Actors, part 7: movies to TV shows

This list continues from part 6.

Here are some actors who starred in movies and later in a TV show, and I started watching that TV show because of them.

Geena Davis

I haven’t seen Davis in that many movies, but she particularly wowed me in A League of Their Own. It was because of her that I was interested in the TV show Commander in Chief. It only lasted one season, but it was a great season — and it probably helped pave the way for a female US president in real life.

  • Masterpiece
    • A League of Their Own
  • Great movies
    • Beetlejuice
    • Quick Change
    • Thelma & Louise

Zooey Deschanel

Deschanel stood out in Elf even with Will Ferrell jumping all around her. It was because of her that I tuned into New Girl. I loved the first season, the 2nd season was great, and I started getting antsy in the 3rd season — her character was fine but if you’re going to watch a show for years there has to be more than 1 or 2 characters you like.

  • Masterpiece
    • Elf
  • Great movie
    • 500 Days of Summer
  • Good movies
    • The Go-Getter
    • Yes Man
  • Bad movie
    • The Happening

Nathan Fillion

I first encountered Fillion in the TV show Firefly — every episode was brilliant. He was also in a few episodes near the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I started watching the TV show Castle because of him and it recently ended after 8 seasons.

  • Masterpieces
    • Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
    • Serenity
    • Waitress
  • Great movie
    • Much Ado About Nothing (2012)

Laura Linney

I’m fairly sure I first encountered Linney in The Truman Show. I watched the show The Big C because of her — it’s an amazing show in which her character has cancer.

  • Masterpiece
    • The Truman Show
  • Great movies
    • Mr. Holmes
    • The Squid and the Whale

Lucy Liu

Liu wowed me as one of the angels in Charlie’s Angels. She also guest starred in one episode of The X-Files. I started watching Elementary because it’s a show about Sherlock Holmes in which she’s playing (Joan) Watson.

  • Great movie
    • Charlie’s Angels
  • Good movies
    • Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
    • Shanghai Noon

Mary McDonnell

McDonnell was brilliant as Kevin Costner’s girlfriend in Dances with Wolves and the president of the universe in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica. I recently started watching Major Crimes because of her and discovered it’s a terrific show.

  • Masterpiece
    • Dances with Wolves
  • Great movie
    • Passion Fish

Tom Selleck

Although I haven’t seen any of the show he’s most famous for, Magnum, P.I., I’ve been aware of Selleck for a long time. His presence in Blue Bloods made me check it out — although I haven’t seen every episode since the beginning, I have watched the last couple of seasons.

  • Great movies
    • In & Out
    • Quigley Down Under
  • Movie that was funny at the time
    • 3 Men and a Baby

William Shatner

Shatner of course is Captain Kirk from Star Trek. Although he will always be remembered for that, he did play another brilliant role much later in his career — Denny Crane. The show Boston Legal was absolutely outrageous — but in a brilliant way. He also guest starred as The Big Giant Head in 3rd Rock from the Sun. He starred in a famous episode of The Twilight Zone, voiced Kirk in Star Trek: The Animated Series, and directed and co-wrote Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

  • Masterpieces
    • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
    • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
    • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
    • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  • Great movie
    • Star Trek: Generations
  • Good movies
    • Free Enterprise
    • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • Movie that gets better with age
    • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
  • Funny the first time
    • Airplane II: The Sequel
    • Miss Congeniality
  • Interesting documentary
    • The Captains

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