Musicians-turned-actors (Part 1)

16 06 2009

Even before the birth of rock and roll, singers and musicians have tried their hand at acting.  We’ve all seen (too many) actors try singing, mostly with disastrous results.  For whatever reason it seems that it’s easier for someone that is primarily skilled in singing or playing an instrument to act than it is for a trained actor to become a musician.

Just going over this in my head, there have countless musicians-turned-actors.  Some have been damned good making that transition.  Because there have been so many, I suspect I’m going to tackle this topic in several parts.

These folks are some of my favorite musicians-turned-actors.  I am not sayin they are the best.  I’m also not necessarily judging their acting abilities on whether or not their performances have been anything approaching “Oscar worthy.”  Some of these people are list simply because I’ve enjoyed their acting work.  Some are listed because they are particularly good as actors.  Without further ado. . .

mark-wahlberg Mark Wahlberg f/k/a “Marky Mark” is, in my view, a natural-born actor.  He’s certainly a much better actor than a hip-hop artist.  I thought he was nothing short of fantastic in The Departed.  He solid in other films, too, like Four Brothers and Three Kings.  Mark’s one of the few actors I will actually see his films just because he’s in them.

frankFrank Sinatra. The Chairman of the Board.  Old Blue Eyes.  Frank was the greatest singer of his generation and one of the best ever.  He was also a great actor that was in a lot of movies.   Mr. Sinatra won an Oscar for his turn in From Here to Eternity.  Most trained actors cannot claim Oscar fame let alone singers-turned-actors.

dollyDolly Parton.  Yes, I’m serious.  Dolly Parton.  No, she’s not a great actress.  She’s probably not even a good one.  But she has pretty good comedic timing and does a nice job playing a loveable southern bimbo.  Dolly’s just likeable on screen.  There’s a cuteness factor to her portrayals of otherwise uninteresting characters.  She was very entertaining as Doralee Rhodes in the Jane Fonda/Dabney Coleman/Lily Tomlin flick, 9 to 5.

mustache-ted-nugent Ted Nugent.  This one’s really a stretch.  Ted’s not a thespian.  But when I was a kid, I was a huge Miami Vice fan.  Ted guest-starred in one episode as a completely evil slimeball drug dealer.  He was gunned down in the end.  I don’t know whether Ted’s been in any other films, but I thought his appearance on Miami Vice was pretty cool.

sling-blade-dwight-yoakam1One of the biggest jerks ever to be captured on film, Doyle Hargraves, was played by country star, Dwight Yoakam.  Dwight’s been in a lot of other films and he’s quite good.  But he was great in Sling Blade.




2 responses

1 04 2010
Chris Holroyde

Love this blog post – good choice of actors. I made a similar one so let me know what you think.

1 04 2010

Thanks Chris. I’ll check out yours.

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