How Did Meghan Markle Become Famous and What Was Her Big Break?

Most of the world knows who Meghan Markle is after she married into royalty: Duchess of Sussex and wife to Prince Harry. But Meghan had fame before marrying Harry.

She was an actress and many people knew her as Rachel from the popular show Suits. And while Meghan is estranged with most of her paternal family, she is where she is today due to the world her father introduced her to. Keep reading to learn more about how Meghan got her big break and what made her famous.

What did Meghan Markle do before becoming famous?

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Meghan wasn’t always rubbing shoulders with Hollywood celebrities and the British elite. In fact, she had a very normal start in life, one that would help shape her into the hardworking and driven woman she is today.

A 13-year-old Markle earned her keep at an adorable yogurt shop by the name of Humphrey Yogart in California. Her former boss, Paula Sheftel, had literally nothing but good things to say about her.

“She earned minimum wage and was very popular with customers. She had to prove she had an outgoing personality and would work well with staff.”

Later on in life, she discovered she had a penchant for calligraphy — a hobby that would turn into a lucrative path. In 2005, she handwrote invitations for Robin Thicke and Paula Patton’s wedding. Dolce & Gabbana even hired her to write their holiday celebrity correspondence. Meghan’s calligraphy skills were so great she was able to teach calligraphy classes at a Paper Source in Beverly Hills.

Oh, and she also spent some time working in restaurants — a rite of passage for all aspiring actors.

Who put Meghan Markle on the road to fame?

While Markle Sr. may have crossed a lot of lines recently, Meghan actually owes a lot to her father. Back when Meghan was still writing for her blog, The Tig, she often spoke about her dear old dad. After her parent’s divorce, her time with her father was usually spent on set watching her dad work.

Markle Sr. worked on Married…with Children, definitely not a kid’s show. Even so, being exposed to the magical world of television and film and such a young age definitely inspired Meghan’s passion for acting. 

“Every day after school for 10 years, I was on the set of Married… with Children, which is a really funny and perverse place for a little girl in a Catholic school uniform to grow up.”

Markle Sr. also happened to work on General Hospital, the very first show that Meghan acted on back in 2002. So while their relationship may be strained, Meghan definitely owes her dad for his part in getting her to where she is today.

What was Meghan Markle’s big break?

2010 was a fantastic year for Markle. After acting in a few TV movies and series, she finally landed some roles in major Hollywood films. Remember Me and Get Him to the Greek paired up a lesser-known Meghan with beloved stars Russell Brand and Jonah Hill. Then in 2011, she made an appearance in the hilarious film, Horrible Bosses. 

It was that same year she landed her actual big break, bringing the paralegal Rachel Zane to life on the series Suits. Meghan’s character quickly climbed the ranks to fan favorite. What was better was that the show continually got renewed, resulting in steady paychecks and more exposure for the new actress. Meghan had done such an amazing job with the character that when she retired to focus on her new royal life, the producers did everything they could to get her back on board! 

Meghan Markle reaches new heights

With her success on Suits, Meghan probably thought she’d reached the most important peak in her career. She rocked her character for several seasons, built a considerable fan base, and was ready to tackle more prominent movie roles. But then life threw her a curve ball — the swap from popular actress to controversial Duchess.

If Meghan thought she was famous before, she’s definitely elevated to a whole new level now that she’s married to Prince Harry and stands side by side with Her Majesty. She might even be “more famous” then her royal counterparts thanks to her celebrity background.