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Before Meghan Markle was soon-to-be-royalty or starring as attorney Rachel Zane on Suits, her acting career had humble beginnings.
While many of her credits started as blink-and-you’ll-miss-it roles, the Suits star successfully transitioned from a Deal or No Deal briefcase model and nonspeaking cameos to leads in two Hallmark Channel movies.
As she gets ready to walk down the aisle with Prince Harry on May 19, we've rounded up clips from Markle's acting career, from an appearance in a Tostitos commercial, where she contemplates the number of ingredients in a bag of chips, to a quick part in Horrible Bosses as an employee whom Jason Sudeikis' character describes as "way too cute to be just a FedEx girl."
Following the royal engagement news, a video resurfaced of an 11-year-old Markle protesting a sexist TV commercial with a segment on Nickelodeon's Nick News. In 2015, she shared the story about her first foray into women's advocacy at a U.N. Women's event in Beijing and revealed how the dish soap company ultimately changed the script for its commercial after her letter.
Tori Amos Music Video
A young Meghan Markle appears in music video for classic Tori Amos track 1000 Oceans – The Sun https://t.co/ije7emmsEp #ToriAmos
— Chris (@onscarletswalk) December 7, 2017
Pre-Suits and Prince Harry, Markle made her music video debut in Tori Amos’ 1999 hit “1000 Oceans,” which was shot in a parking lot in Los Angeles. For two days of shooting, Markle made about $600. She later auditioned for a Shakira music video but didn't get a callback. Catch her on the far left in the above clip.
How Meghan Markle went from ‘General Hospital’ to ‘Suits’ #ABC2020 https://t.co/ahsZNOJYwR pic.twitter.com/7ohWztJGiM
— 20/20 (@ABC2020) December 2, 2017
Markle's first official TV credit came in 2002 as Nurse Jill in a small role on General Hospital. Donning a pair of scrubs and a serious expression while she shifted through a chart, the role was as an "under five," which included a few lines of dialogue as well as appearing in the background of the shows. Her parents met on the set of the long-running soap opera. While her mother was training as a makeup artist, her father was the show's lighting director.
ICYMI: #MeghanMarkle in her 2004 acting debut on sci-fi drama “Century City” pic.twitter.com/bKV9QGRSnU
— Meghan Maven (@MeghanMaven) November 11, 2017
Set in the year 2030, the science-fiction legal drama aired only five episodes, but Markle acted alongside future Oscar and Emmy winner Viola Davis in the 2004 series.
'A Lot Like Love'
While her character, Natalie, appears in the film for less than a minute, she sits next to Ashton Kutcher on a plane and flirts with Kal Penn during the duration. She was credited only as "Hot Girl" for the rom-com box office flop.
'The War at Home'
Markle had a guest-starring role on Fox's The War at Home as Susan; the main character, Dave, develops a crush on her and fantasizes about her.
Hi @meghanmarkle loving the CSI New York appearance (no idea when it came out) xox pic.twitter.com/t7W08S2uKq
— Jack McEwan (@jackrmcewan) August 5, 2016
Markle entered the guest-star circuit regularly, including this one-episode role on CSI: NY as Veronica Perez. Her racy role found her character cleaning for businessmen while dressed in saucy lingerie.
Markle's first TV movie role also came in 2006, with a small part in Deceit, where she gives her friend some sound advice, “You’re an investigative journalist; do what you do best — investigate her." While clips featuring Markle have been pulled from the Internet, you can watch the trailer above.
'Deal or No Deal'
In 2007, Markle appeared on four episodes of the game show Deal or No Deal as the holder of case 24. Watch this clip of the royal-to-be carrying out her duties and looking ecstatic over revealing a hidden amount of $5. The gig also required some impressive synchronized walking in heels and matching dresses alongside the other briefcase models.
Markle appeared on The CW early in her career, in possibly her raciest role. Her character, Wendy, appeared in two episodes, and the part included a scene of implied oral sex in a car in the series premiere. While it was a non-speaking role on the teen drama, one of the characters asks who Markle is, only to be told, “Not a chance in hell is what you call her.”
Markle exuded confidence as a character also named Meghan in a 2009 episode of The League. After the lead character offers to buy her a drink, she orders a Sea Breeze before noticing his wedding ring. They have some flirty banter and bond over a mutual dislike of magic.
Four years after her underwear-clad appearance on CSI: NY, Markle appeared on sibling show CSI: Miami for a guest spot as Officer Leah Montoya. The dramatic role shows her running into a burning building offering to be a second set of hands to save a child. As the building collapses, she gets stuck inhaling smoke and is carried out by paramedics.
Markle returned to the big screen in 2010 with a small part as a bartender named Megan in the Robert Pattinson/Emilie de Ravin drama. Her character briefly interacts with Pattinson's protagonist and tells his friend not to speak to her. Markle said enjoyed working with Pattinson and described her experience working with him by saying, “He’s a really lovely guy and a really great example to be able to watch someone who is young, who’s stardom has really taken over his live in such a huge way, and yet he’s still gracious, humble and cool. I think that is really endearing.” Clips have disappeared from online, but watch the movie's trailer above.
Markle's breakout out role came with the USA Network drama series, in which she played Rachel Zane, a paralegal-turned-lawyer at the show's law firm who married Mike (Patrick J. Adams) in the season seven finale. After appearing in 108 episodes, from 2011-18, Markle departed the show to focus on her wedding and impending life as a royal. Adams also departed the show at the same time.
This year changed everything for Markle in terms of her career. Right before Suits debuted later in 2011, audiences saw her playing a FedEx worker whom Jason Sudeikis' character flirts with in Horrible Bosses. In the scene, he asks if they are on a hidden-camera show because Markle is “too cute to just be a FedEx girl.”
Markle appeared in the movie Dysfunctional Friends as a photographer who tells off a male model during their photo shoot. During the shoot she tries to redirect the model but ultimately reminds him, “This is not porn —t his is for the Sunday paper.” She also lightly slaps him when he expresses his vision and rejects his idea by telling him, “That’s why you’re not paid to think.” Watch her starting around the 1:30 mark in the video above. While clips of Markle are not available online, you can watch the trailer above.
Markle narrates the beginning of the trailer saying, "This is the biggest dating site in L.A. Random encounters is what we're looking for. People who too are chickenshit to do something about it, so pretty much for people like you." While the royal-to-be wasn’t the star, she heavily chimes in with feisty phrases and jokes.
'When Sparks Fly'
Markle played a big-city journalist in this Hallmark movie, in which her character goes back to her hometown for a story and ends up reconnecting with her ex.
In 2015, Meghan made her last film appearance in this thriller, playing Gregg Sulkin’s devoted girlfriend, high-end model Kirsten, who gets wrapped up in her boyfriend's illicit activities.
In her second Hallmark Channel movie, Markle played Cassandra Brand, a woman who decides to change herself to fit the rules of a trendy dating guidebook in order to find a husband.
Markle served as a judge on one episode of the Food Network show right around the time she met Prince Harry. “Growing up, my fondest memories, at least for me, were in the kitchen,” she said on the show. The clip above shows her honest feedback of one of the young cook’s dishes.
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