How Jennifer Garner Worked Her Way Into Fame

Today, Jennifer Garner is an A-list actress also known for being married to actor Ben Affleck for 10 years, a union that produced three children before the couple ultimately divorced in 2015. Long before becoming one half of the second "Bennifer" (Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were the first and current), Garner was just one of countless struggling actors in New York trying to break into the business while also making ends meet.

It was the TV show "Alias" that gave Garner her big break in 2001, and she played the part of Sydney Bristow for five years (via IMDb). But, in the 1990s, small parts were the name of the game, and a small part on a New York City-based sitcom led to her meeting another struggling performer at the time — who is now also a household name. However, in the 1990s, he was a new dad in need of some urgent help.

Jennifer Garner's 'Spin City' appearance helped her spin her way to a new gig

When actors are trying to make it big, they will often take work doing just about anything to pay the bills. In 1996, Garner landed a guest spot on the Michael J.Fox sitcom "Spin City," which was filmed in New York. One of the other guests for that episode was an unknown comedic actor, Stephen Colbert, according to CheatSheet.

Of course, Colbert is now one of the most well-known names in showbiz as the host of "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" after getting his big break on Comedy Central on "The Daily Show" and then landing his own show, "The Colbert Report" (via IMDb).

In 2017, Garner appeared as a guest on Colbert's late-night show, and the pair discussed how they first met on the set of "Spin City." Colbert recalled how, at their episode's wrap party, Garner said, "Well, I'm out of a job." He said, "Well, I'm out of a job too and I have a baby." Garner quickly volunteered her babysitting services and cared for Colbert's now-adult daughter, Madeline.

Unfortunately for Colbert, but fortunately for Garner, a new agent suggested that the actress try her luck in Los Angeles. So she said goodbye to Colbert and his family to start a new life where she found her big break — and also put those babysitting skills to work with her own children, Seraphina, Violet, and Samuel.