20 Famous Actors Who Made Their Film Debut In 1991 - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

Home Top Ad

Post Top Ad

20 Famous Actors Who Made Their Film Debut In 1991

They may be household names nowadays but everyone has to start somewhere...
For every big box-office success, there are a significantly bigger number of lessor-popular features. Movies which often find an audience on home video or, nowadays, through streaming services. Many of these films tend to look for newer talent to flesh-out the cast, because newer can often equal cheaper! And even the occasional big budget Hollywood movie utilises some new names within supporting role, leading to many actors and actresses who are still looking for that big-break nab their first named-role in a movie finally kick-starting their IMDB filmography credits.

Occasionally some of these actors go on to greatness, winning the hearts of audiences, the respect of their peers and multiple Academy Awards. We've rounded-up 20 actors who are household names today but got their first break 30 years ago back in 1991 in a variety of cinematic productions, and it has to be said that some of them are of varying quality. How many of these famous people did you spot in these films?...

1. Leonardo DiCaprio in Critters 3
Up there at the top of the page is the very youthful, 16 year old Mr Leonardo DiCaprio making his cinematic debut as Josh in Critters 3 (not 1 or 2, but 3). Although he's now received multiple Best Actor nominations, and taken home two Academy Awards for such, alas no such accolade was forthcoming for DiCaprio's turn in this 1991 science fiction comedy horror.

DiCaprio had actually been in the business for a decade before landing this role, appearing in many commercials ('Bubble Yum: Keeps it Poppin') and brief guest star roles in several TV series' like The New Lassie and Santa Barbara, but Critters 3 was his first film and also lead role. Whilst filming the movie, DiCaprio was cast as Gary Buckman in the short-lived prime-time TV adaptation of Parenthood. Within two years he'd find much acclaim through films like What's Eating Gilbert Grape and This Boy's Life, before 1996s Romeo + Juliet and 1997s Titanic cemented his place among Hollywood's A-listers.

Leonardo DiCapri might be the biggest star to make his cinematic debut in 1991, but he's certainly not the only Oscar winner to have done so...
2. Halle Berry in Jungle Fever
Halle Berry scored her first on-screen acting break in 1989 in the TV series Living Dolls, but got her first film role in 1991 as Vivian alongside Wesley Snipes, Samuel L Jackson, Tim Robbins and more in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever.

Known primarily for her high-profile roles in the 2000s, such as Storm in X-Men and its sequels X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand, plus as Bond girl Jinx in Die Another Day, Berry also won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the romantic drama film Monster's Ball, becoming the first and only woman of color to have won the gong to date.
3. Paul Giamatti in Past Midnight
He first garnered attention for his breakout role in the 1997 Howerd Stern film Private Parts as Kenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton, which led to his playing more supporting roles such as Sergeant William Hill in the following year's Saving Private Ryan, but Paul Giamatti began his movie career in the Rutger Hauer starring 1991 neo-noir thriller Past Midnight playing Larry Canipe.
4. Steve Carell in Curly Sue
I suspect even Steve Carell himself doesn't believe he could ever have been so young, but here he is playing the minor part of Tesio in 1991s Curly Sue (credited in the film as Steven Carell). This was Carell's first ever on-screen role, outside of a 1989 commercial for restaurant chain Brown's Chicken, as he largely performed on stage and in improv comedy theater at the time. Although he became well known during the 90s on the small screen, thanks to his contributions to The Dana Carvey Show and The Daily Show, it would be his role as Brick Tamland in 2004's Anchorman and Michael Scott in The Office that would make Star Carell a star.
5. David Schwimmer in Flight of the Intruder
Three years before he got himself five really good Friends, David Schwimmer landed his first movie role playing a Duty Officer in the 1991 war film Flight of the Intruder.
6. Jim Caviezel in My Own Private Idaho
It's Jesus Christ himself! River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves both co-starred in My Own Private Idaho, so the independent production garnered much interest, and among the supporting cast playing an Airline Clerk was a young James Caviezal. Little did he know at the age of just 22 he was destined to be the Messiah one day.
7. Philip Seymour Hoffman – Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole
Anyone see Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole back in 1991? Or since? Nope? Me neither. But I suspect Philip Seymour Hoffman's family did as the actor kick-started his movie career with a supporting role as Klutch in the independent crime thriller.

