Several of the most popular celebrities have been in the spotlight for a considerable period. Occasionally, it is intriguing to take a moment and analyze how these famous figures achieved their current status. Therefore, let’s delve into the past and contrast their 35-year-old career positions with their current standings!
At quite a young age, Justin Timberlake achieved popularity, being part of The All-New Mickey Mouse Club. Subsequently, he rose to fame through NSYNC, and his solo career has also attracted significant interest.
The beginning of 2016 marked the 35th year of the individual’s life. Currently, he is 41 years old. During the same year, he became a main character in the animated film, Trolls and also launched the hit song, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”
Julie Andrews, who was born on October 1st, just turned 87 years old and is adored for her many notable performances. She gained particular fame for her work in The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, and The Princess Diaries.
In 1970, the actress who played Lili in Darling Lili was 35 years of age. This role came five years after her performance in The Sound of Music and six years after her appearance in Mary Poppins.
Denzel Washington, who is now 67 years old, was born in 1954. He has almost doubled his age since he was 35 years old. Therefore, he was 35 years old in 1989, which happens to be a significant year in his career.
In that particular year, he featured in a few films but was awarded the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance in Glory. Additionally, he acted in A Soldier’s Story and The Mighty Quinn.
Cher has established herself as a prominent figure in the entertainment industry and she’s continuing to thrive. The songstress, who is currently 76 years old, has been entertaining audiences since 1963. It’s worth noting that Cher was born in 1946, which places her at the age of 35 at the beginning of the 1980s.
One year prior to the unveiling of her album “I Paralyze”, Cher was embarking on her Take Me Home Tour in 1981. During the time that her fans were eagerly anticipating the new album, they had the opportunity to see her perform live. In that very same year, Cher also released her concert video “Standing Room Only: Cher in Concert”.
Brad Pitt achieved fame in Hollywood with remarkable speed. He has an impressive portfolio of movies, ranging from Thelma & Louise to Bullet Train. Currently, Pitt is 58 years old, which means he was 35 years old in 1998.
At that moment, the actor had already gained success in his career, but he still had some significant works ahead. In the same year, he acted in the movie Meet Joe Black, and subsequently filmed Fight Club the following year. Additionally, he made an appearance on the comedy program Saturday Night Live in 1998.
While Courteney Cox is most recognized for her portrayal of Monica in the popular TV show Friends, she has participated in multiple projects, including those where she was involved in production. Cox, who was born in 1964, currently stands at the age of 58 and was 35 years old back in 1999.
Cox had a pretty good year overall. Firstly, it was during the popular TV series Friends, which ran between 1994 and 2004. Secondly, she starred in The Runner and also reprised her role as Gale Weathers for the movie Scream 2 in 1999.
It’s worth noting that Nicolas Cage, who shares the same birth year of 1964 with Courteney Cox, is currently 58 years old. This implies that he was 35 years old in 1999, a year in which he was occupied with two roles – portraying Tom Welles in 8mm and later Frank Pierce in Bringing Out the Dead.
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In the same year, he was recognized twice at the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards as the Favorite Actor for his roles in the movies City of Angels and Snake Eyes. Furthermore, in 1999, he received the MTV Movie and TV Awards for Best On-Screen Duo, thanks to his performance in City of Angels.
By now, Dame Helen Mirren has undoubtedly established herself as a prominent figure in the acting industry. It is rare to come across individuals who are not familiar with the 77-year-old actress. With a career that began in 1965, and having reached the age of 35 by 1980, she had already gained some significant experience in the field.
Up until that point, she had acted in a few movies, but her appearance in The Long Good Friday in 1980 played a significant role in establishing her career as a film actor. Her success continued to grow from that point onwards, and she eventually received the title of “dame” before she turned 60.
Paul Rudd is known for his ageless appearance, as can be seen from these two pictures. Despite being born in 1969 and being 35 years old in 2004, he now looks youthful at the age of 53.
Before he became Ant-Man, he had already achieved recognition as an actor. In the year 2004, he appeared in notable movies like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, P.S., and Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie. Additionally, 2004 saw the conclusion of his performance as Mike Hannigan in Friends.
Dolly Parton is widely adored and beloved as a singer. She was born in 1946, making her currently 76 years old. By 1981, when she was 35 years old, she was already experiencing the fruits of her talent and hard work.
You could most likely hear 9 to 5 on the radio if you tuned in, as it was very popular and simultaneously ranked high on the pop and country music charts. It also achieved the number one position on the adult-contemporary charts.
