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Celebrities Who Got Their Start On ‘Friends’ Or ‘Seinfeld’

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There’s more crossover than you’d think!

1.

Ellen Pompeo as a high-school sweetheart on Friends


NBC

Just one year before the Grey’s Anatomy pilot aired, Ellen Pompeo played Missy Goldberg on Friends. She was the object of Ross and Chandler’s affection during high school, and they’d made a pact that neither would try to date her. 

2.

Mariska Hargitay as a potential Elaine on Seinfeld


NBC

Before we knew her as Olivia Benson, Mariska had a one-episode role on Seinfeld. She was auditioning to play Elaine on Jerry’s show-within-a-show. 

3.

Kristin Davis as girlfriends on Seinfeld and Friends


NBC

Before Sex and The City, Kristin Davis had two bit parts on both iconic NBC sitcoms. On Seinfeld, she used a toothbrush that had fallen into the toilet – much to Jerry’s disgust – and on Friends she played one of Joey’s one-night-stands who he eventually fell for. 

Fun fact: Kristin actually auditioned for the role of Monica!

4.

Bryan Cranston as Jerry’s dentist on Seinfeld


NBC

Though of course he’s now best known for Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston got his career started with a five-episode arc on Seinfeld

5.

Catherine Keener as Jerry’s artist girlfriend on Seinfeld


NBC

She only appeared in one episode, but Catherine Keener’s character Nina was responsible for the iconic artwork known as “The Kramer”. Since then, the actor has starred in The 40 Year Old Virgin and Get Out. 

6.

Jennifer Coolidge as a masseuse on Seinfeld and a fake Brit on Friends


NBC

On Seinfeld, the iconic Jennifer Coolidge played Jerry’s masseuse girlfriend Jodi whom he was desperate for a massage from. A decade later, she played Monica and Rachel’s friend who developed a terrible British accent after living in the UK. 

7.

Courtney Cox as Jerry’s fake wife on Seinfeld


NBC

We love a crossover! Just a few months before the Friends pilot aired, Courtney Cox had a single-episode role on Seinfeld as Jerry’s girlfriend who pretended to be his wife for free dry cleaning. 

8.

And Steve Zahn as Phoebe’s fake husband on Friends


NBC

Steve Zahn made a name for himself in ’90s and ’00s movies like You’ve Got Mail, but one of his first big roles was on Friends as a Canadian ice dancer who married Phoebe for a green card. 

9.

Denise Richards as a hottie on Seinfeld and Friends


NBC

In 1993, Denise Richards starred on Seinfeld as Molly, the 15-year-old daughter of the NBC chairman whom George is caught perving on. Seven years later, she appeared on Friends as Ross and Monica Geller’s cousin, Cassie.

10.

Debra Messing as Jerry’s racist date in Seinfeld


NBC

Before her stint on Will & Grace, Debra Messing appeared as Beth, a friend of Jerry and Elaine, on Seinfeld. She popped up in two episodes – in one as Jerry’s date to a wedding, though he promptly dumped her after she said something racist. 

11.

Sarah Silverman as Kramer’s surprisingly good looking girlfriend on Seinfeld


NBC

Before her successful stand-up comedy career, Sarah Silverman had a stint on Seinfeld as Kramer’s hot girlfriend. 

12.

Aisha Tyler as Charlie on Friends


NBC

At the beginning of her career when she’d only had a few acting credits under her belt, Aisha Tyler starred in nine Friends episodes as Charlie Wheeler, a love interest for Joey and Ross. 

13.

Maggie Wheeler as the girl with the voice on Seinfeld and Friends


NBC

Obviously, Maggie Wheeler played the nasally Janice on Friends. But did you know she was also on Seinfeld? She played one of Elaine’s friends who is set up with George – who says he loves her “mellifluence” voice.

14.

Teri Hatcher as one of Jerry’s girlfriends on Seinfeld


NBC

Teri Hatcher had a small but very memorable role on Seinfeld, as Jerry’s girlfriend whom he suspected of having breast implants. This was the actor’s big break, as she went on to star in Lois & Clark, Tomorrow Never Dies, and of course, Desperate Housewives. 

15.

Molly Shannon as Elaine’s nemesis on Seinfeld


NBC

Molly Shannon had already been a cast member on SNL for two years when she appeared on Seinfeld in 1997 as Elaine’s coworker who walks without moving her arms. 

16.

Rebecca Romijn as the dirty girl on Friends


NBC

Rebecca Romijn’s first-ever acting role was on Friends. She played Cheryl, a girl who went on a date with Ross – only for it to all fall apart when she saw how messy her apartment was. 

17.

Christine Taylor as love interests on Seinfeld and Friends


NBC

Before she was on Zoolander and Dodgeball, Christine Taylor starred in both iconic ’90s sitcoms. On Seinfeld she played Ellen, Jerry’s girlfriend, and on Friends she played Bonnie, Phoebe’s friend who was set up with Ross.

18.

Mae Whitman as a Girl Scout on Friends


NBC

Mae Whitman appeared in Season 3 of Friends in one of her first-ever roles as Sarah, a Girl Scout selling cookies so she can go to space camp.

