The talented actresses you are about to see received their big break many years ago. They were easily some of the best television stars and movie celebrities of their time. The women made a name for themselves with their acting talent. When their original shows went away, it wasn’t going to be a welcome surprise if they disappeared into the Hollywood shadows.
Thankfully, this isn’t the case! These actresses received a second chance in their acting careers. When they came back into the spotlight, their fans were waiting with open arms. It’s safe to say that they were pleasantly surprised. Their recent revival has been fun to watch! Now, newer generations can appreciate how great these acting women truly are. The actresses on our list may surprise you, but then when you’ll think about them again, it will make total sense. With the growing trend of woman empowerment especially in Hollywood, it’s actually nice to see that these women did not give up even though their round wasn’t as bright as they had imagined.
These are Hollywood’s finest ladies who’ve made a spectacular comeback!
Alexis Bledel – Then
When we first saw Alexis Bledel on the small screen, she had a starring role on the hit dramedy, Gilmore Girls. On the show, she played Rory Gilmore. She acted opposite actress Lauren Graham. Gilmore Girls ran for seven seasons and captured the hearts of many viewers while on air.
Even though this was Alexis’ first big break, many in the industry noticed her great acting talent. She was nominated and won many awards during the time Gilmore Girls was showing. The accolades included a Young Artist Award and Teen Choice Award. When the series ended in 2000, Alexis tried to ride the wave of success she received on Gilmore Girls. Unfortunately, we only saw her in one hit movie, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, years later.
Alexis had an amazing turnaround! Click ‘Next’ to read on!
Alexis Bledel – Now
Thankfully, Alexis didn’t get lost in the Hollywood shuffle. Since 2005, she had a few smaller roles on indie films that didn’t get much attention. Then in 2016, Netflix decided to make a reboot of Gilmore Girls.
Alexis quickly accepted the offer and was set to play Rory once again. The series was four shows that were 90 minutes long. Old and new fans rushed to Netflix to watch the still-popular series. After that recent appearance, she nabbed the role of Oflgen on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Her acting on this show gave Alexis her first Emmy nomination in 2017. It was clear proof that she still had the acting chops we saw on Gilmore Girls! She now has some heat behind her, and we are sure to see her in more roles to come.
The next actress is a certifiable star! Click ‘Next’ to find out who it is!
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Then
When Julia Louis-Dreyfus first appeared on Seinfeld in 1990, audiences fell in love with her wit and charm. She played Elaine Benes for all nine seasons of the show. Surprisingly, her start on Seinfeld was not meant to be permanent. When producers saw the first episode, they felt the sitcom had too much testosterone! They needed a funny actress to offset that.
Julia beat many other famous actresses to play Elaine. As the seasons went on, she garnered many nominations. She even won a Golden Globe Award for her great and funny acting. After Seinfeld ended in 1998, Julia did a lot of voice work on animated movies and sitcoms. She also guest starred on popular shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm. She didn’t have any notable starring roles, but it was still good to see her working.
You won’t believe what else Julia has been up to! Click ‘Next’ for the fantastic details!
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Now
In 2005, Julia had another chance to work out her comedy muscles. CBS created a new show that was centered around her. The Adventures of Old Christine reminded audiences of what a great talent she really was. It was a ratings winner for five years.
After the show was cancelled, that didn’t stop Julia in the least bit. In 2011, HBO signed her onto Veep. She was again cast as the lead character. She has won six Emmys for her role as the United States Vice President. The record-breaking award wins are pure icing on her cake! Sadly, Julia let us in on her personal life struggles in 2017. She posted on social media that she is battling breast cancer. She has vowed to fight it and make universal healthcare a reality for all Americans.
These female TV icons are on fire! Click ‘Next’ for more fabulous women!
Claire Danes – Then
Claire Danes is a fantastic actress. She first entered the industry with a small role on Law & Order. Then two years later in 1995, she won the lead in the television drama My So-Called Life. She played 15-year old Angela Chase. The show was a smashing success with viewers.
Claire went on to win a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal of Angela. The show gave us a glimpse of what teenagers in the 1990s go through. It dealt with taboo subjects such as drug use and abuse. Even though it had a huge following, the show didn’t last. It surprisingly got cancelled after just 19 episodes. It was a blow to audiences who were given no reason why they pulled the influential show off the air.
Click ‘Next’ to read more. Claire was not going to let one round of bad news finish her!
Claire Danes – Now
My So-Called Life enabled Claire to win many other film roles after it was cancelled. Hollywood did not want to see the actress go to waste. In 1996, she played Juliet alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Romeo+Juliet.