Seth Rogen has gained a reputation for his humorous films, and he has achieved a considerable number of successful films in his career. It might be astonishing to know that he is only 40 years old. He has developed himself as an actor, director, and also a producer in the last five years.
During 2017, he held the positions of both producer and actor for The Disaster Artist. He also made appearances in Dr. Ken and Friends From College. Additionally, he began producing Future Man around that time.
It’s been difficult not to notice the Kardashians ever since Kim gained popularity in 2007. Soon after that, Keeping Up with the Kardashians was introduced. As of now, Kim is 42 years old, having been born in 1980. In 2015, she turned 35.
At that point in time, the TV show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, was running smoothly. Additionally, there was a short-lived spin-off in the same year named Dash Dolls. Furthermore, the fame of the Kardashians on social media has also increased significantly during that time.
Lenny Kravitz is a renowned musician who, in addition to being recognized with numerous music accolades, has also ventured into the realm of acting. Although Kravitz is presently aged 58 years old, he was 35 in the year 1999.
In that particular year, Kravitz began a remarkable winning streak of four consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. It was during this time that he also unveiled his version of the song “American Woman” and collaborated with Cree Summer on a solo album.
Meryl Streep has gained immense popularity as an actress in Hollywood for the past few decades, and currently at the age of 73, she continues to be a well-known personality in the industry.
When Streep was 35 years old in 1984, she appeared in the movie Falling in Love alongside Robert De Niro, in which she portrayed a character named Molly Gilmore. However, this movie did not receive as much positive feedback from the critics as many of her later successful films.
There are individuals who assert that Keanu Reeves doesn’t appear to age considerably, and he is presently 58 years old. The photo capturing him at the age of 35 was taken in 1999.
In 1999, The Matrix was released and Reeves portrayed the central character Neo. This marked the beginning of a series of movies where the actor reprised his role as Neo.
In 2002, Kelly Clarkson gained prominence for winning the American Idol competition. She reached the age of 35 in 2017, after 15 years had gone by. Additionally, she was occupied with activities in 2017 as well.
Clarkson launched her eighth album, titled “Meaning of Life”, alongside publishing a book named “River Rose and the Magical Christmas” and lending her voice to a character in “The Star”. Additionally, she partnered with P!nk to commence the 45th American Music Awards, and made a cameo appearance in the animated series “Home: Adventures With Tip & Oh”.
Tom Cruise is a well-known figure in Hollywood, having spent a significant amount of time there. Almost everyone recognises him as an actor. He was born in 1962 and is presently 60 years of age.
In 1997, at 35 years of age, Cruise did not actively participate in any movie production, although he had just completed filming ‘Mission: Impossible’ and ‘Jerry Maguire’ in the previous year. In the following year, Cruise went on to produce the film ‘Without Limits’.
In 2004, Amy Schumer embarked on her comedic career. By 2016, at the age of 35, Schumer’s career was already taking off. That year marked the end of Inside Amy Schumer, a show she not only starred in but also created, co-produced, and co-wrote.
Schumer published a memoir titled The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo in 2016, and also received a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word Album for the same book. Currently, she is 41 years old.
Nick Cannon has established a reputation in various fields like music, comedy, acting, and being a presenter for various television programs. He was born in 1980 and is now 42 years old, having turned 35 years old in 2015.
He played the leading role in Chi-Raq and had cameos in Brooklyn Nine-Nine as Marcus and Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood as himself. Additionally, he was appointed as the Chief Creative Officer of RadioShack.
Chances are, you have watched a Jim Carrey movie, regardless of whether you enjoy The Grinch Who Stole Christmas during the holiday season or prefer Liar Liar. Jim Carrey, who was born in 1962, is now 60 years old and in 1997, he celebrated his 35th birthday.
In fact, that was the year when Liar Liar was released. He played the character of Fletcher Reed in the film, which became successful. This success allowed him to star in one of his most popular movies, The Truman Show, the following year.
Paris Hilton became famous not just for her association with the Hilton family, but also for her own career as a model and entertainer. She turned 41 years old, but in 2016, she celebrated her 35th birthday.
The woman known for her active social life had multiple business endeavors during that year. She partnered with Lidl to create a haircare line and launched her 20th fragrance while also introducing a line of home décor and shoes. In addition, she made cameo appearances in music videos by Demi Lovato and Kim Petras, and managed to participate in both New York and Milan Fashion Week as a model.
