Nobody ever said the path to fame was easy. For many A-list actors and actresses, the first credits on their résumés were commercials, and we tracked down 20 food commercials starring celebrities before they made it big.
When a struggling actor or actress first gets an agent, they’re sent out on as many auditions as possible in the hopes that something — anything — will stick. For most, those first paychecks come in through commercials, and help supplement an income earned through a job with a flexible schedule, like waiting tables. Many child actors also get their start in commercials, and you won't believe how many of today's stars started out as kids!
Appearing in a nationally televised commercial is a bigger deal than you may realize. Not only can it result in a financial windfall — depending on the contract, the star can get paid for appearing in the commercial and for every time it airs — but it can also lead to national recognition. Have you ever seen someone in a movie or TV show and not quite been able to place them? It could be because you saw them in a commercial. And the stars of long-running campaigns (like Flo from Progressive Insurance, played by Stephanie Courtney) can become certified celebrities in their own right.
Even the most successful people in their field had to start somewhere, and the same can be said for actors and actresses. Some of these performers went on to star in TV shows, movies, or both, and there’s something funny about seeing them shilling products as unknowns. It just goes to show: If you have a dream, never give up hope.