After a few years of hit movies, Claire finally settled into a long-standing television role. She took a brief break from acting to go to school, and when she returned she dove in head first! In 2011, she signed on to play Carrie Mathison in the television series Homeland. The role is tough and gritty. She portrays a mentally ill CIA officer who has to keep her composure while working. She has gone on to win Golden Globes and Emmys for her work. She is proof that good actresses can finish on top!
Click ‘Next’ for another talented actress. She is unforgettable in everything she does!
Allison Janney – Then
Allison Janney is someone who knows the acting industry inside and out. Since we first saw her on one of her most popular roles, she was a force to be reckoned with. In 1999, she was cast as press secretary C.J. Cregg on the television drama The West Wing. Her work on the long-running show allowed her to display her strengths for all to see.
Allison knew how to use drama and comedy on the show to get her acting across. Before the show ended in 2006, she snagged countless awards for her portrayal as C.J. Not many actresses can say they won a handful of Primetime Emmy Awards in their career! Many of her fans hoped to see her on another television show or the big screen once The West Wing ended.
Click ‘Next’ for more on Allison. Her career has taken her on an amazing journey!
Allison Janey – Now
Once The West Wing came to a close, Allison decided to move away from television drama. She did some voice work for Disney and starred in a short-lived series called Mr. Sunshine. Then, from television, Alison went on to star in a few hit films such as The Help.
In 2013, Allison hit her stride when she signed on to play a dysfunctional parent on the CBS show Mom. She and fellow actress Anna Farris play a mother daughter duo who go through life having an odd relationship. Mom has won a lot of praise throughout its run. It was just renewed for a fifth season in 2017. Ratings are high in large part because of Allison and her fabulous acting skills.
Click ‘Next’ to read more about these tremendous acting stars! They are definitely here to stay!
Elisabeth Moss – Then
Elisabeth Moss first hit the television screen in 1990. While she had steady acting roles since then, she didn’t become a true household name until she was cast as Peggy Olson on Mad Men. In 2007, she played the part well and was nominated for five Emmy nominations during her time on the series.
The show lasted for eight years, and she was on top of her game. From there, Elisabeth decided to head to Broadway. She appeared as Heidi Holland in the play The Heidi Chronicles for a year. Despite the short run, Elisabeth still won a Tony nomination for her part in the production. She put her all into the role. You could tell her career is everything to her.
This has been the year for Elisabeth! Click ‘Next’ for the details!
Elisabeth Moss – Now
Elisabeth took a brief break from television to refocus on what she wanted out of her career. By the time 2017 came around, she was ready for whatever lay ahead. That is when Hulu came knocking on her door. They offered her a role of a lifetime.
She signed on to play Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale. The series is centered around a tough storyline. After a nuclear war, she was one of the few fertile women left in the world. Offred was captured by a wealthy group who use her to reproduce. Despite not having any power in the new world, Offred still manages to create the best life she can given the circumstances. Her portrayal got her recognized, and she now boasts two Emmys.
This next actress has been in our hearts for years! Click ‘Next’ to read on!
Keri Russell – Then
In 1998, Keri Russell rose to fame playing Felicity Porter in the television series Felicity. For four years, audiences were kept captivated by the college-age young woman who was trying to find herself while away at school.
The drama made Keri a star. She won a Golden Globe for the show that Time magazine pegged as one of the best television shows of all time. When the series ended, her fans did not want to say good-bye to the curly-haired acting great. Keri didn’t disappoint. She decided to go off-Broadway to showcase her acting even more. She starred in Fat Pig alongside Jeremy Piven for a year. While it didn’t win any major recognition, you could still tell Keri was happy in her new acting environment.
Keri managed to stay above water. Click ‘Next.’ She is an acting gift!
Keri Russell – Now
Since she left Felicity, Keri has tried her hand in many acting gigs. In addition to working in plays, she also went back to television and entered the film world. This included a co-starring role in Mission: Impossible III in 2005 and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 2014.
In 2013, Keri won the role of Elizabeth in the FX drama The Americans. The Cold War series has her playing a KGB officer posing as the wife and mom of a Virginia family. Since it debuted, the show has grown quickly. The final season is set to show in the early part of 2018. After that, who knows where Keri’s star is going to lead her? She can only go up from here!
The next woman is a megastar! Can you guess who it is? Click ‘Next!’
Samira Wiley – Then
Samira Wiley is a young actress who made her claim to fame in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. She plays Poussey Washington, a huge fan favorite of the show. The dark series shows how women interact in a minimum-security federal prison.
Before winning this role, Samira had limited roles mostly in theater. When she auditioned for the OITB series, she had never worked on a large production before. Over time, no one could tell she was a newcomer to the acting world. She can hold her own with the best of them! Her new fans knew that this was just the beginning for the rising actress. There has to be so much more on the horizon.
