ByTommy DePaoli, writer at
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Tommy DePaoli

Remember those days when you would post up in front of the TV as a kid, sidelining all of your friends to another weekend? I made a shameless habit out of screening every Disney Channel Original Movie once my parents finally locked down digital cable. I pretty much had a Pavlovian response every time this little opening sequence came on the TV.

When you develop an obsession like that, it stays with you. Nowadays, I'm constantly reminded of the DCOM craze whenever I see one of the former Disney stars in something new. Most of these people, like Zac Efron and Selena Gomez, are well-known to be cultivated by the Mouse, but there are many others who only dipped their toe in the Disney pool.

Here are 12 recognizable celebrities you might not have realized appeared on Disney Channel.

12. Amy Jo Johnson - Susie Q

The pink power ranger starred in one of the darkest movies to ever play on the Disney Channel. As Susie Q, Amy Jo Johnson gets hit by a car and plummets to her death before returning as a ghost who just wants to go to prom.

11. Seth Green - Airborne

Though not technically a DCOM, there was a time where Airborne played so much on Disney Channel that our young minds couldn't tell the difference. A pre-Buffy, pre-Austin Powers Seth Green plays your typical awkward teen.

10. Robert Englund - The Paper Brigade

That's right, the original Freddy Krueger was in a Disney Channel Original Movie, and nobody ended up murdered! In The Paper Bridage, Robert Englund plays a crazy neighbor (more eccentric and less stabby) who helps the main character on his paper route.

9. Emmy Rossum - Genius

Emmy Rossum went from the the teenage heartthrob in Genius to an adult heartthrob in pretty much everything else since then. Look at that kid's face in the promo photo, he couldn't be more thrilled to put his chin on her shoulder.

8. Bryan Cranston - 'Twas the Night

Now that we know him as the ruthless, morally corrupt drug dealer known as Heisenberg, it's pretty hilarious that his role in Disney Channel's 'Twas the Night involved knocking Santa unconscious and using his sleigh to steal from children all across the world. Walt would be proud.

7. Kat Dennings - The Scream Team

Before the days of Thor and 2 Broke Girls, Kat Dennings was just a young actress starring in lesser known (and, in my opinion, underrated) Disney Channel Original Movies.

6. Dakota Fanning - Kim Possible: A Stitch in Time

The prolific child actress leant her voice to a pre-school age Kim Possible in the full-length movie that spun off of the show.

5. Taran Killin - Stuck in the Suburbs

He skewers them now on Saturday Night Live, but once upon a time Taran Killin played a beloved pop star with frosted tips. How many times do you think wife Cobie Smulders has set up an impromptu screening of this classic?

4. Finn Wittrock - Halloweentown High

For those of us who know Finn Wittrock as Dandy, the psychotic and clown-obsessed killer from American Horror Story: Freakshow, playing the love interest in a DCOM sequel is quite the departure.

3. Jack Black - Airborne

It's hard to imagine a time when Jack Black was considered an "unknown," but Airborne was one of his earliest roles.

2. Elisabeth Moss - Escape to Witch Mountain

Acting alongside Brink!'s Erik von Detten in 1995's Escape to Witch Mountain, a young Elisabeth Moss discovers her wonder twin psychic powers that definitely helped her get ahead at Sterling-Cooper.

1. Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting - Alley Cats Strike

Now a mainstay on The Big Bang Theory making $1 million per episode, Kaley Cuoco landed a role in DCOM Alley Cats Strike early in her career. If you ever wanted to see her bowling in 1950s doo-wop garb, this is the movie for you!


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