For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.

Impressive Debut Performances

by Danny Bailey
Either First Movie Ever or First Credited Performance In no particular order Duane Jones and Judith O’Dea – Night Of The Living Dead Anna Paquin. – The Piano Richard Widmark – Kiss of Death Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater Group – Citizen Kane Moira Shearer – The Red Shoes Eva Marie Saint – On the Waterfront Timothy Hutton and Elizabeth McGovern – Ordinary People Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann – Withnail and I Freida Pinto and Dev Patel – Slumdog Millionaire Jean Pierre Leaud – The 400 Blows Harold Russell and Cathy O’Donnell – The Best Years of Our Lives Helena Bonham – Carter-A Room With a View Natalie Portman – Leon, the… Read more

Either First Movie Ever or First Credited Performance
In no particular order

Duane Jones and Judith O’Dea – Night Of The Living Dead
Anna Paquin. – The Piano
Richard Widmark – Kiss of Death
Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater Group – Citizen Kane
Moira Shearer – The Red Shoes
Eva Marie Saint – On the Waterfront
Timothy Hutton and Elizabeth McGovern – Ordinary People
Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann – Withnail and I
Freida Pinto and Dev Patel – Slumdog Millionaire
Jean Pierre Leaud – The 400 Blows
Harold Russell and Cathy O’Donnell – The Best Years of Our Lives
Helena Bonham – Carter-A Room With a View
Natalie Portman – Leon, the Professional
Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
Gabourey Sidibe – Precious
Thelma Ritter – All About Eve
Tatum O’Neal – Paper Moon
David Bowie – The Man Who Fell to Earth
Kevin Bacon, Stephen Furst and Tom Hulce – Animal House
Tom Courtenay – Private Potter
Albert Finney – Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Rita Tushingham and Paul Danquah – A Taste of Honey
Alan Bates – The Entertainer
The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night
Eli Wallach – Baby Doll
Don Baker, Jamie Harris and Patterson Joseph – In the Name of the Father
Jean Seberg – Saint Joan
Anthony Borrows – Liam
William Snape and Emily Woof – The Full Monty
Eleanor Bron – Help
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore – The Wrong Box
Bulle Ogier-L’Amour Fou
Martin Stephens-Village of the Damned
Pamela Franklin-The Innocents
Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola et al. – Bicycle Thieves
Jo Van Fleet – East of Eden
Alan Arkin – The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming
Ménothy Cesar – Heading South
Malcolm McDowell – If
Sharon Warren – Ray
Dominic Guard – The Go-Between
Anna-Louise Lambert – Picnic at Hanging Rock
Pat Heywood, John McEnery, and Leonard Whiting – Romeo and Juliet
Thomas Turgoose – This Is England
Miranda Richardson – Dance With a Stranger
Robert Duvall – To Kill a Mockingbird
Jonathan Pryce – Voyage of the Damned
Dai Bradley and Brian Glover – Kes
Angela Lansbury – Gaslight
Lee Remick – A Face in the Crowd
Arthur Kennedy – City for Conquest
Kevin Kline – Sophie’s Choice
Sydney Greenstreet – The Maltese Falcon
Emily Watson – Breaking the Waves
Kelly MacDonald – Trainspotting
Jaye Davidson – The Crying Game
Hume Cronyn – Shadow of a Doubt
Brad Dourif, Christopher Lloyd, Dean Brooks, and Will Sampson – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Alan Rickman – Die Hard
Bille Brown – Fierce Creatures
Claire Rushbrook – Secrets and Lies
Claude Jarman Jr. – The Yearling
Victor Buono – What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Harvey Stephens – The Omen
Danny Lloyd – The Shining
James Earl Jones – Dr. Strangelove
Richard Mulligan – One Potato Two Potato
Sareh Bayat – A Separation
Navin Chowdry – Madame Soutszaka
Don Murray – Bus Stop
Brigitte Fossey and Georges Poujouly – Forbidden Games
Janet Suzman – Nicholas and Alexandra
Jonathan Winters – It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