Currently, it appears that The Rolling Stones are a well-known band worldwide. The frontman Mick Jagger turned 79 during July, and it seems like he has no intention of retiring anytime soon. This indicates that he was enjoying his 35th birthday back in 1978 when he was a rock singer.
In that particular year, the Rolling Stones launched their album Some Girls, which featured Ronnie Wood as their new guitarist, replacing Mick Taylor. Furthermore, Jagger took on an acting role and appeared as himself in All You Need Is Cash.
Oprah is widely recognized as one of the most prominent talk show hosts. However, she has diversified her endeavors into philanthropy, writing, producing, and acting. She was born in 1954, which means she turned 35 in 1989 and is currently 68 years old.
One of the major accomplishments of the year was the success of the inaugural season of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Additionally, she played a role in producing and acting in The Women of Brewster Place.
Catherine O’Hara is notable for portraying various memorable characters throughout her career. Among those is Kate, the mother of Kevin McAllister in the Home Alone franchise, which she reprised in the films’ sequels. More recently, she gained a following from her performance in the TV series Schitt’s Creek, alongside her classic portrayal of Sally in The Nightmare Before Christmas.
The performer was brought to life in 1954, making her 68 years of age presently and 35 in the year 1989. In that year, O’Hara appeared in two distinct endeavors. She starred as Nancy Mae in Andrea Martin’s Together Again and portrayed various characters in I, Martin Short, Goes to Hollywood.
Jake Gyllenhaal has played some very memorable characters throughout his career in the movie industry. Being 41 years old now, he began his journey as an actor in the early 90s. During the year 2015, the actor kept himself occupied with various projects such as Accidental Love, Southpaw, Everest, and Demolition.
Gyllenhaal not only played Roland in Constellations but also reprised the role of Seymour Krelborn in Little Shop of Horrors on stage. The latter was staged at the New York City Center where Gyllenhaal continued to perform in diverse productions for the next two years.
Cameron Diaz was a prominent figure in Hollywood from 1990 until she retired in 2014, but she has recently taken on a few acting jobs despite being 50 years old. One of these roles was playing Fiona again in the third installment of the Shrek series and in a Christmas TV special titled Shrek the Halls when she was 35 years old.
She received a nomination for Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie at the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards due to her previous title. Additionally, she won the Favorite Leading Lady award for The Holiday during the same year.
Describing Elton John’s career as successful would be an inadequate representation considering his accomplishments so far. Elton John, who was born in 1947, is currently 75 years of age, implying that in the year 1982, when he was 35 years old, he was having a pleasant time as the Rocket Man singer.
In that particular year, fans had the opportunity to purchase the latest album, called Jump Up!, which was recently launched by the musician. The album contained the popular hit song Blue Eyes, which received tremendous acclaim. Additionally, despite being busy, the artist managed to release another album the previous year and also the following year.
Kirsten Dunst, who starred in memorable movies such as Interview With a Vampire and Jumanji, rose to fame at a young age. At 35 years old, she had already achieved significant success in her career.
She collaborated with Sophia Coppola for The Beguiled and portrayed the character of Theresa in Woodshock. Additionally, you may have noticed her brief appearance in USS Callister episode of Black Mirror if you were attentive enough.
Although Kim Cattrall has played various characters during her career, her portrayal of Samantha in Sex and the City is arguably the most prominent one. The actress, who was born in 1956, was 35 years of age in 1991, which was before she gained recognition for her role as Samantha.
At this stage, she appeared in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Miracle in the Wilderness. However, she also received a negative award – a Golden Raspberry Award – for her role in The Bonfire of Vanities.
Sir Ian McKellan
Throughout his extensive career, Sir Ian McKellen has showcased his versatility and talent in a variety of roles, spanning from the iconic works of Shakespeare to modern Marvel movies. Despite his impressive age of 89, he began his illustrious career at the young age of 19 in 1958.
When McKellan reached the age of 35, he had completed a tour across the U.K with the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Throughout the tour, he portrayed characters in three different plays: The Way of the World written by William Congreve, King Lear written by William Shakespeare, and The Wood Demon written by Anton Chekov.
Suzanna Somers has held various roles throughout her career, but is most well-known for portraying the character Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company. Today, the actress is 76 years old. By the time she was 35 years old, she had already been working in the industry for several decades.
In 1981, the actress’s time on Three’s Company came to an end as she was terminated due to attempting to negotiate for a higher salary. Nonetheless, Somers quickly demonstrated her capabilities as a successful businesswoman and talk show host.
Al Pacino is a highly recognizable actor known in recent Hollywood history. He was born on April 25th, 1940, and is currently 82 years old. One of his notable career successes was the release of Dog Day Afternoon in 1975.
He played the main role of John Wojtowicz and his performance even earned him a few awards. He also won multiple awards for his previous performances in Serpico, The Godfather Part II, Angels in America, and You Don’t Know Jack.
Barbra Streisand has made a name for herself both with her talents as a singer and actress. The 80-year-old started her career at about 18 years old. So, what was she doing by the time she was 35?
Well, fans of the singer that year could pick up her album Superman for the first time in a nine-year-long stretch of yearly albums. Upon release, Superman was rather well-received.
Oftentimes dubbed the Queen of Latin Music, Shakira started her career at only 13 years old. Today, the musician is 45 years old. In 2012, Shakira had a few successes. For one, the singer took one of the judging roles on The Voice.
She’s also ranked in Forbes’ list of the “Top 100 World’s Most Powerful Women.” The French Government even dubbed the then-35-year-old Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.
Many people look at Andrew Garfield and immediately think of his recent tenure as Spider-Man. Although he’s also been named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World now at 39. In 2018, Garfield took both to the big screen and the stage.
In Hollywood, he played Sam in Under the Silver Lake. He also took on the role of Prior Walter in Angels in America. Garfield performed this both at the Royal National Theater in London — as well as on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theater.
If you’re a fan of comedy, odds are you’ve seen Julia-Louis Dreyfus’ work. Dreyfus has worked on Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, and Veep. She was born in 1961, making her 61 today but stepping back 26 years, what was she up to?
This was the year she played in London Suite. In 1996, her previous role in Seinfeld also won her an award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
Chad Michael Murray
One Tree Hill fans definitely know who Chad Michael Murray is. 41 years old today, the actor was 35 years old in 2016. In 2016, Marrya played Henry in Outlaws and Angels.
Stepping onto the small screen, the star took on a role in the Marvel show Agent Carter as Jack Thompson. Interestingly, that year you could catch the actor as a worker in a Walmart commercial as well.
Christina Aguilera didn’t take long to rise to fame after the world heard her voice for the first time. Her name was nearly inescapable by the early 2000s. Her career is still going strong, too.
The singer was 35 in 2015, a year before she’d ended her run on The Voice. She’d throw on her acting shoes for a role in Nashville as Jade St. John. The role lasted for three episodes.
Bruce Springsteen has been making music since the 1960s. Now, the musician is 73 years old but celebrated his 35th birthday back in 1984. This actually marked a huge year in Springsteen’s career.
After all, it was the year he’d release what is perhaps still one of his most well-known albums, Born in the U.S.A. While Springsteen was already successful and well-known at this point, this album would really blow things out of the water to become one of the best-selling albums by any musician.
It’s hard to name every iconic role that Dame Maggie Smith has played over the years. Perhaps one of her most beloved is Professor McGonagall throughout the Harry Potter series. The actress was born in 1934, making her 87 years old now and 35 years old in 1969.
She was active in both film and theater that year. On the silver screen, she’d appear in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Oh! What a Lovely War. On stage, she’d become Margery Pinchwife for The Country Wife.
Another famous English face, Ozzy Osbourne has a much different legacy than Dame Maggie Smith. The 73-year-old rock singer was 35 years old in 1983.
That year, the musician would release one of his most successful solo albums, Bark at the Moon. In the same year, he’d released a music video for the title track of the album. He also appeared on the album Born to Laugh at Tornadoes by Was on the track “Shake Your Head (Let’s Go to Bed)”.
Goldie Hawn has made her name as an actress but as a dancer, singer, and producer as well. This has put her both in front of and behind the camera throughout the years. Hawn was 35 years old in 1980.
This was the year she’d unite with another big star, Liza Minelli, to make Goldie and Liza Together. She would also make Seems Like Old Times and Private Benjamin. She actually produced Private Benjamin as well as played Judy.
Sandra Bullock is another actress whose taken on quite a few memorable roles over the years. She’s 58 years old today and was 35 in 1999. This was the year she’d star across from Ben Affleck in Forces of Nature, adding to her romantic comedy filmography.
The movie met critical success and Bullock earned her second Golden Globe at 35. This was also the second year the actress was named one of People’s 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.
At 43 years old, Adam Levine and his band, Maroon 5, are rather well-known by now. The singer has been in the business since the early ’90s. In 2014, the star was entering his 35th year. The band’s fifth album, V, came out the same year.
The most successful singles they enjoyed were “Maps” and the now-familiar song “Animals”. Levine would also make an appearance as himself in the Lennon or McCartney documentary.
