especially: a person or performance that makes or helps to make someone a star in the entertainment industry
As producer and/or director, Judd Apatow is nothing less than a starmaker, elevating the careers of Steve Carell ("The 40-Year-Old Virgin"), Kristen Wiig ("Bridesmaids") and many more into legit movie stardom. —Matt Pais
Jay Leno said he's looking forward to being a star-maker for young comedians on his new prime-time show. —Lynn Elber
… Miller has no regrets. Unlike those other roles, her part in "Sister Act" is a star-maker. —Mark Kennedy
Recent Examples on the WebThe Boulet Brothers’ Dragula, the horror version of Drag Race, began here on a rickety stage at a gay bar and has grown into a drag star-maker in its own right since being picked up by streamers like Amazon Prime and Shudder.—Kirsten Chuba, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 None of the performances feels like a potential star-maker like that of Chiara Aurelia and Olivia Holt in season 1.—Joshua Alston, Variety, 5 June 2023 The man in charge of this band of merrymakers is Nigel Petersen — a thinly disguised Lorne Michaels — an inscrutable star-maker whose whims have shaped late-night comedy since the early 1980s.—Ron Charles, Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2023
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'star-maker.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.