There are those who first became acquainted with Meghan Markle when she became engaged to Prince Harry. Then, there are those who have been fans since her role as Rachel Zane on the hit USA drama Suits made her a household name. And, then, there are those eagle-eyed viewers of Deal or No Deal who remember her as one of the 26 models whose numbered suitcase may or may not hold your chances of fortune.
If this is the first you are hearing about the Duchess of Sussex’s early job on the popular game show, I certainly do not blame you. In fact, there are a good handful of performances on the 39-year-old, Los Angeles-born actress’ resume that never quite managed to be the break that Suits eventually became for her. However, we at CinemaBlend enjoy shining the spotlight on celebrities’ humble beginnings, and that is not limited to members of the Royal Family, either.
Without a further ado, why don’t we take a look at who Meghan Markle was before she added a tiara to her wardrobe. The following are 10 of her previous roles from both the small screen and big screen that may have slipped your mind or even past your radar, starting with glimpse at earliest experience in the business.
Married… With Children (Student Sitting On Stage)
In an interview with Ellen Degeneres, Modern Family star Ed O’Neill revealed that Meghan Markle “grew up” on the set of his first claim to fame, Married… with Children, where her father was a camera operator. She even got to make a brief, uncredited appearance as a kid on Season 9 of the not-so-kid-friendly sitcom.
A Lot Like Love (Natalie)
In a brief role only officially credited on IMDb as “Hot Girl,” Meghan Markle made her feature film debut in the Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet-led romantic comedy A Lot Like Love in 2005. She plays an attractive woman who seems interested in Kutcher’s character as she sits down next to him on a plane only to receive the cold shoulder, allowing Kutcher’s business partner Jeeter (Kal Penn) the chance to charm her with promises of his impending wealth. How ironic that her wealth is now, probably, quadruple whatever amount he claimed since her wedding?
CSI: NY (Veronica Perez)
Speaking of marriage, that is just what Meghan Markle’s character from a Season 3 episode of CSI’s New York-set spin-off was hoping for until the man of her dreams (a slimy, rich playboy who had once hired her as his maid) fired her after discovering the unrequited wedding plans. The actress would also later appear on CSI: Miami in 2010 as a police officer who becomes trapped in a burning building in an attempt to save a child, at which point David Caruso’s Horatio Caine comes to her rescue.
Fringe (Amy Jessup)
Meghan Markle’s first time playing a woman of the law, however, was a year earlier on co-creator J.J. Abrams’ X-Files-esque drama Fringe in the first two episodes of its sophomore season. Her character, a junior FBI agent, is called in as, essentially, a replacement for Olivia Dunham (future Mindhunter star Anna Torv) until the end of the central heroine’s coma marked the end of Markle’s stint, as it seems.
At least Meghan Markle’s two-episode Fringe arc was more prominent than her appearances on the first two episodes of The CW’s successful Beverly Hills 90210 reboot from 2008. Her character is best known as the woman who Annie (Shenae Grimes-Beech) catches performing a lewd act on her ex-boyfriend, Ethan (Dustin Milligan), in the front seat of his car in broad daylight.
Knight Rider (Annie Ortiz)
Personally, I find even that scene in the 90210 reboot to be less embarrassing than having any involvement with NBC’s short-lived, 2008 revival of Knight Rider - the sci-fi crime drama that first made David Hasselhoff a star in the mid-1980s. On the bright side, Meghan Markle’s episode, in which hero Mike Traceur (Justin Bruening) and his talking supercar K.I.T.T. (voiced by Val Kilmer) investigate an underground fight club, allows her to show how much of a badass she can be.
Remember Me (Megan)
Meghan Markle once claimed in an interview with Her World that a bright side to working on Remember Me was the chance to work with Robert Pattinson at the height of his Twilight Fame. She appears briefly in the 2010 romantic tragedy (produced by her then-husband Trevor Engelson) as a bartender who bluntly dismisses the affections of Aidan (Tate Ellington), a good friend and roommate of Patinson’s character.
The League (Meghan)
A year before playing a character with a phonetically identical name in Remember Me, Meghan Markle’s character on the FX’s The League actually got the spelling right. In the second episode of the cult comedy that sends up the highly competitive world of fantasy football, she plays one of the first women whom the recently divorced Pete Eckhart (Mark Duplass) tries to socialize with, and soon discovers she is a divorcée herself.
Horrible Bosses (Jamie)
Meghan Markle also plays a woman on the receiving end of a charming come-on, courtesy of Jason Sudeikis, in the hit comedy Horrible Bosses from 2011. The former SNL actor’s character, Nick, approaches Markle asking if he is on “one of those hidden camera shows,” as that is the only way he could believe a woman as attractive as she could be working for FedEx.
Castle (Charlotte Boyd/Sleeping Beauty)
“Beauty” was a defining aspect of Meghan Markle’s guest spot on Castle on the romantic crime procedural’s fourth season. After Markle’s real estate broker character becomes the only surviving victim of a murderer who dresses their poisoned victims as storybook princesses, Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) begin to suspect that she is their true fairy tale killer.
Interesting how a Castle is what Meghan Markle would eventually call her residence and, while not technically a princess, royalty would become part of her livelihood. The Duchess of Sussex has actually not left her performing talents completely behind, having narrated the Disney+ documentary Elephant in 2020. If she were to ever return to the screen for a larger starring role (such as a new film, a Suits reunion, or to even play herself on The Crown), you can guarantee to hear all about here on CinemaBlend.
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Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.