Today, there’s more representation for LGBTQ+ individuals in Hollywood than there’s ever been. This means that there are more celebrities that can share more of their personal identity with their fans, including their gender identity. These celebrities have all opened up about their journies as transgender, nonbinary, and genderqueer public figures, inspiring millions in the process.
Fans of Orange Is the New Black had the chance to see Laverne Cox’s breakout role as Sophia Burset. The actress portrayed the role so well, she became the first transgender actress nominated for a Primetime Emmy for acting.
Cox has used her fame to make strides as an activist as well. She told Time in 2014 that, “We are in a place now where more and more trans people want to come forward and say, ‘This is who I am,’ and more trans people are willing to tell their stories.”
Sam Smith first started gaining fame in 2012 after they released their single, “Latch.” Since then, their fame has only rocketed with releases such as Stay with Me.
Smith announced in 2019 that they were non-binary. They said that “After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.” They have said, “Nonbinary/genderqueer is that you do not identify in a gender. You are a mixture of all different things. You are your own special creation.”
It was very recently that Demi Lovato addressed fans on Instagram. They said, “I am proud to let you know that I identify as non-binary.”
They continued on to say, “I’m still learning and coming into myself and I don’t claim to be an expert or a spokesperson. Sharing this with you now opens another level of vulnerability for me.” In the announcement, they also shared that their pronouns are they/them.
Elliot Page has been in Hollywood since they were young. They’ve made their mark for roles in movies like Juno, shows like The Umbrella Academy, and even video games like Beyond: Two Souls.
At the beginning of December 2020, Page used social media to announce that he was transgender. The post read, “Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they, and my name is Elliot.” He also announced he would continue his efforts as an activist.
Laura Jane Grace
Another punk musician, Laura Jane Grace is the frontwoman and founding member of the band Against Me!. She also started the band Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers in 2016.
Grace came out as a woman to her fans in 2012. She’s even shared that she was inspired by meeting a transgender fan of Against Me! while the band was on tour. Her coming out was lauded as courageous by the GLAAD president at the time, Herndon Graddick.
Fans of Atypical will recognize Brigette Lundy-Paine from their role as Casey Gardner. They’ve also had roles in Bombshell and Bill & Ted Face the Music.
In November of 2019, Lundy-Paine announced that they were non-binary and that they use they/them pronouns. They said in their coming out post on Instagram, “I’m non-binary, always felt a lil bit boy, lil bit girl, lil bit neither. Using they/them as of late n it feel right.” They also noted that while it was scary to come out, they owed it to themselves to do it.
On July 15, 2015, TLC debuted their new show, I am Jazz. Still on today, the show focused on the day-to-day life of Jazz Jennings, who started the show at 14.
Being a celebrity for so long, it makes sense that Jazz would have a unique perspective on living life in the public eye. She’s said, “I’ve always been so honest about who I am as a person. And being transgender, I feel like it’s something that I couldn’t hide no matter what.”
If you’re a fan of Steven Universe or Adventure Time, you’re familiar with Rebecca Sugar’s work. They worked as the creator of the first and a storyboard artist and writer on the latter project.
Both bisexual and non-binary themselves, Sugar has made clear how crucial LGBTQ+ representation in kids’ media is. When they came out as non-binary, they shared that they use both she/her and they/them pronouns. Their work on Steven Universe earned a GLAAD Media Award and added to the James Tiptree Jr. Award Honor List.
Jonathan Van Ness
The remake of Queer Eye has been successful and few people don’t know who Jonathan Van Ness is at this point. In 2019, they shared with Out magazine that they were nonbinary.
Specifically, they said, “The older I get, the more I think that I’m nonbinary – I’m gender non-conforming.” They went on to share, “I just didn’t know what the name was. I’ve been wearing heels and wearing makeup and wearing skirts and stuff for a minute, honey.”
Audiences were taken with Euphoria when HBO released it. This was partially thanks to Hunter Schafer’s portrayal of the character Jules alongside Zendaya’s character Rue.
Schafer’s activism began early including protesting against the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act while still in high school. She has stated, “I do like people to know that I’m not a cis girl because that’s not something that I am or feel like I am. I’m proud to be a trans person.”
Miley Cyrus is a familiar face to many. It makes sense – as a Disney alum, the musician has been on screens and on stages for quite some time.
In an interview with Billboard magazine, she’s described herself as “a gender-neutral and sexually fluid person,” speaking about her gender identity and pansexuality. She has said that she personally “doesn’t relate to being a boy or girl and I don’t have to have my partner relate to boy or girl.”
