Although there are only four soap operas currently on the air today, this genre of television used to be widely popular, with as many as 19 soaps on the air at one point. While many people dismiss and forget about soap operas, this genre has been the starting place for many young actors who have gone on to be some of the most recognizable celebrities today.
1. Sarah Michelle Gellar
Before landing the starring role in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and starring in movies such as "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "Cruel Intentions", Sarah Michelle Gellar originated the role of Kendall Hart on ABC's "All My Children" from 1993-1995. Gellar also won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1995 for her portrayal of the role.
2. Leonardo DiCaprio
Of Leonardo DiCaprio's many roles, one of his first was playing a young Mason Capwell in an episode of NBC's "Santa Barbara" in 1990.
3. Brad Pitt
In one of his first acting roles ever, movie star Brad Pitt appeared in a couple episodes of the NBC soap opera "Another World" in 1987 as basketball player Chris.
4. Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan is known today for starring roles in "Black Panther", "Creed", and other movies, but from 2003 to 2006, he starred in "All My Children" as Reggie Montgomery.
5. Chadwick Boseman
Coincidentally, before Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan went on to star in "Black Panther" together, they both played the same soap opera character! Back in 2003, Boseman originated the role of Reggie Montgomery on "All My Children" before Michael B. Jordan took over in the role.
6. Demi Moore
Demi Moore would eventually become one of the biggest movie stars of the 80's and 90's, but first came her breakout role as Jackie Templeton on ABC's "General Hospital" from 1982-1984.
7. John Stamos
Before becoming the lovable Uncle Jesse on "Full House", John Stamos also had a breakout role on "General Hospital" as Blackie Parrish from 1982-1984.
8. Mark Hamill
Mark Hamill is known for playing Luke Skywalker in the "Star Wars" franchise, but before playing Luke Skywalker, Hamill had a recurring role as Kent Murray on "General Hospital" from 1972-1973.
9. Julianne Moore
Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore got her acting start on the CBS soap opera "As The World Turns", playing the roles of sisters Frannie and Sabrina Hughes from 1985-1987. Moore also won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1988 for her work on the show.
10. Morgan Freeman
In the early 1980's, Morgan Freeman was on two soap operas: He played Cicero Murphy on "Ryan's Hope" in 1981 and Dr. Roy Bingham on "Another World" in 1983.