‘Orange Is the New Black’
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‘Orange Is the New Black': Stars’ memorable roles before the Netflix series

‘Orange Is the New Black’
While some of the Netflix series’ cast came from extensive acting backgrounds, some were virtually unknown. And some even starred in the same motion pictures. Click through to see what these stars did before they could soak up their “Orange Is the New Black” fame.  (Jessica Miglio / Netflix)
Taylor Schilling
In the days before Taylor Schilling played the imprisoned and perplexed Piper Chapman on the comedy-drama “Orange Is the New Black,” she was known for her portrayal as the intelligent nurse Veronica on NBC’s drama “Mercy” (2009), pictured above left. The Massachusetts native landed small but prominent roles in feature films, like her big screen debut “Dark Matter"(2007), “The Lucky One” (2012) and “Argo” (2012).  (Mitchell Haaseth / NBC; Paul Shiraldi / Netflix )
Laura Prepon
Before Laura Prepon played Piper’s former money-smuggling girlfriend on “Orange Is the New Black,” she had a long list of television credits in the comedy genre. Prepon played an outspoken twentysomething on “Are You There, Chelsea?” (2012), pictured above left, an on-again off-again girlfriend on “How I Met Your Mother” (2009) and a responsible female lead in “That ‘70s Show” (1998). In 2004, Prepon lent her voice talents to an episode of the adult sitcom “King of the Hill” and the video game “Halo 2.” (Jordin Althaus / NBC; Paul Schiraldi / Netflix)
Kate Mulgrew
Long before Kate Mulgrew played the prison’s den mother and chef on “Orange Is the New Black,” she rose to prominence in her portrayal as Capt. Kathryn Janeway in “Star Trek: Voyager” (1995), pictured above left. The actress starred in half a dozen feature films prior to that role, including “Throw Momma from the Train” (1987) alongside Danny DeVito. She also starred in several TV series like “The Manions of America” (1981) with Pierce Brosnan. Additional highlights of Mulgrew’s guest appearances on television included stints on “Cheers,” “St. Elsewhere” and “Murder She Wrote.”  (AP Photo; Paul Schiraldi / Netflix)
Uzo Aduba
Uzo Aduba plays the deranged Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on “Orange Is the New Black,” which garnered the Nigerian actress her breakout role. Before that, Aduba starred in several shorts as a cafeteria worker in the comedy-drama “Sing Along” (2013) and a bartender in the comedy-crime short “Wwjd.” She’s pictured above left in the 2008 La Jolla Playhouse production “The Seven.” (Sean Masterson / Los Angeles Times; Paul Schiraldi / Netflix)
Jason Biggs
Jason Biggs began his acting career at the age of 5 when he landed various national commercial gigs. From there, the New Jersey native scored a Broadway debut alongside Judd Hirsch in the play “Conversations With My Father” (1991) and a role on the daytime soap opera “As the World Turns,” which earned him an Emmy nod for younger actor in a drama series. Biggs shot to national attention with his portrayal of the awkward and curious teenager Jim in the teen sex comedy “American Pie” (1999), pictured above left. Several movie roles came after for Biggs, like “Loser” (2000), “Jersey Girl” (2004) and “Over Her Dead Body” (2008). On “Orange Is the New Black,” he plays a frazzled writer, desperate to prolong a romantic relationship with his imprisoned girlfriend.  (Vivian Zink / Universal Studios; Paul Schiraldi / Netflix)
Taryn Manning
Long before Taryn Manning played a drug-addicted, religious-preaching criminal on “Orange Is the New Black,” she starred in a pack of feature films. She may have had her “Orange” role coming, as she’s played nearly half a dozen troubled characters. High points include “Crazy/Beautiful” (2001), “8 Mile” (2002) and “Hustle & Flow” (2005). The petite actress also had a role in the 2007 miniseries “Drive,” playing a Hurricane Katrina survivor.  (Alan Spearman / Paramount Classics; Eric Leibowitz / Netflix)
Natasha Lyonne
Like her costar Jason Biggs, Natasha Lyonne also starred in the teen sex comedy “American Pie” (1999), as wise-cracking Jessica. Her acting career began at the age of 6, when she played Opal on “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” (1986). From there she went on to a role in Woody Allen’s “Everyone Says I Love You” (1996) as Goldie Hawn’s daughter. The actress then turned to indie films, where she earned lead roles in the motion pictures “Slums of Beverly Hills” (1998) and “But I’m a Cheerleader” (1999), pictured above left. Her television credits include guest appearances on “Will & Grace” (2000), “New Girl” (2011) and “Weeds” (2012). In “Orange Is the New Black,” Lyonne plays a wacky-haired former drug addict.  (Mark Lipson / Lionsgate; Ursula Coyote / Netflix)
Michael Harney
Long before Michael Harney was cast as a lesbian-bashing social worker on “Orange Is the New Black,” he had an extensive career as an actor and director. In New York City, Harney played both director and actor in more than 80 plays. He scored a recurring role as a detective on ABC’s police drama “NYPD Blue” (1993) and went on to star as another detective in Showtime’s crime drama “Weeds” (2011), pictured above left. His feature film highlights include roles in “Erin Brockovich” (2000), “Ocean’s Thirteen” (2007) and “Captivity” (2007).  (Jordin Althaus / Showtime; Jessica Miglio / Netflix )
Michelle Hurst
Before Michelle Hurst played a feared and firm inmate on “Orange Is the New Black,” she had many performances in theater, film and television. The Brooklyn native became known for her various roles -- public defender, social worker and even a pizza lady -- on a multitude of “Law and Order” episodes. Other small-screen credits include guest appearances on “Cosby” (2000), “Sex and the City” (2000) and “Rescue Me” (2004). Highlights of her feature film work include a role in “Sherrybaby” (2006) alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal, and her portrayal as a nurse in both “Choke” (2008) and “Stepmom” (1998). (Paul Shiraldi / Netflix)
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