Gilmore Girls: Top Ten Celebrity Appearances Before They Were Stars

Updated on August 7, 2018
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Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for over two years.


Gilmore Girls has helped to launch the careers of many of its stars. Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel have found success outside of the show (Parenthood and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, respectively.) Jared Padalecki has stared as Sam Winchester in the long-running, cult hit show Supernatural. Milo Ventimiglia is melting hearts everywhere with his portrayal of Jack Pearson on This Is Us. But perhaps the biggest star to come from Gilmore Girls is Melissa McCarthy. The actress/comedian has become a certified movie star, and her role as Sookie St. James helped to pave the way.

Before they made it big, many famous faces can be seen on the hit show. Let's take a look at the most impressive ones.

Seth MacFarlane in the 2002 episode.
Seth MacFarlane in the 2002 episode. | Source

10. Seth MacFarlane (Season 2, Episode 21)

In Lorelai's graduation episode in Season 2, MacFarlane portrayed fellow student Zach who continuously got into arguments with his girlfriend. The duo would eventually turn their hostile remarks towards Lorelai, because of Emily's insistence on having the ceremony filmed by a professional crew.

Since Gilmore Girls: Seth is the creator of the hit animated comedy Family Guy, and created/stars in The Orville. He wrote, directed, and starred in the films Ted and it's sequel Ted 2, as well as A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Jane Lynch in the 2000 episode.
Jane Lynch in the 2000 episode. | Source

9. Jane Lynch (Season 1, Episode 10)

Funny gal and Glee star Jane Lynch had a diverse list of acting roles before making it big with her hit show. In a Season 1 episode of Gilmore Girls, Lynch played a nurse who had to battle it out with Emily Gilmore after Richard was admitted to the hospital.

Since Gilmore Girls: Jane Lynch has gone on to star in films such as The 40-Year-Old-Virgin, Role Models, and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. She has also had roles on shows including Two and a Half Men and Glee. Lynch also currently hosts NBC's Hollywood Game Night.

Jon Hamm in the 2002 episode.
Jon Hamm in the 2002 episode. | Source

8. Jon Hamm (Season 3, Episode 5)

Before suiting up as Don Draper, Hamm appeared in a Season 3 episode of Gilmore Girls. He portrayed Peyton Sanders, a man Lorelai takes an interest in when they meet at an auction. In the episode, Lorelai put in quite the effort to find out his paddle number. However, his dull personality made for a very boring date and Hamm's character was quickly shown the door.

Since Gilmore Girls: Hamm found great success in the hit AMC show Mad Men, and has also had roles in films such as Bridesmaids, Tag, and Baby Driver. Other television roles include 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Krysten Ritter (Season 7).
Krysten Ritter (Season 7). | Source

7. Krysten Ritter (Season 7)

Ritter had a supporting role on the final season of Gilmore Girls, portraying Lucy, Rory's friend from Yale. Her character was entangled in a storyline involving Marty (her boyfriend) and his lying about having had a previous platonic relationship with Rory.

Since Gilmore Girls: Since her stint on the show, Krysten has had a successful career. She has had roles on shows such as Breaking Bad, Don't Trust the B----in Apartment 23, and is currently portraying Jessica Jones on the hit Netflix show, as well as the crossover miniseries The Defenders.

Nick Offerman on Gilmore Girls.
Nick Offerman on Gilmore Girls. | Source

6. Nick Offerman (Season 4, Episode 7; Season 6, Episode 4)

Though they both rocked the famous mustache, Offerman's character Beau Belleville on Gilmore Girls is a far cry from the iconic Ron Swanson. Offerman's Beau was Jackson's brother, who had a thing for Lorelai and believed her to be a nymphomaniac. His attempts to flirt with the Gilmore gal made for a hilariously cringe-worthy appearance.

Since Gilmore Girls: Offerman is known for his beloved portrayal of Ron Swanson on the mega-hit NBC show Parks and Recreation. Since the end of the series, he has had roles on Fargo and Will & Grace, and co-hosts the reality competition show Making It with Amy Poehler.

Billy Burke on GG.
Billy Burke on GG. | Source

5. Billy Burke (Season 3: Episodes 11, 12 and 14)

Burke played Alex Lesman, a coffee-enthusiast and nice guy Lorelai dated for a period of time. They met after attending a business class on how to run an inn, and would later go on a double-date with Sookie and Jackson. Though Lorelai wanted to learn to fish for Alex, he isn't seen or mentioned again after his three-episode arc.

Since Gilmore Girls: Lesman is known for his role as Charlie Swan in the Twilight series, and has roles in television shows Revolution and Zoo. His movie roles include Lights Out and Breaking In.

Arielle Kebbel on Gilmore Girls.
Arielle Kebbel on Gilmore Girls. | Source

4. Arielle Kebbel (Seasons 3-5, 9 Episodes)

Kebbel played Dean's wife Lindsay, who was greatly under appreciated and definitely drew the short straw. Dean would cheat both physically and emotionally on Lindsay with Rory, effectively ending their relationship. Though Lindsay tried to cook and be the dutiful wife to Dean, he couldn't get past his feelings for Rory.

Since Gilmore Girls: Arielle has had many successful television roles on hit shows including The Vampire Diaries, 90210 and Ballers. Her film credits include John Tucker Must Die, The Uninvited and Fifty Shades Freed.

Lowe as Zack on Gilmore Girls.
Lowe as Zack on Gilmore Girls. | Source

3. Todd Lowe (Seasons 3-7)

Lowe's character Zack Van Gerbig, the loveable goofball lead singer of Hep Alien, would go on to become Lane's boyfriend and later husband. He would take over as Lane's love interest due to the departure of Dave Rygalski (Adam Brody). The couple would go on to get married, have a disastrous honeymoon and later become parents to twin boys Kwan and Steve.

Since Gilmore Girls: Lowe is perhaps best known for his role as Terry Bellefleur, the simple yet kind Iraq War Veteran on HBO's True Blood. He has also recently had an appearance on the show Shooter.

Murray as Tristan on Gilmore Girls.
Murray as Tristan on Gilmore Girls. | Source

2. Chad Michael Murray (Seasons 1-2)

Murray played the role of the rich, entitled Tristan DuGray, who teased Rory and drove the girls of Chilton wild. His swoon-worthy good looks conflicted with his bratty attitude, and during his stint on the show he created problems for Rory and then-boyfriend Dean. Tristan would show a soft-spot for Rory, but ultimately was banished to military school for his reckless behavior.

Since Gilmore Girls: Murray is best known for portraying mega heart-throb Lucas Scott on the drama series One Tree Hill, as well as Charlie Todd on Dawson's Creek. He has also had roles in films Freaky Friday, A Cinderella Story, and House of Wax.

Adam Brody as the lovable Dave Rygalski.
Adam Brody as the lovable Dave Rygalski. | Source

1. Adam Brody (Season 3)

Dave Rygalski was the sweet and savvy boyfriend of Lane, who pretended he was a Christian guitarist in order to win Mrs. Kim's approval. He would also famously read the entire Bible in one sitting, in order to get permission to take Lane to the prom. Many viewers of the show believed Dave to be the one that got away, and he has become a huge favorite among Gilmore Girls fans.

Since Gilmore Girls: Brody left Gilmore Girls in order to star as Seth Cohen on The O.C. He has appeared in films such as Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Cop Out, Lovelace and CHiPs. His other television appearances include House of Lies, New Girl and StartUp.

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