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The Big Bang Theory: 11 Guest Actors Who Became Hollywood Stars

With season 6 of approaching this September, viewers prove time and again that fans ofbeloved characters are not going anywhere. At its height, averaged 18.6 million viewers (according to ) making it America's most-watched TV show. For an actor and comedian on the rise, having exposure to an audience that large every week has the power to show off their talent and launch careers.

Stars like Kaley Cuoco and Jim Parsons will forever be known for their iconic performances and catchphrases, but the show consistently featured notable yet not widely known guest stars who would achieve Oscar wins, critical acclaim, or even a career resurgence by guest-starring on the show.

Steven Yeun As Sebastian

The Staircase Implementation (Season 3, Episode 22)

Ten years before earning an Oscar nomination for his role as Jacob in , Steven Yeun guest-starred in one episode as Sebastian - Sheldon Cooper's disgruntled former roommate. According to IMDb, this is Yeun's first TV credit in 2010. Yeun would land in the same year launching him into stardom as Glenn for 81 episodes. Many wish that Glenn was still a part of the show instead of being killed off.

Steven Yeun is best known for his dramatic roles, but audiences see a sneak peek of what made Glenn from so popular. His delivery of the line "Run away, dude" shows off Yeun's ability to balance comedy and drama; something that is prominently featured in . Yeun is currently starring as Mark Grayson in , with multiple projects in post-production.

Courtney Ford As Alice

The Good Guy Fluctuation (Season 5, Episode 7)

Courtney Ford appeared as Leonard’s short-term love interest in season 5. The two met in Stuart’s comic book store and bonded over their mutual love for the same comic. Even though Leonard had a girlfriend, he couldn’t help himself around Alice. When he realized he liked Alice, he broke up with Priya because his intentions weren’t pure.

Since appearing on , Ford starred as Lily in the popular series Portia Bellefleur in , and more recently she’s starred as Nora Dark on

Sarayu Blue As Lalita Gupta

The Grasshopper Experiment (Season 1, Episode 8)

Sarayu Blue appeared in a season 1 episode as Lalita Gupta, an old childhood friend of Raj's. The two have a failed date and Lalita ends up flirting with Sheldon. After guest-starring in 2007, Blue has accumulated some impressive comedy credits: feature films , and star of her very own TV show, in 2018.

In this guest star, audiences can see the beginnings of what makes Blue so popular: her ability to bring vulnerability and multidimensionality to a romantic role. Blue's characters are never afraid to put themselves in uncomfortable situations as she frequently did as Emet in . Blue just wrapped and is currently filming .

Judy Greer As Dr. Elizabeth Plimpton

The Plimpton Stimulation (Season 3, Episode 21)

When it comes to comedy, Judy Greer is the master of joke mechanics, timing, and punchlines. Greer has made a career as a guest star and in supporting roles in feature films. As Dr. Elizabeth Plimpton, Greer plays a famous quantum cosmologist with a strong attraction to Leonard.

Greer is a comedy assassin who has a recognizable face and voice, but remained relatively unknown for many years. Her 2014 book, , shows through her own essays that after decades as a working actor, stardom can just be out of reach. Fortunately, after starring as Dr. Plimpton, Greer receives the recognition she deserves. She's recently been in and has a handful of projects in post-production.

Ally Maki As Joyce Kim

The Staircase Implementation (Season 3, Episode 22)

Ally Maki guest-starred as Joyce Kim, a spy who poses as Leonard's girlfriend. One of was when he brought home rocket fuel to impress her and accidentally divulges government secrets. Since appearing on the show, Maki starred in multiple TV series such as , and .

Maki's signature style is playing high-energy roles. Joyce Kim is the beginning of a string of strong-willed characters like engineer Mina Hess on and Giggle McDimples from . Blend that with her tight comedic timing and Maki shows her ability to make memorable characters.

Aaron Takahashi As A Scientist

The Hofstadter Insufficiency (Season 7, Episode 1)

Aaron Takahashi has had a long comedy career, but transcended from no-name co-stars to major recurring roles after appearing as a scientist in season 7 where Amy and Bernadette take a trip to a biology convention.

According to an article entitled , by Chris Komai, Takahashi has appeared in over 50 national commercial campaigns and is one of the most instantly recognizable television actors. Takahashi embodies the modern Everyman in his roles by bringing a comfortable likability to the screen. After , Takahashi starred as Lloyd Chung on and Kenan on .

Eric Andre As Joey

The 21-Second Excitation (Season 4, Episode 8)

Long before 2018's , Andre played Joey, a one-off guest star in an Indiana-Jones-themed episode where Sheldon and the gang attempt to see an extended cut of . He quickly when he didn't allow Sheldon and co. into the theatre.

Sitcoms are all about timing and Andre's sardonic style develops perfectly as the droll theater employee, Joey. He's quick with his delivery; a skill perfected in his larger TV roles. Since then, Andre has accumulated quite the resume from his own show to feature film and TV titles like , and .

Octavia Spencer As A DMV Employee

The Euclid Alternative (Season 2, Episode 5)

It's hard to imagine an Oscar winner in a role without a name, but that is exactly where Octavia Spencer is seen during an episode where Penny takes Sheldon to get his driver's license. Spencer already had an extensive career as a film and television guest star, but only three years after appearing as a nameless DMV employee, Spencer broke out as Minny Jackson in , a character that won her the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. It was one of Octavia's best movies.

Spencer's ability to get a laugh just from a look alone is unmatched. Today, she's been a part of projects like , and

Courtney Henggeler As Missy Cooper

The Porkchop Indeterminacy (Season 1, Episode 15)

Courtney Henggeler is best known for playing Amanda LaRusso on the hit series , but before becoming widely known, Henggeler portrayed Missy Cooper, Sheldon's friendly twin sister. One of the worst things about Sheldon was how he treated his sister like she was less-than. While Missy is a huge character in , the adult Missy is only seen for two episodes over the course of the series.

Henggeler plays the perfect comedic foil to Sheldon balancing his pragmatic extremes with warmth and empathy. was a fantastic stepping stone for Henggeler as audiences can see her bring the same qualities to her character Amanda LaRusso. Henggeler's success is not slowing down — she is currently filming the George Clooney-directed film,

Lauren Lapkus As Denise

The Comet Polarization (Season 11, Episode 21)

Before she starred in the 2020 Happy Madison romantic comedy, , Lauren Lapkus appeared on eight episodes of as Denise, the new assistant manager of the comic book store, who eventually enters into a happy relationship with Stuart. and was a lovely addition.

This role occurred during the same years as Lapkus' dramatic turn in and solidified her as a three-dimensional actor. Lapkus brings a lovability to intensely comedic and fearless characters. She holds her own with the series regulars and shows early on with Denise that she is capable of leading a movie or series. Since then, Lapkus has been in and

Kate Micucci As Lucy

The Love Spell Potential (Season 6, Episode 23)

According to IMDb, Kate Micucci has been a working actor since 2004, but it wasn't until her recurring role as Lucy did roles start to pick up for her. The show features Micucci's trademark portrayal of an awkwardly charming woman who ends up being Raj's girlfriend in season 6. However, Raj and Lucy were doom from the start because of their personal issues. helped Micucci's success as she was able to bring her signature quirky comedy style to a large network audience for 8 episodes.

Super fans of Micucci will recognize her as Oates from the comedy duo . Since starring on , Micucci can be seen in and

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