It has been 25 years since Friends first aired on NBC, with the characters about to change the lives of six reasonably unknown performers.

Originally titles Six of One, the show made its debut on September 22, 1994 and has since become one of the most beloved TV shows of all time.

Before landing their roles in Friends, the cast members were all set on a different path and trajectory and may have stayed unknown if it wasn't for the comedy.

Here is what they were doing before Friends;

Courteney Cox

Courteney had been on a twisted path to fame before Friends, making her breakthrough in a Bruce Springsteen music video before starring with Michael J Fox in Family Ties and in Ace Ventura with Jim Carrey.

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She said that it was a part in a failed CBS series, The Trouble with Larry, that had helped her land the role of Monica Geller.

Courteney said: "No one had ever seen me like that. I was mean and I was the funny one, and from that I was recommended for Friends."

Jennifer Aniston

Friends was the sixth TV pilot that Jennifer Aniston had been involved with, after five previous failures.

Her acting career was such that she was actually waiting tables at a Manhattan restaurant as well as studying psychology at night school while auditioning for stage roles during the day.

It was a move to Los Angeles in 1990 and dropping 30 pounds in weight, to meet Hollywood "pressure" that Jennifer auditioned for role of Rachel Green.

It was only three hours after auditioning the-then 25-year-old actress found out she'd been cast and the role changed her life.

Before acting, a scientific career was beckoning for Lisa, who was co-author of a paper called 'Handedness and Headache, alongside her father, Dr. Lee Kudrow, who founded the California Medical Clinic for Headache.

The Kudrow family had been investigating and reporting on the history of migraines before Lisa decided to put an academic career behind her to try her hand at acting with Phoebe Buffay being her breakthrough role.

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Matthew Perry

Before serving up a career in acting, Matthew was a top-ranked Canadian junior tennis player.

Living in Ottawa with his mother, Matthew practiced about 10 hours a day and he admitted later to New York Times: "I had this incredible drive on the tennis court, and that translated into acting.”

Despite being nationally ranked in Canada, his tennis playing came to an abrupt halt when he moved to Los Angeles, aged 15.

He told Men's Health: "Everyone in L.A. just killed me."

So, acting it was then.

David Schwimmer

David Schwimmer was the co-founder of Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre Company, before finding fame as Ross Geller.

He went on to win a Regional Theatre Tony Award in 2011 while a senior at Northwestern University.

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David was also pretty nimble on his feet, saying: "At one point I was a really good roller skater, some gymnastics — you want to puff yourself up and put anything out there.

"I wasn't that good of a singer, so I didn't really emphasize that, but I was a pretty good dancer."

Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc wasn't destined to be an actor, with his blue-collar family pushing him into carpenter's apprenticeship.

Matt said during a 2015 Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance: "Everyone in my family goes to work with some kind of tool in their hands.

"I made a complete kitchen and installed it in a house."

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If he hadn't turned to acting, he said: "I could have been framing houses in the snow in New England in winter, instead of telling jokes on TV."

Matt has admitted he had only $11 to his name but 25 years after landed the role of Joey Tribbiani, he is now estimated to be worth $80 million.

That would be a lot of kitchen installations if he had stayed on his original path.

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