From the Fab Five to the 'Crazy Rich Asians' Cast: The Breakout Stars of 2018

See which stars made it big in 2018

01 of 07

THE QUEER EYE GUYS

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Austin Hargrave/Netflix

One year ago they were five unknowns. But if these guys taught us anything, it is to believe in the power of change. Queer Eye (a Bravo hit from 2003 to 2007) returned on Netflix with a new squad of experts: Jonathan Van Ness (grooming), Antoni Porowski (food and wine), Tan France (fashion), Bobby Berk (design) and Karamo Brown (culture). In two fast seasons they picked up three Emmys and countless fans tuning in to laugh, cry and see them teach (mostly) straight Southern men how to do a French tuck (sticking only some of your shirt in your pants) or locate their vulnerable sides.

“When people say, ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,’ it’s not true,” says Van Ness, “because you can reinvent yourself and learn new things whenever you want.”

02 of 07

TIFFANY HADDISH

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Season 4
Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/Getty

Named one of TIME's 100 most-influential personalities, Haddish was busy in 2018 with a TV series, The Last O.G., costarring Tracy Morgan, and four film releases, including Night School and Nobody’s Fool.

She capped the year by taking home an Emmy for hosting SNL and told PEOPLE she was excited to cuddle up with the statuette. “That’s my boo. She’s a cold bitch ... but she warms up after you hold her for a little while.”

03 of 07

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER Black Panther/T'Challa
Chadwick Boseman as King T'Challa in Black Panther (2018). Marvel

“I’ve gotten to do a lot of movies that have historical impact,” the man who played Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown told PEOPLE. But none of those acclaimed performances packed the explosive cultural punch or scored anywhere near the jaw-dropping box office take ($1.4 billion worldwide since its February release) of Black Panther, the Marvel superhero blockbuster with rare-in-Hollywood credits: Most of the cast, as well as its director and writers, are black.

Boseman told Esquire that one fan, Denzel Washington, said, “Yes, finally!” when he saw all of them onscreen. “This is what I’ve been working for.”

04 of 07

HANNAH GADSBY

Hannah Gadsby: NanetteHannah GadsbyCredit: Netflix

In her summer Netflix hit Nanette, the Tasmanian comic got laughs, but she also raged: on behalf of women, LGBT people and introverts (Gadsby is all three). However, after the special, she intended to leave the comedy world (“I have built a career out of self-deprecating humor, and I don’t want to do that anymore,” she said onstage).

But she didn't, and at the Emmys gave a knowing wink to her success and her critics: “The world’s gone a bit crazy. I mean, for somebody like me — a nobody from nowhere — gets this sweet gig. Free suit, new boots, just ’cause I don’t like men?”

05 of 07

THE CRAZY RICH ASIANS CAST

TimesTalks with 'Crazy Rich Asians', New York, USA - 14 Aug 2018
Griffin Lipson/BFA/Shutterstock

This rom-com about an American woman (Constance Wu) meeting the family of her Singaporean boyfriend (Henry Golding) took the box office and world by storm: not only did it become the sixth highest-grossing rom-com ever, but it's the first Hollywood film with an all-Asian cast in decades.

06 of 07

RACHEL BROSNAHAN

70th Primetime Emmy Awards, Press Room, Los Angeles, USA - 17 Sep 2018
David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

“One thing I love about this show is it’s about a woman who is finding her voice anew,” the star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel said as she accepted the Lead Actress Emmy for the Amazon comedy series. A niece of the late designer Kate Spade, Brosnahan plays Midge, a 1950s housewife turned stand-up comic who mines her pain after her marriage breaks up.

07 of 07
yearbook-2018

Take a look back at the most memorable moments of 2018 in PEOPLE’s special edition Yearbook, available on Amazon and on stands now.

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