The Marvel Cinematic Universe is now officially the most successful movie franchise of all time. The twelve films that have been released in the franchise to date have collectively grossed an absolutely huge $9 billion - and that's thanks largely to a huge cast of characters that is headlined by some top class actors and Hollywood A-listers.
Those actors have brought Marvel's biggest comic book characters to life on the big screen brilliantly and are now instantly recognisable in their roles - but they all had to start somewhere and, in a lot of their cases, that was on television.
Granted, a lot of those television roles were quite great and memorable in themselves (Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer in Parks and Recreation, Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock and Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, for example), but some of them were a lot less memorable.
In this article, we're going to take you through ten Marvel Cinematic Universe actors and the television shows you didn't know they had appeared in.
10 Absolutely Fabulous (Idris Elba)
The brilliant Idris Elba plays the enigmatic Asgardian Heimdall - guardian of the Bifrost and seer of everything - in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He famously doesn't actually enjoy performing the role, but has still played it in Thor, Thor: The Dark World and Avengers: Age of Ultron so far - and he'll no doubt play it again in the likes of Thor: Ragnarok.
9 The League Of Gentlemen (Christopher Eccleston)
Christopher Eccleston has enjoyed a very distinguished acting career - one that was actually somewhat tarnished when he played the very underdeveloped villain in 2013's Thor: The Dark World. That villain was Malekith - an ancient Dark Elf with a plan to plunge the entire universe into darkness.
8 Sex And The City (Kat Dennings)
Kat Dennings has played a very annoying character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - Darcy Lewis - in both 2011's Thor and 2013's Thor: The Dark World. She has served as nothing more than comic relief and has riled fans as much as any other character in the franchise with her constant quips.
7 Clueless (Paul Rudd)
Paul Rudd is the most recent heroic addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as he took on the role of Scott Lang AKA Ant-Man in the final movie of Phase 3 (which was, of course, called Ant-Man). He will next appear in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, when he will be a part of Captain America's team and go up against Iron Man's opposing group.
6 Casualty (Tom Hiddleston)
Tom Hiddleston has successfully turned a villain into one of the most popular characters in cinema with his take on Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To date, Hiddleston's Loki has appeared in 2011's Thor, 2012's The Avengers and 2013's Thor: The Dark World and he will undoubtedly reprise the role in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok and beyond.
5 Angel (Jeremy Renner)
Since first appearing in a very minor cameo in 2011's Thor, Jeremy Renner has gone on to portray Hawkeye AKA Clint Barton in 2011's The Avengers and 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's an ongoing role that will see him return to action in 2016's Captain America: Civil War.
4 Smallville (Cobie Smulders)
Cobie Smulders portrays S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and Avengers ally Maria Hill in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She has appeared in The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron on the big screen and has appeared in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on the small screen.
3 Due South (Mark Ruffalo)
Since the departure of Edward Norton (due to "creative differences") after 2008's The Incredible Hulk, Mark Ruffalo has taken over the role of Bruce Banner in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ruffalo has portrayed Banner in The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron and, in between those two appearances, in a cameo in the post-credits scene of Iron Man 3.
2 Neighbours (Chris Hemsworth)
Chris Hemsworth famously made a name for himself in the world of acting when he starred in popular Australian soap opera Home and Away. The Thor and Avengers actor played Kim Hyde in 185 episodes of the show from 2004 to 2007 - it was his definitive breakthrough role - but he also appeared in another Australian soap prior to that happening.
1 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (Clark Gregg)
Clark Gregg has had a long and successful career in both film and television - his role as Phil Coulson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is testament to that, as he has appeared as the character in four movies (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor and The Avengers), two One-Shots (The Consultant and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer) and on television (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).
However, not many people know that he also appeared in a single episode of George Lucas' The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles back in 1993. He played a character simply called "Dickinson" - an electrical engineer who worked at Edison Laboratory.
Sources: IMDB, Wikipedia.
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