America’s Next Top Model fans will remember Isis King for her run on the show’s 11th and 17th cycles. Her run during the 11th cycle made her the first transgender woman to compete on the show.
Since her time on America’s Next Top Model, King has also had roles on shows such as Shameless and The Bold and the Beautiful. She also appears in the series Strut by Whoopi Goldberg which is a biographical look into the careers of transgender models.
Shea Couleé is best known for their work as a drag queen and musician. They even took home the crown on season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars.
Since their career started, they’ve done everything from movies and television to music and internet series. They have also shared with fans that they use they/she pronouns and identifies as non-binary. More specifically, they prefer she/her pronouns when performing drag but they/them pronouns outside of their drag persona.
Asia Kate Dillon
Another Orange Is the New Black alum, Asia Kate Dillon played Brandy Epps. On top of that, they later went on to play the first nonbinary character on television in North America with their character in Billions.
Rather than making a single coming-out announcement, Dillon started to remove the gendered pronouns from their biography in 2015. This was around the same time that they auditioned for the role of Mason in Billions which they say helped them understand their own identity.
For those who love to curl up and rewatch She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, you have Noelle Stevenson to thank for that. They were the creator, executive producer, and showrunner for the series.
Stevenson describes themselves as nonbinary and described themselves on Twitter on International Nonbinary Day in 2020 as “nonbinary, or something like it.” For a more in-depth look at their story, they created a graphic novel and memoir called The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures.
Elliot Fletcher’s career started with his debut as Noah on MTV’s Faking It. He would continue on to join the casts of both The Fosters and Shameless for a time.
Fletcher came out as a transgender man very shortly after celebrating his 17th birthday, sharing that they use he/him pronouns. The actor was also a part of a project in 2017 by Jen Richards that served as a filmed message to Hollywood to open more and better roles for transgender actors and actresses.
Brian Michael Smith
An amazing actor and advocate for transgender representation in the media, Brian Michael Smith isn’t an actor to miss. You can see him in Queen Sugar, The L Word: Generation Q, andz 9-1-1: Lone Star.
Smith has been out for a good portion of his life and identified as a man from early in their childhood. He’s dedicated a good portion of his time to advocacy too. He especially fights for queer representation in media and recently took part in the Netflix Documentary Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen by Sam Feder.
Anyone who followed Grey’s Anatomy will recognize Sara Ramirez. While they have publicly been out as bisexual for some time, they came out as nonbinary on Instagram in August of 2020.
The caption reads: “In me is the capacity to be girlish boy, boyish girl, boyish boy, girlish girl, all, neither.” In case this wasn’t clear enough, they added the nonbinary hashtag to the end of the post. The artist has shared that they use she/they pronouns.
Another entry from the team that brought us She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Jacob Tobia voiced the character Double Trouble. They also have an extensive library of written work.
As for their own identity within the queer community, Tobia describes themselves as genderqueer. They also use singular they pronouns. They’ve discussed their identity in many written pieces including pieces like Why I’m Genderqueer, Professional and Unafraid for The Huffington Post. They’ve also written an autobiography titled Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story.
Ellie Desautels broke onto the scene in Hollywood with their portrayal of Michael Hallowell in Rise. On top of this, they’ve also worked on other roles and as a singer and songwriter.
As a nonbinary person, Desautels has used their art in their activism. Their college thesis revolved around telling genuine stories of transgender and nonbinary individuals called Oh, Sweet Child. They’ve continued to spread this message as they rose to fame as well.
Bex Taylor-Klause started their career early, showing a love for Shakespeare in only elementary school. It was the role of Bullet in The Killing that really kicked their career off, though.
Taylor-Klaus first came out as gay in 2016, stating, “Hello my name is Bex and yes the rumors are true I am gay.” In July of 2018, they came out once again, this time as nonbinary. At this time, they also shared that their pronouns are they/them.
With a large role in Pose as Angel Evangelista, LGBTQ+ audiences are familiar with Indya Moore’s work. This year, they’re set to play a role in the new Escape Room movie as well.
Throughout their career, Moore has been open about their identity as nonbinary and transgender. They’ve also talked openly about their experiences with bullying and transphobia throughout their life. They’ve also discussed the scrutiny they’ve been put under in being perceived as a woman by critics in Hollywood. The artist uses both they/them and she/her pronouns.
