Removing the easy appeal of a pretty face and a frantic scream, finding ten successful actors that had horror origins proved a difficult task. Really, it came down to clicking along IMDB, through the throngs of popular names, and easing my policies of what determined a horror beginnings. Hopefully, I’ve amassed so new information for you here.
This first film appeared on sister list of horrific origins. Before Seinfeld and, well, that’s pretty much it, Jason Alexander appeared as a horny camper stuck in the very woods where a slasher prowled.
The Burning (1981) : Dave
Super stud / rum-drunk pirate / Edward Scissorhands, Johnny Depp has done much for cinema. His first visit to the big screen left him with one task, stay awake! And why? Freddy Krueger of course. Word around the internet is that Mr. Depp secured his spot because a certain Miss Craven thought Johnny-boy was a hunk.
Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) : Glen Lantz
Tom Hanks is one of the biggest stars of all time. Simple. He can make you believe a man short on IQ can conquer the world, make you cringe and cry over a lost volleyball, and remind us to be careful what we wish for. Ah the magic, but prior to that, there was a film about a weddings and bunch of murders.
He Knows You’re Alone (1980) : Elliot
Sam Rockwell’s first appearance in a film is greatly overshadowed by the abhorrent circumstances surrounding the director and the lead boy. The reviews of this film put on the higher end of the slasher scale despite the crime. So I guess, who doesn’t dig a clown?
Clownhouse (1989) : Randy
In his first film, Leonardo DiCaprio was just a kid in a land of junk production and slap-dashed efforts. Strangely, given the nature of the monsters in the movie, this is the worst thing to happen to him in this straight-to-video piece of...
Critters 3 (1991) : Josh
This one is a result of my diligent clickery. Clint Eastwood, way back when his scowl was likely a smile and his crow’s feet hadn’t yet left the nest, played a brief, underappreciated lab assistant.
Revenge of the Creature (1955) : Uncredited
Ryan Phillippe had worked quite a bit before his first movie credit, but since I’ve stretched the limits of inclusion, he’s listed thanks to a swarming made for TV production surrounding a family and a country house.
Deadly Invasion: The Deadly Bee Nightmare (1995) : Tom Redman
Again not a first credit, but early enough that there’s no name attributed to the appearance, George Clooney pops up at a big-band concert in a park where there’s a fuzzy-wuzzy on the loose.
Grizzly II: The Concert (1983) : N/A
Deliverance was a fantastic, horrifying film. It spawned some stinky offspring and Billy Bob Thornton made his screen debut well down on the cast list in one of said hillbilly frights.
Hunter’s Blood (1986) : Billy Bob
Remember Tom Berenger? He’s been in some big films, Inception, Born on the Fourth of July, Major League. He’s also been in some not so big films, the Sniper series, Doc Holliday’s Revenge. Unlike most of the above listings, his first credit, though tiny, was in an absolutely fantastic horror classic.
The Sentinel (1977) : The Man at the End
There’s little to add that I haven’t already said on the subject of stars in duds early on, so if you need to read more, see the previous list.