Bravo: Biggest breakout stars from each Real Housewives franchise

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS, Erika Girardi, Camille Grammer, Lisa Rinna, Lisa Vanderpump -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/Bravo)
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS, Erika Girardi, Camille Grammer, Lisa Rinna, Lisa Vanderpump -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/Bravo) /

Bravo & The Real Housewives has adaptations around the country and the world, but there are some stars that have made the transition to household names.

We’ve discussed before how being famous prior to being on Bravo’s Real Housewives doesn’t work very well, but what about the opposite?  Sometimes when a franchise begins, you can just tell that certain housewives are meant to be famous in their own right.  Check out some of our favorite stars that were around in beginning, most of whom are still around to this day in one way or another!

Back in 2008, The Real Housewives of New York City premiered with Luann de Lesseps, Bethenny Frankel, Alex McCord, Ramona Singer, and Jill Zarin making up the cast.  While Ramona was ridiculous in her own right, Alex was strange, Jill was loud and Luann was stuck up, Bethenny seemed to have some sort of je ne sais quoi that set her apart.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey was rumored to have Caroline Manzo be their anticipated series star when it first aired in 2009, but that was quickly overshadowed when Teresa Giudice stepped on the scene.  Not only did Teresa have the attitude, but she had all of the drama to go with it.  Watching Teresa pay for her hideous gold furniture with $100,000 in cash is one of the most memorable moments from any franchise, especially knowing it would eventually lead to federal prison time.

The Real Housewives of Orange County was the original concept for Real Housewives way back in 2006.  Kimberly Bryant, Jo De La Rosa, Vicki Gunvalson, Jeana Keough, and Lauri Peterson gathered together to show off their palatial homes in Orange County.  Unfortunately for all of us, Vicki was definitely the star of the show back then.  All of her antics eventually got to her head though, and Vicki was fired after 14 seasons on the show.

The cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta consisted of NeNe Leakes, DeShawn Snow, Shereé Whitfield, Lisa Wu, and Kim Zolciak-Biermann for its first season in 2008.  NeNe made a name for herself pretty quickly with her one-liners and crazy antics.  Kim Z also made waves for being a terrible person who had an affinity for bad wigs and red solo cups, but NeNe wins this round.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was packed with potential star power from day one!  Taylor Armstrong, Camille Grammer, Adrienne Maloof, Kim Richards, Kyle Richards, and Lisa Vanderpump gathered to show off their diamonds, fluffy dogs, granite-clad kitchens, and chicken washing skills.  Even though Orange County and Beverly Hills are not physically that far apart, they were worlds apart in the realm of reality television.

One of the later of the original franchises, RHOBH did not premiere until 2010.  This cast was arguably full of star power, but Lisa and Kyle’s friendship served them well for many years.  The drama within the Richards family was enough to carry its own show.  Camille’s storyline with Kelsey Grammer also served her well…until it didn’t anymore.  Even though it would be one of the wealthier groups of women, it was also hiding the darkest secrets.  Kim’s issues with addiction would be front and center, while Taylor’s husband, Russel Armstrong, would commit suicide early on.

If we had to pick one, Lisa Vanderpump would probably make the most sense with all of her later Bravo adaptations like Vanderpump Rules, but The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as a whole definitely had star power of its own.

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Based on the history here, it seems that a lot of the breakout stars that were around for season one had staying power.  Sometimes producers and Andy Cohen can see that potential in a housewife from a mile away!  Did we miss one of your faves?  Let us know in the comments if so!

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is on Bravo every Wednesday at 10 PM.