of Saltburn and Maestro.

Cynthia Nixon - Murder, She Wrote (1993)

Cynthia Nixon dressed in an orange dress and boots
Cynthia Nixon dressed in an orange dress and boots

Perhaps best known as the fiery redhead Miranda Hobbes from Sex and the City and And Just Like That, Cynthia Nixon has also earned a stellar reputation working on some of Broadway's best plays.

Before she found worldwide fame as the no-nonsense lawyer Miranda, Cynthia appeared in another long-running TV classic, Murder, She Wrote.

Her 1993 episode saw the young starlet play a girl afraid to go outside after a traumatic childhood memory, and someone is plotting to kill her off as she's trapped in the apartment.

Denise Richards - Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

Denise Richards
Denise Richards

Denise Richards is best known for her sensual, siren-like roles in erotic thrillers like Wild Things.

She would go on to star as a Bond girl in The World is Not Enough and generate plenty of headlines for her tumultuous relationship with Charlie Sheen. Her roles cover a spectrum of genres and she was last seen on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. However, you might not know that Denise first showcased her comic timing and killer looks in 1999's black comedy, Drop Dead Gorgeous. Here, she played spoiled teen Rebecca 'Becky' Ann Leeman.

Katherine Heigl - Bride of Chucky (1998)

Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl is best known for starring as Izzie for six seasons of Grey's Anatomy. Her other prominent roles have included the romcom 27 Dresses and Netflix's hit series, Firefly Lane.

But an early break for the actress came from an altogether different genre - horror.

Katherine starred in the 1998 horror sequel, Bride of Chucky. The then-19-year-old played the character of Jade who managed to not only survive the evil wrath of Chucky but even delivered his final blows.

Sandra Oh - The Princess Diaries (2001)

Sandra Oh
Sandra Oh

Sandra Oh is known for playing Dr. Cristina Yang for nine years in the long-running series Grey's Anatomy, as well as the cop chasing an assassin in the spy thriller Killing Eve.

She has received two Golden Globe Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Sandra is now a hugely recognisable actress but, earlier on in her career, fans might have overlooked her appearance in The Princess Diaries, where she played Anne Hathaway's school principal.

Keira Knightley - Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley

Making a name for herself in the early 2000s for a string of period dramas and romcoms like Love Actually, one of Keira Knightley's overlooked roles was, ironically, in one of the biggest pop culture franchises of all time.

Keira had a small role-playing a decoy of Natalie Portman's character.

While her time in the Star Wars universe might not have been the most life-changing, Keira would get another go at starring in a blockbuster franchise when she appeared throughout the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

Renee Zellweger - Empire Records (1995)

Renee Zellweger wearing a strapless navy dress
Renee Zellweger wearing a strapless navy dress

Bridget Jones. Roxie Hart. Judy Garland.

Renee Zellweger has played some seriously memorable characters and portrayed some real-life legends.

Which is arguably why some of her other roles have been forgotten by fans, like her turn in the cult classic, Empire Records.

The film follows a group of record store employees over the course of one exceptional day. The employees try to stop the store from being sold to a large chain and learn about each other along the way. It was considered a box office bomb, but the cult classic launched the careers of the likes of Renee Zellweger and Liv Tyler.

Courteney Cox - Murder, She Wrote (1984)

Courteney Cox
Courteney Cox

When you have something like Friends in your repertoire, it's easy for any other appearances to be overlooked.

Courteney Cox found global adoration as Monica Geller for ten seasons of the legendary sitcom, but she had some experience working on long-running TV shows before.

She appeared in two episodes of Murder, She Wrote playing the niece of Angela Lansbury's Jessica Fletcher.

Charlize Theron - That Thing You Do! (1996)

Charlize Theron in a purple suit
Charlize Theron in a purple suit

Charlize Theron has proven she can turn her hand to a plethora of genres.

She's done comedy, starring alongside Seth Rogen in Long Shot. She's done action, shaving her head and getting down and dirty for Mad Max: Thunder Road. And she's done serious dramas, winning an Oscar for Monster.

One of her earliest breaks was in That Thing You Do!, a 1996 American musical comedy-drama film written and directed by Tom Hanks, in his feature writing and directorial debut.

It tells the story of the rise and fall of a fictional 1960s one-hit wonder pop band.

Octavia Spencer - Never Been Kissed (1999)

Octavia Spencer collecting her Oscar
Octavia Spencer collecting her Oscar

Octavia Spencer is one of those faces that everyone recognises now, having enjoyed an impressive career in film and TV.

She is the first black actress to receive two consecutive Oscar nominations (in 2018 and 2019), and she won for 2012's The Help. She's also starred in popular TV shows like Mom and Ugly Betty.

What many fans might have forgotten is that Octavia had an early role in the Drew Barrymore classic, Never Been Kissed. Here, she played the minor character of Cynthia, one of Josie's co-workers at the Chicago Sun-Times.

Henry Cavill - The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

Henry Cavill
Henry Cavill

Before becoming Superman and starring in action blockbusters like Mission Impossible, the hunky actor had an early role in 2002's The Count of Monte Cristo.

Starring alongside Guy Pearce and Jim Caviezel, a young Henry played Albert Mondego, the son of Fernand Mondego.

He was just 17 at the time.

Megan Mullally - Murder, She Wrote (1990)

Megan Mullally
Megan Mullally

Megan Mullally is best known to audiences for her Emmy-winning role as Karen Walker in Will and Grace.

Stealing the show with her acerbic putdowns and high-pitched voice, Karen Walker was voted one of the 25 Greatest TV Characters of All Time in a TV network poll.

Before Megan's time as Karen Walker, she starred in an episode of Murder, She Wrote, playing a small-town lawyer hell-bent on unearthing the truth about a murder. She ends up accused of doing some killing herself, and she needs Jessica Fletcher to crack the case.

Ellen Pompeo - Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo

Ellen Pompeo is known best for playing Grey's Anatomy's main surgeon Meredith Grey. After becoming a household name due to the show, fans of the actress will be shocked to have missed one of her earlier roles in the Leonardo DiCaprio film.

Ellen appeared as the air hostess Marci, Abagnale's (DiCaprio) first woman to be seduced and had a brief liaison with the con man whilst he was impersonating an airline pilot.

Sara Ramirez - You've Got Mail (1998)

Sara Ramirez
Sara Ramirez

Another Grey's Anatomy alum, Sara Ramirez has also found a new legion of fans after starring in Sex and the City spin-off And Just Like That.

Now that the star is a recognisable face, anyone revisiting the classic romcom, You've Got Mail, starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks might be surprised to realise they missed the star's appearance.

They play a cashier who has a run-in with both Tom and Meg's characters.

Kylie Minogue - Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Kylie Minogue on the red carpet
Kylie Minogue on the red carpet

Kylie Minogue is pop royalty, often dubbed a Princess of Pop. The Aussie icon is the highest-selling female Australian artist of all time, having sold over 80 million records worldwide.

While she's beloved for her music, she is known to act, too. She first was introduced to audiences through the soap, Neighbours.

However, one role fans might have failed to spot is Kylie's appearance in the glitzy 2001 musical, Moulin Rouge!

Kylie appears as the Green Fairy, who appears after Ewan McGregor and his friends imbibe some absinthe.

Margot Robbie - Pan Am (2011)

Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie had one of the biggest, brightest and blondest 2023s going, producing and starring in the billion-dollar blockbuster, Barbie.

When she's not seeing life through rose-tinted, pink sunglasses, Margot has earned praise for appearances in films like The Wolf of Wall Street. However, many fans might have forgotten that she once starred in a TV show that slightly flew under the radar.

Margot starred in 14 episodes of the series, which followed the lives of pilots and air stewardesses on the Pan American World Airways planes.

Bridget Moynahan - Coyote Ugly (2000)

Bridget Moynahan
Bridget Moynahan

Having starred in Blue Bloods since 2010 and appearing as Carrie Bradshaw's antagonist, Natasha, in Sex and the City, Bridget Moynahan has carved a successful career in television.

But many fans will spot the familiar face if they revisit the iconic 2000 movie, Coyote Ugly. Bridget stars as one of the all-singing, all-dancing barmaids alongside model Tyra Banks!

Kerry Washington - Save the Last Dance (2001)

Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington

Believe it or not, Kerry Washington had roles in other movies and TV shows before her career-defining turn as Olivia Pope in Scandal.

