'Orange is the New Black': Before They Were Stars
Taylor Schilling brings Piper Chapman to Netflix, starring as the author of Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison in the memoir's namesake adaptation. The actress made her on-screen debut six years before she took on the role of the inmate, playing Jackie in 2007's Dark Matter (shown above). She earned other pre-OITNB credits for Mercy, Atlas Shrugged: Part I, The Lucky One, and Argo.
Laura Prepon first hit the small screen in 1998, playing Donna Pinciotti on That '70s Show. Now lauded for her role of Alex Vause on Orange Is the New Black, Prepon also earned credits for Southlander, Slackers, and Lightning Bug during the eight years that she spent on the retro show.
Orange Is the New Black fans met Kate Mulgrew in 2013 as Galina "Red" Reznikova. Before playing the Russian culinary master of the prison, the actress picked up early experience in the '70s as Mary Ryan on Ryan's Hope. She spent more than 10 years on the show, also earning credits for Mrs. Columbo, Heartbeat, Man of the People, Star Trek: Voyager, and NTSF:SD:SUV.
Dascha Polanco joined Orange Is the New Black as Dayanara "Daya" Diaz, an inmate who is in the prison along with her mother. The actress started her career in healthcare, picking up her first acting credits in her late 20s. Polanco made her debut in the early 2010s, appearing in episodes of Unforgettable and NYC 22.
Nick Sandow appears as Joe Caputo in Orange Is the New Black, a warden at the prison. The actor made his acting debut more than 20 years before landing the gig with Netflix, earning his first on-screen credit for a 1992 episode of Law & Order. In the years since, he also appeared in One Night Stand, No Looking Back, Return to Paradise, Living Out Loud, Third Watch, and Swimfan.
Uzo Aduba picked up the Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2015 for her turn as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren in Orange Is the New Black. Before landing the award-winning part, Aduba was primarily a stage actor, hitting Broadway in Coram Boy and Godspell.
Lea DeLaria took on the role of Carrie "Big Boo" Black in 2013 with nearly a decade of credits to her name. The actress first appeared on television in 1994, booking a bit role on Matlock. She went on to earn credits for The First Wives Club and Edge of Seventeen and episodes of Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Friends, Will & Grace, and One Life to Live.
Michael Harney finds his spot at Litchfield as corrections officer Sam Healy. Harney earned his first on-screen credit two decades prior, debuting in a 1992 episode of Law & Order. He went on to earn credits for Turbulence, NYPD Blue, Deadwood, Persons Unknown, and Weeds.
Taryn Manning stars in Orange Is the New Black as inmate Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett, a role she took on more than a decade into her career. Manning first hit the small screen in the '90s with episodes of All That, The Practice, and Get Real, and went on to earn credits for Crazy/Beautiful (pictured above), Crossroads, 8 Mile, Hustle & Flow, and Sons of Anarchy.
Laverne Cox earned an Emmy nomination in 2014 for her Orange Is the New Black role of Sophia Burset, a gig that made the actress a household name. Before signing on as an inmate, Cox competed on the first season of the VH1 reality show I Want to Work for Diddy in 2008, taking eighth place.
Danielle Brooks plays Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson on Orange Is the New Black, a role she started in 2013. The actress, who picked up a Tony nomination in 2016 for her part in The Color Purple, earned her first acting credit in 2012, appearing in a TV movie.
Selenis Leyva plays Gloria Mendoza on Orange is the New Black, an inmate at Litchfield. Before she found herself in a jumpsuit, Leyva made her on-screen debut on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, appearing in one 1999 episode. She went on to act in Taina, Third Watch, Maria Full of Grace, The Sopranos, Law & Order, Blue Bloods, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
Yael Stone joined Orange is the New Black as Lorna Morello, an inmate who often finds herself behind the wheel of the prison's van. Stone earned her first acting credit in 1999 for Me Myself I, going on to appear in All Saints and Spirited.
Samira Wiley joined OITNB as inmate Poussey Washington. Before debuting in the part in 2013, Wiley earned her first credits in the 2010s with The Sitter and Being Flynn, and episodes of Unforgettable and Person of Interest.
A former child star, Natasha Lyonne plays Nicky Nichols on Orange Is the New Black. The actress earned her first credits in the '80s, appearing in Pee-wee's Playhouse as Opal.