4 Digital +
2 Print/Digital Issues
Stars

Soap Dish: Before They Were Stars!

From household televisions to household names— meet the 18 celebs who got their big break on a CBS Daytime drama.

By Nate Millado


Julianne Moore

Actress Julianne Moore in an early role on As the World Turns.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images.

The Oscar-winning actress won an Emmy in 1988 for playing half-sisters Frannie and Sabrina Hughes on As the World Turns.

Christopher Reeve

A shirtless Christopher Reeve answers a phone on Love of Life.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images.

Coldhearted cad Ben Harper on Love of Life (1975–1976) was married to two women at the same time! So Reeve was well-prepped to play a reporter living a double life in Superman.

Kelly Preston

A young Kelly Preston poses in a red sweater against a coral colored background.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive.

She was Jerry Maguire's brutally honest fiancée, but in 1982 Preston played Gillian McCandless in the political soap Capitol.

Taye Diggs

Actor Taye Diggs in a scene from the CBS soap Guiding Light.

Photo Credit: Lorenzo Bevilaqua/TeleVest.

The Rent star leapt from stage to screen, making his TV debut in 1997 on Guiding Light as Adrian "Sugar" Hill, who dated Dahlia Crede (Sharon Leal). Now he plays Coach Billy Baker on The CW series All American.

Jason Biggs

A young Jason Biggs poses in a baseball jersey wearing a walkman and smiling at the camera.

Photo Credit: CBS/Everett Collection.

Before he was caught in a compromising situation with a plate of pastry, the American Pie star played troubled teen Pete Wendell on As the World Turns (1994–1995).

Ming-Na Wen

A very young Ming-Na Wen sits wearing a chunky 80's sweater and smiles.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive.

Before she voiced Mulan, Wen arrived in Oakdale in 1988 as Lien, Tom Hughes' love child from Vietnam. She left As the World Turns three years later.

Marisa Tomei

A young Marisa Tomei smiles at a beach location for As the World Turns.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images.

Her As the World Turns character, Marcy Thompson Cushing (1984–1985), falsely accused Dr. Bob Hughes (Don Hastings) of sexual harassment—then went on to marry a prince.

Melina Kanakaredes

An early posed photo of actress Melina Kanakaredes.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images.

For six seasons, she played Det. Stella Bonasera on CSI: NY; for four years, she played sweet Eleni Andros Cooper on Guiding Light (1991–1995).

Paul Wesley and Brittany Snow

A publicity photo from Guiding Light of actors Paul Wesley and Brittany Snow.

Photo Credit: Arthur L. Cohen/TeleVest.

The good vamp was a bad boy. Wesley—best known as bloodsucking heartthrob Stefan Salvatore—now stars in Tell Me A Story's re-imagined fairy tales, but once upon a time Wesley played troubled teen Max Nickerson on Guiding Light.

Snow was pitch-perfect as Susan "Daisy" Lemay on Guiding Light (1999–2000); Daisy dated Max Nickerson, played by Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries and Tell Me A Story).

David Hasselhoff

Black and white still of David Hasselhoff from The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive.

Before co-starring with a talking car and slo-mo lifeguards, The Hoff started his career on The Young and the Restless as Dr. William "Snapper" Foster Jr. (1975–1982)

Hayden Panettiere

A portrait of a very young Hayden Panettiere from her child star days on Guiding Light.

Photo Credit: Arthur L. Cohen/TeleVest.

She's played a superhero cheerleader and a country crooner from Nashville, but Panettiere also battled leukemia as Lizzie Spaulding on Guiding Light.

Shemar Moore

An early still image of actor Shemar Moore as Malcom Winters on The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive.

He's since starred in Criminal Minds and S.W.A.T., but one of Shemar Moore's most memorable roles remains Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless. The Emmy winner returned to Genoa City in 2019 to pay respects to his onscreen brother, Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John).

Dana Delany

A photo of a young Dana Delany in set for Love of Life.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive.

Before her star-making role as an American nurse in the Vietnam War, Delany played bad girl Amy Russell in Love of Life in 1980.

Eva Longoria

An early photo of Eva Longoria from The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: : Cliff Lipson/CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

She wasn't a housewife then, but The Young and the Restless' Isabella Braña (2001–2003) was still desperate to hang on to Paul (Doug Davidson) by giving birth to his son and attempting to kill Christine (Lauralee Bell).

Kevin Bacon

An early twenties Kevin Bacon smiles somewhat awkwardly for the camera.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images.

Bacon played alcoholic teen Tim "T.J." Werner on Guiding Light from 1980 to 1981, a few years before he got footloose.

Meg Ryan

A young Meg Ryan smiles and hugs herself while wearing a grey and red checked sweater.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive.

The rom-com queen played Betsy Stewart on As the World Turns from 1982 to 1984; her wedding to Steve Andropolous drew 20 million viewers! Yes! Yes! Yes!

James Earl Jones

An early black and white photo of a young James Earl Jones smiling broadly at the camera.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive.

The voice of Darth Vader and Mufasa appeared on two CBS soaps in the 1960s, portraying a doctor on both Guiding Light (Dr. Jim Frazier) and As the World Turns (Dr. Jerry Turner).

Originally published in Watch Magazine, November-December 2020.


MOST POPULAR

Trending

By viewing our video content you are accepting the terms of our Video Services Policy.
© 2020 CBS Interactive. All rights reserved.

Follow us: