1. Kerry Washington

Although Washington is famously remembered as handling every crisis within the White House next to ‘President Fitz’ in the TV series “Scandal”, back in 2001 she was helping her friend ‘Sara’ get acclimated to the south side of Chicago in the film, “Save the Last Dance.”

2. Idris Elba

Prior to “The Wire” and “Daddy’s Little Girl”, the English actor played ‘Smitty’ in Soul Food; the first hit drama that featured a Black cast and family in U.S. primetime TV.

3. Viola Davis

Before the powerhouse actress won an Emmy, Oscar, NAACP Image Award, and much more, Davis acted as 50 Cent’s grandma on “Get Rich or Die Tryin’.”

4. John Witherspoon

Witherspoon was ‘Officer Lawson’ in “Good Times” before we knew him for his three famous words: bang, bang, bang!

5. Kyla Pratt

Pratt worked alongside the cast of “Living Single” where she portrayed one of the kids in the children’s organization, ‘Leaders of our Future America’, which was lead by ‘Sinclaire’ (Kim Coles).

6. Jasmine Guy

During Debbie Allen’s episode of UNCENSORED, she revealed that she had brought Guy from Los Angeles to be a dancer in the television series, “Fame.” It wasn’t until a few years later when their paths crossed again in “A Different World.”

7. Terrence Howard

In Howard’s second role he portrayed Jackie Jackson in the TV-mini series “The Jackson: An American Dream.” Now Howard has close to 100 acting credits.

8. Nia Long

At just 16-year-old, Long’s first gig was in “227”, five years before she was ‘Brandi’ in “Boyz N The Hood.”

9. Sanaa Lathan

Although we will forever know Lathan as ‘Monica Wright’ from “Love & Basketball”, she first starred in “In The House” and helped ‘Mo’, ‘Q’, and the rest of their crew get into the MTV Megafest in the second season of “Moesha.”

10. Taraji P. Henson

A few years before the D.C. native was spending time with ‘baby boy’, Henson’s first two acting gigs were on “The Parent ‘Hood” and “Sister, Sister.”

11. Kimberly Elise

Long before we knew Elise from “A Diary of A Mad Black Woman,” she made her TV debut in 1995 with “In The House”. The following year, she played alongside Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Vivica A. Fox in “Set it Off.”

12. Michael B. Jordan

Jordan was on the field with Keanu Reeves in “Hardball” and then made his debut as ‘Wallace’ in “The Wire” the next year.

13. Michael Ealy

Years prior to helping Eve’s character on “Barbershop” figure out who drank her apple juice, Ealy featured on one episode of “Soul Food.”

14. Tichina Arnold

Arnold caught ‘Theo’ cheating on his girlfriend on “The Cosby Show” three years before we knew her as ‘Pam’ on “Martin.”

15. Samuel L. Jackson

Since his role as ‘Leeds’ from “School Daze”, Jackson is one gig shy from 190 acting credits under his belt.

16. Tyrese Gibson

After his big commercial break with Coca-Cola, Gibson’s first TV debut was on “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper.”