21 Actors Who Launched Their Careers on Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls not only provided a platform for its main cast to achieve fame, but it also served as a launching pad for several guest stars who went on to have successful careers. Here are 21 actors who made a mark after appearing on the show:
1. Chad Michael Murray’s first notable TV role was as Tristin Dugray on Gilmore Girls. This paved the way for his appearance on Dawson’s Creek, as well as his subsequent roles in movies like Freaky Friday, A Cinderella Story, and One Tree Hill.
2. Adam Brody’s breakthrough came when he portrayed Dave Rygalski in Season 3 of Gilmore Girls. That same year, he landed the role of Seth Cohen on The O.C.
3. Max Greenfield appeared in a 2003 episode of Gilmore Girls as Lucas, one of Dean’s friends. He later gained recognition for his role in Veronica Mars before ultimately starring as Schmidt in New Girl.
4. Nasim Pedrad’s first ever TV acting credit was as a waitress in a 2006 episode of Gilmore Girls. She went on to become a cast member on Saturday Night Live three years later.
5. Rami Malek’s acting journey began with his portrayal of Andy, a member of Lane’s study group, in Season 4 of Gilmore Girls. After appearing in several movies, he achieved critical acclaim for his roles in Mr. Robot and Bohemian Rhapsody.
6. Jon Hamm’s early career included a minor appearance as Peyton Sanders in Season 3 of Gilmore Girls. Five years later, he rose to prominence as Don Draper in Mad Men.
7. Krysten Ritter played Lucy, one of Rory’s friends at Yale, following her appearance on Veronica Mars. Two years after her stint on Gilmore Girls, she gained widespread recognition for her role as Jane on Breaking Bad.
8. In 2006, Danny Pudi portrayed Raj, a student working at the Yale Daily News, in Gilmore Girls. Three years later, he found success as Abed on Community.
9. Leslie Odom Jr. appeared as Quentin Walsh, a student journalist, in a 2006 episode of Gilmore Girls, following his recurring role on CSI: Miami. However, his most notable role came in 2015 when he originated the character of Aaron Burr in Hamilton.
10. Seth MacFarlane’s early acting career included his portrayal of Zach, a graduating student, in Season 2 of Gilmore Girls. Prior to this, he had already made a name for himself as a writer and voice actor on shows like Family Guy and Johnny Bravo.
11. Nick Offerman starred as Beau, Jackson’s brother, in Season 4 of Gilmore Girls. Four years later, he gained widespread fame for his role as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation.
12. Jane Lynch, known for her appearances in various TV shows and movies, played a nurse in Season 1 of Gilmore Girls. Nine years later, she achieved her biggest breakthrough as Sue Sylvester in Glee.
13. Abigail Spencer guest-starred as Megan, one of Logan’s sister’s bridesmaids, in a 2006 episode of Gilmore Girls. She has since landed significant roles in shows like Mad Men, Suits, Timeless, and Grey’s Anatomy.
14. Monique Coleman appeared as Andy, a Yale Daily News employee, in Season 4 of Gilmore Girls, two years prior to her role in High School Musical. Around the same time, she also had a recurring role on Boston Public.
15. Arielle Kebbel guest-starred as Lindsay Lister, Dean’s wife, in nine episodes of Gilmore Girls. She went on to secure roles in John Tucker Must Die and Aquamarine before starring in The Vampire Diaries.
16. Brandon Routh’s early acting career involved his portrayal of Jess, a concertgoer, in a 2000 episode of Gilmore Girls. Six years later, he gained recognition for his role as Clark Kent/Superman in Superman Returns.
17. Victoria Justice’s acting debut was as a girl at a children’s birthday party in Season 4 of Gilmore Girls. Two years later, she landed the role of Lola Martinez on Zoey 101, which eventually led her to Victorious.
18. Kendall Schmidt appeared as one of Taylor’s boy scouts in two episodes of Gilmore Girls in 2001, eight years before starring in Big Time Rush.
19. Masi Oka played a philosophy student in the Harvard class Rory attended in Season 2 of Gilmore Girls, five years before his breakout role on Heroes.
20. Ben Falcone had one of his early acting roles as Fran’s lawyer in Season 3. He appeared alongside his wife Melissa McCarthy and has since collaborated with her in numerous movies.
21. Alex Borstein portrayed Drella in Season 1 of Gilmore Girls. She later returned to play Miss Celine and achieved recognition for her roles in The Lizzie McGuire Movie and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, where she reunited with show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino.
Gilmore Girls also featured many other famous actors, musicians, and guest stars. Who are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!