12 Female A List Stars that Got their Start in Horror Movies

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Jamie Lee Curtis – Halloween

The original Scream Queen! Even though she got her acting start in TV it was her first silver screen appearance was what really launched her career. That film was John Carpenter’s Halloween and that role was Laurie Strode, Michael Myers’ tortured sister. It was the first of five times she’d appear in the role over the course of the franchise—including 2018’s Halloween.

Sigourney Weaver – Alien

Weaver’s enjoyed formidable success in plenty of other types of films, too. Weaver has won dual Golden Globes for best actress in Gorillas in the Mist and for best supporting actress in Working Girl, both released in 1988, and she was nominated for two Academy Awards the same year for those respective roles as well…but what we all remember her for is one of her first roles which happens to be as the badass space Lieutenant Ellen Ripley in Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic Alien.

Drew Barrymore – Firestarter and Cat’s Eye

Drew Barrymore became a household name early in life thanks to her unforgettable role in Steven Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial. It simply established her as a cute, tiny, scene-stealer for her work as Elliot’s sister and ET’s pal Gertie. She followed that incredible role with back-to-back roles in Stephen King adaptations Firestarter and Cat’s Eye.

Brooke Shields – Alice Sweet Alice

Brooke Shields, like Barrymore, also got her start in the biz before she was even in double digits. Her theatrical debut came by way of Alice Sweet Alice.  Which is about a little girl who is brutally murdered, while her sister is the central suspect. She has also been in The Seventh Floor, Tales From the Crypt, Freeway, and The Midnight Meat Train to her catalogue of cinematic chillers.

Eva Mendes – Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror

One of her first real acting roles was a small role in Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror. Where she appeared as a teen who foolishly chooses to follow the satanic cult of children who worship “He Who Walks Behind the Rows.” She must have enjoyed horror because she even took a role in another slasher sequel in 2000, in Urban Legends: Final Cut.

Reese Witherspoon – Freeway and Fear

FREEWAY, Reese Witherspoon, 1996, (c) Roxie Releasing

Yes, Mrs Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama herself owes some of her success to the horror genre. Her first claim to some fame was in the mid-’90s with her run as the redneck version of Red Riding Hood in the cult hit Freeway.  Plus, don’t forget her work in Fear, in which her infatuation with her deranged boyfriend makes for the worst first boyfriend experience ever.  She also starred in the psychological thriller American Psycho as the unwitting arm candy of a secret serial murderer.

Jennifer Aniston – Leprechaun

Long before Jennifer Aniston became America’s Sweetheart as “Friends “ leading lady Rachel Green, she made her feature film debut in the Leprechaun. Where she played a teen trapped in a life-or-death fight against a crazy magical leprechaun hell-bent on recapturing his stolen treasure.

Sarah Michelle Gellar – Scream 2 and I Know What You Did Last Summer

She’s best known for her role as Buffy in the Joss Whedon TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.   But on the big screen she jump started her career by taking roles in a pair of slasher films that helped launch her film career. In Scream 2 she played the ill-fated sorority sister Cici and followed up with doomed beauty pageant winner Helen Shivers in I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Sharon Stone – Deadly Blessing

Stone’s theatrical debut was in 1981’s Deadly Blessing, a Wes Craven production. To most that might’ve seemed like a sure thing.   Particularly because Craven had already proven himself with the hit Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes. However, Deadly Blessing was both slammed bu critics and snubbed by audiences.  However, this did nothing to stop the future Oscar nominee from becoming a household name just a few years later.

Mila Kunis – American Psycho II: All American Girl

Mila Kunis’ most recognized role is either as Jackie Burkhart on That ’70 Show.  Voicing the character of Meg Griffin on Fox’s animated comedy series Family Guy. Or perhaps it’s as Lily in Black Swan. However, her first true horror role came from the 1995 remake of Piranha. She also appeared in the critically disemboweled sequel to American Psycho—titled American Psycho II: All American Girl.  As well as the 2007 straight-to-DVD dud Boot Camp.

Renee Zellweger – Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation

Renee Zellweger had a huge role in a legendary horror franchise Texas Chainsaw Massacre. She starred alongside Matthew Mcconaughey in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation—filmed long before she shot to recognition.  Most certainly long before Jerry MaGuire had her at “hello”.

Charlize Theron – Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest

We aren’t even talking about her Oscar-winning performance as real-life female serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 2003’s Monster. Oh no.  We’re talking about the fact that she got her start in horror via a small role in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest.