Can You Guess This Emmy-Nominated Actress From Her Very First Acting Gig?

by John Boone 10:30 AM PDT, October 21, 2014
Photo: Shout Factory

Aww! Look at that face! You know that face, right?

This actress stars on one of the hottest shows of the year — both hot in terms of ratings and critical love and hot in terms of lots of sex. Looots of sex — and earned an Emmy nomination this year for her work on said show.

But 28 years ago she booked her first acting gig on Pee-wee’s Playhouse.


Photo: Getty Images

Natasha Lyonne, who plays Nicky on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black and was nominated in the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy category (she ultimately lost to “Crazy Eyes” aka Uzo Aduba). And now she’s (maybe) dating Fred Armisen too.

But back in 1986, Natasha played Opal in six episodes of Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Today, Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series is released as an 8-disc box set with all 45 episodes and Pee-wee’s Christmas Special, and ETonline can exclusively debut these throwback photos of the cast.

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Which got us wondering how they’ve changed over the years. Because Natasha basically looks THE SAME. Here is Pee-wee Herman back then:

Photo: Shout Factory

And here is Paul Reubens in 2014:

Photo: Getty Images

Has he even aged a day? He looks THE SAME!

Here is Little Richard guest starring then:

Photo: Shout Factory

And here is Little Richard in 2011 (it was the newest picture we could find):

Photo: Getty Images

He looks, uh, a little different.

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And the Playhouse itself and its many inhabitants then:

Photo: Shout Factory

We have no idea how they look today. Hopefully they’re safely tucked away in a prop house somewhere. But looking at that last picture sure does jog the memory. Any favorite Pee-wee memories?

Meanwhile, here’s another blast from the past: Little Giants turns 20!