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From The Small Screen To The Big One: Many Stars Make The Leap

January 22nd, 2008 2:08pm EST
Will SmithTelevision actors must deal with the stigma of being TV stars instead of movie stars. However, some of our favorite movie stars started their acting careers on a TV show. So there is hope for all the celebs who have big-screen aspirations. Here is a look at some of the biggest stars in Hollywood who have made the leap from the small screen to the big screen:

Will Smith
Will Smith should be labeled "The King of the Box Office." His movies often make millions. His latest film "I Am Legend" broke all December opening records at the U.S. box office with a staggering $72.6 million opening take. But Smith first hit it big with his first TV series "The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air" playing Will, an inner-city teenager who moves to Bel-Air to live with his relatives.

Sarah Michelle Gellar
Sarah Michelle GellarBefore Sarah Michelle Gellar hit it big with the TV series "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" she was wreaking havoc in Pine Valley where she played Kendall Hart in the popular daytime soap "All My Children." Two years after she left Pine Valley she moved to Sunnydale where she was destined to be the Vampire Slayer. "Buffy" lasted six years and jump-started her successful movie career. She was part of the Scooby gang in both "Scooby Doo" films, she appeared in "Scream 2," starred in both "Grudge" films and was the voice of April in "TMNT." Gellar has a few movies in the works, including "The Air I Breathe" and "Possession."

Brad Pitt
Brad PittBrad Pitt's first credited role was as Chris on the former soap opera "Another World." After appearing on the soap, Pitt went on to make appearances in other TV shows like "Dallas," "21 Jump Street," "Growing Pains" and "Thirtysomething." Pitt didn't get much notice until he appeared in the popular 1991 movie "Thelma & Louise." Pitt hit the big time when he appeared alongside the than sane Tom Cruise in 1994's "Interview with the Vampire." Since than Pitt has been working non-stop and starred in over a dozen movies like "Fight Club," "Se7en," the "Ocean's" films and his Golden Globe nominated film "Babel." He recently starred in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford." Look for him in future movies like "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Chad Schmidt."

George Clooney
George ClooneyGeorge Clooney is a Golden Globe and Oscar winning actor, but before he won these coveted awards he was George Burnett on "The Facts of Life" and Brooker Brooks on "Roseanne." In 1994, Clooney got the role of a lifetime as Dr. Doug Ross on NBC's "ER" for six years. During his time on "ER" he appeared in movies like "Out Of Sight," "The Thin Red Line" and "From Dusk Till Dawn." His latest accomplishment? Being nominated, again, for an Oscar (he won Best Supporting Actor for "Syriana"). He just recieved another nomination for his role in "Michael Clayton."

Katherine Heigl
Katherine HeiglKatherine Heigl is new to the movie world, but with recent films "Knocked Up" and "27 Dresses" she is bound to have a great movie career. Heigl is more known for her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on ABC's hit series "Grey's Anatomy," but what some might now know is she first hit it big as Isabel Evans on the popular WB series "Roswell." With the success of "Grey's," Heigl went on to appear in movies like "Romy and Michelle: In The Beginning," "The Ringer" and "Caffeine." Heigl has one movie in the works titled "The Ugly Truth," and with the success of her last two films she will likely have a great film career.

Ryan Gosling
Ryan GoslingBefore he became a Golden Globe and Oscar nominee, Ryan Gosling was apart of the cast of "The New Mickey Mouse Club" alongside future superstars Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. During Gosling's earlier years, he appeared on shows like "Are You Afraid Of The Dark?" "Flash Forward" and "Young Hercules." Gosling has successfully made the move from TV star to mega movie star. Currently, Gosling doesn't have any films in the works since dropping out of the movie "The Lovely Bones," which is based off the Alice Sebold novel.

Kristen Bell
Kristen BellBefore Kristen Bell made it big playing a private eye's daughter in "Veronica Mars" she appeared in several TV shows like "The Shield," "American Dreams" and "Everwood." Bell is also the voice of Gossip Girl in the hit CW series and plays Elle Bishop in NBC's "Heroes." Thanks to the success of "Mars," Bell jumped from the small screen onto the big screen and appeared in movies like "Pulse," "Spartan" and the up-coming movies "Fanboys" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

Other actors who made the leap from the small to the big screen:

Jim Carrey: "In Living Color"

Jessica Alba: "The Secret World of Alex Mack," "Flipper" and "Dark Angel"

Amanda Bynes: "All That" and "The Amanda Bynes Show"

Paul Rudd: "Wild Oats" and "Sisters"

Who do you think should make the leap to the big screen? Make a comment!


Story by Angie Rentmeester
Starpulse.com contributing writer


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