EmptyDirector Larry Clark discovered Rosario Dawson at age 15 on her front porch in New York and cast her in the 1995 film "Kids." That film also marked the debut of Chloe Sevigny, who was brought on by co-writer Harmony Korine after meeting her in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village.
Michelle Rodriguez responded to an open call in Back Stage and beat 350 other actors for her debut role in "Girlfight."
Josh Brolin in "No Country for Old Men"
Contrary to Tinseltown mythology, Lana Turner was not discovered at Schwab's Drug Store. As a teenager, she was spotted by Hollywood Reporter publisher Billy Wilkerson at the Top Hat Cafe on Sunset Boulevard and referred to Zeppo Marx, whose agency signed her immediately.
Rex Lee worked as a casting assistant before nabbing the role of Jeremy Piven's whipping boy, Lloyd, on "Entourage."
Phyllis Smith in "The Office"
David Boreanaz was walking his dog when a manager spotted him. The chance encounter eventually led to his breakthrough role on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
Eric Stoltz was originally cast as Marty McFly in "Back to the Future." He shot several scenes before being replaced by Michael J. Fox, who was the first choice of director Robert Zemeckis and co-writer Bob Gale but was not initially available because of scheduling conflicts.
Harrison Ford and George Lucas (Getty Images photo)
Shelley Duvall was working at a cosmetics counter in Houston when Robert Altman's production scouts found her for the lead in "Brewster McCloud."
Charlize Theron was referred to casting agents by manager John Crosby, who saw her shouting at a bank teller that refused to cash a check from her mother.