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17 Celebrities Who Started on Soap Operas

Cicely Tyson

This highly acclaimed actor got her start on The Guiding Light in 1966. She originated the role of nurse Martha Frazier. On the show, her husband, Dr. Jim Frazier, was played by Billie Dee Williams and later, James Earl Jones. Tyson was plucked from the hospital set when producers chose her for a film called The Comedians. Her cast mates in the film were an impressive lot: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Alec Guinness, Peter Ustinov, and Lillian Gish. Throughout her career, Cicely Tyson has been known for portraying strong African-American women.