What These Housewives Did Before They Were ‘Real Housewives’ Will Surprise You, Because Some Of These Ladies Have Quite The Past

When it comes to The Real Housewives, the more faces that they bring in and the more franchises they launch, these women keep getting more and more accomplished. Because, what started out as a show about housewives, has become a major platform for the women who score a place on the couch. And before they were famous, some Real Housewives had some pretty surprising jobs. Whether they put those careers on hold to start a family or to do the show, it’s impressive to see how the casts have progressed over the years.

Long gone are the days of new cast members being announced and not a name being recognized (almost). For many of the Housewives franchises, the women keep getting stronger and the names keep getting bigger. With this season’s addition of Kim Fields to Real Housewives Of Atlanta, and last season’s addition of Lisa Rinna and Eileen Davidson to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, these casts are no joke.

So many of these “housewives” now, in addition to being wives and mothers, are total forces to be reckoned with. And when it comes to their careers before the show, many of them have already made it big in business and in entertainment. And some may even surprise you.

Cynthia Bailey

Before she had her own modeling agency and was a regular investor in her husband’s restaurants, Cynthia Bailey was a model, working with some of the top designers and photographers to get her face out there.

Kandi Burruss

A former member of the group Xscape, Burruss also was a well-known songwriter before joining the RHOA cast. She penned such songs as “Bills, Bills, Bills” and “No Scrubs.”

Heather Dubrow

On her podcast Heather Dubrow’s World , Dubrow recently revealed in addition to acting before she became a Real Housewife, she also made ends meet by singing in a band. Something tells me it was still somehow super classy.

Meghan King Edmonds

This girl might be the new girl in town on RHOC, but a shrinking violet she is not. Before she landed the role on Bravo, she was a sales representative for a pathology software firm. Hi, I’m impressed.

Bethenny Frankel

Before Bethenny was a Skinnygirl and a housewife, she was a chef. A classically trained chef who turned her know-how into a multi-million dollar business, to be exact.

Carole Radziwill

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Known for being a writer on the show, Radziwill was once a big-time television producer for ABC, including working on Peter Jennings’ production team, creating segments on such heavy topics such as abortion and gun control.

Kim Fields

Before she was a housewife, Kim Fields was an actress known for her role as Tootie on The Facts of Life. Basically her early career was the stuff of ‘80s dreams.

Lisa Vanderpump

Long before Vanderpump was ruling the roost at her various restaurants across L.A., she had a number of roles in movies, television shows, and even music videos. Just google “Poison Arrow” by ABC and you’ll see her in all of her ‘80s glory.

Kyle Richards

Before Richards was living the high life on yachts and jets, she was a child actress with memorable roles in Halloween and you’ll never believe this — as Nurse Dori in 21 episodes of ER. Who knew!

Kim Richards

It’s all in the family. Kim Richards started out as a child actress long before her sister was. And her career turned into a bigger one, starring in movies like Escape to Witch Mountain and Little House on the Prairie.

Yolanda Foster

Before there was Bella and Gigi, there was Yolanda, and she was a modeling force to be reckoned with. Now you know where the girls really get it from.

Eileen Davidson

Before she was hosting poker parties and trying to make nice between the Richards sisters, Davidson was — and still is! — a huge daytime soap star. She’s starred in The Young and the Restless, Santa Barbara, Days of Our Lives, and The Bold and the Beautiful. In 2014, this huge star even won herself a Daytime Emmy Award. Snaps for Eileen!

Lisa Rinna

Another soap legacy, Rinna played Billie Reed on Days of Our Lives among a number of other film and television roles before she was a housewife, including a stint on Melrose Place and in the Broadway production of Chicago.

And you thought all these women were good for was 44 minutes worth of drama once a week.