Hoffman of course became well known for his distinctive supporting and character roles — typically lowlifes, eccentrics, bullies and misfits — and acted in many films, including leading roles, until his death in 2014. Among the mightily impressive resume he left behind are turns in Patch Adams, The Big Lebowski, Magnolia, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Almost Famous, Punch-Drunk Love, Along Came Polly, and his memorable portrayal of the author Truman Capote in 2005s Capote which won him multiple accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Actor.
8. James Gandolfini in The Last Boy Scout
Bruce Willis' follow-up to the much maligned Hudson Hawk proved slightly more popular with critics and audiences alike, and there among the cast, playing one of Sheldon Marcone's Henchman was Tony Soprano himself, James Gandolfini.
9. Joshua Jackson in Crooked Hearts
The Dawson's Creek and Fringe star was just 12 when he landed the role of 11 year old Tom, appearing in flashback for Peter Berg's character during the 1991 drama film Crooked Hearts.
10. Gwyneth Paltrow in Shout
Films such as Seven, Emma, Sliding Doors, and Shakespeare in Love, which won her several awards including the Academy Award for Best Actress, made Gwyneth Paltrow a household name. But long before any of those movies, and years before she branched out into Goop, young Gwyneth made her cinematic debut as Rebecca in the 1991 John Travolta-starring musical romance Shout, which narrowly beat Hook to the cinema screens where she also played the young Wendy in a flashback scene.
11. Leslie Mann in Virgin High
Playing Squiggle Girl in the 1991 Catholic school comedy Virgin High, a film that also featured one-time Boy Wonder Burt Ward among the cast, must've felt like a golden opportunity for 18 year old Leslie Mann after only previously landing a string of commercials. She'd of course go on to make her name starring in numerous comedies, including The Cable Guy (where she met and subsequently married director and producer Judd Apatow), George of the Jungle, Big Daddy, Knocked Up, 17 Again, Funny People, and This Is 40.
12. Téa Leoni in Switch
Her breakthrough role came in the 1995 action comedy film Bad Boys, and in later years Téa Leoni scored lead roles in films such as Deep Impact, The Family Man, Jurassic Park III, Spanglish and Fun with Dick and Jane, alongside a six season run starring in the CBS political drama series Madam Secretary, but her cinematic career began back in 1991 playing the very brief role of Connie the Dream Girl in the Ellen Barkin comedy Switch.
13. Heath Ledger in Clowning Around
Well isn't this a thing! After his untimely death, Heath Ledger received numerous posthumous awards for his work on The Dark Knight, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker. Just under two decades earlier, Ledger had made his film debut in a 1991 Australian production (released internationally in 1992) titled Clowning Around. Ledger appears in the last ten minutes as an orphan clown who closes the film by delivering its final lines. Sadly he didn't return for the 1993 sequel, the imaginatively titled Clowning Around 2.

Ledger's Brokeback Mountain co-star also made his cinematic debut in 1991...
14. Jake Gyllenhaal in City Slickers
As Danny Robbins, Jake Gyllenhaal got his big break playing the son of Billy Crystal's character in the hit 1991 Western comedy City Slickers.
15. Reese Witherspoon in The Man in the Moon
The recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, a British Academy Film Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award, Reese Witherspoon is one of the highest-paid actresses in the world, but it all began back in 1991 when she was just 14 and landed the role of Dani Trant in the coming-of-age drama The Man in the Moon.
16. Thandiwe Newton in Flirting
We've been both spelling and pronouncing her name wrong for the best part of 30 years, but the Mission: Impossible 2, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Westworld and Crash star sorta gave everyone a huge hint to the correct spelling of Thandiwe as although she was credited as Thandie Newton in the 1991 Australian drama Flirting, which she starred in opposite Nicole Kidman, her character was actually called Thandiwe Adjewa. So go figure.
18. Brendan Fraser in Dogfight
Probably best known for playing Rick O'Connell in The Mummy trilogy , as well as for leading roles in comedy and fantasy films including Encino Man, George of the Jungle, Bedazzled, Looney Tunes: Back in Action and Journey to the Center of the Earth, Brendan Fraser began his cinematic career in 1991 alongside River Phoenix when he landed a bit-part in the film Dogfight, playing a sailor who gets into a fight with the Marines whilst they are on their way to Vietnam.
19. Sophie Okonedo in Young Soul Rebels
Awarded an OBE in 2010 and a CBE nine years loater, Sophie Okonedo began her film career basn in 1991 playing Tracy in the British coming-of-age drama Young Soul Rebels, before appearing in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, and Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things.

Okonedo's breakthrough performance came in 2004, when she co-starred in the film Hotel Rwanda as Tatiana Rusesabagina, the wife of Rwandan hotel manager and humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed by American actor Don Cheadle. For this role, she became the second Black female Briton to receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the 77th Academy Awards in 2005.

Time for one more Brit to complete the list for today...
20. James Nesbitt in Hear My Song
Hailing from Northern Ireland, James Nesbitt had scored a few small television bit parts, including playing a robber in the children's series Jonny Briggs, prior to landing his first movie role as Fintan O'Donnell in the 1991 comedy film Hear My Song, based on the story of Irish tenor Josef Locke. Nesbit, of course, got his breakthrough role playing Adam Williams in the romantic comedy-drama TV series Cold Feet, and later portrayed Bofur in The Hobbit film series.

Did you see any of these films? And if so, did you spot any of these famous actors in them?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad