Before she was an Oscar winner, Octavia Spencer was a character actress, making regular guest star appearances on shows like "The Wizards of Waverly Place" and "Ugly Betty" ... and even auditioning for the role of Donna on "Parks and Recreation."
When Retta -- the actress who got the part on the beloved NBC comedy -- was asked how she transitioned from standup to "Parks and Rec," she said, "My manager called and said they were casting a pilot. Octavia Spencer and a lot of other of my 'types' were there."
Prior to her Academy Award-winning role in "The Help," Spencer also appeared in episodes of "LAX," "The X-Files," "ER" and "The Big Bang Theory." Post-Oscar, she also appeared in the final season of "30 Rock" as herself.
Rainn Wilson recently revealed famous names who auditioned for key roles on "The Office" before the show was cast, including Adam Scott for Jim, Anne Dudek and Mary Lynn Rajskub for Pam and Alan Tudyk for Michael Scott.
Click through the slideshow below for more famous faces who almost played key TV roles.
Watch "Parks and Recreation" -- and imagine what could have been -- on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC.