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Before They Were Anybody : Stars before they hit
PART THREE / / / by Cary O'Dell

Yes, it’s more “Before They Were Stars…” “TV Guide’s” fall preview issues from bygone days never fail to amuse or to prove the old adage that “You gotta start somewhere….”

The Street

Before she was an Oscar-winner for “A Beautiful Mind,” Jennifer Connelly was a member of the cast of “The Street” (sometimes written as “The $treet”). The series followed the lives of young up and comers in the world of finance and investing. The show was part of 2000-2001 season.

Out of Practice

Before he was everyone’s favorite “hip dad” on “Modern Family,” Ty Burrell was featured alongside Henry Winkler and Stockard Channing in the hour-long medical series “Out of Practice.” It was part of the 2005-2006 season.



A couple of future stars can be seen in this three-shot from the comedy “Townies” from 1996. Molly Ringwald was the star in the middle but that’s Jenna Elfman (pre-“Dharma & Greg”) on the left and Lauren Graham (pre-“Gilmore Girls” and “Parenthood”) on the right.

Can't Hurry Love / sitcom

“Can’t Hurry Love,” a sitcom starring Nancy McKeon, was on in the 1995 season. It featured a pre-“Law & Order” Mariska Hargitay who is pictured on the far left.

The Fanellis

And before he was on “SVU” (and when he had a little more hair) Christopher Meloni was on the short-lived NBC sitcom “The Fanelli Boys.” He co-starred with future “Sopranos” star Joe Pantoliano and with Ann Morgan Guilbert, who had made her name on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and was later Grandma Yetta on “The Nanny.” The “Fanellis” aired in 1990.


And before her “Law & Order” tenure, Angie Harmon starred in “C-16,” an FBI drama from 1997. The series co-starred Eric Roberts and D.B. Sweeney.

Bam & Alice

Before she went to work for “Monk” on the USA network, Taylor Howard was on the short-lived sitcom “Bram and Alice.” Part of the 2002 season, the series co-starred Alfred Molina.

Wild Oats / Paul Rudd sitcom

Before “Role Models,” “Dinner for Schmucks” and all of it, Paul Rudd tried his hand at the TV sitcom with his role in “Wild Oats” from 1994. Billed at that time as Paul Stephen Rudd, Rudd was one of a group of single 20-somethings living the life in Chicago. The show lasted four weeks.

The Crew / sitcom

Now he’s on “Nashville” and, before that, he was one of the resident cut-ups on the US version of “Whose Line is It Anyway?” But even before that, Chip Esten was on “The Crew,” a short-lived FOX sitcom about a group of flight attendants. The show aired in 1995. Its scheduling opposite “Friends” on NBC however doomed it quickly to the ground.


Speaking of “Nashville,” here’s Eric Close as he appeared in the 1994 drama “McKenna.” Close would rebound quickly from this 1994 flop by getting starring roles on “Now and
Again” and “Without a Trace.” Currently, he stars on the aforementioned “Nashville.” Also featured on “McKenna” was Jennifer Love Hewitt, later of “Party of Five” and now of “The Client List.”


Jake 2.0

Now the star of USA’s “Covert Affairs” and, before that, a boyfriend of Betty’s on “Ugly Betty,” Christopher Gorham began his TV career on the sci-fi series “Jake 2.0.” Unfortunately, despite “TV Guide’s” stamp of approval as seen here, the show did not last beyond the 2003 season.


Badland   /  Tv show

Finally, there was life before “Pysch” for James Roday. He was featured on the show “The Badland” from 1999. (Roday is pictured second from right.) The program was about cops working the worst neighborhoods in downtown Philly. Sean Maher and Roselyn Sanchez co-starred in the short-lived series.

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For more:
Before They Were Stars - Part One

Before They Were Stars - Part Two

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