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Photos Of Celebrities Before They Were Famous


As many actors, singers, models and more have shown us, it only takes one breakout role, paparazzi moment or music single after years of hard work to catapult someone to household name status.

Many indisputably famous, A-list celebrities today were actually on ‘the circuit’ for years before, in an attempt to get their big break.

Here are some iconic pictures from throughout the past few decades showing some of our favourite celebrities before they hit the big time.

From Jennifer Aniston to Emma Stone to Oprah Winfrey, scroll through for some vintage celebrity portraits…


Jennifer Aniston
Taken: At an NBC stars party, 1990.
Breakthrough: Playing Rachel Green on Friends, of course, which premiered in September 1994. Well, the rest is history.


Jennifer Lopez
Taken: In 1992 during a Los Angeles portrait session.
Breakthrough: Playing Selena in the 1997 biopic of the Latino singer, which saw her nominated for a Golden Globe.


Blake Lively
Taken: At the Nickelodeon kids choice awards in 2005.
Breakthrough: Playing Serena Van Der Woodsen in Gossip Girl from 2007 – 2012.


Priyanka Chopra
Taken: At London’s Milennium Dome when Chopra competed in and then won the Miss World competition show.
Breakthrough: Globally, in 2015, when she played the lead role in US crime drama Quantico. But in India, it was much earlier than that. She landed her first Bollywood role in 2003.


Brad Pitt
Taken: At a cocktail party in Beverly Hills in 1988.
Breakthrough: Pitt became known as an international heartthrob following his role in Thelma and Louise in 1991. Movie roles followed throughout the 1990s with Seven released in 1995.


Leonardo DiCaprio
Taken: In 1989 when little Leo was just 15.
Breakthrough: Starring in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape in 1993, where he earned his first Oscar nomination. Last year, DiCaprio said he experienced an overnight crazy level of fame after 1997’s Titanic.


Meghan Markle
Taken: At a Coach exhibit in the Hamptons in August 2006.
Breakthrough: Portraying Rachel Zane on the legal drama Suits from 2011 up until her engagement to Prince Harry in 2017.


Angelina Jolie
Taken: During a portrait session in LA in 1991.
Breakout moment: Though she might have experienced some fame due to her actor father Jon Voight, Jolie garnered international recognition when she won an Oscar for Girl, Interrupted in 1999.


Gigi Hadid
Taken: At the Heart Foundation Gala in Hollywood in 2006, which she attended with her mother Yolanda.
Breakthrough: Signing to IMG in 2013 and made her NYFW debut in 2014 which led to a whole lot of shows, campaigns and magazine covers for the next six years.


Ariana Grande
Taken: When Ariana starred in the Broadway Cast of 13, this particular appearance was taken in 2008 when the cast visited Planet Hollywood in New York City.
Breakthrough: Acting wise, when she landed the part of redhead Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon hit series Victorious in 2010. Grande was elevated to double-threat stardom when she released her first album Yours Truly in 2013.


Ryan Reynolds
Taken: In 1997 during a portrait session.
Breakthrough: After starring in Canadian soaps and sitcoms, Reynolds found fame in the mid-late noughties via a string of roles in popular rom coms like Just Friends (2005), Definitely, Maybe (2008) and The Proposal (2009).


Taken: In September 1989.
Breakthrough: Jay-Z aka Shawn Carter released his first rap album, the critically-acclaimed Reasonable Doubt in 1996, a year after founding Roc-A-Fella records.


Meryl Streep
Taken: During an actor’s portrait session in August 1976.
Breakthrough: The multi-award winning actor received her first (of many) Oscar nominations for The Deer Hunter in 1978.


Oprah Winfrey
Taken: When Winfrey was the co anchor of Eyewitness News in Baltimore, Maryland in June 1978.
Breakthrough: The Opera Winfrey Show of course, putting her literally into people’s living rooms since 1986.


Jennifer Lawrence
Taken: At the Annual Movieguide Faith and Values Awards in February 2007.
Breakthrough: For movie lovers, Lawrence starred in The Winter’s Bone in 2010 before being cast in big budget films like X Men a year later and The Hunger Games Franchise in 2012.


Emma Stone
Taken: At an event for Replay Jeans in 2006.
Breakthrough: Starring as Jonah Hill’s love interest Jools in 2007’s hit comedy Superbad and subsequent lead roles in Easy A (2010) and Crazy Stupid Love (2011).


Reese Witherspoon
Taken: At the Deauville Film Festival – looking very much like her daughter Ava Philippe – in 1991.
Breakthrough: Cruel Intentions in 1999 and then two years later playing ‘Gemini Vegetarian’ Elle Woods in Legally Blonde.


Eva Mendes
Taken: At The Others premiere in 2001.
Breakthrough: Training Day alongside Ethan Hawke and Denzel Washington in 2001.


Emily Blunt
Taken: On the opening night of the play ‘The Royal Family’ at The Theatre Royal in London in 2001.
Breakthrough: Portraying the uptight magazine assistant Emily in The Devil Wears Prada in 2006.


Channing Tatum
Taken: Backstage at the Marc Ecko show in NYC in 2003.
Breakthrough: In the 2006 dance film, Step Up.


Gwyneth Paltrow
Taken: At Studio 54 in New York City in 1985 with mother Blythe Danner.
Breakthrough: After starting to get noticed in Seven (1995), Emma (1996) and Sliding Doors (1998), Paltrow rocketed to worldwide fame when she won an Oscar for Shakespeare In Love in 1998.


Ben Affleck
Taken: In 1995
Breakthrough: Co-writing and starring in the Academy Award winner Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon in 1997.


Tom Hardy
Taken: At the premiere for Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002.
Breakthrough: In the 2010s, starting with Inception for which he was awarded the BAFTA rising star award.


Orlando Bloom
Taken: At the Cannes Film Festival in 2001 months before the first of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was released.
Breakthrough: Playing Legolas in the Lord of the Rings franchise.



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