Fast Fact Tuesday: Disney Stars Who Made It Big

04 August 2015
While some of us may have grown up watching Disney movies, others started their careers with the giant of entertainment.
Disney Stars

While some of us may have grown up watching Disney movies, others started their careers with the giant of entertainment.

For Fast Fact Tuesday, M-Net Movies is taking a look at ten actors who got a head start on their careers with Disney, are still working successfully today and, in most cases, didn’t fall off the bandwagon completely into a quagmire of drugs and alcohol.

1. Zac Efron

He got his big break with High School Musical proving he could not only sing, dance and act, but had star potential to boot. He successfully carried the movie in the company of Vanessa Hudgens, leading to two sequels.  His lead star potential has led to a decent movie career, but nothing that has really allowed him to flex his acting chops so far.

Watch Zac Efron in 17 Again on Tuesday 4 August at 19:00 on M-Net Movies Romance 107.

2. Vanessa Hudgens

Efron’s High School Musical co-star has forayed into movies as well, while still sticking to musicals. Hudgens performed in Rent on stage; and landed the title role in Gigi, eventually landing up on Broadway.

3. Shia LaBeouf

When you think Shia LaBeouf you think Transformers. But long before he took the leading human role in three of the live action movies made by Michael Bay, he had a starring role in the Disney Channel show Even Stevens.

4. Selena Gomez

Even though Gomez started her career with Barney & Friends, she became renowned for her role in The Wizards of Waverly Place.  She continued acting after the show finished, while also focusing on her career as a singer and fashion designer.

5. Justin Timberlake

Like many pop stars, including Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, Timberlake broke onto the scene with The Mickey Mouse Club. Later he made tweens swoon as part of the boy band ‘N Sync. He eventually went solo, enjoying great success in the music business, and a go at acting. Timberlake appeared in an array of rom-coms, as well as more serious films such as The Social Network and Inside Llewellyn Davies.

6. Keri Russell

Also getting her start on The Mickey Mouse Club was Keri Russell, who eventually went on to star in the title role in TV’s Felicity. She made a string of movies with middling success before making a welcome return to television with The Americans.

Watch Keri Russell in The Americans Season 3 every Tuesday at 20:00 on M-Net Edge.

7. Miley Cyrus

Hannah Montana made her one of the highest paid child TV stars. Cyrus tried to make the crossover into film and after a few weak attempts decided to take over the pop charts instead.

8. Anne Hathaway

There’s even an Oscar winner in the ranks of Disney stars. Hathaway got her big break with The Princess Diaries' movies. It took a while for her to shed the princess image, but she eventually managed it, impressing with serious roles in Brokeback Mountain, The Dark Knight Rises and Les Misérables.

9. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Another Batman alumni is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. As a youngster he was best known for his role in Third Rock from the Sun, but just two years before he made it onto the hit TV show he appeared in the Disney movie Angels in the Outfield. He has enjoyed huge success on the big screen as well, working with directing greats such as Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg and Robert Rodriguez, and even went behind the lens himself with his directing debut Don Jon.

10. Raven-Symoné

She won everyone’s affection during her time on The Cosby Show and then made her way into the limelight with the Disney shows The Cheetah Girls and That’s So Raven. Today she continues acting and singing, and has appeared on Broadway.

Which Disney star success story is your favourite?