29 TV Stars Who Started on Soaps

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Did you know that some of your favorite TV stars were once on soap operas. Check out who made the jump from daytime to prime time TV.

1. Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon
Mark Harmon has been all over our TV screens since the mid-1970s but long before he was our beloved Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS he was Fielding Carlyle on the prime time sudser Flamingo Road.

2. Darby Stanchfield

Darby Stanchfield
Just a few years before we were introduced to one of our favorite Gladiators on Scandal, she played Amelia Joffe on ten episode of General Hospital.

3. Tom Selleck

Tom Selleck
We know him now as Frank Reagan on Blue Bloods and Jesse Stone and who doesn't remember him as '80s icon Magnum P.I? But did you know that Tom Selleck was once Jed Andrews on The Young & the Restless?

4. Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar
The Crazy Ones are over and we'll never forget her as Buffy the Vampire Slayer but did you know that Sarah Michelle Gellar was once Erica Kane's long lost daughter on All My Children?

5. Nathan Fillion

Nathan Fillion
Long before we knew his as mystery writer Richard Castle or Captain Mal on Firefly he was Joey Buchanan, who slept with his mom's arch enemy on One Life to Live.

6. Bellamy Young

 Bellamy Young
You may know her now as the most dynamic and dangerous First lady on Scandal, but if you were a fan of NBC's soap Another World, you may have noticed Bellamy as Dr. Courtney Evans.

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Nashville's cast members Jonathan Jackson won five emmys as Lucky Spencer on Gh. Hayden P she played Lizzie Spaulding Guiding Light and she was Sarah Roberts on one life to live that was b4 GL. Criminal Minds Shemar moore he was Malcolm on Y&R. Dallas Jesse Metcalfe was on passions. Judith Light (Dallas and SVU) played Karen on oltl. Law order SVU Kelli Giddish played DI Henry on All my Children

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Judith Light, who's appeared as a judge on Law & Order: SUV, used to play "Karen" of "Larry and Karen together forever" on All My Children. Ms. Light also has had an outstanding career on Broadway.


This list severely lacks some very important former soap actors who are on primetime. Jonathan Jackson got his start on soaps and is the youngest and most decorated emmy winner for his roles as Lucky on GH. Also Shelley Henning was also on Days of Our Lives. Jesse Metcalfe was on Passions, Justin Hartley also Passions, and Jordanna Brewster was on As the World Turns. Interesting how you mention Paul Wesley's side bits on his soaps but forget Zach Roerig was on ATWT right before he got TVD. Also Hayden from Nashville like Jonathan was on Guiding Light.

@ CC

I'll always think of Jackson as Lucky and Hayden as Lizzie! Check out The Vampire Diaries before they were stars slideshow. I got a pic of Zach in his first episode of ATWT!

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NCIS Quotes

McGee: Gorney, need a towel or a fan over there?
Ned: You try navigating this gauntlet, Timmy boy. Feels like I just spent hours running through catacombs to kill a dragon-priest only to step outside and have another dragon riding right on my tail.
McGee: It's an obscure Skyrim reference boss that actually makes perfect sense.
Gibbs: Thank you elf-lord. What did you find, dragon-priest?

Keates: Spider?
Tony: Keates?
Gibbs: You know her?
Tony: Um, well I..in a sort of...yeah. She's Philly PD.
Keates: She was. She's ATF now. Special Agent Zoe Keates. You want to get that gun out of my face and come over here and give me a hug?