10 Actors Who Appeared on ‘Friends’ Before They Got Famous

Friends Cole Sprouse Ellen Pompeo Craig Robinson
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Going from central casting to Central Perk, many Hollywood stars got early acting gigs on Friends, the comedy returning to the spotlight in HBO Max’s upcoming reunion special.

Of course, the hit NBC sitcom hosted a ton of famous faces during its 10-season run: Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Winona Ryder and Jennifer Aniston’s ex Brad Pitt are just a few of the A-listers who graced the Friends set in various roles.

But scores more actors guest-starred on the show before they were household names. Scroll down to see some of these actors and to scope out their Friends characters.

Friends: The Reunion, Thursday, May 27, HBO Max

Leah Remini
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Leah Remini…

Leah Remini Friends
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…played Lydia

The King of Queens comedienne plays a woman whom Joey (Matt LeBlanc) helps through childbirth in Season 1’s ‘The One With the Birth.”

Mae Whitman
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Mae Whitman…

Mae Whitman Friends
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…played Sarah Tuttle

In Season 3’s “The One Where Rachel Quits,” this actress of Good Girls fame played a Brown Birds scout who suffers a broken leg after getting hit by Ross’ (David Schwimmer) tennis bag.

Michael Vartan
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Michael Vartan…

Michael Vartan Friends
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…played Timothy Burke

Alias leading man played Monica’s (Courteney Cox) onetime eye doctor and fleeting crush in the Season 4 episode “The One With Chandler in a Box.”

Paget Brewster
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Paget Brewster…

Paget Brewster in Friends
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…played Kathy

Over the course of Season 4, the Criminal Minds alum played a love interest for Joey and then Chandler (Matthew Perry).

Cole Sprouse
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Cole Sprouse…

Cole Sprouse Friends
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…played Ben Geller

The Riverdale star recurred on the show from Season 6 to Season 8, as Ross’ son with his ex-wife Carol (Jane Sibbett).

Jason George
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Jason George…

Jason George as a firefighter on Friends
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…played a fireman

Station 19 wasn’t this actor’s first time portraying a firefighter: He played the one who finds Phoebe’s (Lisa Kudrow) discarded smoke detector in Season 7’s “The One Where They’re Up All Night.”

Ellen Pompeo
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Ellen Pompeo…

Ellen Pompeo Friends
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…played Missy Goldberg

Long before her Grey’s Anatomy days, this TV star played a college crush who came between Ross and Chandler in Season 10’s “The One Where The Stripper Cries.”

Craig Robinson
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Craig Robinson…

Craig Robinson in Friends
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…played a clerk

The future star of The Office played a clerk who processed Phoebe’s titular name change in Season 10’s “The One With Princess Consuela.”

Dakota Fanning
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Dakota Fanning…

Dakota Fanning in Friends
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…played Mackenzie

In that same episode, the Alienist actress played a young girl who doesn’t want Chandler and Monica to buy her family’s house.

Anna Faris
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Anna Faris…

Anna Faris Friends
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…played Erica

Way before she had her own sitcom with Mom, this actress played another mother: birth mom of Chandler and Monica’s twins in Season 10.