30 Superstars We Did Not Know Came From Disney

By Juliet Smith 10 months ago

Christina Aguilera

Image Source/ D23
Our beloved Christina was first rejected as a Mouseketeer due to her age, but she was eventually cast two years later and remained with the program until its end. This wasn't Christina's final time collaborating with Disney, either. In 1998, she provided the voiceover and sang "Reflection" for the Mulan film's soundtrack!

Olivia Rodrigo

Image Source/ BuzzFeed News
Believe it or not, in 2016, Olivia was cast as Nini Salazar-Roberts in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, a spin-off of the HSM franchise with a wonderfully long title. When Olivia released her first solo track, "Driver's License" the world (not just Disney fans) found out that she was rumored to be dating her co-star Joshua Bassett.

Ryan Gosling

Image Source/ ew.com
In addition to his Oscar-nominated performances in La La Land and Half Nelson, Ryan Gosling's contributions in romantic classics like The Notebook have made him one of Hollywood's most beloved leading men. But he began his career when he was just 13 and appeared on The Mickey Mouse Club. He remained for two years and eventually earned many TV parts before moving on to movies.

Britney Spears

Image Source/ The Sun
Britney is the Queen of Pop, a multi-platinum selling singer, a cultural phenomenon, and Mickey Mouse is largely responsible for her meteoric rise to fame. As a young girl in Louisiana, Britney showed early promise as a dancer and vocalist, and at age eight she tried out for the revival of The Mickey Mouse Club, a variety program featuring mostly adolescent acts.

Justin Timberlake

Image Source/ Business Insider
In 1993 and 1994, Justin performed as a Mouseketeer for Disney after competing on Star Search, another platform for budding superstars. It not only gave him the experience he needed to become a pop sensation. JT found immediate success with NSYNC and he has continued that success as a solo artist, becoming a global phenomenon.

Kristen Stewart

Image Source/ Nicki Swift
Kristen's first acting job was on the Disney Channel, but her breakthrough performance happened alongside Jodie Foster when she was only 12 years old in the film Panic Room. A few years later, though, Kristen's role expanded significantly when she was cast as Bella Swan in the Twilight films.

Brie Larson

Image Source/ BuzzFeed
Brie Larson has been made famous by many productions, one of those (Room) winning her an Academy Award. But did you know this megastar first appeared on set of the Disney Channel? She actually had a part to play in the 2003 Disney Channel original movie Right on Track.

Bella Thorne

Image Source/ The Mirror
Bella's breakthrough came when she was cast as CeCe Jones in Shake It Up, but she had already gained some notoriety for her parts in Dirty Sexy Money and My Own Worst Enemy. Bella has since been n in the spotlight for her polyamorous relationships and multi-million-dollar OnlyFans fandom.

America Ferrera

Image Source/ Twitter
Gotta Kick It Up, a beloved movie that aired on Disney Channel, was where the Superstore actress got her start. After that, she became a well-known figure because to her work on television shows such as Ugly Betty and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Emmy Rossum

Image Source/ IMDb
Many will recognize Emmy Rossum from her heat-breaking and much loved role as Fiona in Shameless, until she left after Season 9. But little do people know that before that, Rossum actually kick started her career with the help of Disney. She starred in the 1999 Disney Channel film Genius.

Hayden Panettiere

Image Source/ Looper
At the age of 11 months, Hayden began "acting" in commercials, but her role as Dot in A Bug's Life was her first in a full-length film. She lent her voice to Suri in Disney's Dinosaur and also acted in the tearjerker Remember the Titans in the same year. She later went on to bag the part of Claire Bennet on Heroes.

Nicholas Braun

Image Source/ BuzzFeed
Before he shot to fame with his fantastic part in HBO's successful Succession, Braun was quite familiar with the Disney Channel and their films. The Emmy-award winner starred alongside Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato in the much-loved Princess Protection Program.

Mischa Barton

Image Source/ IMDb
The O.C. actor initially found her footing in the Disney Channel movie A Ring of Endless Light, which is quite the surprise to many. There's loads of celebs that we never knew broke into film through Disney Channel. She also starred alongside Jared Padalecki who would later appear on Gilmore Girls.

Jason Priestley

Image Source/ The Very Special Blog
Jason Priestley sprang to fame as Beverly Hills, 90210's hunky Brandon Walsh, but before that he was a young idol in the role of Buzz on the Disney Channel show Teen Angel. Teen Angel Returns starred Jennie Garth, who would later appear with Jason in the hit series 90210, and lasted for just two seasons and 12 episodes in 1989.

Finn Wittrock

Image Source/ Pinterest
If Wittrock hadn't made his feature debut in a fun, spooky comedy called Halloweentown High in 2004, he wouldn't have been able to steal the show with the many parts he played on American Horror Story. It's safe to say that EVERYTHING happens for a reason.