Darlene Cates – What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
Glenda Jackson and Michael Williams – Marat/Sade
Marie-Christine Barrault – My Night at Maud’s
Lorraine Ashbourne – Distant Voices, Still Lives
Henri Serre – Jules and Jim
Alexandre Tharaud – Amour
Claude Jade – Stolen Kisses
Peter Kastner and Julie Biggs – Nobody Waved Good-Bye
Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward and others – Moonrise Kingdom
Sophie Nelisse, Emelien Merino and others – Monsieur Lazhar
Salvatore Cascio – Cinema Paradiso
Carol Marsh – Brighton Rock
Gregg Sulkin – Sixty Six
Sarah Pickering – Little Dorrit
Sebastian Rice-Edwards and Geraldine Muir- Hope and Glory
Henry Brandon – March of the Wooden Soldiers
Dick Van Dyke – Bye Bye Birdie
Sarah Miles – Term of Trial
Warren Beatty and Sandy Dennis – Splendor in the Grass
Alun Armstrong – Get Carter
Gregory Hines – History of the World: Part I
Aurora Cornu, Beatrice Romand, Gerard Falconetti and Laurence de Monaghan – Claire’s Knee
Ron Rich – The Fortune Cookie
James Naughton, Edward Hermann, Craig Richard Nelson and David Clennon – The Paper Chase
Tim Driscoll – Nebraska
Patrick Bauchau and Daniel Pommerrule – La Collectionneuse
Rhys Williams – How Green Was My Valley
Lillo Brancato – A Bronx Tale
Gianni Russo – The Godfather
Annika Wedderkopp and Lasse Fogelstrøm – The Hunt
Piero Di Iorio – Seven Beauties
Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö, Stanislas Carré de Malberg and Irène Jacob – Au Revoir, Les Enfants
John Fielder – Twelve Angry Men
Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls
Brahim Hadjadj, Yacef Saadi, Fusia El Kader et al. – The Battle Of Algiers
Ruth McCabe – My Left Foot
Ron Leibman, Paul Sorvino and Garrett Morris – Where’s Poppa?
Charlotte Laurier – Good Riddance
Brigitte Helm – Metropolis
Christian Roberts – To Sir, With Love
Solveig Dommartin – Wings Of Desire
Julia Cortez – The Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert
Betty Buckley – Carrie
Hunter Carson – Paris, Texas
Miranda Cosgrove et al. – School Of Rock
Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years A Slave
Julie Walters – Educating Rita
Elizabeth Hartman – A Patch Of Blue
David Wayne – Portrait Of Jennie
Greer Garson – Goodbye Mr. Chips
Lily Tomlin – Nashville
Levon Helm – Coal Miner’s Daughter
Catherine Sée, Philippe Beuzen, Christian Charrière and Diane Wilkinson – Suzanne’s Career
Norman Lloyd – Saboteur
Pierre Blaise, Aurore Clement and Jean Bousquet – Lacombe, Lucien
Veronica Cartwright and Karen Balkin – The Children’s Hour
Kristin Griffith – Interiors
Gene Anthony Ray, Lee Curreri, Laura Dean et al. – Fame
Lars Passgård – Through A Glass Darkly
Anne Wiazemsky, Walter Green, François Lafarge et al. – Au Hasard Balthazar
Aleksey Kravchenko – Come And See
Vic Morrow – Blackboard Jungle
Agata Trzebuchowska – Ida
Václav Neckár – Closely Watched Trains
Kerry Fox, Alexia Keough and Karen Fergusson – An Angel At My Table
Kate Winsley and Melanie Lynskey – Heavenly Creatures
Robert Rounseville and Léonide Massine – The Tales Of Hoffmann
Pelle Hvenegaard and Trowls Asmussen – Pelle The Conqueror
Rosie O’Donnell, Megan Cavanagh et al. – A League Of Their Own
Noah Wiseman – The Babadook
Janet Margolin – David And Lisa
Emily Lloyd – Wish You Were Here
Laila Morse – Nil By Mouth
Tom Everett Scott – That Thing You Do!
Carrie Benn – Aliens
Paul Williams – The Loved One
Tippi Hedren – The Birds
Jason Miller – The Exorcist
Ellen Barkin, Paul Reiser and Tim Daly – Diner
Rosalind Harris, Michelle Marsh, Neva Small and Paul Michael Glaser – Fiddler On The Roof
Richard Harris – Shake Hands With The Devil
Fionn Whitehead and Tom Glynn-Carney – Dunkirk
Breno Mello, Lourdes de Oliviera, Ademar Da Silva and Lea Garcia – Black Orpheus
Delphine Seyfrig – Last Year At Marienbad
Victoire Thivisol – Ponette
Steven Schub – Little Noises
Twiggy – The Boy Friend
Rachel Chagall – Gaby: A True Story
Yalitza Aparicio et al. – Roma

Read less