12 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were In After School Specials

Aside from heavy morals and bad music, after school specials featured plenty of before-they-were-famous celebrities. Here are some of the more memorable examples.

1. River Phoenix and Joaquin Phoenix in “Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia”

River Phoenix plays a teenager struggling with dyslexia. Real-life sibling Joaquin is the brother he can’t read to.

2. Cynthia Nixon in “It’s No Crush, I’m in Love”

Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon develops an unhealthy infatuation with her English teacher.

3. Sean Astin in “Please Don’t Hit Me, Mom”

Patty Duke was already a star when she played an abusive mother to real-life son (and future hobbit) Sean Astin.

4. Val Kilmer and Michelle Pfeiffer in “One Too Many”

Before they were famous, Val Kilmer and Michelle Pfeiffer warned teens about the dangers of drunk driving with this cautionary tale.

5. Matthew Modine and Meg Ryan in “Amy and the Angel”

Matthew Modine tries to be nice to Amy, but Meg Ryan is the bully that nearly drives poor Amy to suicide.

6. Jennifer Jason Leigh in “Have You Ever Been Ashamed of Your Parents?”

Poor little rich girl Jennifer Jason Leigh makes a friend from the wrong side of the tracks.

7. Helen Hunt in “Desperate Lives”

Helen Hunt snorts PCP and jumps out a plate-glass window. Like you do.

8. Seth Green in “I Want to Go Home”

Seth Green and his on-screen sister come to the realization that their mom has kidnapped them.

9. Ben Affleck in “A Body to Die For”

Ben Affleck learns the true meaning of ‘roid rage when his girlfriend confronts him about his stash.

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