Soap operas have been a large part of American entertainment since the first radio soaps were broadcast back in the 1930s. They were generally sponsored by soap companies (hence, soap operas) and have always focused on the often-melodramatic relationships between the characters. With soap operas making up so much of what Americans watch, it is not surprising that some of the biggest names in Hollywood started their careers as characters on daytime television. What is surprising is some of the names on the list! So, without further ado, here are 20 famous actors and actresses that got their start on soap operas.
Though Demi Moore had made her film debut in 1981 with the TV movie Choices. The film told the story of a high school football player being kicked off the team, and subsequently deciding to join a street gang. However, this movie was not very popular and only holds a 25% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It was not until a year later when she got her real break on General Hospital, playing an investigative reporter called Jackie Templeton. This role was the first of many riveting performances by this talented actress. In fact, only three years later she won her first award – a Theatre World Award for her performance in an off-Broadway rendition of The Early Girl. Many more roles and awards, including two People’s Choice Awards, an MTV Movie Award, and a Saturn Award, were in Demi Moore’s future. And she can attribute it all to the melodramatic start she got on General Hospital. And she’s not done with the soaps yet: Ms. Moore is getting back to her soap opera roots with an upcoming recurring role on the fourth season of Fox hit Empire.