Before They Were Stars

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Before They Were Stars
Genre Documentary
Written by Philip Gurin
Directed by Ellen Brown
Presented by Scott Baio
Narrated by John Cramer
Country of origin  United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
Executive producer(s) Tony Danza
Bruce Nash
Scott Sternberg
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Nash Entertainment
Scott Sternberg Productions
Katie Face Productions
Columbia Pictures Television
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Original network ABC
Original release 1 February – 1 June 1996

Before They Were Stars was a 30-minute American television show which aired on ABC in 1996 and was hosted by Scott Baio, with John Cramer as announcer and narrator.

The program originated as a series of specials which aired during 1994 and 1995; Joey Lawrence hosted the first two installments, with Karen Duffy taking the reins for the next two, and eventual series host Baio doing so for the fifth and final edition. All of the specials were an hour long, except the third, which was a half-hour.

The term "Before They Were Stars" has since become widely used by television shows and magazines when featuring segments and articles on famous actors in their lesser-known performances (and non-entertainment jobs).


This TV series showed film clips, commercials, television clips and screen tests of celebrities before they became famous, divided into segments spotlighting different genres: "Song of the Week" featured a musical performance by a then-unknown celebrity, while "As the Star Turns" showed celebrities who got their start in minor soap opera roles, and each episode ended with a "Viewer Mail" segment, in which Baio would read letters from home viewers who wanted to see a particular celebrity early in his or her career.

Each episode also featured a segment in which announcer Cramer would call on an audience member, who would be shown a clip of an unnamed celebrity in an early work, and then have the chance to win a cash prize by correctly identifying the celebrity in question.


  • Yasmine Bleeth appeared in episode 4. She described the 1980 film Hey Babe!, in which she starred with actor/comedian Buddy Hackett, when she was 12 years old.
  • In episode 7, Bleeth again appeared to introduce clips from the soap opera Ryan's Hope, on which she appeared as a teenager from 1985-1989.


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