How Meghan Markle went from 'General Hospital' to 'Suits'

While playing Rachel Zane on "Suits," Markle also spent time volunteering with multiple organizations in countries around the world.
6:37 | 12/02/17

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Transcript for How Meghan Markle went from 'General Hospital' to 'Suits'
Make it quick! Reporter: Quick indeed if you blink you'll miss Meghan Markle's professional acting debut. What's going on here? Reporter: Hidden in the background nurse Jill on the legendary soap "General hospital". A part so small they have a name for it, an 'under five.' Which is a role that is five lines or less. Reporter: But when casting director mark Teschner took a chance on unknown Meghan in the summer of 2001. Do you know if Khloe has any visitor with her? I have his chart and don't see the notation anywhere. The five lines were enough to launch her career. We read geman and liked her enough which were not easy to get either. Reporter: Talk about a Cinderella story. Soap actress becoming royalty! Except there was a lot in between first returning to college, finishing her dual degrees in theater and international relations along with an internship at the us embassy in buenos aires described by her half sister Samantha in the itv documentary "Prince Harry and Meghan truly madly deeply." She went to L.A. And she worked like many working actors do. Reporter: Translation one cattle call after another wondering will I ever get a part again. Getting a job is a big deal and not getting a job as any actor will tell you is hearing no a lot. Reporter: Meghan explained how she made ends meet back then on the aol build series. When I was an auditioning actress to pay the bills I did so much calligraphy, because I could do it in my free time and its actually quite lucrative! You are a calligrapher? I used to be yes. He once demonstrated that unusual talent to Larry king. Ooh that's beautiful Oh do tell. Reporter: She would later blog about this time a very unprincess like diary. "My 20's were brutal-- a constant battle with myself, judging my weight, my style, my desire to be as cool/as hip/as smart/as 'whatever' as everyone else." Reporter: Her self esteem and job prospects also complicated by the nagging question of race. On some auditions they thought she was too white on some they thought she was too black. Markle would later despair about that in LE magazine calling herself "The ethnic chameleon who couldn't book a job." Still with those looks you can only be ignored for so long. What's the first role you auditioned for? Meghan hot girl #1 in "A lot like love" with Ashton Kutcher. Did you get it? Yes! Hi. Hi. Reporter: "Hot girl number one" sizzled on to more steamy roles a lingerie wearing maid in CSI New York. Why did Greg Jordan fire you? I don't know. It seemed like nothing I did was good enough. Reporter: A fetching fed ex worker in horrible bosses. You're way too cute. A sultry suitcase girl on deal or no deal. Reporter: She did what a lot of beautiful young actresses in Los Angeles do which is jump from show to show, one episode at a time never really making a huge impact in any one show. But there might never have been any royal connection if not for what eventually happened in the former British dominion north of the border, Canada. It was definitely part of the lore in Toronto in Canada because. Because it was shot there. Reporter: Toronto star reporter shinan govani would come to know Meghan Markle personally thanks to a TV show called suits. Hi. I'm Rachel Zane. Reporter: Once Meghan Markle got cast as Rachel Zane. Nothing was the same. Wow you're pretty. I am not interested. She definitely had like a spark and was a fan favorite. We're going to look at privacy and harassment law and see if we can find a combination of cases. She plays a paralegal who goes far beyond the limits of her job and has that sort of glint in her eye that lets you know that this is no simple assistant you know who should be trifled with that shes not someone to underestimate at all. Reporter: The role was almost tailor made for her a glamorous and brainy biracial woman. Suits definitely changed Meghan Markle's career and then her life. Is it a hit show? I think it has more of a following among millennials. They're quite into her and the show! Reporter: The show embraced her looks so much. Her embraces became must see TV. It has been necessary for her to have love scenes shes certainly had quite a few on suits its you know nothing really that shocking if you take it out of the context of who she's marrying. It doesn't matter if she was wearing lingerie or something like that! She had a freaking job! Rock on Meghan! Reporter: At the one young world summit in Dublin she seemed to say she'd had enough This season every script seemed to begin with Rachel enters wearing a towel and I said nope, not doing it. Reporter: All that exposure allowed her to revive dreams of working internationally and volunteered in multiple countries as filmed by world vision going from the slums of Rwanda. This clean water source has changed the entire community. It's cool to see. Reporter: To a clinic in India. She helped out and raised awareness advocating for women's rights at the united nation's women's conference. Distinguish ladies and gentlemen I am tremendously honored to be a women's advocate for political participation and leadership. Reporter: Her stature only grew. You can tell when people are committed because when you're not you're standing on your pedestal and this person was not that person, not at all. Doesn't meter what you're doing. I think just any opportunity to help people that have less than you will change how you move in the world without question. I think everyone should do it. Reporter: As she sat on the stage Meghan Markle seemed to have it all, fulfillment, success, a career on the rise, everything except one thing, a soulmeat.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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