See the Stars of 'Succession' in Their Earliest On-Screen Roles

These costars caught their first breaks long before joining the Roy family business on HBO

01 of 09

Brian Cox

Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (5287954g) Brian Cox 'ITV Playhouse - Children Playing' TV Programme. - 20 Nov 1967 A group of school children arriving at their holiday camp hostel find themselves being challenged by strangers there for leadership of their group; Photograph by Peter Kramer/HBO Brian Cox HBO Succession Season 2 - Episode 3
Shutterstock; Peter Kramer/HBO

The Scottish actor already boasted an impressive résumé before signing on to play Logan Roy, the fearsome Succession patriarch and media industry mogul. He got his start on the stage, starring in theatrical productions in London, then made his way to screens in 1967, when he appeared on the British anthology series ITV Playhouse in an episode entitled "Children Playing."

02 of 09

Jeremy Strong

HUMBOLDT COUNTY, from left: Jeremy Strong, Fairuza Balk, 2008. ©Magnolia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection; HBO Succession S3 06.16.21 Italy S3 Ep 8 - - a/ 23 - Ext La foce villa Kendall talks to the kids about Bianca Kriti Fitts - Publicist Succession S2 | Sourdough Productions, LLC Silvercup Studios East - Annex 53-16 35th St., 4th FloorLong Island City, NY 11101 Office: 718-906-3332
Magnolia Pictures/Everett; Graeme Hunter/HBO

Having made a name for himself on and off Broadway, Strong landed a leading film role in the 2008 comedic drama Humboldt County, playing a medical student at UCLA failing to pass his classes or impress his father (two feats connected by the fact that his father is his professor). Though Strong wouldn't join the cast of Succession for another decade, it's not hard to connect the dots between his first on-camera role and his latest as prodigal Roy son Kendall.

03 of 09

Kieran Culkin

kieran culkin home alone; PHOTO October 24, 2021 Photograph by Macall B. Polay/HBO Kieran Culkin HBO Succession Season 3 - Episode 3
Twentieth Century Fox; Macall B. Polay/HBO

The actor behind wise-cracking Roman Roy got his start alongside his brother in the holiday hit Home Alone. Culkin appeared as Fuller McCallister, the little cousin of Kevin McCallister, the lead played by Macaulay Culkin. As a more minor character, Fuller was best remembered for being a notorious bed-wetter and drinking too much Pepsi during the family's chaotic pre-vacation dinner.

04 of 09

Sarah Snook

SISTERS OF WAR, from left: Sarah Snook, Claire van der Boom, (originally aired in Australia on Nov. 14, 2010). photo: ©Pericles Film Productions / Courtesy: Everett Collection; Photograph by Peter Kramer/HBO Sarah Snook HBO Succession Season 1 - Episode 6
Pericles Film Productions/Everett; Peter Kramer/HBO

The Australian star made her name on screens Down Under, on an episode of her home country's medical drama All Saints in 2009. Snook continued to work on Australian productions like the TV film Sisters of War (pictured on left) in 2010 and the sci-fi Ethan Hawke flick Predestination in 2014. Her turn in northern hemisphere entertainment took off with her role as Andy Cunningham in the 2015 biopic Steve Jobs and an appearance in a 2016 episode of Black Mirror.

In 2018, Snook hid her real-life Aussie accent and became Shiv Roy, the youngest Roy sibling and only sister of the bunch. Though viewers initially saw her reject her family's questionable values, Snook's character eventually proved that she's no more angelic than (and equally as entertaining as) the rest of the Roys.

05 of 09

Matthew MacFadyen

Matthew MacFadyen Wuthering Heights 1998 HBO Succession S3 06.30.21 Italy S3 Ep 9 - BB22, B22pt - ext wedding venue, Tom on phone to shive, Greg & Tom talk end game Kriti Fitts - Publicist Succession S2 | Sourdough Productions, LLC Silvercup Studios East - Annex 53-16 35th St., 4th FloorLong Island City, NY 11101 Office: 718-906-3332
PBS; Graeme Hunter/HBO

While MacFadyen is well known for his portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, he broke onto screens playing another character from 19th century literature: in the 1998 TV movie Wuthering Heights, the British actor played orphaned servant boy Hareton Earnshaw.

By the end of the story, Hareton married the more noble Cathy Linton, though her fictional status is dwarfed by that of MacFadyen's current on-screen wife. His Succession character Tom Wambsgans romanced his way into the Roy family as the devoted husband of Shiv (Sarah Snook), but ultimately, their relationship is no less deceitful than the rest of the family's dynamics.

06 of 09

Alan Ruck

Bad Boys (1983) Sean Penn and Alan Ruck in Bad Boys (1983); Photograph by Macall B. Polay/HBO Alan Ruck HBO Succession Season 4
Universal; Macall B. Polay/HBO

Ruck's Succession stardom as the often ditzy and distracted older Roy sibling, Connor, comes after decades of screen time. In 1983, the actor broke into the industry as Carl, a teen killed by a gunshot early in the crime drama Bad Boys.

Three years later, Ruck nabbed a more prominent role in Ferris Bueller's Day Off as the titular schemer's neurotic best friend, Cameron Frye.

07 of 09

Nicholas Braun

WALTER AND HENRY, John Larroquette, Nicholas Braun, 2001. © Showtime Network / Courtesy: Everett Collection; Nicholas Braun Succession Photograph by Macall B. Polay/ HBO
Showtime Network/Everett; Macall B. Polay/HBO

Braun started out in the entertainment industry as a child star: in the 2001 drama Walter and Henry, he played the younger half of a grandfather-grandson musical duo fallen on rough times in New York City.

After landing the role of Henry at just 12 years old, Braun went on to star in films like Sky High and, in his 20s, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Thanks to his longterm experience in film and on TV, he was already a familiar face by the time he joined Succession as "Cousin" Greg Hirsch, the inexperienced Roy family relative trying to find his way into the media empire.

08 of 09

Justine Lupe

LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 9: Justine Lupe as Faith in the unaired pilot episode of SUPER CLYDE, originally streamed online at from October 9, 2013. Frame grab. (CBS via Getty Images) ; HBO Succession S3 06.11.21 Italy S3 Ep 1 - - 12 - Ext Small Croatian airport, Logan sends Shiv, Roman, Gerrie to New York on one plane, the rest of the team go to Sarajevo Kriti Fitts - Publicist Succession S2 | Sourdough Productions, LLC Silvercup Studios East - Annex 53-16 35th St., 4th FloorLong Island City, NY 11101 Office: 718-906-3332
CBS/Getty; Graeme Hunter/HBO

In one of Lupe's earliest performances, she played Faith in the 2013 TV film Super Clyde alongside castmates Rupert Grint and Stephen Fry. Several TV roles later, Lupe found herself on HBO as Willa Ferreyra, the younger playwright girlfriend of Connor Roy.

09 of 09

J. Smith-Cameron

GAL YOUNG 'UN, J. Smith-Cameron, David Peck, 1979, First Run Features / Courtesy: Everett Collection; j-smith-cameron-2.jpg
Everett; Macall Polay/HBO

Smith-Cameron was first seen on screen as a young mistress in the 1979 indie drama Gal Young 'Un. The critically acclaimed film saw her character, Elly, exploited by a conniving older man in remote Florida during the Prohibition Era.

While she's still surrounded by scheming men on Succession, Smith-Cameron's current role is a far cry from her portrayal of a helpless teen in the 1920s. The longtime actress plays Gerri Kellman, general counsel to Waystar Royco and frequent conspirator of the Roy family.

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