Actors who got their start in horror movies


Before achieving fame in mainstream cinema, some actors began their careers in low-budget horror films. While not all of these actors made their debut in horror, their early roles in cult-classic films like Friday the 13th, Halloween, and A Nightmare on Elm Street helped propel their careers. These actors have since left their humble beginnings behind and made a name for themselves in Hollywood.

  • Matthew McConaughey, known for his roles in Dallas Buyers Club and The Wolf of Wall Street, had his breakout role in the horror film Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. Similarly, Paul Rudd, Marvel’s Ant-Man, made his debut in Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers.
  • Patricia Arquette, who made her film debut in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, established herself as a final girl in Hollywood. Renée Zellweger, known for Bridget Jones’s Diary and Judy, started her career in horror with Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation alongside McConaughey.
  • Tom Hanks, a Hollywood icon, began his on-screen journey in He Knows You’re Alone, a slasher film. Jamie Lee Curtis, the original scream queen, made her feature film debut in Halloween and continued to star in several horror films, including The Fog and Prom Night.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, before becoming a heartthrob in Titanic, starred in Critters 3, a horror comedy. Johnny Depp, famous for his role in Pirates of the Caribbean, made his debut in A Nightmare on Elm Street with a memorable death scene.
  • Kevin Bacon, known for EE commercials, began his career in Friday the 13th. Jennifer Aniston, famous for her role in Friends, landed her first major film role in Leprechaun, a horror comedy.


These actors have proven that a successful career in Hollywood can start from the most unexpected places, including low-budget horror films.