Before they were famous

We’ve been without cable/internet for two days, so to pass the time we watched some of our old videos. One of the ones we watched was Pixar’s A Bug’s Life.

Of course, we stuck around for the credits, because of the outtakes, and imagine my shock when I saw who voiced Dot, the little princess ant:

Hayden Panettiere!

I didn’t recognize her voice, because, quite frankly, it sounded like Dot had a cold the whole time. But even way back in 1998, the young lady was on her way.

Have you stumbled across someone in an older film that made you say, “Hey! That’s Whatshisname!”

Frodo (whatsisname?) in Back to the Future 2.

(The kid at the duck-shoot arcade game in the future)

Cool Hand Luke is old enough that everybody in the “before they were stars” category in that movie have since become the stars they weren’t in the late 60’s, but among the ones who were cast as extras or bits were:

Dennis Hopper
Joe Don Baker
Harry Dean Stanton

And I have heard that several stars-to-be were in the chorus of sailors in South Pacific but I have yet to find a convincing list of those guys.

Pretty much the entire cast of American Graffiti

The one that strikes everyone is Sylvester Stallone as a subway punk in Woody Allen’s Bananas. Nowadays, he’s impossible to miss – a full-face shot as he comes on. But when the film first came out, nobpdy knew anything about him, and he was ananymous. His later fame completely changes that scene.

David Krumholtz (Numb3rs, Serenity) was Wednesday Addams’ little boyfriend in Addams Family Values.

Several years ago, I watched a DVD of an indie film I rather liked, and actually recommended to people – Pieces of April.

Imagine my astonishment well into the Tom-‘n’-Katie nonsense to realize that the “April” of said film was Katie Holmes.

Jeff Goldblum was simply Freak #1 in the original Death Wish. The freaks did some bad things to Bronson’s family that persuaded him to seek his own brand of justice.

One of the punks that Arnold persuades to divest of their clothing in The Terminator is Bill Paxton. He was also a soldier in Stripes.

It surprised me to find out that Kevin Arnold’s friend in the Wonder Years grew up to be Marylin Manson.
Edit: I was lied to.

Sarah Jessica Parker played Annie on Broadway in the musical of the same name.

A low-budget “horny kids go to the beach” teen comedy called Private Resort featured before they were famous performances by Johnny Depp, Rob “Northern Exposure” Morrow, and Andrew Dice Clay. (Today the film is famous for containing an almost unrecognizable Depp’s only nude scene [Morrow’s too for that matter].)

The mostly forgotten sitcom Benson featured Jerry Seinfeld in a supporting role (for one season) and Ted Danson in a recurring role (as the husband of one of the characters) before they were famous.

The Empire Strikes Back had b.t.w.f. appearances by John Ratzenberger (Major Derwin) and Treat Williams (Cloud City Trooper), but I have absolutely no idea where they appear (other than Treat Williams is obviously in the Cloud City scenes).

Mike Farrell of MAS*H has a one sentence walk-on as a bellman in The Graduate.

Alan Alda played the Forrest Gump-like son of Sorrell “Boss Hogg” Booke (who basically played a prototype of Boss Hogg) in Ossie Davis’s Purlie Victorious. Sorrell Booke had a semi-nude sex scene before he was famous in The Other Side of Midnight.

Carroll O’Connor had supporting roles in Cleopatra (as Casca) and as Julie Andrews’ scenery-chewing gruff father in Hawaii (a movie that also featured Bette Midler in non-speaking extra roles as a missionary’s wife and as a topless island girl swimming out to meet the ships).

I’ve recently seen Rob Reiner in 40 year old repeats of The Andy Griffith Show (playing a printer’s assistant) and The Beverly Hillbillies (playing a college hippie who Jethro hangs out with). The Hillbillies ep. actually had a funny line- Jethro tries to incorporate hippie/activist speak and calls Uncle Jed a “honkey” and a “whitey” when he gets mad, to which Reiner Hippie tells him “That’s the wrong activist group Jethro!”

Harrison Ford’s first movie role was a brief walk-through as a bellman in “Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round” starring James Coburn.

Hayden Panettiere

I had to Google that name because I’d never, ever heard of her (wasn’t sure it was a her and not a him). The picture didn’t help. Apparently she’s in a TV show called Heroes, which I have heard of but never seen. She’s famous to some people, I guess, but I wouldn’t notice her walking down the street.

Oh, yes, you’d notice her. The real issue is if you’d need to know her name. Sounds too much like Hayden Planetarium to suit me, but I can let that part slide. She’s quite attractive.

Gary Cooper in a bit part in Wings, the silent that won the first Best Picture Oscar (1927). I was all like “Hey, that’s Gary Cooper!”

Clint Eastwood appeared in some B-horror movies in the Fifties.

He appears briefly as a laboratory assistant in “Revenge of the Creature From the Black Lagoon.” And he’s one of the Air Force pilots that drops napalm on a giant spider in “Tarantula.”

As an in-joke, in Eastwood’s cop flick “The Rookie,” there’s a scene where an old man is watching “Tarantula” on a small TV.

At the end of Annie Hall, there’s a scene where Alvy and Annie run into each other years later with their dates. Alvy’s date is played by the then-unknown Sigourney Weaver.

She also plays the white coach’s football crazed daughter in ‘Remember the Titans’.

For me, it was Sylvester Stallone in Death Race 2000. Released pre-Rocky, Stallone plays just another part opposite such “stars” as Simone Griffith, Mary Woronov, Roberta Collins, and Martin Hove. To give Stallone credit, he does a good job of it; but it really is a B-picture, and has nothing to indicate that Stallone would eventually be anything other than a B actor.

I loved that show! :smiley: