Recently Rabbi Uri Zohar z”l passed away.
In his youth he was a very popular actor and comedian in Israel and lived a secular lifestyle. After having conversations with Rabbi Yitzchak Shlomo Zilberman, Zohar became convinced that Orthodox Judaism was correct and gradually left the world of entertainment.
However, he used the popularity he had gained from his earlier years to convince thousands and probably tens of thousands of secular Jews to adopt a religious lifestyle and to pull their kids out of secular schools and place them in strictly religious schools.
In turns out that the sins of his secular youth were transformed into merits by virtue of Zohar’s return to Hashem.
This idea also appears to be reflected in the Talmud tractate Yoma 86b (translation by https://www.sefaria.org.il/Yoma.86b.3?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en):
Reish Lakish said: Great is repentance, as the penitent’s intentional sins are counted for him as unwitting transgressions, as it is stated: “Return, Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled in your iniquity” (Hosea 14:2). The Gemara analyzes this: Doesn’t “iniquity” mean an intentional sin? Yet the prophet calls it stumbling, implying that one who repents is considered as though he only stumbled accidentally in his transgression. The Gemara asks: Is that so? Didn’t Reish Lakish himself say: Great is repentance, as one’s intentional sins are counted for him as merits, as it is stated: “And when the wicked turns from his wickedness, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby” (Ezekiel 33:19), and all his deeds, even his transgressions, will become praiseworthy? The Gemara reconciles: This is not difficult: Here, when one repents out of love, his sins become like merits; there, when one repents out of fear, his sins are counted as unwitting transgressions.