Reality TV stars who became actors
By Frank Paiva
Special to MSN Movies
In the early days of reality TV, the average American had two ways to gain
instant notoriety: Submit a video to "America's Funniest Home Videos" or move
into a house with strangers on "The Real World." The former meant public mockery
and potential prize money. The latter meant decent income on the college lecture
circuit and a possible MTV hosting gig. Modest rewards to be sure, but the job
description was pretty minimal: Be yourself and let people film you.
Then, a decade later, "Survivor" happened. The show's massive, unexpected
success birthed a new genre of programming. Cable networks like Bravo and TLC
stopped showing Cirque du Soleil and NASA launches and started making stars out
of engineers, fashion designers and housewives. It was easier than ever to get
on television, as long as you were playing yourself.
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