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Top 10 Celebrities Who Were on Friends BEFORE They Got Famous

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Spencer Sher
Script written by Spencer Sher Before they were A-List celebrities, these megastars made guest appearances on Friends! Do you recall the time celebs like Dan Bucatinsky, Craig Robinson, Melora Hardin, and Ellen Pompeo showed up in the Friends’ universe? Oh look how far they’ve come!

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Top 10 Pre-Fame Celebrity Appearances On Friends

Before they were stars, they were on one of the most celebrated sitcoms of all time.

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Pre-Fame Celebrity Appearances On Friends.

For this list, we’ll be looking at celebs who cut their teeth in one or more episodes of “Friends” before achieving widespread fame, either in film or on television.

#10: Dan Bucatinsky

He may be an Emmy winning actor and successful writer and producer, but Dan Bucatinsky’s career began slowly; with bit parts in films and TV shows peppered throughout the ‘90s and early 2000s. However, it didn’t take long after his 2002 appearance in this season nine episode of “Friends” for his career to truly hit its stride. Bucatinsky played a waiter who becomes increasingly impatient with the antics of Phoebe and Joey as they attempt to hold onto a large table while waiting for the rest of the gang to arrive. Bucatinsky would soon find himself starring on shows such as “Scandal” and “24: Legacy”.

#9: Scott Adsit

Long before he was making us laugh as Pete Hornberger on “30 Rock” and lending his unique vocal talents to big budget animated flicks like “Big Hero 6”, perennial funnyman Scott Adsit was just another LA actor looking for his first big break. It was at the onset of his career that he landed the role of “the director” in the season seven “Friends” episode “The One with Ross and Monica’s Cousin”. The part required him to inspect a nude Joey during an audition to make sure he wasn’t circumcised. A small, not to mention peculiar role, it was nevertheless a big stepping-stone for Adsit.

#8: Emily Osment

It’s pretty incredible to think that Osment is in her mid-20s in the mid-2010s, and yet has a “Friends” credit on her resume. The young actress scored a small part in the season eight episode “The One with the Halloween Party” when she was just nine years old! Osment played Lelani Mayolanofavich, a trick-or-treater that Rachel presents with a check made out to cash after she runs out of candy. Nowadays the world knows Osment as the former “Hannah Montana” cast member and current star of the sitcom “Young & Hungry”.

#7: Craig Robinson

A largely forgettable role, Craig Robinson’s time on “Friends” was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of moment. The future “Hot Tub Time Machine” star appeared on screen for less than 2 minutes, but still managed to score a couple of laughs thanks to his signature deadpan style of acting; a style that was perfectly suited to his role of Darryl Philbin on “The Office”. Robinson plays an office clerk who Phoebe visits when she is considering changing her name. A small role sure, but what actor wouldn’t want a “Friends” cameo on their resume?

#6: Leah Remini

Leah Remini’s connection to “Friends” is stronger than you think. The future “King of Queens” star actually auditioned for the role of Monica Geller, a role we all know went to Courtney Cox. Even though she didn’t get it, the producers must have liked something about her audition, because they decided to bring her back for the season one episode “The One with the Birth”. She played Lydia, a pregnant woman who Joey befriends at the hospital while waiting for Ross’s son Ben to be born. Unlike others on this list Remini actually made it into multiple scenes, with her and Joey sharing a number of funny, not to mention touching, moments.

#5: Rebecca Romijn

It might be hard to imagine, but there was a time when Rebecca Romijn was known more for her modeling than her acting. That all changed when she made her on-screen debut in the season four “Friends” episode “The One with the Dirty Girl”. Romijn played Cheryl, the titular dirty girl who Ross briefly dates until he discovers that her apartment is a little too messy for his tastes. Of course, messy is a bit of an understatement. The apartment looks more like a garbage dump, complete with live animals rummaging through the trash. Nowadays the world now knows Romijn best for her numerous films and TV roles, including Mystique in the “X-Men” franchise.

#4: Jim Rash

Who would have guessed that the character listed in the credits as “Nervous Passenger” from the “Friends” series finale would go on to achieve so much? Jim Rash had a brief but memorable cameo in this episode of the long running sitcom. He played a passenger on Rachel’s flight to Paris who freaks out when he overhears her talking to Phoebe on the phone about something being wrong with the plane. Of course Rash is now best known as an actor who has had hilarious roles in numerous films and TV shows, most notable of which was when he played Dean Craig Pelton on “Community”.

#3: Melora Hardin

While she appeared in countless film and TV roles before making an appearance in the first season of “Friends”, Melora Hardin wouldn’t achieve widespread fame until landing the role of Jan Levinson on “The Office”. Of course of all the actors on this list, Hardin’s cameo might just be the funniest. She played Celia, a woman Ross takes on a date and later back to his apartment; and that’s where things start to get interesting. First Marcel, Ross’s pet monkey, attacks her. You know, standard date stuff. Then she tries to get Ross to talk dirty to her, with a hilariously awkward result. Poor Ross just can’t catch a break.

#2: Paget Brewster

Before she was catching serial killers on “Criminal Minds” or popping up in episodes of “Community” and “Modern Family”, Paget Brewster was a young aspiring actress with zero credits to her name. That all changed when she landed the role of Kathy in season four of “Friends”. You’ll probably remember her as the woman who kisses Chandler while dating Joey. The ensuing fight between the two best friends remains one of the show’s best story arcs, with Joey ultimately allowing Chandler to date her after making him sit in a box on Thanksgiving. Of course Brewster’s character ends up cheating on Chandler as well. He probably should have seen it coming.

#1: Ellen Pompeo

When Ellen Pompeo made her one and only “Friends” appearance, few could have known that she was just one year away from becoming a household name. We are referring of course to the fact that in 2005 she landed the now iconic role of Dr. Meredith Grey on “Grey’s Anatomy”. But before she could become a TV doctor, she had to endure Ross’s advances at a college alumni dinner. The role was small and didn’t exactly give Pompeo much to work with, but it obviously impressed somebody, because a year later she was starring in a major network show! It just goes to show that you never know where a role may take you!


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