10 A-Listers Who Got Their Starts In Disney Channel Original Movies And Shows

The Disney Channel and its content aimed at children and teens is a staple of many viewers’ childhoods. Many channel alumni have maintained careers in the industry, with recognizable Disney regulars like Kimberly J. Brown (Halloween Town) now appearing on the serial general hospital Where Lucas Grabeel (musical high school) regularly lending his voice to Family guy.

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However, A-list names like Corbeau-Symoné Where Zac Efron have been launched into stardom since their time at Disney, but that’s not where they started. Raven’s acting career began on The Cosby Show in 1989 with It’s so raven was not screened until 2003, and Efron’s career resumed from television summer country (2004-2005) before musical high school in 2006. Before Oscar, Grammy, or Emmy nominations, these stars got their first acting credits from an original movie or Disney Channel TV show and have since gone on to become household names.

Keri Russell


Before receiving Emmy nominations for her role in Americans, Keri Russell was a Disney Channel star. Russell is widely known for her role as Felicity Porter in the series Congratulationscreated by JJ Abrams and Matt Reevesand her starring role in 2007 Waitress.

Russell’s career in show business began in 1991 with his casting in The brand new Mickey Mouse club. She would appear in five episodes from 1991 to 1993. During this time she would also star in Disney’s 1992 Honey, I blew the kid and appear in a 1993 episode of the hit series The boy meets the world.


Selena Gomez


This pop star may have entered the entertainment business Barney and his friends, but Disney Channel put it on the map. Before topping the Billboard and streaming charts, Selena Gomez began her Disney casting with a small role in The Suite Life of Zack and Codyplaying love interest Gwen in “A Midsummer’s Nightmare”.

Gomez would go on to land the lead role of Alex Russo in another Disney Channel original show the Wizards of Waverly Place from 2007 to 2012. During her time as a Disney sweetheart, Gomez would star in guest roles on popular shows like Hannah Montana and roles in Disney Channel Original Movies like Princess Protection Program.

Ryan Gosling


Hollywood Egyptian and critically acclaimed actor Ryan Gosling is another great talent who got his start with the House of Mouse. His stardom began with his casting and his appearance in three episodes of The All-New Mickey Mouse Club from 1993 to 1995.

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Years later, Disney will cast him again in their feature film Remember the titans. Her charisma and charm from her Disney days would shine through the brightest of her 2016s The Earth where he would once again sing and dance for the camera, earning his second Oscar nomination.

Demi Lovato


Musical powerhouse and actress Demi Lovato is another star whose musical talents were used for the first time on the Disney Channel. Making her first appearance in 2007, Lovato starred in the comedy short film series As the bell rings which followed a group of students and their hallway conversations between classes.

Disney would pair the talented voice of Lovato alongside the Jonas Brothers in the Disney Channel Original Movie camp rock and more Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. Becoming a channel favorite, Lovato landed the role of Sonny in sonny with a chance (2009-2011). They would later team up with Disney alum Selena Gomez in Princess Protection Program.

Hilary Duf


A true Disney darling, Hilary Duf brought to life the real trials and tribulations of being a pre-teen for millennials. As her first film credit goes to TV movie Casper meets Wendy, the film itself was not a Disney production although it found a regular home during the Disney Channel’s Halloween season. Duff would join the mouse-house family in 2001 with his cast as the main character Lizzie McGuire.

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The fan-favorite show is said to be set from 2001 to 2004, with Duff in the channel’s original film Cadet Kelly in 2002. Lizzie McGuire would get her feature The Lizzie McGuire film in 2003. After her time at Disney, Duff showcased her singing and acting talents with several pop albums and in feature films. Currently, she stars in Hulu’s how i met your father like Sophia.

Justin Timberlake


Before playing on all radio and streaming platforms, Justin Timberlake was hanging out on Disney Channel. The music superstar was chosen among other A-listers on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club from 1993 to 1995, appearing in four episodes. He would meet the future bandmate *NSYNC J.C. Chasez on the Mickey Mouse club while Chasez starred in six episodes from 1991 to 1995.

Timberlake would return to his Disney roots in 2000 with a role in the TV movie Model behavior play opposite Maggie Lawson. The film was released in the anthology series The Wonderful World of Disney. Timberlake’s stardom not only led to a successful solo music career, but continued in the film industry with various roles in films like The social network and Trolls.



Taking the movie world by storm, Zendaya is another Hollywood starlet with Disney roots. Before becoming a fashion icon and award-winning actress, she appeared alongside Bella Thorne on Disney’s Channel shake it in 2010. The show followed the dreams of Rocky (Zendaya) and Cece (Thorne) as they land roles as dancers in a show.

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Zendaya’s time at Disney would continue after shake it ended in 2013 with KC undercover from 2015-2018. After leaving Disney, he will win a Primetime Emmy in 2020 for his portrayal of Rue Bennett in HBO. Euphoriamaking her the youngest actress to win for a drama series at 24.

Christina Aguilera


Her voice needs no introduction, this princess of pop has conquered the world. Before his chart-topping days, Christina Aguilera was a young hope on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club for three episodes from 1993 to 1995 alongside other now famous Disney alumni. She will also lend her voice to Disney in 1998 for Reflections on the ice: Michelle Kwan skates to the music of Disney’s “Mulan”, a TV movie containing excerpts from the animated film. This credit would come full circle as Aguilera would perform “Reflection” for the 2020 remake of Mulana.

Outside of her music career and success, Aguilera has taken on music-focused roles in Burlesque and the TV series Nashville . She has appeared as a judge in talent contests like The voice from 2011 to 2018.

Miley Cyrus


Perhaps one of the biggest names to leave Disney Channel is Miley Cyrus. With his father Billy Ray Cyrus already established as a country musician and TV series lead DoctorMiley made her full talent debut alongside her father in 2006 with Hannah Montana. Playing a teenage girl, Miley Stewart who lives a double life as pop sensation Hannah Montana, she was able to showcase her vocal and acting talent.

The show would air from 2006 to 2011, with several crossover events with other channel shows like The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. The singer would also lend her voice to Disney’s animated feature Lock (2008). After cutting ties with the House of Mouse, Cyrus would launch a successful music career with some acting credits as seen in the 2019 episode “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too” of the Netflix sci-fi series Black mirror.

Britney Spears


Surprisingly, music icon Britney Spears found her debut with Mickey Mouse from 1993 to 1995. She is yet another name to appear for three episodes on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club. A few years later, in 1998, “Hit Me Baby One More Time” was released, catapulting this teenager into the limelight and instant stardom.

Even though Spears struggled with mounting woes of fame at a young age and a long, grueling tutelage, her success never wavered as she emerged hit after hit, finding small acting roles along the way in movies like Long shot alongside other Mouse Club stars like Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez. She would also land a feature film role in the 2002s. crossroads written by Shonda Rhimes.

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