Seeing famous actors before they were famous

I often keep an eye out when watching older movies to see if there are any famous people in early roles. Today, I was watching the Green Mile, and recognized Sam Rockwell as Wild Bill. I used to watch Law and Order: Criminal Intent a lot, and it’s still jarring to see a young Vincent D’Onofrio in Full Metal Jacket.

Who else had unnoticed early career roles in big films?

My favourite is an unknown actress making a brief appearance in Columbo.

Jeff Goldblum as a street thug in Death Wish. He’s billed as Freak #1.

Walter Brennan had bit roles in movies like “The Invisible Man” and “Bride of Frankenstein”.

Jack Nicholson in Roger Corman’s LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, as the masochist dental patient.

Jane Lynch in The Fugitive

A very young Leonard Nimoy appering in Dragnet 1954

Just now saw the Three Stooges short with Lucille Ball

Three Little Pigskins (1934)

Charles Buchinsky was Wascylewski, Jack Warden was Tommy Morse, Lee Marvin was Radio Man in You’re in the Navy Now.

also interesting on TV, lots of actors showed up in westerns and crime shows in the 50’s, though particularly rich were anthology shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Kraft Television Theater, Playhouse 90, The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone. those are interesting and in current rebroadcast.

I spotted George Chakiris, who played Bernardo in West Side Story, playing a young dancer in the old Bing Crosby flick White Christmas. Hmmm: now I’m wondering if that makes me gay.

There is a movie in which Audrey Hepburn plays a girl who lights the leading man’s cigarette at a cafe… I can never remember which movie it was, and whether the leading man was Carey Grant or Jimmy Stewart (or someone else tall dark & handsome). Does anyone know what film it was?

A very young Richard Dreyfus in a 1st season black-and-white ep. of Bewitched. It was on while I was at my mom’s place, and while we were talking I looked over at the TV and said to her, “Is that who I think it is?” His hair was dark and slicked back, unlike the curly brown locks he would sport in Jaws and Close Encounters.

He’s dead sexy, so…yes, gay but w/ really good taste. For me it was Daniel J. Travanti on an episode of the original Perry Mason show - Perry made him confess right there on the stand! Stunning!

Oh, and Yaphet Kotto as an accidental hostage-taker (a soldier at a hospital whose care triggered flashbacks) on the original Hawaii 5-0. He was super skinny, compared to now.

I had never noticed it before, but a VERY young Jake Gyllenhall played Billy Crystal’s son in “City Slickers”. (It was the eyebrows that give him away).

I’ll see your “Sam Rockwell in The Green Mile” and raise you one “Sam Rockwell in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

Bill Paxton in The Terminator.

Checking IMDB, she’s credited as cigarette girl in Laughter In Paradise, but neither Carey Grant nor Jimmy Stewart was in it.

Also, according to the trivia, she was already a well-known actress at the time, and was offered a main role in the film, but she had other commitments.

Old Twilight Zone episodes were great for seeing young versions of actors in their prime during the 70’s and 80’s, but even they aren’t around anymore. I mean, it was a shock to see that hottie in a show called the Macahans, Finnoula Flannigan, turn out to be some old bag in later movies. Geez, do I look that old??? OMG, I do!

I’ve been re-watching Northern Exposure, and a lot of the guest stars went on to later fame (I’m bad at remembering actor names, so I’ll have to use the names of their later roles)

-Spike from Buffy plays a priest in Maggies home town.
-Jordan from Scrubs is making a film in Sicily
-Teardrop from Winterbone looks about 80 years younger and is a health inspector.
-Jack Black is a highschool student (was he already famous in '93? I don’t know).

Bonanza is great for this game. Charles Bronson played a host of Indians and Spanish men, and DeForest Kelly, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were all on it pre-Star Trek.

I can’t see Ray Liotta wihtout thinking of little Joey Perini from Another World.