8 Hollywood’s Biggest Names and their Breakout Films

Most stars in Hollywood or any country started in small, barely have credit, insignificant roles. However, their passion for the job often pays off, especially when they are given an opportunity and a role that suits them perfectly.

Anyway, here are some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, their breakout roles, plus their most notable project.


Breakout: A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

This dashing actor started his pursuit in acting in 1944, specifically in the stage production. After appearing in various plays, he did his breakout project, A Streetcar Named Desire. Released in 1947, he gave life to the role of Stanley Kowalski.

This stage play was then adapted into a movie where he reprised his role in 1951. His performance was highly praised, and he even received an Oscar Best Actor nomination. In 1972, he landed the lead credit in the iconic film The Godfather. His portrayal gave him his second Best Actor award from the Academy Awards. Despite declining to accept it, the decision was clear.


Breakout: The Godfather (1972)

Al Pacino’s acting career started in 1967, and it took him several years to get the projects that gave him fame and recognition until he did The Godfather in 1972. In this movie, Pacino played the supporting role of Michael, the son of Marlon Brando’s character. Studio executives did not want him at first as they eyed an already famous actor to do the work.

But the film director Francis Ford Coppola already made his choice. In the end, that decision was right as Pacino immediately received a nomination from the Academy Awards. The degree of fame that The Godfather film series gave him is undeniable. However, the one that gave him so much pride is his 1993 movie Scent Of A Woman, where he finally had the chance to walk on stage and receive his Oscar award for Best Actor.


Breakout: A Fistful Of Dollars (1964)

After landing minor and supporting roles, Clint Eastwood finally got his first lead credit for the 1964 film A Fistful of Dollars. This film was a box office hit, earning $18.9 million in Italy and North America alone, which was extremely impressive compared to its estimated production budget of $200,000. Apart from this film and being an actor, he also showed his skills in directing. In fact, he is one of few directors who won Best Director and Best Picture in the Academy Awards twice each: for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby.


Cate Blanchett

Breakout: Elizabeth (1998)

The movie Elizabeth takes credit for why Cate Blanchett has made an impressive career in the entertainment industry. Just like other known actresses today, she also started acting on stage and some less significant roles on screen. However, because of her unbelievable acting prowess, she landed her first high-profile film Elizabeth, which eventually changed her life forever. Her portrayal of young Elizabeth I of England gave her a Golden Globes and BAFTA, plus SAG and Academy Awards nods. Nowadays, she is known for her Oscar-winning roles in The Aviator and Blue Jasmine.


Hugh Jackman

Breakout: X-Men (2000)

No other actor could possibly replace Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine in the X-Men franchise. His acting career started in 1994. He had some projects that brought more recognition to his name, like his Tony award-winning role in The Boy from Oz, but it was Wolverine who gave him an incredible degree of fame worldwide. According to News Ledge, Jackman portrayed the role of Logan in seven blockbuster films, including the stand-alone movies Logan and The Wolverine.

Sharon Stone

Breakout: Basic Instinct (1992)

Many people already knew who Sharon Stone was even before she landed a role in the iconic 1992 movie Basic Instinct. She was first cast opposite action legend Arnold Schwarzenneger for the 1990 film Total Recall. However, Basic Instinct gave a major boost to her career. This erotic thriller film was a major hit despite the mixed reviews. It garnered $352.9 million worldwide and became one of the highest-grossing films of the 1990s.

Jennifer Lawrence

Breakout: The Hunger Games (2012)

Jennifer Lawrence’s name and the film series The Hunger Games are interchangeable. One would not be known without the other. Released in 2012, she started playing the lead credit, Katniss Everdeen. The first installment was a huge hit, earning over $600 million worldwide. Even the next films were successful. Despite her winning an Oscars for Silver Linings Playbook that same year, nothing compares to the success of this film series.

Julia Roberts

Breakout: Pretty Woman (1990)

Julia Roberts was a rising star before the release of Pretty Woman, considering her preceding movies, Steel Magnolia and Mystic Pizza. However, this iconic 1990s movie, opposite Richard Gere, was the tool to her fame, even up to this date. This film indeed paved her way to success.