19.

Jon Lovitz as the fake cancer guy on Seinfeld and the stoned guy on Friends


NBC

Seinfeld fans definitely rememeber Jon Lovitz’s storyline on the show, as Jerry’s friend who faked having cancer. He actually appeared on Friends twice, eight years apart. He started out as “the stoned guy”, a restaurateur that Monica was trying to impress. Later in the series, his character goes on an unsuccessful blind date with Rachel, and it’s revealed he lost his job because of a drug problem. 

20.

Melora Hardin as Marcel’s attackee on Friends


NBC

You probably recognize her as Jan from The Office, but before stepping into that role, Melora Hardin played Celia, one of Ross’ girlfriends in the first season of Friends. She ends up being attacked by his pet monkey Marcel.

21.

Bob Odenkirk as the failing doctor on Seinfeld


NBC

Bob Odenkirk, long before Breaking Bad, played Elaine’s doctor boyfriend who kept failing his licensing exam.

22.

James Spader as the ice cream guy on Seinfeld


NBC

Before starring on The Blacklist and The Office, James Spader appeared as Jason Hanky, a childhood friend of George who worked at Baskin Robbins. He was personally invited to play the role by Jerry Seinfeld, as the pair were close friends. 

23.

Patton Oswold as a video store worker in Seinfeld


NBC

A young Patton Oswold made a splash in Season 6 of Seinfeld as a video store clerk, before going on to make a name for himself on The King of Queens.

24.

Reese Witherspoon as Rachel’s sister on Friends


NBC

At the very beginning of her career, Reese Witherspoon was on two episodes of Friends as Rachel’s sister Jill, who tries to date Ross. 

25.

Brad Garrett as Jerry’s mechanic in Seinfeld


NBC

Jerry’s car mechanic Tony was played by none other than Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett. It was one of his first acting gigs, and helped the actor make a name for himself as a TV star. 

26.

Kathy Griffin as the annoying friend on Seinfeld


NBC

Comedian and actor Kathy Griffin appeared in two episodes of Seinfeld in the ’90s. She played Susan’s old roommate, Sally Weaver, who gives Jerry a large wedding present to deliver to George and Susan.

27.

Lauren Graham as the speed-dial dater on Seinfeld


NBC

Long before Stars Hollow, Lauren Graham starred as yet another one of Jerry’s girlfriends on Seinfeld. Her character Valerie has him on speed-dial after just two dates. 

28.

Rob Schneider as another one of Elaine’s nemeses on Seinfeld


NBC

Another SNL star to pop up on Seinfeld, Rob Schneider played Elaine’s partially-deaf co-worker Bob. 

29.

Larry Hankin as two iconic roles on Seinfeld and Friends


NBC

Larry played pretty iconic roles on both shows. On Seinfeld, he took on the role of Kramer on Jerry’s show, and on Friends he played their neighbor Mr. Heckles. In his first episode, he was originally credited as “the Weird Man”.

30.

Jim Rash as the phalange-fearer on Friends


NBC

Jim Rash – who later went on to star in Community and Brooklyn Nine-Nine – appeared in the very final episode of Friends as a nervous plane passenger seated next to Rachel.  

31.

Anna Gunn as Jerry’s girlfriend on Seinfeld


NBC

There’s something in the air with these Breaking Bad actors and Seinfeld guest roles. Anna Gunn played Amy, Jerry’s girlfriend, whom he suspects is having an affair with his cousin Jeffrey.

32.

Jeremy Piven as a potential George in Seinfeld


NBC

Jeremy Piven appeared on Seinfeld as an actor auditioning for the role of George on Jerry’s fictional show. 

33.

Jason Alexander as a disgruntled office worker in Friends


NBC

Of course, we know him as George. But after Seinfeld ended, Jason Alexander had a role on Friends as a depressed office worker.

34.

Jon Favreau as a boyfriend and a clown on Seinfeld and Friends


Paul Drinkwater / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images / NBC / Netflix

Friends fans definitely recognize Jon Favreau as Monica’s millionaire boyfriend Pete. But his role in Seinfeld isn’t quite as easily recalled. He played Eric the clown, who drew George’s ire when he didn’t know who Bozo was. 

35.

George Clooney as a hot doctor on Friends


NBC

George Clooney had already made a name for himself on TV when he appeared on a Season 1 episode of Friends with his ER co-star Noah Wyle.

36.

Debra Jo Rupp as a booking agent on Seinfeld and a wife on Friends


NBC

This actor mighn’t have massive name recognition, but surely you recognize her as the mom on That ’70s Show? On Seinfeld she appeared twice Jerry’s (incompetent) booking manager, Katie, and on Friends she had the role of Frank Jr.’s former Home Ec teacher and current wife.

37.

Leah Remini as a very pregnant lady on Friends


NBC

One of Leah Remini’s earliest roles was in the first season of Friends, as a woman who went into labor and was helped by Joey. Leah actually was one of the many women who auditioned for the role of Monica before Courtney Cox landed the part. 

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