'OITNB' Star Laura Prepon Has Had An Amazing Career Evolution, So It's Time We Take A Look Back

Actress Laura Prepon arrives at The Weinstein Company & Netflix 2015 Golden Globes After Party, in Beverly Hills, California, January 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

Laura Prepon was not always adding excitement and drama to the women's prison scene. Before starring on Orange Is the New Black, Laura Prepon — who portrays Alex Vause, Piper Chapman's on and off girlfriend in the hit Netflix series — had quite a journey to get to where she is today. She's had an amazing career evolution over the years, and it is one worth appreciating.

Of course, the OITNB mainstay had been known for quite some time before donning prison garb on set. Prior to her debut on the dramedy, she was best known for her role of Donna Pinciotti for eight seasons on the hit sitcom That '70s Show. Working among the likes of Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, she was propelled to star status while on the show. Men's magazines everywhere went gaga over her and her good looks. Though it may have seemed at the moment that she sort of came out of nowhere to shoot to stardom, that was definitely not the case. Like many actors, it took Prepon some time to score her dream roles. And honestly, considering the combination of her natural talent and professional training, coupled with her hard work, it is truly no surprise how far she has come from somewhat humble beginnings. So let us take a moment to celebrate that!

Born in Watchung, N.J., the 35-year-old stunner began to put her acting skills to test in school. She studied at the Professional Children's School and the Total Theatre Lab in New York City. So it is safe to say she had the work part cut out for her. And it's also safe to say she had the dedication aspect of the job cut out for her too, especially considering the fact that in her first professional acting job, she had to kiss a frog! According to TV Guide, this was part of a commercial for MCI. That takes bravery, not to mention a steadfast motivation to move forward in her career. And that's just what she did.

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Shortly after appearing in a few plays, she hit it big with Donna, a role that ran from 1998 to 2006. OITNB premiered in 2013, but don't think she was sitting on her butt between those shows. In between major roles, Prepon made appearances on a bevy of shows.

The '70s Show alum starred in October Road, a TV drama about a writer who returns to his hometown after several years away to face family and old friends. She played the writer's old girlfriend he left behind in the show that ran in 2007 and 2008. Though it seemed like a far cry away from the '70s, she made it clear that she enjoyed the different part. "I truly love it and I do like that it's a family, relationship drama 'cause it's real," she told Oregon Daily Emerald.  "People can watch it and relate to it, so I really like that."

Prepon also had a guest role on How I Met Your Mother in 2009 and 2010. She played Ted's snotty ex-girlfriend from college, Karen. Though Karen does end up dating him once more, he has to face her old cheating ways in the five-episode arc.

And in 2012, Prepon made a splash portraying Chelsea Newman on Are You There Chelsea?, which was, of course, based on celebrity television host and vodka enthusiast Chelsea Handler's life and book Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.

Clearly, this Jersey girl has come a long way. And with her career now absolutely on fire as Orange Is The New Black Season 3 gets everyone talking, fans can't wait to see what she will accomplish next!

Images: Giphy; ABC; CBS (2)

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