Disney Channel shows have been known for starring rising talent that later became Hollywood megastars, like pretend popstar turned real-life popstar Miley Cyrus or the former Wildcat who turned into a Hollywood mogul, Zac Efron.
While some Disney Channel stars have dined and dashed, so to speak, some stayed in it for the long haul, starring in not just one, but two shows for the magical network. Whether it was spin-offs to already-hit shows or portraying brand-new characters, Disney Channel usually stayed within the realm of its circle of stars.
Before she was the Emmy-winning household name she is today, triple threat Zendaya got her start on Disney Channel. At just 14 years old, Zendaya starred as Rocky Blue alongside Bella Thorne on Shake It Up for three seasons.
Zendaya later went on to not only star in, but also co-produce three seasons of the undercover spy comedy K.C. Undercover until 2018, which would end her run with Disney Channel.
Part of Disney Channel’s classic era in the 2000s, Kyle Massey starred as Cory Baxter, Raven’s mischievous little brother on That’s So Raven for four seasons.
When That’s So Raven came to an end in 2007, Massey didn’t leave the network behind like a lot of his fellow co-stars did. He, along with TV dad Rondell Sheridan, starred in their own spin-off titled Cory in the House that resided the characters in a fictional White House for two seasons before its cancellation.
While she played an heiress on Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Brenda Song was an actual Disney Channel heiress, appearing in several shows and films for the network during the course of her career.
Song first starred in a recurring role on Phil of the Future as Tia, a character whose similarities to London Tipton scored her the offer to play the lovable hotel heiress, a role she played for over half a decade on Suite Life and its spin-off Suite Life on Deck.
When Jason Dolley wasn’t jumping through time or playing a chicken mascot in memorable DCOMs like Minutemen and Hatching Pete, he was starring in some hit Disney Channel shows.
Dolley’s first leading role with the network was as Newt Livingston on Cory in the House alongside Disney Channel vets Kyle Massey and Jake Thomas of Lizzie McGuire. The actor later scored the role of PJ Duncan on Good Luck Charlie, a character he played for four seasons and in the show’s Christmas special.
Long before she became a major part of The Skeleton Clique, actress Debby Ryan was making it big with hit after hit on Disney Channel.
Ryan made her Disney debut as Bailey Pickett on Suite Life on Deck, being considered one of the network’s biggest supercouples alongside Cole Sprouse’s Cody. Ryan seemed to take that cruise ship all the way to New York City when she later starred in Jessie as the title character for four seasons.
Although he had been acting since he was a child, Mitchel Musso rose to fame as Oliver Oaken on one of Disney Channel’s biggest series, Hannah Montana.
While Miley and Lily were moving to a new home, Musso was missing from most of the final season of Hannah Montana in order to star in the Disney XD show Pair of Kings as King Brady for the first two seasons before dropping to a guest role for the show’s third and final season.
Although an actress since she was 4 years old on The Cosby Show, Raven-Symone became one of the biggest names on Disney Channel in the early 2000s for her starring role on That’s So Raven.
After a successful four seasons and a decade since the show’s end, Symone returned to Disney Channel in 2017 for a reboot, Raven’s Home, which has already surpassed the number of seasons of the original.
Orlando Brown made his mark on Disney Channel by starring as Eddie Thomas on That’s So Raven, but that wasn’t the only show he lent his talent to.
Brown also starred in the animated series The Proud Family as Sticky Webb for the majority of its two-season run and its DCOM The Proud Family Movie.
Christy Carlson Romano
Christy Carlson Romano was only 16 years old when she made her Disney Channel debut as the smart and responsible older sister of Shia Labeouf’s breakout role on Even Stevens.
Two years later, while still playing Ren Stevens, Romano was starring in her first voice acting role as the title character in the beloved animated series Kim Possible, along with its two television films.
While Phill Lewis had a small recurring role on Lizzie McGuire in 2001, his first starring role with the network wouldn’t come until four years later when he became the fan-favorite character Mr. Moseby on Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
Lewis went from hotel manager to cruise ship manager on the show’s spin-off Suite Life on Deck for three seasons and its subsequent DCOM The Suite Life Movie.
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