8 Famous Celebs You Didn’t Know Got Their Start On Reality TVPublished on August 21, 2013. Updated March 12, 2014
Though reality shows may shock, entertain and wow us with their over the top plot lines and out of control cast behavior, they also play a role in propelling budding stars into the spotlight of subsequent television and movie roles. Below are eight celebs whose journey to fame started on reality television.
1. Josh Henderson
Henderson got his celebrity boost by competing on the WB reality show, Popstars. Though his talent won him a position in Scene 23, the group later disbanded due to record company problems. Following his reality show experience, Henderson went on to pursue modeling, singing and acting and has appeared in productions of Maybe It’s Me, Rodney, and The Girl Next Door. He is best known for his co-starring role as Austin McCann in ABC’s Desperate Housewives.
2. Jacinda Barrett
After winning the annual Dolly Covergirl contest in Australia in 1988, Barrett went on to become a cast member in the reality show, The Real World: London. Following her Real World experience, Barrett went on to receive an education from the British American Drama Academy at Oxford. She made her film debut in 1997 in the movie, Campfire Tales and was cast in the first and only season of NBC’s primetime soap opera, Wind on Water. She also starred in several hit films including Ladder 49 and The Last Kiss.
3. Lucy Hale
Hale’s acting origins came from the reality show, American Juniors where she performed in a vocal group with the top 5 contestants. Following her time with the reality program, Hale went on to pursue an acting and singing career. She has been seen in both television and film productions including: Pretty Little Liars, CSI: Miami, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, and A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song.
4. David Giuntoli
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in International Business and Finance, Giuntoli was discovered by MTV talent scouts and was cast in the reality series, Road Rules: South Pacific. Following his time with the production, he went on to be cast in the Real World/Road Rules Challenge and then to appear in a variety of television programs such as Cold Case, Grey’s Anatomy, Ghost Whisperer, and Grimm.
5. Emma Stone
Though she is best known for her work in films such as Crazy Stupid Love, The Help and Easy A, Stone’s big acting break came when she won the part of Laurie Partridge on the VH1 reality competition, In Search of the New Partridge Family. In addition to her famous film work, she has also starred in a number of television shows including Malcolm in the Middle, Medium, and Lucky Louie.
6. Heather Morris
Morris began her acting, singing and dancing career in 2006 when she competed in Season 2 of the reality television show, So You Think You Can Dance. Though she failed to make it to the final 20, Morris’ big break came when she earned the coveted position of backup dancer for Beyoncé’s world tour, The Beyoncé Experience. Since then, Morris has gone on to appear in a number of roles though she is most known for her part of Brittany S. Pierce on Glee.
7. Jamie Chung
Chung’s chance at fame came when she was cast in the 2004 installment of the MTV reality series, The Real World: San Diego. Following her time there, she went on to participate in The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno II. After her stint on reality T.V., Chung went on to star in both film and television roles including Grown Ups, The Hangover Part 2, Sucker Punch, and Once Upon A Time.
8. Matt Lanter
Lanter’s acting and modeling career began in 2004 when he was cast in the Bravo reality show, Manhunt: The Search for America’s Most Gorgeous Male Model. Though he did not win the competition, he was soon cast in other television and film roles such as Heroes, 8 Simple Rules, Big Love, Disaster Movie, Vampires Suck, Epic Movie and, perhaps most notably, the CW’s 90210.