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Before 'Tonight Show,' Jimmy Fallon was a movie star -- kind of

Jimmy Fallon debuts tonight as host of the revamped "Tonight Show."

But when the comedian left "Saturday Night Live" in 2004, he was hoping to join the long list of "SNL" alums like Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Will Farrell and Mike Myers who followed their late-night gigs and became successful movie actors.

That didn't quite happen. After landing a few roles on-screen, Fallon's movie career fizzled.

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In his first major post-"SNL" role, Fallon played New York cop Andrew Washburn in "Taxi," co-starring Queen Latifah and Gisele Bündchen.

He told the Los Angeles Times in 2005 that he took the role shortly after leaving the show.

"I thought if I leave and don't have a movie, I won't have anything to motivate me," he said. "I still think the idea of Queen Latifah and me chasing those women as they rob banks is pretty funny. Even if the movie didn't do so well."

The film, released in October 2004, grossed $36,611,066, according to Rentrak.

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In "Fever Pitch," based on a book by Nick Hornby, Fallon played Ben, a hard-core Boston Red Sox fan and math teacher who falls in love with a high-powered business consultant named Lindsey, played by Drew Barrymore. Though the 2005 romantic comedy generated good buzz, it grossed only $42,071,069.

Fallon even dabbled in animated films. In 2006, he was the voice behind Dylan in "Doogal," which follows a mutt on a mission to save the world. The G-rated movie, also voiced by Jon Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg, made $7,578,946.

"Factory Girl," a 2006 drama about the rise and fall of New York socialite Edie Sedgwick, was also not as well received. Fallon plays a promoter in the movie, which starred Sienna Miller as Sedgwick. The film, which a Times review said "disappoints as both biography and drama," grossed only $1,675,241.

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Fallon returned to television with his "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" in March 2009 but continued making the occasional movie.

During his time as host, he also appeared in the box office disappointments "Whip It" in 2009 and "Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star" in 2011.

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saba.hamedy@latimes.com

Twitter: @saba_h

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