01/24/2012 11:26 am ET Updated Jan 24, 2012

Oscar Nominations 2012: George Clooney, Michelle Williams And Others On TV Before They Were Oscar Nominees (VIDEO)

Before Michelle Williams was breaking hearts as Marilyn Monroe in "My Week With Marilyn," she was the bad girl next door on The WB's teen soap, "Dawson's Creek."

But Williams wasn't the only Oscar nominated starlet to get her start on TV. Even though "Albert Nobbs" star Glenn Close earned her first Academy Award nomination in 1982 for her supporting work in "The World According to Garp", one of her first roles was in the 1979 TV movie, "Orphan Train."

And who could forget George Clooney's starring role in the medical drama "E.R.?" Dr. Doug Ross made Clooney a household name -- and one of the most sought after bachelors in Hollywood -- but that wasn't his first TV stint.

In the slideshow below, check Clooney out on "The Facts Of Life," see Brad Pitt do "Dallas," watch Octavia Spencer get her tresses tamed on "Ugly Betty" and more clips of the just-announced 2012 Oscar nominees in their breakout small screen roles.

Before They Were Oscar Nominees