13 Big Names You Forgot Were Disney Channel Stars (PHOTOS)
Before enjoying success on the big screen in films like the Transformers franchise and Fury, LaBeuf starred as the mischievous Louis Stevens in Even Stevens, which won him a Daytime Emmy Award in 2003.
Today, you can find Duff as one of the leads on TV Land’s Younger. But back in the early ‘00s, before she appeared in several hit films like A Cinderella Story, she was the lead in Lizzie McGuire, which still ranks as one of Disney Channel’s biggest hits.
Foster is best-known for his success on numerous prestigious films like The Messenger and Hell or High Water, both for which he received awards. However, many forget he appeared on the two-year Disney Channel series Flash Forward.
Who would’ve thought that a Disney star would end up being the most-followed person on Instagram? Before her worldwide recognition, Gomez lived a simpler life playing Alex Russo on Wizards of Waverly Place between 2007 to 2012 — Disney Channel’s longest-running series ever.
Sprouse grew up sharing the screen with twin brother Dylan, with the dynamic duo entertaining us on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Nowadays, you can find Cole riding solo as Jughead on The CW hit Riverdale.
A 14-year-old Palmer gained widespread recognition alongside Corbin Bleu in the Disney Channel Original Movie, Jump In!. Her career has evolved in her most recent works, which include Scream Queens and Grease: Live!
Efron was quickly identified as a teen heartthrob after his work in the High School Musical franchise. The movies scored Disney Channel huge ratings and Efron popularity among teen audiences. While his career has vastly evolved in comedies like Neighbors and blockbusters like The Greatest Showman, he still remains a heartthrob.
From 2001 to 2005, Pratt put her voice to work for Disney Channel’s The Proud Family as protagonist Penny Proud. She has shown face many times since then, most recently in the Freeform series Recovery Road.
Back in 2008, Lovato’s breakthrough came in the form of Camp Rock, a Disney Channel Original Movie, followed by her starring role in Sonny With a Chance. Her musical talent has transformed her into a major pop star, with albums and awards aplenty.
The Jonas Brothers
The boy band became a phenomenon with teen girls after Camp Rock, and they got their own Disney Channel show Jonas. Though they broke up as an act in 2013, the brothers have sold over 17 million albums worldwide, and Joe has his popular band DNCE, while Nick has had success as a solo artist and as an actor in Jumanji and the series Kingdom.
These days, you find Zendaya performing alongside Zac Efron in the film The Greatest Showman. However, her career really heated up when she was 14, leading the Disney Channel series Shake It Up.
In spite of her fictional psychic powers, Raven probably didn’t predict her bright future. Her roles in That’s So Raven and The Cheetah Girls made her into a successful actress and singer with worldwide recognition. She has since come full-circle, returning to her roots on Disney Channel in Raven’s Home, the spinoff to her original hit show.
In 2006, she was living the “best of both worlds,” playing both Miley Stewart and Hannah Montana on Disney Channel. Hannah Montana ended in 2011, but her success did not, and she’s since become one of the most successful artists in the industry.
Every great actor or singer comes from somewhere, and surprisingly, many of today’s biggest stars got their start on Disney Channel.
Despite being largely kid-focused, the cable network has kick-started many adult careers, with celebrities transforming from awkward tweens to Hollywood royalty. And to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Disney Channel’s launch, we’re honoring those that it helped launch.
Click through the gallery above to find out who owes their success to the Mouse House!