Soap Stars Who Made It Big In Tinseltown: Meg Ryan, Eva Longoria & More!

April 5, 2011

Yep, I’m addicted to those daytime dramas. My DVR is chock full of episodes that I need to catch up on. I was watching Top Gun the other night, starring a very young Meg Ryan, and it got me thinking about other soap stars who made it big in Hollywood. Did your favorite actor/actress get their first big break on a soap? Let’s find out!

Meg Ryan

Yes, the ever so loveable Meg Ryan. Before she was faking it on When Harry Met Sally, she appeared on CBS’ As The World Turns as Betsy Stewart. I remember her scenes with Steve Andropolous, played by Frank Runyeon (where is he now?), circa 1982 or 1983. Loved their storyline! She of course would go on to star in several hit films – Sleepless in Seattle, When a Man Loves a Woman and You’ve Got Mail, just to name a few. She has a son, Jack, from her marriage to Dennis Quaid and a daughter, Daisy, whom she adopted from China in 2006.

Julianne Moore

Another ATWT alum, Julianne Moore, appeared on the soap as Frannie and Sabrina Hughes in the mid 80’s. The gorgeous redhead received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series for her dual role. She left the show in 1988. The awards and nominations would continue as she made her way on to the silver screen. Roles in movies such as Boogie Nights, The End of the Affair, Far from Heaven and The Hours garnered her Academy Award nominations, and through the years has been recognized with noms from the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild as well. She was amazing in The Kids Are All Right! If you haven’t seen it, it is a MUST SEE. The clip below features some other stars – a very young Marisa Tomei and Steven Weber.

Demi Moore

Ahhh, Demi Moore. The gorgeous brunette wowed us with her beauty on ABC’s General Hospital as journalist Jackie Templeton in the 80’s. Her stint on GH was short lived, staying on the show for about a year before becoming part of the Brat Pack and appearing in flicks such as St. Elmo’s Fire and About Last Night. Her biggest success to date is Ghost. Her personal life has been fodder for the tabloids over the years, with her high profile marriage to Bruce Willis, whom she had three kids with (Rumer, Scout and Tallulah), but that ended in divorce in 2000. The cougar married her cub (Ashton Kutcher) in 2005 and from the looks of it, they are still going strong!

Eva Longoria

Before Eva became a Desperate Housewife, she played crazy Isabella Williams on the CBS soap The Young and the Restless. She had a two year run on the drama before hitting it big as Gabriella Solis on Desperate Housewives. Unfortunately, she’s not had success on the silver screen. I bet you didn’t know that before she wed her basketball hubby, she was married to another soap star, Tyler Christopher of General Hospital fame. Their marriage lasted two years, from 2002-2004. Last year was rough on the brunette beauty. We all know that her husband of four years, San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker, was allegedly cheating on her with the soon to be ex-wife of a former teammate. Aye caramba! Their divorce became final earlier this year.

John Stamos

Before he was Jesse and the Rippers he was Blackie and the Riff Raff. Yes, I’m talking about John Stamos. The hunky TV star got his big break on the ABC soap General Hospital as Blackie Parrish. I would rush home from school just to get a glimpse of him. Yes, he was a total babe back then and still is now! He was a GH cast member for two years, leaving the show in 1986. He is widely known as Uncle Jesse Katsopolis of Full House fame, and the show ran for an amazing eight years, ending in 1995. TV movies would become his thing before being cast on ER in 2005. Now we see him in the recurring role of Dr. Carl Howell on Glee.

There are so many more soap stars who made it big in Tinseltown, too numerous to mention, but the ones above are my favorites. Here are some other notables who credit daytime dramas on their resumes:

Kevin Bacon
Leo DiCaprio
Sarah Michelle Gellar
David Hasselhoff
Lindsay Lohan
Laurence Fishburne
Tommy Lee Jones

Who are some of your favorites? Leave me your picks in the comments below!

Photos: M. Barraza

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5 Responses to “Soap Stars Who Made It Big In Tinseltown: Meg Ryan, Eva Longoria & More!”

  1. 1
    Jon Says:

    Awesome story! I was just arguing with someone the other day about how NOT ALL soap stars end up stuck on daytime televsion…some actually make it to the next level.

  2. 2
    Rick Says:

    Yes, this is an interesting story.

    Another soap star that made it big in Hollywood was Kate Jackson. Even though she has not been seen in a while, she certainly did make it big.

    Many may not know that as a very pretty teen in the 1960`s Kate Jackson got her start on the soap Dark Shadows.

  3. 3
    Stacy Says:

    I had no idea Meg started in soaps! Love her!!

  4. 4
    Rachelle Says:

    Love this! I remember John Stamos on GH he was one of my first crushes!

  5. 5
    Sandy Says:

    Ha! Love the old skool vids!