17 Celebrities With Surprising Broadway Roots

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17 Celebrities With Surprising Broadway Roots's Profile


They were already triple threats when they got to Hollywood!

1.

Ariana Grande was in the original Broadway cast of 13 even before her Victorious days.


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2.

Kristen Bell was on Broadway in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer before she even finished college. She then went on to do a revival of The Crucible.


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3.

Morgan Freeman got his start on Broadway and earned himself a Tony Award in 1978 for his role in The Mighty Gents.


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4.

Sarah Jessica Parker made her debut on Broadway in The Innocents in 1979. Three years later, she’d go on to play the lead role in Annie, Rosemary in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Princess Winnifred in Once Upon a Mattress.


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5.

Anna Kendrick was just 12 years old when she was nominated for a Tony Award in 1998 for her role in High Society. No wonder she was cast in singing roles later on, like Pitch Perfect and Into the Woods!


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6.

Diane Keaton started as an understudy in the original Broadway production of Hair in 1968, then was cast in the production of Play It Again, Sam nine months later.


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7.

Nick Jonas was in the Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun at 9 years old. He later played Chip in Beauty and the Beast, Young Gavroche in Les Misérables, and J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.


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8.

Viola Davis started on Broadway in 1996 as Vera in Seven Guitar. She’d go on to win two Tonys for her roles in King Hedley II and Fences, as well as an Oscar for her performance in the film adaptation of Fences.


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9.

Meryl Streep was on Broadway before her silver screen career launched, starring in Trelawny of the Wells in 1975. She’s been in several shows since then, like Henry V and A Memory of Two Mondays/27 Wagons Full of Cotton.


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10.

John Travolta was in the Broadway production of Grease as Doodie before he took to the screen and played Danny in the movie version.


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11.

After getting cast in a couple of Broadway flops, Jason Alexander won a Tony Award for his role in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway before he was George Costanza on Seinfeld.


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12.

James Earl Jones, before his legendary onscreen career, starred in the 1967 Broadway hit The Great White Hope, earning him a Tony Award for Best Actor and an Academy Award nomination for his role in the movie adaptation of the play.


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13.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson was in the original Broadway casts of On the Town and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee before he was Mitchell Pritchett in Modern Family. He returned to Broadway in 2017 for a one-man show, Fully Committed.


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14.

John C. McGinley got started on Broadway long before his days as Dr. Perry Cox in Scrubs. He was an understudy for John Turturro in Danny and the Deep Blue Sea.


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15.

Before her start in film as Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews was on Broadway, starring in shows such as My Fair Lady, The Boy Friend, and Camelot.


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16.

Finally, Britney Spears was an off-Broadway understudy at 10 years old for Tina Denmark in the musical Ruthless. When she got tired of doing the same thing night after night, she left the musical, and that same understudy role went to…


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17.

…Natalie Portman, who was also 10 years old at the time. At 16, she went on to play Anne Frank in the stage adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank.


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