Super Bowl

Flashback Friday: Stars in the Super Bowl Before They Were Famous

By Published on .

From the files of the Super Bowl Ad Archive. Previously: The Super Bowl's 6 Most Disturbing Ads.

Celebrities slated to pitch products in Super Bowl LII ads range from movie stars like Matt Damon to models like Cindy Crawford.

But at least as often as Super Bowl commercials use celebrities, they help create new ones.

In 1983, for example, Elisabeth Shue helped Burger King and its agency J. Walter Thompson fire up the "Battle of the Burgers" with the Super Bowl ad "Ultimate Weapon":

Shue went on to star in movies including "The Karate Kid" in 1984 and "Adventures in Babysitting" in 1987.

Long before Kate Mara tangled with Frank Underwood as Zoe Barnes on "House of Cards," she gave Super Bowl audiences an early vision of digital overexposure in AT&T's 1998 ad "Bobby Templeton":

That same year would see Sean Hayes, later to become famous as Jack McFarland in NBC's "Will & Grace," appear in two ads during NBC's Super Bowl. One saw him find an oasis from shopping for Bud Light:

The other starred Ali Landry, and made her a star overnight:

Also check out Alan Cumming ("The Good Wife," "Cabaret") on his way to a date in Lee Jeans' ad from the 1993 game, "Silhouette," and George Wendt, before he was Norm on "Cheers," with a cameo in a regional ad in 1980 for Crown Forklifts ("Noah's Ark").

A version of this article originally appeared in January 2017.

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