Now that she’s engaged to Prince Harry, everyone knows Meghan Markle’s name. Previously, she was best known for her onscreen work as Rachel Zane on USA’s Suits, but the 36-year-old is no stranger to the spotlight, having worked in Hollywood since she was 21 years old. She made her screen debut on General Hospital in 2002, and in the 16 years since then she’s held a wide array of roles, from a murder suspect on CSI: New York to a FedEx delivery woman in the Jennifer Aniston comedyHorrible Bosses. Oh, and let’s not forget her stint as a leading lady in multiple Hallmark Channel TV movies.
When Markle marries Harry on May 19, the actress will retire from the screen as she focuses on life as a royal. “I don't see it as giving anything up. I just see it as a change," she explained in an interview with Sky News, saying that she’s ready for a “new chapter” in her life and career. “I’ve ticked this box, and I feel very proud of the work I've done there, and now it's time to work with [Harry] as a team.”
But before the bride-to-be trades her life in front of the camera for a life in the royal spotlight, let’s look back at some of Markle’s most notable roles to date.
4. When Sparks Fly (2014)
Markle could have been the next Lacey Chabert if she had continued her career as a Hallmark TV movie heroine, but now we’ll never know what could have been. In When Sparks Fly, Markle plays a big-city journalist who returns to visit her small hometown for the Fourth of July and realizes she may still have feelings for her ex.
5. Castle (2012)
This is foreshadowing if we’ve ever seen it! In 2012, Markle had a guest-starring role on the series Castle as the victim of an attempted murder -- while dressed as the princess Sleeping Beauty.
6. Horrible Bosses (2011)
In a small part opposite Jason Sudeikis, Markle played a FedEx delivery woman in 2011’s Horrible Bosses.
7. CSI: Miami (2010)
Markle had a guest spot on the crime series as Officer Leah Montoya, who bravely saves a woman from a burning building and then later needs to be saved herself.
8. Remember Me (2010)
In this heartbreaking romantic drama, Markle had a tiny role as a bartender who refuses to serve characters played by Robert Pattinson and Tate Ellington. In a strange twist, her character’s name is “Megan” -- no “h.”
9. The League (2009)
Markle was cast as “Random Girl/Meghan” in a 2009 episode of The League, in which the show’s character Pete meets her at a bar and they bond over getting divorced. It was an ironic moment, since Markle got married and subsequently divorced just a few years later.
10. Fringe (2009)
On FOX’s sci-fi drama Fringe, Markle made a guest appearance alongside Dawson’s Creek alum Joshua Jackson as junior FBI agent Amy Jessup for two episodes.
11. Knight Rider (2009)
In 2008, NBC developed a reboot of the classic 1980s series Knight Rider. The reboot only lasted one season, but Markle was cast as a bad*ss cage fighter in one of the episodes, so that’s all that matters.
12. 90210 (2008)
The future royal only appeared in two episodes of The CW’s cult series 90210, but she made them count. In one episode, it’s implied that her character, Wendy, is…pleasuring Ethan in a car in the school parking lot.
13. Deal or No Deal (2007)
In 2007, Markle got in plenty of practice for her future as a royal while she smiled and applauded as the holder of briefcase #24 on a season of NBC’s game show Deal or No Deal.
14. CSI: NY (2006)
In one of her more scandalous appearances, 2006 brought Markle’s guest-starring role as Veronica Perez on CSI: NY. In the episode, Markle plays the former maid and lover of a man who is found drowned in his swimming pool.
15. The War at Home (2006)
In FOX’s series The War at Home, Markle had a guest-starring role as Susan, a woman that the show’s main character, Dave, develops a crush on. Plot twist: Though he thought she was into him, she actually wanted to set him up with her mother.
16. A Lot Like Love (2005)
Markle made her big-screen debut credited as “Hot Girl” who gets to sit next to Ashton Kutcher on a plane in 2005’s A Lot Like Love. Her character, Natalie, attempts to flirt with Kutcher before instead chatting up the passenger sitting across the aisle from her.
17. Century City (2004)
Not many people have heard of Century City, CBS’s sci-fi legal drama that aired just a few episodes in 2004. Markle was in one of the episodes, as was baby Viola Davis.
18. General Hospital (2002)
Back in 2002, Markle earned her first ever TV credit playing Nurse Jill on General Hospital. She had a very small part (only one line), but did some very convincing paper shuffling.