‘The Big Bang Theory’: How Did Kaley Cuoco Become Famous?

How Did Kaley Cuoco Become Famous


While it’s not inaccurate to say that Kaley Cuoco’s career exploded after The Big Bang Theory, it’s hardly true that was her entry into show business. As the long-running show nears its end, we’ll take a look at the actress’ beginnings, which may go back even further than you think. One of Cuoco’s first roles was in the 1995 action film Virtuosity, which was also an early breakthrough film for Russell Crowe. She made appearances in the CBS sitcom Ladies Man, and the future blonde star played a past blonde star when she took the role of the Brady Bunch’s Marcia, Maureen McCormick, in the 2000 TV movie Growing Up Brady.



A major break came when she landed a part in 2002 on the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, playing one of the titular daughters. Cuoco was deeply affected by the untimely passing of her TV father, John Ritter, during the series’ run. On the 15th anniversary of his death, she recalled working with him. “We had a table read. I had just turned 16 and I wanted to look the part — I played kind of this sexy 16-year-old. So, I wore this, like, spaghetti-strap shirt with, like, a bra strap showing,” she told the Today show. “John walks in, he looks at me and he’s like (sternly), ‘You’re playing my daughter. Put a sweater on.’ Then he barrels over in this laughter.”



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Ritter took a sweater off someone in the room and gave it to Cuoco, demanding she wear it. “That was my introduction to him. I was in love from that moment on,” she remembered. How did Kaley Cuoco join ‘The Big Bang Theory’?



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After 8 Simple Rules ended in 2005, Cuoco kept working primarily in television, landing a brief stint as Billie Jenkins on the original version of Charmed. Although her character was targeted for a spin-off, that project never came to fruition. That was just as well for Cuoco, considering The Big Bang Theory came along shortly after that – although she was not in the original version of the show. The original pilot for Big Bang did feature Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons), but the key female part, a character named Katie, played by Amanda Walsh, did not test well with audiences. The pilot was reworked and reshot.



“We did the ‘Big Bang Pilot’ about two and a half years ago, and it sucked…but there were two remarkable things that worked perfectly, and that was Johnny and Jim. We rewrote the thing entirely, and then we were blessed with Kaley and Simon (Helberg) and Kunal (Nayyar),” creator Chuck Lorre said in 2008. The show eventually became a beloved mainstay of the CBS lineup, with ratings peaking at 20 million viewers in 2015. Perhaps the show’s biggest viral success came when Cuoco led the cast in a flash mob performance of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”



What will Kaley Cuoco do after ‘The Big Bang Theory’? All things, even massively successful TV shows, must come to an end sometime. The Big Bang Theory will wrap up its run May 16, after 12 seasons. Cuoco has confessed to being the most emotional among the cast about the show’s end, saying: “If anyone hugs me, I just start crying.” Indeed, Cuoco is so attached to the show, she’s keeping the photo of the red and blue Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots that hangs on a door in the apartment.



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“It’s always in my eyeline from where I sit in the living room set, so I’m glad I’m going to put it in my own living room so I’ll see it forever,” she explained. She’s next slated to appear in The Flight Attendant, a show created by Cuoco herself.


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