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  1. #1
    Mighty Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Default TV actors that successfully transitioned to movies?

    For a long time, there has been a clear divide between movie actors and TV actors, with the latter getting mocked and made fun of for not being able to make it big in the real world. This has lessened greatly in recent years, with TV becoming a legitimate medium for storytelling and big budget high concepts in this decade, with even big name movie stars becoming actors in these shows. That said, what are the noteworthy cases of actors transitioning from small screen to big?

    Some that come to mind:

    Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
    Tim Allen (Home Improvement)
    George Clooney (ER)
    Denzel Washington (St. Elsewhere)
    Jennifer Aniston (Friends)
    Bruce Willis (Moonlighting)
    Michael J. Fox (Family Ties)
    Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation)
    Steve Carrell (The Office)
    John Krasinski (The Office)
    Seth Rogen (Freaks and Geeks)

    Who else is of note?

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member j9ac9k's Avatar
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    Woody Harrelson (Cheers)
    Jared Leto (My So-Called Life)

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member AndrewCrossett's Avatar
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    Judi Dench
    Art Carney
    Jim Carrey
    Will Ferrell
    Simon Pegg
    Danny DeVito
    Make America Good Again.

  4. #4
    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    Steve McQueen
    Clint Eastwood
    Michael Douglas
    James Garner
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  5. #5
    Incredible Member Marvelgirl's Avatar
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    Jennifer Garner
    (Alias)


    Jim Carey

    (Living Colour)

  6. #6
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    besides seth rogan , plenty cast members from freaks and geeks made the transition to movies - Linda Cardellini,James Franco,Jason Segel etc , strangely enough, the series wasn't a successful hit on tv

  7. #7
    Mighty Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

  8. #8
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    Tom Hanks
    Ron Howard
    Ted Danson
    Tom Selleck
    Jodie Foster
    Sally Field

  9. #9
    Boisterously Confused
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    Quote Originally Posted by caj View Post
    Tom Hanks
    Ron Howard
    Ted Danson
    Tom Selleck
    Jodie Foster
    Sally Field
    Outside of American Grafitti and The Shootist, I don't know that Howard had much big screen success as an actor. Now behind the camera? That's a different story.

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Outside of American Grafitti and The Shootist, I don't know that Howard had much big screen success as an actor. Now behind the camera? That's a different story.
    The thread title is "successfully transitioned into movies" so...
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Outside of American Grafitti and The Shootist, I don't know that Howard had much big screen success as an actor. Now behind the camera? That's a different story.
    He was a child actor on a very successful comedy and then co-starred in a very successful film. Most tv actors would kill to have that good fortune. The fact that he chose to be a director instead of an actor shouldn't exclude him. But whatever.
    Last edited by caj; 12-19-2019 at 12:06 PM.

  12. #12
    The Nature Boy AnakinFlair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Outside of American Grafitti and The Shootist, I don't know that Howard had much big screen success as an actor. Now behind the camera? That's a different story.
    How about CLINT Howard?

  13. #13
    Astonishing Member ChrisIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshal88 View Post
    besides seth rogan , plenty cast members from freaks and geeks made the transition to movies - Linda Cardellini,James Franco,Jason Segel etc , strangely enough, the series wasn't a successful hit on tv
    John Francis Daley is mainly known for BONES as an actor I think but he's certainly done a great deal of writing and directing. He directed Vacation and Game Night, and wrote those movies as well; he also wrote the Horrible Bosses films and co-wrote Spider-Man homecoming.


    Outside of Velma I think Cardellini, movie-wise, is kind of stuck in a lot of "housewife" style roles. Avengers of course but also many of her other film roles. TV wise she seems to get a lot more stuff to do.

    Chris Hemsworth was a soap opera actor before Star Trek gave him his big break. Pierce Brosnan was also in the series Remington Steele, and would've been Bond sooner but there was some contract issue. Kind of allowed him to hone his movie career better though (Fourth Protocol, Mrs. Doubtfire etc) (I wouldn't count Moore, despite his tenure as the Saint he was doing a lot of films already at the same time).
    Last edited by ChrisIII; 12-19-2019 at 02:41 PM.
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  14. #14
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
    Note that the British market for actors are very different from the one in the USA. There is nothing unusual in a Danish, Swedish, or British actor moving fluidly between theatre, tv, and movie roles, and I think that's true for a lot other European countries.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member ChrisIII's Avatar
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    Yeah, Stewart was doing films like Excalibur, Dune and Lifeforce before TNG.


    Here's another: Karen Gillian. Went from Doctor Who to the MCU, Jumanji etc. and other films.
    chrism227.wordpress.com Info and opinions on a variety of interests.

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