While she might forever be linked to the role of the Washington D.C. fixer, Kerry had an earlier role in the MTV dance-film, Save the Last Dance.

Kerry played a single teen mother who befriends Julia Stiles' character who finds herself blending classic ballet with street dancing.

Anna Kendrick - Twilight (2008)

Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick has starred in the Pitch Perfect films, and other hits like A Simple Favour alongside Blake Lively.

With a string of successful films under her belt, it's understandable some fans might have forgotten she appeared in one of the most popular young-adult franchises, Twilight, which made stars out of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.

Indeed, even Anna forgot! In 2018, she tweeted "Holy (expletive). I just remembered I was in 'Twilight.'" Here she played Jessica Stanley, a friend of protagonist Bella Swan who doted on Edward Cullen. She was 23 at the time.

Angelina Jolie - Hackers (1995)

Angelina Jolie on the red carpet
Angelina Jolie on the red carpet

Angelina Jolie’s feature film debut was in 1995 when she starred in the crime movie Hackers alongside Jonny Lee Miller and Scream star Matthew Lillard.

Angelina played Kate Libby, AKA Acid Burn, part of a group of teenage hackers involved in a corporate blackmail conspiracy.

When the movie was released in the mid-1990s, the internet was still a relatively new concept to the general public. Despite underperforming at the box office, the film has become something of a cult classic and many of the stars - including Angelia and Matthew - have gone on to have great careers.

Julia Roberts - Mystic Pizza (1988)

Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts is often considered one of the last major American Movie Stars.

An Oscar winner, a fan favourite and starring in timeless classics like Pretty Woman, some of her earlier works might have been neglected by fans. But one such movie which showcases the sass and sweetness which came to define Julia was 1988's Mystic Pizza, where she plays a small-town waitress who has big dreams and bigger hair.

As a bonus 'before they were famous' sighting, Matt Damon also held a small role in the movie. In fact, it was his film debut! He played the minor character of Steamer.

Brie Larson - 13 Going on 30 (2004)

Brie Larson wearing a lilac dress
Brie Larson wearing a lilac dress

Brie Larson won an Academy Award for 2015's Room, playing a woman trapped in captivity alongside her son, who has never known anything but the one room they're locked away in.

She's since gone on to star as Captain Marvel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, films which earn billions at the box office.

But back in 2004, a young Brie was part of a group with fewer powers than The Avengers, but just as fearful. That's right - she was one of The Six Chicks from Jennifer Garner's romcom, 13 Going on 30.

Sarah Jessica Parker - The First Wives Club (1996)

Sarah Jessica Parker at the Met Gala
Sarah Jessica Parker at the Met Gala

She'll perhaps always be known as Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City's fashion-forward, flawed heroine.

While SJP has expanded her empire to include popular perfumes and a shoe line, she continues to find the time to star in some beloved movies, like Hocus Pocus and New Year's Eve.

One film people might have forgotten Sarah Jessica Parker stars in is First Wives Club.

Joining a cast of powerful women including Diane Keaton, Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Maggie Smith, Sarah Jessica plays a rare role for her - a villain. She plays the "other woman" who snares Bette's husband away.

Jennifer Aniston - Leprechaun (1993)

Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston is one of the most popular actresses working today, and she's stayed at the top of that list since the early 1990s.

Catapulting to worldwide fame with her role as Rachel Greene in Friends, Jennifer has since carved a successful career in both film and television, winning a Screen Actor's Guild Award for The Morning Show in 2019.

But Jennifer's first major credit was heading in an entirely different direction. She starred - wait for it - as a classic Scream Queen being chased by a killer Leprechaun. She never returned to star in any of the comedy-horror franchise's next nine films though.

Nicole Kidman - Nine (2009)

Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman

Sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing. That could be the only explanation behind the seeming failure of 2009's movie-musical, Nine.

It starred screen legend Nicole Kidman, who was making a triumphant return to musicals after her unforgettable turn in 2001's Moulin Rouge!

And Nicole wasn't the only huge name on the line-up. Sophia Loren, Kate Hudson, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz and Dame Judi Dench all starred with Nicole and Daniel Day Lewis, yet, it's a film which most people have forgotten all about.