11 photos of your favorite TV stars before they were famous

Lucy, Carol and Andy all had to start somewhere.

Associated Press

Read to Me

When it comes to show business, everyone has to start somewhere. All of our favorite actors had to put in the time and sweat to have a hit TV show, not to mention a little bit of luck. 

We're all familiar with what stars like Carol Burnett and Andy Griffith looked like while their familiar shows ran. But what were these actors doing before everybody knew their names?

Some were mingling with presidents, others were hanging out with primates. Here's a look!

Carol Burnett 

Associated Press

Ten years before her self-titled television show became a hit with audiences, Burnett sang a rendition of "I Made a Fool of Myself Over John Foster Dulles" in 1957.

Lucille Ball 

Associated Press

Although Lucille Ball was a reputable film actress before she jumped to television with I Love Lucy in 1951, the country didn't know her as the comedic genius and savvy businesswoman. This photo was taken in 1944, when Ball helped celebrate the birthday of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in Washington, D.C.

Andy Griffith 

AP Photo/David F. Smith

Griffith gets behind the camera for a brief moment while filming Onionhead, a movie about a recruit in the U.S. Coast Guard who loses his hair and is given the name "Onionhead." Thank God the actor jumped to television in 1960 with his own self-titled TV series. 

Alan Alda 

Associated Press

What gives? Before he was Captain Pierce on M*A*S*H, Alda was the star of Owl and Pussycat, a 1965 Broadway play also starring Diana Sands. 

William Shatner 

Associated Press

We seriously love the sweater Shatner was wearing while he promoted the Broadway play The World of Suzie Wong in 1958. Too bad Captain Kirk couldn't have shown more style on Star Trek

Florence Henderson 

Associated Press

Julie Andrews? Forget about her. Henderson appeared as Maria in a traveling production of The Sound of Music in 1961, four years before the Oscar-winning film came out, and eight years before Henderson snagged the role of Carol on The Brady Bunch. 

Tina Louise 

Associated Press

In this photo, Louise had just left New York's Supreme Court in 1957, after hearing testimony in the divorce proceedings of her mother, model Betty Myers, and stepfather, industrialist John Myers. While Louise had a few guest appearances on television, she would become a household name with the premiere of Gilligan's Island in 1964. 

Adam West 

Associated Press

Batman meets Barney. Although West had appeared on the short-lived series The Detectives, the country still truly didn't know who he was until he came out in Batman in 1966. Two years prior, West posed with Barney the monkey for the film Robinson Crusoe on Mars.

Bob Newhart 

Associated Press

Oddly enough, The Bob Newhart Show we all know and love wasn't the first show with that title. In 1961, Bob Newhart debuted an Emmy-winning, self-titled variety series that lasted for one season. One year before that, the comedian posed for a photo with George Burns, Gracie Allen and Jack Benny. 

Peter Falk 

Associated Press

Falk became the first person to be nominated for an Academy Award and Emmy Award in the same year in 1960, a feat he accomplished a second time the next year. However, the country wouldn't come to know Falk for the series Columbo for another eight years. This photo was snapped at the Emmy Awards in 1961, where Falk hid behind Fred Astaire and his daughter Eva. 

Cloris Leachman 

Associated Press

Just like Henderson, Leachman paid her dues as a Broadway actress before appearing on film and television. In 1952, the Emmy- and Oscar-winning actress assumed the lead in the Broadway musical South Pacific. 

 
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