Miami Vice launched the career of Don Johnson while simultaneously destroying the career of Philip Michael Thomas, but did you know the hippest of all 80s crime shows also introduced the world to Jimmy Smits, Benicio Del Toro and Ben Stiller?
Jimmy Smits appeared on the first episode of Miami Vice as Crockett's first partner Eddie Rivera, in Jimmy's first on screen appearance.
Miami Vice was also Benicio Del Toro's first stop in a storied career when, at age 20, he appeared on the show as "Pito, an ex-con-turned-thespian with a local theater group, Mi Vida Loca."
For Ben Stiller Miami Vice was only his third appearance on TV, and yet he was already developing the kooky fast talking persona he's known for today when he appeared as Fast Eddie Felcher on episode 2 of season 4.
Miami Vice was also a major starting point for tough guy actor Dennis Farina, who worked as a consultant for exec. producer Michael Mann after 18 years with the Chicago Police Department.
Mann liked Dennis so much he not only cast him as recurring character Albert Lombard on Miami Vice- he cast Dennis as the lead in Crime Story, one of the best historical crime shows ever made.
Lastly we have Liam Neeson, who was already a bit of a veteran when he appeared on the first episode of Miami Vice's third season as a former IRA hitman who woos detective Gina Calabrese (Saundra Santiago).
Liam used his appearance on the show in 1986 to launch his film career in Hollywood, and he would play a similar character a year later in the film A Prayer For The Dying.
See 27 Actors Who Got Their Start On Miami Vice at mental_floss