You've seen their faces on billboards, big screen, magazines, but did you know a fair share of worldwide renown actresses & singers started off as - PAGEANT QUEENS? Here are the top 10 celebrities who prove pageants are indeed a huge jumping-off point for a career in the entertainment industry.


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Before making history as the first black woman to win the Academy Award for best actress, Halle was a full-on pageant queen. She entered multiple pageants in the 1980s, winning Miss Teen All American 1985 and Miss Ohio USA 1986. As Miss Ohio USA, she placed first runner-up to Texas' Christy Fichtner at the Miss USA 1986 pageant. In her Miss USA interview, for which she received highest scores from the judges, Halle mentioned she hoped to become an entertainer one day. From starting off locally in Ohio, she came all the way to Miss World 1986 where she represented the USA and placed 6th overall, while Trinidad and Tobago's Giselle Laronde was crowned Miss World.


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From Bollywood to Hollywood, Priyanka Chopra Jonas has left her mark, but before that, she also cemented herself as an icon in pageantry. It all started when her mother, Dr. Madhu Chopra, signed her up to participate in the Femina Miss India 2000 pageant. Priyanka placed second behind Lara Dutta, winning the Miss World India title. At only 18 years-old, she became the 5th Miss India to win the Miss World crown and made history by winning a back-to-back win for India, being crowned by her compatriot Yukta Mookhey.


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Prior to becoming a household name as an actress, the “Wonder Woman” star was a beauty pageant queen. Without her knowledge, her family signed her up for the Miss Israel pageant fresh out of high school at only 18 years-old. To her surprise, she ended up winning the pageant and was shocked to learn by winning, she automatically won the right to represent Israel at Miss Universe. Having no interest in becoming Miss Universe, she sabotaged herself by pretending not to speak English, arriving late to the activities and wearing inappropriate clothes and ultimately ended up not placing in the competition.


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If it wasn't for pageantry, the Desperate Houswives star's story might've been completely different. Growing up, Eva Longoria was inspired by a fellow Latina from Corpus, Selena. Her goal was to become a soap opera star. In March 1998, Eva won the Miss Corpus Christi USA beauty pageant, which came with the opportunity to compete in a talent show in Los Angeles. She ended up winning the talent show and staying in California to pursue her acting career.


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Back in 1983, 20-year-old Vanessa Williams made history by becoming the first black woman to win the Miss America crown. Less than a year later, she was pressured by the organization to resign after nude photos of her surfaced to be published in Penthouse magazine. Despite the scandal, Williams later launched a successful singing and acting career, including a featured role on the television sitcom Ugly Betty. Two decades after being forced to give up her crown, Vanessa returned to judge the Miss America pageant where she received a public apology from the organization's CEO.


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Prior to hosting her award-winning 'The Oprah Winfrey SHOW', guiding a successful cable network 'OWN', 'O Magazine' magazine, and 'Harpo Films' production company, this global media leader, philanthropist, producer and actress had a very rough patch in life. She was molested as a child, fell pregnant at just 14 and had her child pass away shortly after birth, all of that before graduating high school. At the age of 17, Oprah won Miss Fire Prevention, and later Miss Black Tennessee pageant, after which she was offered an on-air job at WVOL, a radio station serving the African American community in Nashville as well as a full scholarship to Tennessee State University.


Photo: Twitter/@selenagomez, Sipa Press, Texas Cinderella Pageants, Courtesy of Katy Perry

It might seem pretty unbelievable but these four superstars all had their entertainment industry start in child pageants. Britney Spears actually won loads of pageant trophies which are now kept in a museum in Kentwood, Louisiana. She said she knew she wanted to be in the entertainment industry ever since she was that young. On the other hand, Demi Lovato's child pageantry experience was a total nightmare. In her 'Dancing With The Devil' documentary, Demi confessed that her self-esteem was completely damaged from doing pageants. According to her, at only 7 years-old, she made a pact with herself saying "If I don't win this pageant, I will never eat again".

Which one of these celebrity pageant queens surprised you the most?



  1. Love this page so much Nika @missuupdates ,very informative.Keep up the good work !


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