John Stamos Shares the 5 Shows That Made Him a Star (PHOTOS)

Rob Moynihan

Jordin Althaus/FOX

Stamos Still on Top

Every decade has been good to John Stamos, but the 1980s are where it all began. The Fuller House and Grandfathered actor takes a look back at the shows that led him to TV stardom. Read on for his exclusive personal thoughts on how his career began during the 1980s.


General Hospital (1982–1984)

A 19-year-old Stamos was working at his father’s restaurant when he auditioned for the popular ABC soap to play foster kid and musician Blackie Parrish. “I was only slotted to be on four or five episodes, and then he was supposed to die,” says Stamos, who was soon getting up to 10,000 fan letters a week. “I had close to 20 or 30 pages of dialogue a day, so it was a great place to learn. I loved the people, the energy, the smell of the set and craft service. It was a dream come true.”

©CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection

Dreams (1984)

Growing up, Stamos idolized Garry Marshall (Happy Days) and would sneak onto the Paramount lot to watch tapings of the producer’s sitcoms. His dream job was to work on that kind of comedy, so Stamos jumped at the chance to headline this series about a rock group. “MTV had just started and it was supposed to be The Monkees, but with videos,” says the 52-year-old star, who played the guitarist. “But they put a band together and none of the actors could play!” CBS pulled the plug after five episodes.


You Again? (1986–1987)

Stamos had slightly better luck on this NBC comedy, in which he portrayed a son who moves in with his estranged father (The Odd Couple’s Jack Klugman) to reestablish their relationship. “Jack really wanted me to play the part, and he told the network, ‘If you don’t hire this kid, then I’m not gonna do the show,’” Stamos says. “He was always the guy I turned to for advice in acting and the business. He remained my mentor and one of my best friends until the day he died.”

ABC/Retna Ltd.

Full House (1987–1995)

Stamos finally struck gold with this ABC staple as Uncle Jesse Katsopolis, an Elvis-obsessed biker who helps raise his three nieces. “I was the most established actor and I thought it was going to be more my show,” Stamos admits. “At the first table read, Jodie Sweetin [as middle niece Stephanie] was the breakout. I called my agent and said, ‘Get me off this show because a 5-year-old is going to be the next superstar.’ But I stuck with it, and the cast really turned into my family. It was a magical time.”

©ABC/Courtesy Everett Collection

Daughter of the Streets (1990)

Stamos shed his nice-guy image by playing a sadistic pimp named Joey in this ABC TV movie (filmed in 1989) about teenage prostitution. “Full House was a double-edged sword because, even though it was successful and I loved doing it, I always wanted to be doing higher-end comedy or drama,” Stamos says. “So every hiatus, I would play the darkest, funkiest, most badass character I could find. It was just another place to exercise some sort of acting chops.”

< >