But, while many of her credits started as small, non-speaking roles, the duchess managed to successfully transition from a Deal or No Deal briefcase model to a Hollywood actor, landing roles in movies like Horrible Bosses starring opposite Jason Sudeikis.
Although Markle has left acting behind her, she doesn’t seem to mind, referring to to her retirement from the industry as “a new chapter".
“I have ticked this box and I feel really proud of the work I have done there and now it’s time to…work as a team…with [Harry],” she told BBC’s Mishal Husain in the couple’s post-engagement interview last year.
Here, we take a look at some of the most talked about moments from Markle’s life on screen before she entered the royal family.
Markle's breakout out role came with the US drama series Suits, in which she played Rachel Zane, a paralegal-turned-lawyer at the show's law firm who married Mike (Patrick J. Adams) in the season seven finale.
Last year, after appearing in 108 episodes, Markle announced she would be leaving the show to focus on her life with Prince Harry following their engagement.
Stars of the show wished Markle well ahead of the royal wedding in May, to which a handful of her former colleagues were invited.
Gina Torres, who plays Jessica Pearson on Suits, opened up about the wedding in an interview with the Today show, admitting she was “surprised” to be invited.
She said: “I was surprised. I think you know, you hope and I hope nothing but the best – as we all do- for her. This is an incredible step in her life so to bear witness to that is extraordinary.”
Dater’s Handbook, 2016
In her second Hallmark Channel movie, Markle played Cassandra Brand – a young woman who decides to change herself to fit the rules of a dating guidebook to help her find a husband.
Markle appeared in this heist-thriller playing the devoted girlfriend of a graffiti artist mixed up in jewellery theft.
It is widely believed that the movie is based on true events in London, from the 2009 Graff Diamonds robbery to the 2013 Selfridges department store robbery.
When Sparks Fly, 2014
In her first Hallmark movie, Markle played Amy Peterson – a reporter who goes back to her hometown for Fourth of July where she realises she is still in love with her ex-boyfriend.
Random Encounters, 2013
Markle played the best friend of a woman looking for love in this rom-com.
In the trailer, the actor can be heard saying: “This is the biggest dating site in L.A. Random encounters is what we're looking for.
“People who too are chickens*** to do something about it, so pretty much for people like you.“
Dysfunctional Friends, 2012
Markle appeared in the movie Dysfunctional Friends – a film about friends who are forced to spend five days in an estate together in order to receive an inheritance from their deceased, wealthy friend.
The actor plays a photographer who tells off a male model during a photo shoot, saying: “This is not porn, this is for the Sunday paper.”
Horrible Bosses, 2011
Before her role in Suits in 2011, Markle played a FedEx worker in Horrible Bosses whom Jason Sudeikis' character flirts with.
In the scene, he asks if they are on a hidden-camera show because Markle is “too cute to just be a FedEx girl".
CSI: Miami, 2010
Markle appeared on CSI: Miami as Officer Leah Montoya. The dramatic role saw the duchess running into a burning building offering to be a second set of hands to save a child.
As the building collapses, the former actor gets stuck inhaling smoke and is carried out by a paramedic.
Remember Me, 2010
Markle played a bartender named Megan in this drama starring Twilight actor Robert Pattinson.
Markle said she enjoyed working with Pattinson and described her experience working with him, saying: “He’s a really lovely guy and a really great example to be able to watch someone who is young, who’s stardom has really taken over his life in such a huge way, and yet he’s still gracious, humble and cool. I think that is really endearing.”
Markle married Trevor Engelson, the producer of the movie in 2011. The couple divorced in 2013.
The League, 2009
Markle played a divorcee in a 2009 episode of The League.
After the lead character offers to buy her a drink, she orders a Sea Breeze before noticing his wedding ring.
Markle briefly played a character called Wendy on 90210 in 2008.
The role included a scene which implied oral sex in a car in the series premiere. While it was a non-speaking role, one of the characters asks who Markle is, only to be told, “Not a chance in hell is what you call her.”
Deal or No Deal, 2006-2007
Markle appeared on four episodes of the game show Deal or No Deal as a briefcase model.
The actor told Esquire she took the role in order to help make ends meet while auditioning.
“I would put that in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet,” she said.
“I went from working in the U.S. Embassy in Argentina to ending up on Deal.”
CSI: NY, 2006
In a one-off role, Markle played Veronica Perez, a maid who becomes a suspect in the murder of her former lover.
The War at Home, 2006
Markle had a a guest-starring role on Fox's The War at Home as Susan. The main character, Dave, played by Michael Rapaport, develops a crush on her and fantasises about her.
A Lot Like Love, 2005
In 2005, Markle appeared in this rom-com as she sat between Ashton Kutcher and Kal Penn on a flight.
The actor is credited on IMDB as “Hot Girl".
Century City, 2004
Markle landed a small part as a women named Natasha in this legal drama series which is set in Los Angeles in the year 2030.
Markle acted alongside future Oscar and Emmy winner Viola Davis in the 2004 programme.
General Hospital, 2002
Markle’s first official TV credit came in 2002 as Nurse Jill in a small role on General Hospital.
The actor donned a pair of scrubs as she was shown appearing in the background of scenes and reading a few lines of dialogue, such as: “Just one second… I have his chart right here, Dr Lambert. I don’t see the notation anywhere.“
Her parents met on the set of the long-running soap opera. While her mother was training as a makeup artist, her father was the show's lighting director.
Tori Amos Music Video, 1999
Markle made her music video debut in Tori Amos’ 1999 hit “1000 Oceans,” which was shot in a parking lot in Los Angeles.
Nick News, 1993
Before she became an actor, the Duchess of Sussex appeared on Nickelodeon's Nick News for a story about a letter she wrote to the president of Proctor & Gamble protesting a sexist TV commercial.
In 2015, she shared the story about her first foray into women's advocacy at a U.N. Women's event in Beijing and revealed how the company ultimately changed the script for its commercial after her letter.
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