Click ‘Next’ to learn more about Samira! She is one to watch out for!
Samira Wiley – Now
When Samira’s character died in Orange is the New Black, her fans were devastated. No one saw it coming. What did that mean for an actress whose role in the show was cut way too short? Thankfully, we didn’t have to worry for too long. Samira can now be seen in The Handmaid’s Tale. In the Hulu series, she plays a woman who does not want to conform with her new way of life.
She gives a strong performance in each episode. There is no question why she has been nominated for an Emmy for her work in the series. In addition to acting, Samira also dabbles in modeling. Her face has graced the cover of Out magazine and other large publications. Not only can she act, but she looks good doing it too!
These actresses are great at their craft! Click ‘Next’ for more stunning stars!
Felicity Huffman – Then
In 2004, Felicity Huffman’s hard work paid off. After years of small roles on television and film, she finally landed a job of a lifetime. She was one of the co-stars of the hit ABC series, Desperate Housewives.
Felicity played Lynette Scavo. She was a mom who hated her life at home. She was the mom to four kids, and her husband was always away for work. She won an Emmy Award in 2005 for her work on the comedy. After eight seasons, the series had ended, and Felicity was at a crossroads in her career. She wanted something that was a complete departure from her Desperate Housewives character. She just hoped that someone was going to offer her another huge part in a film or television show.
Felicity is a true professional. Click ‘Next’ for the next amazing chapter in her career!
Felicity Huffman – Now
In 2013, Felicity signed on to act in the television drama Boomerang. The Fox show did not last long and was not picked up by the television station after its initial run. Felicity let the dust settle and looked at her options.
A year later, she was cast in the drama American Pilot. She was the lead role and also producer of the new series. In the show, she plays a special agent who is a part of a large trial that changes the life of all those who are a part of it. After its third season in 2017, ABC cancelled the series despite a huge following. Those that know Felicity and her work know she is going to be back before we know it. There is no doubt the best is yet to come!
Click ‘Next’ for an actress who has been in the game for a while! She is so good, it’s crazy!
Mayim Bialik – Then
In the 1980s, Mayim Bialik was a child actor who starred in many popular television shows and movies. When she nabbed the role of a young Bette Midler in the 1988 movie, Beaches, she was fully thrust into the limelight. She caught the eye of NBC producers who wanted her for a new sitcom in the works.
In 1990, after auditioning for the role, Mayim starred in Blossom. The television comedy had a five-season run and made her into a young star. The show focused on her character, Blossom, and her family. She was growing up in a home with a father and two brothers. While it was a funny series, the show often tackled larger issues that a teen goes through living in the 1990’s. It was family friendly and loved by many.
Click ‘Next’ for more info on Mayim. She has come a long way since her teenage acting days!
Mayim Bialik – Now
It is no surprise that we can see Mayim in all her glory today! After Blossom ended, she had many smaller roles on network television. Then in 2003, she got another big break. She landed the role of Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory.
The role fit her perfectly. In real life, Mayim went to school for neuroscience. Her role as Dr. Amy allows her to use what she knows and use it in each episode she is in. At times, the producers even turn to her for consulting work! While acting, Mayim also runs a lifestyle website and has written many books. The star describes herself as a “modern Orthodox” and is the face of many Jewish organizations across the country.
Another acting funny woman is on the way! Click ‘Next’ to read on!
Kaley Cuoco – Then
Kaley Cuoco could be seen in other small television roles before she landed Bridget Hennessy on 8 Simple Rules. In 2002, she got to act alongside John Ritter and Katey Sagal. As a teenager, she was expected to act well with the legendary actors, and she did it with ease!
8 Simple Rules lasted three seasons before it was cancelled in 2005 due to John Ritter’s death. Although it was a shock to all, Kaley pushed through. She was determined to stay in the business. Kaley acted in television original movies that included Disney Channel flicks and other children’s programming. Her acting skills and look seemed to fit the funny and carefree characters she often portrayed.
Click ‘Next’ for Kaley’s quick turnaround! She is all that and more!
Kaley Cuoco – Now
Now, we can see Kaley act along Mayim Bialik and others in The Big Bang Theory. She plays Penny, an aspiring actress who falls in love with one of the lead characters. In the show, we see she was made for comedy. It is nothing but laughs every minute with her at the helm!
Not only that, but Kaley is also one of the highest paid actresses we see on television today! She makes well over one million dollars per episode. She worked hard for her success, and she has also been recognized by the industry by winning awards for her role on the show. It has been 10 years since we first saw her on the show, and hopefully there are many more to come!