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10 Top Stars Who Got Their Starts in Commercials

10 Top Stars Who Got Their Starts in Commercials
(Ppengcreative/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 18 October 2019 11:21 AM

A few years ago it was almost a rite of passage for actors to get their start in commercials before going on to achieve worldwide fame and fortune. 

Those were the days before streaming services, when you couldn’t skip past ads. Casting agents back then seemed to have a knack for sniffing out good talent. From Ben Affleck's unforgettable Burger King appearance to Morgan Freeman's Listerine stint, these ads helped catapult them into the limelight.

Here is a list of 10 top stars who kick started their careers starring in commercials, according to Best Life.

1. Britney Spears. The year was 1993 and Britney Spears was just 12 when she made her start by appearing in the Maull's Barbecue Sauce. Not long after filming wrapped up, she clinched a spot in the ‘90s revival of "The Mickey Mouse Club."

2. Ben Affleck. Before he was a star, Ben Affleck was "that guy" chatting to a girl on a car phone about a chef's salad in the 1989 Burger King ad.

3. Morgan Freeman. Things were different and at times a bit bizarre in the 1970s. Which could explain Listerine's odd tagline "the taste people hate." Morgan Freeman, who appeared in the ad, still did a good job of selling the product.

4. Paul Rudd. Before PlayStation there was Nintendo and before the "Ant-Man" franchise there was Paul Rudd's dorky performance in the 1991 Super Nintendo commercial.

5. Tobey Maguire. These days Toby Maguire is best known for his role in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy but in 1991 many people simply recognized him as the kid in the Doritos commercial. It did help start a long and successful acting career, though.

6. Salma Hayek. Step back to the late 1980s and you would barely recognize Salma Hayek, who had the perm, headband and glam makeup typical for the times when she appeared in the Burger Boy commercials.

7. Wesley Snipes. The "Blade" actor is yet another celebrity who launched his career by first starring in commercials in the '80s. His claim to fame was Levi's 501 ad campaign.

8. Jason Bateman. Unlike other stars, Jason Bateman's fame came on at a more gradual pace, and it all began with the 1980 Golden Grahams commercial. He went on to land the starring role in "Arrested Development" and has since appeared in several films and series.

9. Keanu Reeves. The "Matrix" and "John Wick" star has been acting for as long as we can remember and his career can be traced right back to 1983, when he was cast to appear in a Coca-Cola commercial.

10. Leonardo DiCaprio. It is hard to imagine Leonardo DiCaprio in any small, lesser-known roles. Since he appeared in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and "Titanic," the actor has starred in countless blockbusters and independent art films so it seems strange to think that he was the young boy in the '80s Bubble Yum commercial.

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A few years ago it was almost a rite of passage for actors to get their start in commercials before going on to achieve worldwide fame and fortune. Those were the days before streaming services, when you couldn't skip past ads. Casting agents back then seemed to have a...
star, commercials, start
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2019-21-18
Friday, 18 October 2019 11:21 AM
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