The Oscars: Early TV Roles of the Nominees

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 14:  Leonardo DiCaprio attends the EE British Academy Film Awards at The Royal Opera House on February 14, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Tonight is the night that TV celebrates the movie industry. The Oscars is a time when we pay homage to the greatness in film over the last year. 2016 has also sparked some controversy with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite trending on Twitter after the nominees were announced. Chris Rock will be taking on the hosting duties, something he has not done since 2005. I am sure Rock will win the audience over with his strong comedic talents. The nominees this year include Leonardo DiCaprio, Bryan Cranston, and Jennifer Lawrence. These dedicated actors got their starts on TV. Here is a look back at some early TV appearances of this year’s Oscar nominees. We even found some footage of these appearances for your viewing pleasure.

Jennifer Lawrence

This is not Jennifer Lawrence’s first visit to The Oscars and it certainly will not be her last. Before the actress starred in The Hunger Games films, she appeared on the small screen. Lawrence has guest starred on TV series like Monk, Cold Case, and Medium. However, you may have first spotted her in the commercials to promote the MTV series My Super Sweet 16. Check out these two funny promos that showcase Lawrence’s comedic side.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Many people agree that this is Leo’s year at The Oscars. If he does not win this time, he may pull a Kanye West and boycott the ceremony going forward. DiCaprio’s acting career spans over 4 different decades. Most people remember DiCaprio when he starred on the sitcom Growing Pains during its final season, but DiCaprio first appeared on television in 1979 on an episode of the Children’s series Romper Room. He would also be featured on The New Lassie, Santa Barbara, and Roseanne.

Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston has received a lot of love from the Emmy’s for his work on Breaking Bad. He was even nominated several times for his portrayal of patriarch Hal on Malcolm in the Middle. Cranston is now being recognized at The Oscars for his work in the film Trumbo. Cranston’s early television work includes CHiPs, Hill Street Blues, and this pilot episode of Loving from 1983.

Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams’ most memorable early role was playing queen bee Regina Georgia in the 2004 film Mean Girls. However, she first began appearing on the small screen several years prior. Her first on screen role was on an episode of the 2001 Disney Channel original series The Famous Jett Jackson. That same year, McAdams appeared in a pilot for the MTV series Shotgun Love Dolls. Based on this clip, it is obvious why this never made into a series.

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Jennifer Jason Leigh has been acting since the 1970’s and this marks the first year she is nominated at The Oscars. Leigh appeared on TV series such as Baretta in 1977 and Family in 1978. A few years later, Leigh was featured on this ABC after-school special called I Think I’m Having a Baby, that also featured Helen Hunt and Leonardo DiCaprio’s future Growing Pains co-star Tracy Gold.

Who are you rooting for to win at The Oscars tonight? Let us know in the comments section below.

Photo by: John Phillips/Getty Images

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