Ezra Miller has graced screens in a number of roles. Comic book fans can see them in Justice League while they took on a role in The Perks of Being a Wallflower or even in the Stephen King-inspired series, The Stand.
In 2012, Miller shared that they were queer and later shared that they use they/them pronouns. They clarified this with the statement, “I don’t identify as a man. I don’t identify as a woman. I barely identify as human.”
Candis Cayne has a long career including her role as Carmelita on Dirty Sexy Money. With this role, Cayne became known as the first transgender woman to play a recurring primetime transgender character.
Cayne came out early in her career, in 1996. She’s since said, “I’m not trying to be a spokeswoman for the transgender community; I just want to be looked at as a living, breathing, happy human being.” In 2020, she took part in the documentary Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen.
With roles in titles like Scream 4, Odd Thomas, and The Following under their belt, Nico Tortorella has managed to keep audiences on the edge of their seats when they come on screen.
In 2016, they shared that they were queer in first saying they were sexually fluid once to the New York Post and told Vulture they were bisexual only a few months later. They came out once more in a video with Trinity the Tuck in 2016 in which they described themselves as genderfluid and expressed that they use they/them pronouns.
While Hollywood is full of talented individuals, it’s worth stepping over into the world of sports for representation as well. Canadian-born athlete Quinn has made quite the name for themselves as a soccer player.
In 2020, Quinn came out as transgender and announced that they use they/them pronouns. While there were supportive responses, Quinn has shared that they were particularly disappointed to see media coverage using their birth name. They continue to play as a midfielder for the Canada Women’s National Soccer Team.
Jamie Clayton is an actress and model that you might have caught in Sense8 or for her role on Designated Survivor. More recently, she’s taken roles in series like The L Word: Generation Q as Tess.
With early dreams of being a makeup artist, though, one of Clayton’s first appearances was on the VH1 show, TRANSform Me, produced by Laverne Cox. Out magazine has honored this transgender actress by including her in their Out 100 awards.
Valentina Sampaio is an accomplished model and has even tried her hand at acting. Not to mention, she holds the title of “first” in a few of her accomplishments.
Sampaio identified as a woman from a young age, saying that she took on the name Valentina at age 12. While her classmates were accepting, she did lose her first modeling job for her identity. That didn’t stop her from later becoming the first transgender Victoria’s Secret model or the first openly transgender model on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Amandla Stenberg has made quite the impression on the world already. They’ve been on the Time list of Most Influential Teens twice and won an NAACP Image Award.
Most audiences know them as the performer behind Rue in The Hunger Games. They’ve stated that they’re nonbinary and that they use both she/her and they/them pronouns. Stenberg has used their fame to aid in their activism, a huge portion of which is dedicated to helping LGBTQ+ youth.
If you were one of the millions who tuned in to see how Netflix adapted 13 Reasons Why, you’ll recognize Tommy Dorfman. They played the role of Ryan Shaver.
Their work didn’t go unnoticed either. The same year they were introduced on 13 Reasons Why, they won the GLAAD Rising Star Award. It was also in 2017 that Dorfman came out as nonbinary and stated that their pronouns were they/them. They had already identified as queer previously to this coming-out announcement.
Joey Soloway is an artist in a number of ways as the creator, writer, producer, and director behind a number of projects. Notably, they worked on Transparent in all of these roles, eventually earning two Emmys.
Soloway actually didn’t come out until later in life. They use they/them pronouns and identify as gender non-conforming and nonbinary. In June of 2020, they announced that they’d changed their name to Joey. They’ve even taken the time to delve into their road to a nonbinary identity after 50 in their memoir, She Wants It.
Liv Hewson is an actor and playwright best known for their work on Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet. They’ve described their written work as “lots of reimaginings of fairytales and mythology with a queer and dark slant.”
Hewson was only 16 when they came out as nonbinary, letting people know that they used they/them pronouns. Their activism hasn’t gone unnoticed either. The Human Rights Campaign awarded Hewson their Visibility Award for their LGBTQ+ advocacy.
Courtney Act is a well-known name. Even before they graced the drag competition RuPaul’s Drag Race, they became a household name on the debut season of Australian Idol.
Act hasn’t slowed down since their days in competition TV, though. They’ve expanded their discography both as a solo artist and as a guest or member of a group, acted in a number of movies and TV shows, and even showed up in a number of web series. Act identifies as pansexual, polyamorous, and genderfluid.
Ruby Rose is a model and actress that almost everyone knows at this point. From her work in Orange Is the New Black to Resident Evil: The Final Chapter to Batwoman, she a library that would impress anyone.