Lindsay Lohan

Image Source/ Us Weekly
The Disney film The Parent Trap was responsible for launching the career of Lindsay Lohan, one of the greatest stars of the 2000s. When Lindsay portrayed Hallie and Annie, she was just 12 years old in this adaptation. After that, she was in films like Freaky Friday (with Jamie Lee Curtis) and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (with Tyra Banks).

Danielle Campbell

Image Source/ Bionics Wiki
Campbell showed off her acting chops on some hugely successful shows, including The Originals and Tell Me a Story. But, much to the surprise of many, she also had success in 2010 with the television show Starstruck, which aired on the Disney Channel.

Tiffany Haddish

Image Source/ SHADOW & ACT
Many people know Tiffany Haddish as the hilarious comedian, but some don't realize that Haddish didn't start her career as a funny stand-up. Haddish actually broke onto the screen with a push from Disney Channel after guest-starring in one episode of That's So Raven.

Adrienne Bailon

Image Source/ BuzzFeed
Whether you remember Adrienne best as a Cheetah Girl or as a panelist on The Real depends on your age. Adrienne appeared in the wildly popular Cheetah Girls series, which led to tours and albums for the group. Both "That's So Raven" and "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" included her as a guest star.

Kat Graham

Image Source/ Your Next Shoes
Kat Graham is among the many actors that first appeared in a Disney Channel production. The American actress and singer actually played Jackson's girlfriend in a few episodes of Hannah Montana, one of the best Disney Channel TV shows to air on our screens.

Moises Arias

Image Source/ LOS40
In addition to his role as Rico on Hannah Montana, Moises was a star of Dadnapped and has appeared in episodes of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Wizards of Waverly Place. Now that he's older, Moises is appearing in more mature projects including pieces like The Stanford Prison Experiment, Pitch Perfect 3 and The Good Doctor.

Gregg Sulkin

Image Source/ The Mirror
After his first role in the British mini-series Doctor Zhivago, Gregg landed the part of JJ in As the Bell Rings, before bagging the recurring role of Mason Greyback in Wizards of Waverly Place. Since his Disney days, Gregg has starred in series including Faking It and Marvel's Runaways.

Jaden Smith

Image Source/ BuzzFeed
It's safe to say that Jaden Smith was always going to be a superstar, considering who is dad is. Yet, even before Karate Kid, Smith had a quick stunt on the Disney Channel. He played a character called Travis on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Wow!

Katherine Heigl

Image Source/ IMDB
After starring in the hit TV series Grey's Anatomy as Izzie and in the box office hits Knocked Up and 27 Dresses, Katherine has really arrived as a Hollywood A-lister. But one of her first starring roles was in a Disney movie, which you may not realize. Three years before her debut on Roswell, she starred in the 1996 TV movie Wish Upon a Star as a high school girl who switches bodies with her sister.

Emma Stone

Image Source/ Seventeen Magazine
Emma Stone even decided to have a little stint on Disney Channel before she went on to do bigger and better things and become the household name she's known as today. It wasn't a big part, considering she was only voicing London Tipton's dog on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.


Image Source/ Us Weekly
Having starred in the Spider-Man flicks and winning an Emmy for her performance in Euphoria, Zendaya is widely regarded as one of today's most promising young actors. Before then, she was known for her role as Rocky Blue on the Disney Channel's Shake It Up and featured in the Disney Channel Original Movie Frenemies.

The Jonas Brothers

Image Source/ Business Insider
Joe, Nick, and Kevin Jonas, better known as the Jonas Brothers, shot to stardom in the early 2000s owing to Disney Channel appearances. Before getting their own series, Jonas, the brothers featured in Camp Rock and its sequel opposite Demi Lovato. The group also often appeared on Disneymania albums.

JC Chasez

Image Source/ E! Online
While on the fourth season of The Mickey Mouse Club, Chasez changed his name from Josh to JC to avoid confusion with another Josh already on the cast. After the program was canceled, the two joined a new boy band formed by Lou Perlman; that group eventually became known as NSYNC.

Keri Russell

Image Source/ InsideTheMagic.net
Keri made her television debut as a Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club from season four to season six when she was 15 years old and a talented dancer. Her adult acting career propelled her to fame, but she also had a role in the Disney classic sequel Honey, I Blew Up The Kid!

Kat Dennings

Image Source/ People.com
The star of Wanda Vision has shown that she is capable of performing in a variety of genres, from comedy to drama. Dennings got her start in the entertainment industry with a part in an original movie produced by Disney Channel in 2002 called "The Scream Team."

What To Read Next

Load More