Dancing With The Stars Season 17: Get To Know The Cast
First Published: September 4, 2013 11:52 AM EDT Credit: ABC
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- On Wednesday, ABC revealed the latest crop of celebrities gearing up to don sequins and spray tans for their foray into the ballroom, but with fifty years between the youngest contestant – 24-yer-old Corbin Bleu, and the oldest – Valerie Harper, 74, not every “Dancing with the Stars” fan is likely to be familiar with the entire cast.
Here’s our cheat sheet for those who need to get to know the stars a bit better:
Corbin Bleu, 24: Working in Hollywood since he was just a boy (he appeared in “ER” in 1996), Corbin became a household name among the tween set in 2006, when he joined Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens in “High School Musical,” playing Chad Danforth. He’s since had roles across television and on Broadway, including in the Tony-winning musical, “In The Heights.” Most recently Corbin joined the cast of The Online Network’s reboot of former ABC soap “One Life To Live” as newspaper reporter Jeffrey King
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi 25: She once ran wild on the shores of Seaside Heights, New Jersey, for MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” drinking and hooking up with her housemates. But, Snooki seems to have turned a page. She gave birth to son Lorenzo in August 2012, and is engaged to her child’s father, Jionnia LaValle. She’s also authored several books, including “Gorilla Beach,” in 2002, and the upcoming “Baby Bumps: From Party Girl to Proud Mama, and all the Messy Milestones Along the Way.” Snooki is currently starring on MTV’s “Snooki & JWoww.”
Amber Riley, 27: The actress, who hails from Los Angeles, got her big break on Fox’s “Glee,” playing McKinley High’s Mercedes. Her character recently graduated from the school, but she’s been back, helping out with the choral ensemble on the show – The New Directions. Prior to “Glee,” she actually auditioned for another Fox show, “American Idol,” but her performance never made air.
Jack Osbourne, 27: The son of rocker Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne — Jack Osbourne was born famous. TV watchers got to know him as a curly-haired, glasses-wearing, party-loving teen on MTV’s “The Osbournes,” the reality show that aired on that network from 2002-2005. He went to rehab in 2003, but overcame his issues and in April 2013 Tweeted that he had celebrated 10 years of sobriety. The actor has since married Lisa Stelly, the mother of his daughter, Pearl, 17-months. He hopes to use the show to bring awareness to fighting multiple sclerosis, which, in 2012 he revealed he had been diagnosed with.
Brant Daugherty, 28: Mason, Ohio, native Brant is the latest star of ABC’s sister network, ABC Family, to join the “Dancing” cast. He recurred as jock Noel Kahn on the hit series, “Pretty Little Liars,” while Lifetime viewers may have seen him playing Lt. Patrick Clarke in “Army Wives” Season 7. Soap fans may know him as Brian on “Days of Our Lives.”
Christina Milian, 31: Those watching “Dancing with the Stars” may have missed actress/singer Christina Milian on “The Voice,” as it airs at the same time on Monday nights, across the dial. Christina has been serving as the social media correspondent for the NBC reality singing competition. Beyond her hosting duties, she’s released albums and acted across the dial in shows like “Sister, Sister,” “Smallville,” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”
Keyshawn Johnson, 41: Keyshawn is the latest former NFL star hoping for mirrorball glory. Hailing from Los Angeles, the athlete played for the USC Trojans, under coach John Robinson. He moved on to the NFL, first with the New York Jets, and later the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Dallas Cowboys and the Carolina Panthers.
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, 41: As a youngster, Elizabeth brought to life the studious Jessie Spano on NBC’s “Saved By the Bell.” She later tried to break out of her good-girl teen image, by playing a dancer in 1995’s “Showgirls.” Since then, Elizabeth has had small roles in various television shows including, Showtime’s “The L Word,” and she caused trouble for David Caruso’s Horatio Caine as Julia Winston in “CSI: Miami.”
Leah Remini, 43: Like Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Leah Remini appeared on “Saved By The Bell” (she joined the cast for the 1991 season when the gang worked at the Malibu Sands Beach Club). She played Stacey Carosi, who worked for her dad at the beach club, and got into a romance with Zach Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). All grown up, Leah starred as Carrie, wife to Kevin James’ Doug, on the comedy “King of Queens,” which ran for nine seasons on CBS.
Bill Engvall, 56: Bill Engvall, from Galveston, Texas, is known for his Blue Collar Comedy Tour with Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White. Several DVDs from the tour have been released. A show – “Blue Collar TV” – ran for two seasons on The WB. Bill also had a short lived comedy series, “The Bill Engvall Show,” which starred a young Jennifer Lawrence as his daughter.
Bill Nye, 57: Grown up children everywhere (and their folks) will be familiar with Bill Nye, best known as Bill Nye The Science Guy. His show, of the same name, aired on PBS Kids from 1993-1998, where he presented science in a kid-friendly format.
Valerie Harper, 74: A television legend, Valerie Harper has appeared on a host of classic shows across the dial, including “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” in the 1970s, where she played Rhoda Morgenstern. Rhoda eventually got a spin-off series, the Emmy Award-winning “Rhoda,” which ran from 1974-1978. The series focused on Rhoda heading to New York, meeting a man – Joe Gerard – and getting married. The show charted their ups and eventual relationship downs. She played Jason Bateman’s mom on “Valerie,” for two seasons in the 1980s, although after she left the show and Sandy Duncan came in, the program was retitled, “The Hogan Family.” Over the years Valerie has had roles on “Melrose Place,” “The Office,” Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva,” and most recently, “Hot In Cleveland,” which reunited her with her Mary Tyler Moore cast mates. Earlier this year, Valerie revealed she has terminal brain cancer. But recently, good news for the actress. Her doctor said her cancer is “close to a remission.”
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