Before They Were Famous: The Surprising Early Roles Of The Big Bang Theory Cast


Before Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Simon Helberg, and Kunal Nayyar landed roles on The Big Bang Theory, they started somewhere else. Most of the stars actually got their starts on television. 

Kaley Cuoco | Photo Credit Quicksand

Kaley Cuoco’s first few roles included the television movie, Quicksand: No Escape, and the shows Northern Exposure and My So-Called Life. She didn’t really gain traction until 2002 when she landed a role on 8 Simple Rules. 

Luckily, the young actress was still only 17 when she landed the starring sitcom role. 

Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar Pre-Big Bang Theory

Simon Helberg | Photo Credit MADtv

Before he landed the role as Howard Wolowitz, Simon Helberg also had a series of guest roles on television shows. Some included Mumford, Popular, The Weber Show, Ruling Class, and Son of the Beach. In 2002, Helberg landed better roles in Van Wilder, Old School, and the sketch comedy Mad TV. 

Kunal Nayer | Photo Credit NCIS

Kunal Nayyar is perhaps the luckiest of The Big Bang Theory stars. Nayyar landed a role in a movie called S.C.I.E.N.C.E., then NCIS in 2004. Only three years later, he was cast as Raj Koothrappali on a major network. 

Kunal Nayyar has also done some voice work in Trolls and Ice Age.

Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons Pre-Big Bang Theory

Jim Parsons | Photo Credit Ed

Like Simon Helberg and Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki had somewhat of a struggle before they made it big. Jim Parsons first three roles include Ed, Happy End, and the TV movie Blitt Happens. Soon after, though, he landed a role in the Indie hit, Garden State, written and directed by Zach Braff. 

Johnny Galecki | Photo Credit Time Out For Dad

Of all of The Big Bang Theory stars, Johnny Galecki has perhaps had the most extensive career. In addition to Leonard Hofstadter, he’s also known for Christmas Vacation (as Rusty Griswold), Roseanne, and a brief stint on Entourage

Before Johnny Galecki became a household name, he got his start back in the late 1980s on TV movies like Time Out For Dad (with NFL star Dick Butkus), Murder Ordained, A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon (with River Phoenix), and the Sam Elliot film, Prancer

Have you seen any of these first roles for The Big Bang Theory cast?