Glee Stars Before They Were Famous


2010 was a banner year for Gleeks. The cast members of our favorite musical TV show performed at the White House Easter Egg Roll; they graced the covers of multiple magazines (occasionally raising a few eyebrows); they went on tour; they sampled songs from the holy trinity of Lady Gaga, Madonna, and Britney Spears; and they actually made us like Gwyneth Paltrow. But what were the stars of this hit series doing before its 2009 premiere? Click through, and you might be surprised by what we found out.

A 17-year-old Chris Colfer as Sancho Panza in a production of Don Quixote at Clovis East High School in Clovis, California. Photo credit: Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Before he appeared on Glee, Cory Monteith also had parts on shows like Stargate Atlantis, Smallville (pictured above), and Kyle XY.

Dianna Agron played Jenny Budosh, an Aspen-partying rich kid at Hearst College, in a multi-episode stint on the third season of Veronica Mars.

Jane Lynch shills for Frosted Flakes in this commercial from the mid-90s.

Jayma Mays made her TV debut with a 2004 appearance in Matt LeBlanc’s Friends spin-off, Joey.

This is Jenna Ushkowitz’s audition song for Spring Awakening, the Broadway show that starred Glee cast members Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff. Jenna made her Broadway debut in a 1996 revival of The King & I.

Kevin McHale spent a few years in a boy band called NLT (which is short for Not Like Them).

Lea Michele, age 12, discussing her experiences as a child star on Broadway.

Mark Salling plays guitar at the Varsity Revue during his senior year at Lake Highlands High School in Dallas. Photo credit: Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Matthew Morrison as a dance instructor in Bob Rizzo’s Simply Funk. Watch a clip of him in action here.