First Takes: 10 Early Roles of A-list Actor

Jamie Lee Curtis‘ breakout role was Halloween (1978). The film centers around high school student, Laurie Strode (Curtis), who is babysitting on Halloween night. Her town, Haddonfield, Illinois, has a dark secret. In 1963, Michael Myers killed his sister on Halloween. 

Halloween (1978)

Before becoming a major movie star, Tom Cruise had a minor role in the romantic drama, Endless Love (1981). This is a film about the intense and obsessive love between two teenagers, David Axelrod (Martin Hewitt) and Jade Butterfield (Brook Shields).  

Endless Love (1981)

Before he became Captain Jack Sparrow and many other iconic roles, Johnny Depp (The Tourist) made his film debut in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). The film centers around a group of teenagers experiencing similar nightmares. 

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Long before he was Batman, a young Christian Bale starred in the Steven Spielberg-directed war film, Empire of the Sun (1987). This film is set against the backdrop of World War II and follows Jamie “Jim” Graham (Bale), a young British boy living in Shanghai.  

Empire of the Sun (1987)

Before Pretty Woman made her a global star, Julia Roberts (Runaway Bride) had a leading role in the romantic drama, Mystic Pizza (1988). Mystic Pizza is a tale of three young women, Kat (Annabeth Gish), Daisy (Roberts), and Jojo (Lili Taylor), living in the small town of Mystic, Connecticut. 

Mystic Pizza (1988)

Before making waves in bigger films, Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic)debuted in the low-budget sci-fi horror, Critters 3 (1991). In the third installment of the series, the Critters descend upon a multi-story apartment building in Los Angeles. 

Critters 3 (1991)

In her film debut, Cameron Diaz (The Sweetest Thing) starred alongside Jim Carrey (Ace Ventura) in this comedy and immediately made a splash in Hollywood. The Mask (1994) is a comedic superhero film about a man named Stanley Ipkiss (Carrey), who finds a magical mask.  

The Mask (1994)

At just 13 years old, Natalie Portman (V For Vendetta) made a memorable debut in the crime thriller, Leon: The Professional (1994). The story centers around Léon (Jean Reno), a reclusive and skilled hitman in New York City.  

Leon: The Professional (1994)

Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) stole hearts as a regular teen who discovers she’s a princess in The Princess Diaries (2001).  

The Princess Diaries (2001)

A young Evan Rachel Wood (Across the Universe) delivered a powerful performance in Thirteen (2003), launching a successful career. 

Thirteen (2003)


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