6 Celebrities You Had No Idea Were On 'Barney & Friends"

If you forced your parents to put on "Barney & Friends" every day before pre-school, I have a very tragic announcement for you: You're old.

Because today, April 6, officially marks 25 years since that big purple lizard enchanted children's imaginations.

Yep, it's been a whole quarter century since Barney made his debut on PBS in 1992. So I guess you could say that makes him something of a... dinosaur.


"Barney & Friends," the popular PBS spinoff of the direct-to-video series, "Barney and the Backyard Gang," ran for 17 years, finally ceasing production in 2009. (A revival of the show is expected to hit PBS sometime this year.)

So, we've established that Barney is old and we've established that you're old. But you know who else is old? The "friends" of "Barney & Friends," aka the small children who got hugs from a man in a dinosaur costume.

And you may not know it, but some of those kids grew up to be pretty dang famous. Like, for example...

1. Selena Gomez


That's right, the now world-famous singer and actress Selena Gomez got her start as a series regular on "Barney." She played a character named Gianna from 2002 to 2004, starting when she was just 10 years old.

She quit the show in 2004 when she outgrew the role, and then three years later landed her breakout role as Alex Russo on "Wizards of Waverly Place."


As you can see, Selena began her love of fashion on "Barney," rocking a number of fabulous hats and feather boas. Oh, and that show is also where Selena first met her good friend...

2. Demi Lovato


Yep, alongside her friend Selena, singer and actress Demi Lovato was also playing make-believe with adults dressed like dinosaurs. She played a character named Angela for the same duration Selena was on the show, from 2002 to 2004.

In this clip from the show, Barney and Selena encourage Demi Lovato to follow her dreams of learning how to play the trumpet.

In 2007 when Selena got "Wizards of Waverly Place," Demi got her breakout role in the Disney Channel Original Film "Camp Rock."

3. Madison Pettis


OK, she's not exactly on the same level of fame as Selena Gomez or Demi Lovato yet, but you might know Madison as Sophie Martinez on Disney's "Cory in the House," or as The Rock's daughter in that 2007 film "The Game Plan."

Buena Vista Pictures

In 2015, she landed a regular role on the Freeform show "The Fosters," as Daria.

4. Kyla Pratt


I know you guys know Kyla Pratt. But before she was Penny Proud or Dr. Doolittle's daughter, she was Ky on "Barney & Friends."

Kyla was most recently on the Freeform show "Recovery Road."

 5. Debby Ryan


You might know Debby Ryan from her role as Bailey Pickett in Disney Channel's "The Suite Life on Deck," the spinoff series of "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody." She's also known for her titular role in the Disney Channel series "Jessie."

Disney Channel

6. Malese Jow

The CW

Malese Jow, who is now known as Anna, the teen vampire on CW's "The Vampire Diaries," was kicking it with Barney back in 1997 for one episode, "Pennies, Nickels, Dimes," from season four, episode three.

Happy 25th anniversary, Barney! Thanks for launching so many Disney careers.