She’s shared that she saved up to transition when she was younger but now identifies as genderfluid and uses feminine pronouns. She’s said, “I am very gender fluid and feel more like I wake up every day sort of gender neutral.”
Angelica Ross is a woman with many skillsets. Not only an actress, but Ross has also worked as a businesswoman and an activist and transgender rights advocate as well.
As an actress, you might recognize Ross from her work in Pose or in her role as Donna Chambers in American Horror Story: 1984. Her work as a businesswoman is impressive too, including founding and serving as the CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises which aimed to help employ transgender tech professionals.
Lachlan Watson is early in their career and they’ve already made quite an impact. They’re best known for their work on the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as Theo Putnam.
The performer is often cited as one of the youngest nonbinary actors in Hollywood and uses they/them pronouns. They were also a part of another project titled What I Wish You Knew: About Being Nonbinary including other celebrities on this list such as Jacob Tobia and Liv Hewson.
Rhea Butcher has worn many hats over the course of their career. They’ve hosted a podcast, done standup comedy, performed as an actor, writer, and worked as a producer.
Butcher is nonbinary and once tweeted, “I am queer and non binary and butch and gender nonconforming and a lesbian and a woman and a boy and a kid and a dude and a kind of man that is nearly impossible to describe.” They also voiced the nonbinary character, Asher, in Kip and the Age of Wonderbeasts.
Nikkie de Jager
If you don’t recognize Nikkie de Jager by name, you’ve probably heard of her YouTube channel, NikkieTutorials. There, the makeup artist offers tips and tutorials as well as vlogs.
In January 2020, Jager released a video on her channel titled “I’m Coming Out.” In the video, she revealed two things. First, she discussed her identity as a transgender woman and revealed that she was prompted to come out when someone tried to blackmail her by threatening to publicly out her without her consent.
Chaz Bono is famous in his own right as well as being the son of Sonny Bono and Cher. Fans can recognize him from his work on shows like American Horror Story and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Bono has written a number of books on their life experiences including Transition: Becoming Who I Was Always Meant to Be and The End of Innocence: A Memoir. He has also worked extensively as an LGBT activist and even served as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign.
Gigi Gorgeous rose to fame on YouTube but has worked as a model and actress as well. She gained popularity thanks to the content on her YouTube channel, especially vlogs.
In 2013, Gorgeous shared that she is transgender with the world and later thanked “transgender model and performing artist Amanda Lepore and the death of my mother for sparking my transition.” She’s also written a memoir titled He Said, She Said: Lessons, Stories, and Mistakes From My Transgender Journey.
King Princess is a musician from Brooklyn whose career shows her talent and personal style. After all, you have to be pretty talented to be asked to sign with a music label at only 11, even if you refuse.
Speaking on her identity, she’s shared that she’s genderqueer and gay. Talking to W magazine, she said, “I like being a woman sometimes,” and continued, “But I’m not fully a woman. I’m somebody who falls center on the gender spectrum and it changes day to day. It’s just not in me to decide.”
Rain Dove is a model known for their gender-nonconforming work. They’ve posed both in masculine and feminine shoots. They’ve been cited more than once as a model redefining the standards of beauty.
The model has described their own experience by calling themselves a “gender capitalist” and sharing that “I’ve never really cared about pronouns for my own descriptors.” They have also dedicated time to activism and supported Phluid Project, the first nonbinary clothing store in New York.
Hari Nef is most recognizable to audiences for her role on Transparent as Gittel. However, she’s worked extensively as a writer and model as well as an actress.
She holds the accolade of being the first transgender woman to sign to IMG Worldwide. If you aren’t familiar with the name of the company, the agency also hosts famous names like Gigi Hadid and Gisele Bündchen. After that, she became the first transgender woman on the cover of a major British magazine.
Ian Harvie is recognizable from his work on Transparent but he’s a comedian in his own right as well. He often works his life experiences and his identity into his standup routines.
He’s shared before that he knew that he was transgender at an early age but didn’t quite have the vocabulary to describe his experience with his gender identity. He officially came out as transgender when he was 32. Today, he spends a lot of his time advocating for more well-written roles for transgender performers in Hollywood.
Jayne County has left her mark on punk music with her long career. Alongside her place in the early punk scene, she has done her part as an activist as well.
For one, Jayne County became a regular patron at the Stonewall Inn, leading her to take part in the Stonewall riots. She initially changed her name to Jayne County and publicly performed as a woman in 1979. In 1996, she released her autobiography Man Enough to be a Woman.