This week, we read about one of Rooney Mara’s first acting gigs, as a guest on Law & Order: SVU. She’s not proud of the moment, calling the role “ridiculous,” which, let’s be honest, it probably was. But there’s not necessarily any shame in that. After all, many great (or at least famous) actors started out doing bit parts in cheesy movies and TV shows, especially in horror flicks, crime procedurals and soap operas. Inspired by Mara, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the most notorious (and unknown) early roles of actors and actresses who have stood the test of time. Obviously, every actor has to start somewhere, so there are an unlimited number of these, but these are our personal favorites — be sure to chime in with your own in the comments!
Clint Eastwood in Revenge of the Creature, 1955
No, Clint Eastwood was not always a rugged, scary older gent — there was a time when he was a Bowie-ish figure in his early 20s. Let’s be fair though: that time was in black and white. In an uncredited screen role, and his first known appearance on film, Eastwood plays a lab technician in the sequel to Creature from the Black Lagoon.