There is no question, in the age of Game of Thrones dominance, that HBO is a pretty fantastic network. The channel that brought you shows like Girls, True Detective, True Blood, The Wire and The Sopranos, to name a few, have given us hours of entertaining TV and introduced us to a bevy of beauties. So, in that spirit, we’re here to remind you of some of the hottest women who got their first big break on a show that found its home on HBO.
We’re not saying that you, the singular person who is a highly valued reader of ours, was utterly unaware of these actresses before they appeared on HBO. Everyone has seen different things and for one reason or another, an actor may have stood out to you more than the rest of us. We can rest assured though, that each of the women who we’re featuring here owes the beginning of their notoriety to an important appearance on HBO.
15 Ginnifer Goodwin – Big Love
Currently starring on ABC’s fairytale drama Once Upon a Time, Ginnifer was best known for supporting roles in the films Mona Lisa Smile and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton before HBO came calling. Well, that and spelling her name in a peculiar fashion of course. Then she was cast as the youngest of three women who married Bill Paxton’s polygamist character in the critically acclaimed drama Big Love. A brunette with striking eyes and a gorgeous face, she has gone on to appear in movies like Zootopia and A Single Man, on top of the TV series Electric City.
14 Drea de Matteo – The Sopranos
With stars like James Gandolfini, Steven Van Zandt and Tony Sirico, fellas who are incredibly adept at playing mobsters, The Sopranos is far from one of the sexiest shows ever made. With that said, there was a surprising amount of hotties that worked on the show like Edie Falco and this woman, Drea de Matteo. Having previously only acted on a single episode of some show called Swift Justice and a film almost nobody has heard of, it is safe to say she wasn’t a star when she was cast as the main squeeze of a mobster. Since her big break, she was a series lead in the ill-fated Friends spin-off, Joey, and acted on twenty episodes of Desperate Housewives before landing a large role on Sons of Anarchy.
13 Rebecca Creskoff – Hung
An exquisite redhead who’d taken several stabs at stardom since her debut in a 1998 independent film; it took a role in this series about a male gigolo for Rebecca to receive any degree of real attention. Having previously landed regular roles in several series that never saw a second season, like Quintuplets and Girlfriends, her turn as the pimp of the series lead made audiences see her in a new, sexy fashion. Going on to work on series like Mad Men and Bates Motel in supporting roles, after her role as a part of Hung, she seems poised to find greater success than ever before.
12 Sonja Sohn – The Wire
A series that was wholly dominated by male actors and characters, there were only a handful of strong women who were able to stand out on the series The Wire, such as Sonja Sohn. Cast as Kima Greggs, a police detective who understands the streets and is a formidable force, the few scenes of her at home let us see rare glimpses of her more tender and loving side. Playing someone involved in law enforcement several times since, in shows like Drop Dead Diva and Burn Notice, it is abundantly clear she has been type casted but that’s okay, because she looks good doing it.
11 Olivia Munn - The Newsroom
A former co-host on Attack of the Show who was a short lived correspondent for The Daily Show, she began to play Sloan Sabbith, her HBO character shortly after her final regular gig as herself. Olivia may have received a certain amount of fame before her time on The Newsroom but it was this series that really revealed her acting talent to most of us. A financial reporter who clearly looked up to the show’s star and fell for an egotistical producer, her role added a great deal of personality and beauty to the show. Recently graduating to feature films like Zoolander (No.2) and X-Men: Apocalypse, in which she wore a skin tight outfit, her profile seems to be on the rise, which is something we totally support.
10 Anna Camp – True Blood
The type of beauty who would have made a huge dent in Hollywood’s golden era, Anna's looks are far from her only asset, as evidenced by several roles with sweet as sin exteriors that hide dangerous intentions. Cast as Sarah Newlin, a major villain in True Blood’s second season, Anna was the perfect choice to play the obviously disturbed woman. Continuing on that trend, she would go on to play similarly complicated figures in movies like The Help and both Pitch Perfect films, as well as shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Currently consistently cast in background roles, she seemingly only needs a chance to take the spotlight in order to progress her career to the level it deserves.
9 Sophie Turner – Game of Thrones
Cast on one of the most popular television series today while she was in her early teens, as Sophie grew into adulthood it became clear that she is a gorgeous girl who could easily become a star. It certainly helps that Sansa, her Game of Thrones character, went from an entitled girl who was only interested in her own desires into a tortured soul that audiences wanted to save. Still extremely early in her career, she hasn’t had much of an opportunity to receive high profile roles but we hope that the fact that she was cast as Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypse, serves as a harbinger of things to come.
