8 Celebrities You Never Knew Were Beauty Queens

Um...Justin Timberlake?

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Remember that time Justin Timberlake was in a beauty pageant? No? BECAUSE IT HAPPENED. Now that you've picked your jaw up from the floor, we'll let you in on a secret: Halle Berry, Michelle Pfeiffer, and others actually participated in pageants—and won. Prepare for the most beautiful blast from the past.

THEN: Diane Sawyer

You know her as a former anchor on ABC World News, but during her senior year of high school, Diane represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky in America's 1963 Junior Miss scholarship pageant and won.

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NOW: Diane Sawyer

Since her pageant days, she has become one of the most famous journalists in the world. Her accomplishments have been recognized by millions, and she was even inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1997.

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THEN: Lynda Carter

In 1972, Lynda won the Miss World USA contest, eventually going on to represent America in the Miss World pageant. While she didn't win the big title, her accomplishments gave her national attention.

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NOW: Lynda Carter

In the mid-1970s, Lynda starred in the title role in the television series Wonder Woman, becoming one of the most famous faces in the world of superhero fandom.

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THEN: Michelle Pfeiffer

At just 19 years old, Michelle Pfeiffer was crowned Miss Orange County in 1978, going on to compete in the Miss California pageant.

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NOW: Michelle Pfeiffer

After her breakout role in the 1983 classic Scarface, Michelle went on to star in blockbusters like Batman Begins, Dangerous Liaisons, and What Lies Beneath.

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THEN: Vanna White

Though we now know her as the face of Wheel of Fortune, Vanna got her start as a professional model and pageant contestant, earning the runner up title in the 1978 Miss Georgia pageant.

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NOW: Vanna White

Now 58 and gorgeous as ever, Vanna has been honored for her contributions to television with her own handprints on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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THEN: Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams was crowned Miss Syracuse and Miss New York in 1983, then took the ultimate title of Miss America 1984, making her the first black Miss America ever—and, sadly, the target of hate mail and death threats. After an anonymous source released unauthorized nude photos of Vanessa, she resigned from her title.

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NOW: Vanessa Williams

After she left the pageant world behind, Vanessa went on to have an immensely successful career in television, earning Emmy and SAG nominations. Her most recent big role was as the fashion diva audiences loved to hate, Wilhelmina Slater, on Ugly Betty.

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THEN: Sarah Palin

In 1984, the future Governor of Alaska won the Miss Wasilla pageant, then went on to compete in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant, taking third place overall.

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NOW: Sarah Palin

After unsuccessfully running with John McCain in the 2008 Presidential Election and resigning from her position as the Governor of Alaska in 2009, Sarah launched her own online news network, the Sarah Palin Channel, in 2014.

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THEN: Halle Berry

Halle won Miss Teen All American in 1985 and Miss Ohio USA in 1986, finally becoming the runner-up for the title of 1986 Miss USA. That year, her interview was scored the highest among judges, making it clear she would have a career where her voice would be heard.

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NOW: Halle Berry

Given that she is widely considered one of the world's most beautiful people, it makes sense that the Oscar-winning actress began her career with pageantry.

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THEN: Eva Longoria

Before becoming an actress, Eva won the title of Miss Corpus Christi, USA, in 1998. With that dazzling smile and excellent posture, it's no wonder why.

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NOW: Eva Longoria

Eva has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, but she is best known for her role as the spoiled yet lovable Gabrielle Solis in Desperate Housewives. After founding Eva's Heroes, a charity dedicated to assisting developmentally disabled kids, she was named Philanthropist of the year by The Hollywood Reporter.

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