Everybody has a life before prison, especially the Orange is the New Black actors. The hit Netflix series returns with new streaming episodes on June 6 and so do the many familiar faces that inhabit Litchfield. While some are industry veterans like Natasha Lyonne and Kate Mulgrew, others got their big break on Orange Is the New Black.
Let's take a walk down memory lane, before the tan and orange prison attire, to see what your favorite inmates and correctional staff were doing before Netflix scooped them up.
Before she was the fish out of water newly incarcerated Piper Chapman on Orange Is the New Black, Taylor Schilling headlined the short-lived NBC series Mercy. On the medical drama, she played Nurse Veronica Flanagan Callahan. On the big screen, Schilling starred opposite Zac Efron in The Lucky One and appeared in the Oscar-winning movie Argo.
Orange Is the New Black was very much Danielle Brooks' breakout role. As the outrageous Taystee, she warmed our hearts with her dance moves. After her breakout role, Brooks booked an appearance on Girls as Laura.
One of the most experienced members of the Orange Is the New Black family, Taryn Manning has been acting since a 1994 appearance on All That. She co-starred opposite Britney Spears in Crossroads and Michelle Pfeiffer in White Oleander. Other film roles followed with guest roles on Law & Order: SVU, Sons of Anarchy and Hawaii Five-0.
As the corrections officer in love with an inmate, Matt McGorry made audiences swoon during the first season of Orange Is the New Black. Before he hit it big with the Netflix series, McGorry was playing bit parts on shows like Gossip Girl, Royal Pains and One Life to Live.
"Captain's Log, Stardate…"You can just hear those words coming out of Kate Mulgrew's mouth like it was yesterday. Prior to her transformation into the badass Russian kitchen chief on Orange Is the New Black, Mulgrew played Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager from 1995-2001 (she'd later reprise the role in a few flicks). She also appeared opposite Taylor Schilling in Mercy, and earlier TV work included Mrs. Columbo, Cheers and Ryan's Hope.
Uzo Aduba made her Broadway debut in 2007 and was part of the revival cast of Godspell in 2012. She appeared as herself alongside the Godspell cast on Project Runway All-Stars the same year and had her first TV appearance as a nurse in the CBS drama Blue Bloods.
An American Pie veteran like Jason Biggs, Natasha Lyonne began acting at the age of six with her first major role on Pee-wee's Playhouse. Film roles include Slums of Beverly Hills, But I'm a Cheerleader, Party Monster and Dennis the Menance. And who can forget her memorable New Girl turn?
A veteran of Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Selenis Leyva has popped up in almost every recent show filmed in New York, from the Law & Orders to Blue Bloods and The Sopranos. She also provided voices in Ice Age and Epic.
While you might not recognize her face, children of the '90s are sure to recognize Constance Shulman's voice. Shulman, who plays Yoga Jones on OITNB, voiced Patti Mayonnaise, the object of Doug Funnie's desire on the Nickelodeon/ABC series Doug. She also appeared in Weekend at Bernie's II and Fried Green Tomatoes.
Also known as the Beast on Law & Order: SVU, Pablo Schreiber made his credited acting debut in 2001's Bubble Boy. Before OITNB, he had gigs on The Wire, Dirt and The Good Wife. Besides being known as Pornstache on the Netflix series, Schreiber's character terrorized Benson (Mariska Hargitay) on SVU for multiple episodes.
Everybody remembers the time Jason Biggs (as Jim) tried to have sex with a pie in American Pie. Before his splashy movie debut, Biggs starred in the short-lived comedy Drexell's Class and appeared on As the World Turns. Other roles include Prozac Nation, Saving Silverman and TV series The Good Wife and Mad Love.
Laura Prepon launched to stardom as the red-headed (and then blonde) Donna on Fox's long-running comedy That ‘70s Show. Afterward, she starred in October Road and had guest roles on House, Castle, How I Met Your Mother and starred in NBC's short-lived Are You There, Chelsea?