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17 Hollywood Actors Who Started Off Their Careers as Movie Extras

By Andrew Alpin, 8 December 2017

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3Sylvester Stallone was a mugger

It is common knowledge that Sly Stallone struggled really hard before he made it big with Rocky. He was even evicted from his apartment in New York and ended up sleeping in a bus terminal. As an extra out to make some cash, he ended up doing a role in an Adult softcore movie. But as an extra, he was also cast in Woody Allen’s “bananas” (1971) where he acted as a mugger in the subway. It was a minor role which he didn’t receive any credit for. Stallone also plays a disco dancer in the Jane Fonda movie “Klute” 1971.

 Sylvester Stallone was a mugger

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4Channing Tatum played a dancing bartender

Among stars who acted as extras, action hero and dancer Channing Tatum is an up and coming star having several hits to his credit like 21Jump Street and GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra. But in the early days of his struggle to make it in Hollywood, he did roles as an extra with his first screen appearance being in a music video which happened to be Ricky Martins popular single”She Bangs”. Look closely at the video; you’ll see Tatum is the dancing bartender. Channing Tatum played a dancing bartender

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5Jackie Chan was a guard in Enter the Dragon

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He is undoubtedly one of the best martial actors to grace the screen and has come a long way with hundreds of films to his credit. But, if you are a martial art movie fan and loved Enter the Dragon, did you notice one of the guards fighting Bruce Lee is none other than Jackie Chan? Incidentally, it was said that Lee actually hit Chan who didn’t seem to mind. 

Jackie Chan was a guard

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6Evangeline Lilly was a police officer

She vowed us with hits such as Real Steel and as the Elf warrior Tauriel in The Hobbit 2. She is also Marvel’s Wasp in the Marvel cinematic universe. But when Evangeline was first starting out, she acted as an extra in some movies notably in Smallville where she was hired for 4 episodes. She is also the Police Office in Lizzie Maguire and a student in Freddy vs. Jason. 

Evangeline Lilly was a police officer

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7Bruce Willis was a court observer

Bruce Willis by now is a stalwart of Hollywood movies where we will always remember him as the maverick cop John Mclane in the Die Hard franchise. His first appearance however on screen was an extra playing a court observer in the 1982 movie “The Verdict” which starred Paul Newman.

Bruce Willis was a court observer

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