8 Katy Mixon – Eastbound & Down
A marvelous Florida peach, Katy Mixon’s curvy body and friendly smile have made her perfect for any casting director searching for someone audiences can fall for. Although she’d received background roles in movies like The Quiet, Four Christmases and State of Play, it wasn’t until she became a part of Eastbound & Down that many learned her name. The star of the ABC sitcom American Housewife, she was also one of the main figures on the recently cancelled series Mike & Molly.
7 Kelen Coleman – The Newsroom
Kelen has charisma and spunk coming out of every pore and hopefully will become a household name in no time at all. Cast in the first season of The Newsroom as the spurned girlfriend of one the show’s main characters, her role arguably provided the series one of its most heartrending moments, when we saw her heart break. Going on to appear in several series like The Mindy Project and Rizzoli & Iles, she earned a starring role in The McCarthys, a recently cancelled sitcom, but has rebounded with a major role in an upcoming comedy.
6 Jamie-Lynn Sigler – The Sopranos
For the people who were baffled that we left this stunning brunette out when we listed the pretty women who starred on The Sopranos, rest assured, we didn’t forget Jamie-Lynn. Cast as Meadow, the only daughter of crime boss Tony Soprano, by the time the series came to an end, we’re guessing the majority of the show’s supporters wanted to see more of her. Fortunately she’d already played Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss and would go on to appear on several episodes of Entourage. Hopefully she receives some juicer and sexier roles in the coming years.
5 Amanda Crew - Silicon Valley
It seems counter-intuitive that this Canadian looker would go unnoticed as a star in movies like Charlie St. Cloud and Sex Drive, but would gain fame for her work in Silicon Valley. A show focused on a group of computer whizzes coming together to build a company around their technology innovation, Amanda plays a businesswoman who bets on the ragtag group she cares about. Staying busy working on the show, she hasn’t had too many opportunities for other major roles since. That said, we’re excited to see her as one of the stars of an upcoming film written by the Duplass brothers in which she will co-star with Anna Kendrick, Stephen Merchant, Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson.
4 Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones
When Game of Thrones started, nobody had heard of Emilia Clarke, but today she stands as one of the series' biggest stars and definitely its sexiest in the eyes of a lot of people. Gaining a great deal of attention for her scene in the buff in the series debut, it was the heart, courage and strength she gave the character that made stand out amongst her peers. Cast as Sarah Conner, another woman you don’t want to trifle with, in Terminator Genisys, the film may not have been received the way she would have wanted but we’re certain she’ll have plenty of other movie chances.
3 Allison Williams - Girls
The daughter of one of America’s longest running news anchors, it wasn’t until her starring role in the HBO series Girls, that she began to make a name in her own right. Casted as Marnie Michaels, a self-important New York hipster, songstress who is forever in search of who she is, Allison managed to make the character somewhat likable and identifiable. The actor was tapped to play Peter Pan in a live telecast of a musical based on the character. She warned viewers to not watch it with cynicism in mind and many who did just that enjoyed her effort. Set to make her major movie debut in 2017’s Get Out, a horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele, she still has a great deal of untapped potential to unleash.
2 Alexandra Daddario – True Detective
The most recent inductee into the world of celebrity on this list, Alexandra may owe her fame to her body more than anyone else listed here. Playing a smaller role on the critically acclaimed show that was viewed by millions; she dropped her clothes in a remarkable scene which revealed that her body was perfect in a lot of people’s eyes. Despite playing the female lead in the Percy Jackson films, her career took a turn after True Detective, with roles in huge movies like San Andreas and the highly anticipated reworking of Baywatch following.
1 Deborah Ann Woll – True Blood
A vibrant star with a sexy body, Deborah’s turn on True Blood as a human who desires nothing more than to be a vampire, a wish she receives, earned her a large amount of fans. Remaining a part of the series right up until its end, she managed to fit in roles in movies like Mother’s Day, Catch 44 and Ruby Sparks, during her tenure. Her greatest success since her time on HBO, without a doubt, has to be her performance as Karen Page on the much beloved Netflix series Daredevil. The one thing that we know for sure about this upcoming young actress is that she has created characters people care about and that almost everyone enjoys watching her work.