Many people go on reality shows hoping they will be discovered, and eventually become famous and successful. More often than not, however, these people are utterly forgotten as soon as the cameras stop rolling. But every once in a while, a genuinely talented person gets a boost from their reality TV appearance, and goes on to achieve big-time success. Here are some people so talented, you may have forgotten they got their start on reality TV in the first place.
Best known for: "The Office"
The big break: "Playboy After Dark"
Creed Bratton is best known today for his role as an offbeat office worker, but back in the day, Creed was actually a well-known musician. Though his short-lived music career with The Grass Roots is largely forgotten now, one of the shows that gave him a boost early in his career was "Playboy After Dark." Part proto-reality series, part variety hour, "Playboy After Dark" showed viewers what a typical night under Hugh Hefner's roof would be like. Bratton appeared on the show in 1969.
Best known for: "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" and "Suits"
The big break: "The Real World: London"
Australian-born Jacinda Barrett got her big break when she was cast on the fourth season of "The Real World," set in London. While she had gained some notoriety as a model, "The Real World" was her first TV gig. Known as "Ms. Mischief" for her habit of making prank calls and pinching strangers on the London Underground, Jacinda is much more mature these days. She's now married to actor Gabriel Macht, and the two shared some screen time in Season 2 of USA's legal drama "Suits."
Best known for: Modeling, marrying the guy who played Greg Brady
The big break: "America's Next Top Model"
After winning the first-ever cycle of "ANTM," Curry parlayed her success into a successful modeling career. Additionally, her "ANTM" fame got her a gig on VH1's "The Surreal Life," which led to "My Fair Brady" and "Celebrity Paranormal Project." Her fame enabled her to get some acting work, as well as working as a producer. Of all the "ANTM" winners, she is the most instantly recognizable.
Bailey Hanks and Autumn Hurlbert
Best known for: Entertaining Broadway audiences
The big break: "Legally Blonde -- The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods"
Hanks and Hurlbert were the winner and runner-up in this MTV reality competition series back in 2008. Unlike plenty of other reality show singing contestants, both have stayed active in their chosen field. Hanks has starred in a number of well-reviewed theater projects in and around NYC, and was also in "Step Up 3D." Hurlbert has arguable been the more successful, performing in the acclaimed Marcus Gardley play "every tongue confess" in 2010.
Also worth mentioning is Natalie Jenette Lander, who came in fifth on "The Search for Elle Woods." Despite coming up short on the show, she's gone on to have wild success as an actress on "The Middle," "Castle," and "Hannah Montana." She's also done a number of high profile video game voice-overs, including the voices of Kinzie in "Saints Row: The Third" and Terra in "Dissidia Final Fantasy."
Best known for: A Tony-nominated performance in Broadway's "Bonnie and Clyde"
The big break: "Grease: You're the One That I Want!"
Winning a spot in the Broadway revival of "Grease" on the NBC reality competition series "Grease: You're the One That I Want!" was just the start of Laura's career. She was nominated for a Tony for the role of Bonnie in "Bonnie and Clyde," and will star in the title role in the 2013 Broadway revival of "Cinderella."