Celebrities You Forgot Were On Days Of Our Lives

On November 8, 2021, "Days of Our Lives" celebrated its 56th anniversary, per Soap Hub. The NBC soap opera is one of the longest-running television shows ever and has continued to delight fans for decades. The soap first premiered in 1965 as a half-hour drama but was changed to an hour-long program ten years later, per Entertainment Weekly. The show is set in the fictional town of Salem and revolves highly around the town's main families, which include the Hortons and Bradys, as well as the DiMera and Kiriakis clans.

At the start of the series, actor Macdonald Carey was tapped as the star, playing the role of Horton family patriarch, Tom. To this day, Carey's voice is still heard at the beginning of each episode as he says the show's iconic tagline, "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives" (via Soap Hub).

With 56 years under its belt, "Days of Our Lives" fans have seen a lot of characters come and go, and with them countless actors and actresses. Of course, some of those actors ended up being huge Hollywood stars.

Mila Kunis, Jensen Ackles and more have landed roles on DOOL

"Days of Our Lives" fans never know who will pop up in Salem. The revolving characters and cameos have been too much to count over the decades. However, some stars are just too big not to remember. A number of famous faces have appeared, and even gotten a start to their careers on the NBC soap opera (via People). One such actress is Mila Kunis, who portrayed a young version of Kristian Alfonso's iconic character Hope Brady in one of her first-ever TV appearances back in 1994. Current "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Lisa Rinna became a favorite of "DOOL" viewers when she starred as Billie Reed, per Soap Central. She also ruffled feathers when she began a romance with the character of Bo Brady (Peter Reckell). Since leaving the show for good, she's reprised her role a number of times.

Long before Jensen Ackles was hunting monsters as Dean Winchester in the long-running CW drama "Supernatural," he had young "DOOL" viewers crushing hard on him as he portrayed Eric Brady. Ackles played the character from 1997 to 2000, and was even nominated for an Emmy, per The Things. Pamela Anderson may have hit it big with roles on "Home Improvement" and "Baywatch," but back in 1992, she appeared on the NBC sudser as a character named Cindy.

Pat Sajack previously starred on Days of Our Lives

In addition to Hollywood A-listers and reality stars, "Days of Our Lives" has also been home to other big stars such as Kathie Lee Gifford, who appeared in a one-episode cameo as Nurse Callihan back in 1975 before hitting big on daytime television (via People). Before Jamie Chung landed her role on "Dexter," the actress was seen as the character of Cordy Han on "DOOL" back in 2007, and back in 1995, a young Tara Reid popped up on "Days" when she appeared in five episodes as a character named Ashley. Reid later went on to star in films such as "American Pie."

Even famed "Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak has soap opera roots. The TV personality popped up on the soap back in 1983 in the character of Kevin Hathaway. He also previously had a role in "Airplane II," per Mental Floss. In addition, actress Vivica A. Fox is known for her roles in movies like "Independence Day" and "Soul Food," but back in 1988, she had viewers glued to the television when she portrayed a recurring character named Carmen Silva.

LeAnn Rimes and Ashley Benson have appeared on the NBC soap opera

According to People, even country singers can't get enough of the show. In 1995, hitmaker LeAnn Rimes appeared on one episode of the soap when she played a girl named Madison. Rimes spent most of her time on screen with actor Jensen Ackles' character, Eric Brady (via nine). Kyle Richards may be known for "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," but in 2013 she drew attention in three episodes of "Days of Our Lives" when she came to Salem as Casey McGraw.

Ashley Benson hit it big when she landed a role on "Pretty Little Liars," but before that, she portrayed a young version of Abigail Deveraux, the daughter of super-couple Jack Deveraux and Jennifer Horton. "Full House" star Andrea Barber's name is synonymous with the character of Kimmy Gibbler, but back in the 1980s, the actress played the character of Carrie Brady from 1982 until 1986.

So the next time you're watching a soap look closely, you may just see one of Hollywood's next big stars.