The Early TV Appearances of 9 More Stars

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A lot of readers seemed to enjoy last week's look at the early roles of actors who went on to bigger and better things (and you guys came up with a lot of good ones on your own as well!) Your collective power of recall inspired me to so some further sleuthing through the archives; I hope you enjoy this second installment of big hair and bad fashions!

1. Michelle Pfeiffer

After Animal House became a bona fide box office hit, all three TV networks scrambled to get a frat-house sitcom on the air in 1979. ABC's Delta House was the most "official" of the trio, having signed a few of the actors from the original film. Nevertheless it only lasted for 13 episodes. She's not listed, but that's Michelle Pfeiffer (in her very first role) smooching Otter during the opening credits.

2. Jennifer Aniston

Another ill-fated attempt at cashing in on a hit teen movie was 1990's Ferris Bueller. It lasted only a few months, but remains slightly memorable as the launching pad for Jennifer Aniston, who, prior to having her deviated septum repaired, resembles a young Mayim Bialik. Interestingly enough, when Ferris Bueller was cancelled, it was replaced mid-season by Blossom, starring Mayim Bialik.

3. Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster was just seven years old when she appeared in this episode of Julia, but even at that tender age she reads her lines like a pro compared to fellow child actor Marc Copage ("Corey Baker"), who punctuates each! word! with! an! exclamation! point!

4. Kirstie Alley

Fresh from Wichita, Kansas, meet Kirstie Alley, interior designer and Password Plus contestant. One year earlier Alley had appeared as a contestant on Match Game, where Dick Martin was one of the panelists. The Standards and Practices folks apparently weren't as diligent back then.

5. Richard Pryor and 6. Louis Gossett, Jr.

Thanks to a booking mix-up, the members of the Partridge Family found themselves slated to perform at an inner-city Detroit club. Unfortunately, the club's owners "“ played by Louis Gossett, Jr., and Richard Pryor - were expecting the Temptations. Keith Partridge saved the day by writing an "Afro-themed" song which was catchy enough to get the locals to open up their wallets and help save the struggling club.

7. Leah Remini and 8. Vivica A. Fox

In 1989 the producers of Who's the Boss? slipped in an episode that served as a back-door pilot for a possible spin-off series about teen fashion models. Leah Remini starred as Charlie Briscoe, the street-wise n'er-do-well with sufficiently good bone structure to land her a spot at Michael Learned's modeling agency. One of her fellow trainees was a girl named Emily Franklin, played by Vivica A. Fox. Living Dolls did get picked up as a series (with a then-unknown Halle Berry playing the role of Emily), but was cancelled after 12 episodes.

9. Quentin Tarentino

Look carefully at the group of Elvii in the last two minutes of this Golden Girls clip. The rhythmically impaired Elvis in the second row (behind the one with the guitar) is director Quentin Tarentino. Uh huh huh.

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July 22, 2009 - 1:18pm
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