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Aug 19 2008

12 Actors Whose Careers Seemed to Take Off After Appearing on Seinfeld

Published by at 10:00 am under Actors You Should Know


Seinfeld as you guys probably know by now, was/is my favorite show on television. And in addition to the many quirks and observations the show has been responsible for, I also think that it’s responsible for being the catalyst to many acting careers.

Some of these actually surprised me, but there are 12 actors that stand out whose careers really seemed to blossom after appearing on the show. For the record, before we even start, I’m knocking off Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Kristen Davis, and Marcia Cross. Garrett was big in the 80′s with stand up. Hatcher had already been in Tango and Cash, and Davis and Cross were already on Melrose place.

These actors? You’d be hard pressed to know who they were before making their presence known on Seinfeld

Mariska Hargitay

Seinfeld Fame

You may remember her in the Episode “The Pilot” where she played a woman auditioning for a role in the show “Seinfeld.” She had long hair in that episode and was extremely attractive. As you probably know she’s now a huge star with Law and Order.

Debra Messing

Seinfeld Fame

“Not to mention the Blacks and the Jews.” One of the most classic racist lines in that show was uttered by none other than Debra Messing. Messing was actually in the show a few times as a woman Jerry was interested in, except that she was always about to get married. Messing now? Will and Grace. Enough said and what an annoying show.

Megan Mullally

Seinfeld Fame

And yet another Will and Grace star, Megan Mullally played George’s girlfriend Betsy in “The Implant” episode. Although I think the character that really stole that show was Timmy who uttered the line “You double dipped the chip.”

Michael Chiklis

Seinfeld Fame

“You asked me if I’m in the city. Well, I’m in the city!” In 1991, Chiklis appeared in the “Stranded” episode where Jerry and Elaine wind up stuck at a party in Long Island which is hosted by the character Steve Pocatillo, played by Chiklis. Chicklis went on to the big time with The Shield.

Jennifer Coolidge

Seinfeld Fame

Who can ever forget Stiffler’s mom? Well, Coolidge is the Masseuse Jody in the episode “The Masseuse.” “I find it irresistible.”

Catherine Keener

Seinfeld Fame

Keener is Jerry’s girlfriend Nina in “The Portrait” episode. This episode produced the famous “Kramer” portrait. Since then Keener is pretty big time with Being John Malkovitch and 40 Year old Virgin as the two most well known.

Christine Taylor

Seinfeld Fame

Taylor still hadn’t married Ben Stiller yet and I suppose you can count the Brady Bunch Movie and Showdown as big successes but come on. She wasn’t really known until after she married Stiller. And that meeting didn’t take place until after the show. I wonder if Jerry Stiller had anything to do with the meeting. Oh yes, she played Jerry’s “loser” girlfriend Ellen in “The Van Buren Boys” episode.

Denise Richards

Seinfeld Fame

Who can forget her as the cleavage laden 15-year-old daughter of NBC exce Russ Dalrymple? Richard has since gone on to bigger things, especially Wild Things.

Courteney Cox

Seinfeld Fame

Nope, she wasn’t on Friends yet. And nope, she wasn’t in Ace Ventura yet. Yes, she was in Family Ties in the 80′s but Cox obviously reached the big time with Friends. And who can forget her as Jerry’s “wife” in “The Wife” episode?

Jon Favreau

Seinfeld Fame

Unless you count the movies PCU and Rudy, Favreau was not a well known actor until Swingers which came out in 1996. And when was he in Seinfeld? 1994′s “The Fire” episode as Eric the Clown. “You’re living in dreamworld man.” Now Favreau is a great director and has some small parts in his movies.

Amanda Peet

Seinfeld Fame

It takes two people to date this chick. Remember “The Summer of George” episode where Jerry teams up with George to date one woman? That woman is Amanda Peet.

Daniel Dae Kim

Seinfeld Fame

I don’t even think Kim had a speaking part as a Medical Student in the 1998 “The Burning” episode. Now Kim is pretty famous with Lost.

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12 responses so far

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  • Adam Duncan

    What about Jeremy Piven from the Pilot episode who almost played George better than George. Won Emmy for Ari Gold on Entourage.

  • Natty

    What and not give credit to one of the stars of Lucas and PCU?

  • biffcollins

    Daniel Dae Kim’s only word was gonorrhea….seriously

  • http://wordpresspodcast.org Charles Stricklin

    Don’t forget Teri Hatcher who answered the question “They’re real, and they’re fabulous!”

  • http://www.mesmerlab.com Jason

    Jami Gertz was a Jerry girl. Now probably best known as Judy Miller; Bill Miller’s hot wife on Still Standing.

  • http://www.mesmerlab.com Jason

    Sorry for the double post but I forgot the details.

    Jami was the girl who couldn’t spare any TP in the episode named “The Stall”. She was also a sex phone operator.

  • Dylan

    No Bryan Cranston?! Played the recurring role of Dentist Dr. Tim Whatley. He had a lot of classic moments in the show best I can think of off my head would be “Converting to Judaism simply for the jokes.”

  • cranium7

    Really? Brian Cranston didn’t make the cut!?

  • Dan

    What, you never watched “Hey Dude” as a kid?



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