Everyone remembers when Zac Efron became a superstar thanks to the phenomenon that was musical high schoolor when disney channel put on Grammy-nominated singing sensations like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato on the map, or when Miley Cyrus conquered the world as Hannah Montana. But with more than 100 Disney Channel Original Movies under the belt of the magic network, they sometimes feature unexpected notable names.
Whether it was one of their very first works or just another addition to the resume, many major celebrities have appeared and starred in DCOMs over the years, from some Saturday Night Live stars to a superhero one day in the mcu.
Debbie Reynolds – ‘Halloween Town’ (1998)
The legend that was Debby Reynoldswho starred in all of Sing in the rain in 1952 to appearances on shows like will and grace, Rugrats and Kim possible, also had a very memorable stint in a DCOM movie franchise.
Reynolds played Aggie Cromwell in Halloween Town, the Piper children’s grandmother who was also a beloved witch in her spooky, magical town. The actor then reprized his adorable role in the three sequels that followed, Halloween Town II:Kalabar’s Revenge, Halloweentown HighandBack to Halloweentown.
Taran Killam – “Stuck in the Suburbs” (2004)
Actor Taran Killam is best known for his six seasons on Saturday Night Live and being the other half of how I Met Your Mother and The Avengers Star Cobie Smulders. But long before the actor was any of those things, he starred in a popular DCOM alongside other notable names.
Killam played a cocky popstar named Jordan Cahill in Stuck in the suburbswho accidentally ends up befriending two of his biggest fans – played by Brenda Song and Danielle Panabaker — after he and the Panabaker fangirl character ended up swapping phones.
Brie Larson – ‘Straight on Track’ (2003)
Although she started her career at age 9, it wasn’t until 2019 that the actor Brie Larson made headlines as Marvel’s newest superhero, Captain Marvel, starring in four films and counting towards the film franchise. But long before joining the MCU, Carol Danvers’ portrayer appeared on the Disney Channel.
Larson starred alongside 7th Sky alum Beverly Mitchell in Right on track,a 2003 DCOM based on a true story about two sisters who pulled off what was called a “man’s sport” and won a national drag racing title as teenagers.
Tim Meadows – “The Even Stevens Movie” (2003)
Tim Meadows‘ long and impressive career goes from mean girls to The Goldbergs to be one of the longest serving cast members of Saturday Night Live. And between all that, the actor played an important role in an unforgettable DCOM.
Meadows played Miles McDermott in Even Stevens movie informationthe DCOM that accompanies the Disney Channel sitcom Even Stevenswhich followed the Stevens family on a vacation to paradise where everything could go wrong, but Miles is one of the few people with a secret surprise.
Kristen Stewart – “The Thirteenth Year” (1999)
Kristen Stewart shot to fame in 2008 when she was cast as beloved book character Bella Swan in the Dusk saga, but his time as a vampire was a far cry from his first acting gig, starting with his very first role in a Disney Channel Original Movie.
Stewart began her acting career when she scored a small silent role in 1999 The thirteenth year, a film about a boy who starts growing scales and fins on his 13th birthday and discovers his mermaid heritage. Stewart’s character is known as the Girl in Fountain Line, although she was uncredited in the film.
Katey Sagal – ‘Smart House’ (1999)
Katey Sagal is known to each generation as a different character; Peggy Bundy on married with children, Leela is Futurama, Louise on The Connors, and so many others. But to millennials, Sagal is probably simply known as The Smart House.
The actor played Pat, the face of a computerized house, in 1999’s DCOM smart home opposite DCOM alum Ryan Merriman in a film about a family who earns a computerized household who suffers from a problem that turns her into an overbearing mother who takes control of their lives long before Alexa existed.
America Ferrera – ‘Gotta throw it!’ (2002)
America Ferrera got her biggest break when she performed on ABC Ugly Betty for four seasons, and later gained new fans with her starring role in NBCit is Hypermarket. But one of the actor’s very first roles was on the Disney Channel in the 2002 film I have to throw it!.
Ferrera played Yoli in this film about a group of young Latin girls who learn to overcome societal obstacles and learn the rhythm of their roots from their dance crew after convincing their new teacher to coach them.
Bryan Cranston – ‘Twas the Night’ (2001)
Despite his remarkable career, Bryan Cranston enjoyed a resurgence in 2008 after starring in CMAit is Breaking Bad. But one of the actor’s lesser-known works comes in the form of a Christmas 2001 DCOM.
Cranston played the lead role of Uncle Nick in It was nightwhich follows an irresponsible uncle and his mischievous young niece and nephews who take Santa’s sleigh for a ride and end up inadvertently compromising Christmas when they decide to deliver all the presents while Uncle Nick has an ulterior motive to try the work of Santa Claus.
Mickey Rooney – “The Ghost of the Megaplex” (2000)
mickey rooneyThe long and vibrant career of has spanned television, film, silent films, stop-motion holiday specials, Broadway and more. But one of his hundreds of credits that you might not remember the actor had was a role in a DCOM.
Ghost of the Megaplex premiered on the Disney Channel in 2000 and followed a young movie theater employee who discovers that a ghost may haunt his workplace during a movie special premiere when strange events occur and his co-workers begin to disappear, including including Rooney’s senile character, Movie Mason.
Justin Timberlake – ‘Model Behavior’ (2000)
Whether you know him as the popstar “SexyBack” or a fifth of the 90s boy band NSYNCchances are you’ve heard Justin Timberlakethe voice at one time or another. But many may not know that the singer is also an actor, with one of his earliest roles being in Model behavior.
Although not technically a DCOM, Model behavior released as part of ABCit is The Wonderful World of Disney — and later ran on the Disney Channel — and followed a geeky girl and a popular model, whose similar looks let them swap places, causing unexpected mishaps for Timberlake’s male character, Jason.
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