From The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to The Facts of Life to Growing Pains, many classic sitcoms featured talented actors who went on to become big-screen action heroes. Here’s a list of some major stars who successfully went from television comedies to high-octane feature films.
Will Smith has proven himself as one of the most versatile entertainers in the world. Before becoming one of the most recognizable movie stars today, he leveraged his fame as a Grammy Award-winning rap artist to launch a successful career as a sitcom actor on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
After showing off his undeniable acting chops on the series, Smith
seamlessly transitioned to the big screen. He has starred in a range of
projects from comedy to sci-fi to drama, and some of his most iconic roles have
been in the arena of action.
Fans will recognize him from action movies such as Independence Day, Enemy of the State, I Robot, I Am Legend, Hancock, Suicide Squad, Gemini Man, the Men in Black series, and the Bad Boys franchise.
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Martin Lawrence made a name for himself in stand-up comedy and as
the headliner on the long-running series, Martin. It wasn’t long before
he began tackling more serious roles.
Martin co-starred with Smith in the Bad Boys films, plus he
took on action-comedies, including Blue Streak, Nothing to Lose, National
Security, and the Big Mama’s House movies. Movie buffs will
also remember him from the adventure flicks, Black Knight and Wild
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Leonardo DiCaprio landed a gig on the classic sitcom, Growing
Pains for one season before taking off into the creative stratosphere. The
actor has scored numerous meaty parts in thrillers, dramas, biopics, and more.
Some of DiCaprio’s most high-energy projects include The Quick
and the Dead, The Man in the Iron Mask, and The Beach. He also brought
his trademark intensity to Gangs of New York, The Departed, and Inception,
among other projects.
Former child actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, garnered big laughs for six seasons as an alien disguised as a human in 3rd Rock From the Sun. Since then, he has earned a reputation as a committed actor with the capacity for great dramatic range.
Adrenaline junkies who love exciting films may enjoy some of
Gordon-Levitt’s high-profile roles in movies like Inception, alongside fellow
sitcom alum, DiCaprio, The Dark Knight Rises, and Looper. Movie
lovers can look forward to seeing Gordon-Levitt in the upcoming sci-fi
thriller, Project Power, and the historical war drama, K-Troop.
Before becoming a Hollywood A-lister, George Clooney completed a
stint on The Facts of Life, an ‘80s sitcom about an all-girls boarding
school. After his gig ended, the actor hit the ground running on a trajectory
to extraordinary success.
When it comes to action, Clooney has delivered his share of believable
performance. His character battled vampires in From Dusk Till Dawn, and
not long afterward, he donned a mask and cape as Gotham City’s most feared
vigilante in Batman & Robin.
Theatergoers will also remember Clooney from several explosive blockbusters,
including Out of Sight, Three Kings, and The Perfect Storm.