10 Best Acting Performances By Musicians

They can sing, dance, play guitar - but can they act?

david bowie man from earth
British Lion Films

For most of us, all can hope for in life is to be OK at one thing. We can hone our skills with every hour we’re given, but 99% are destined for the also-rans scrap heap, goggling bitterly at the overachievers. So when you come across individuals who are brilliant at two things, it doesn't sit well.

But rather than grinding your teeth with resentment at these high flying hyphenates, try a sunnier outlook, and celebrate that rare breed – the successful musician who can also turn in a blinding performance in a film or TV show.

Now, success on the stage does not necessarily equate to the same on the screen, and many’s the talented, charismatic musician whose attempted career leap has fallen flat (sorry, Crossroads fans - Britney will not be featuring in this list). But let’s not focus on failure and folly. Instead, let’s praise those multitalented individuals, of whom we’re not even jealous!

(With apologies to the Fresh Prince and Marky Mark, this list eschews those who have abandoned their singing careers in favour of acting, focussing only on individuals who still derive a living from music. Wahlberg, if you feel like reuniting the Funky Bunch, we’ll reconsider).


Joshua H. Mills likes Milhouse Van Houten, Tom Waits, and A Confederacy Of Dunces. You can find his content at www.twotownsover.com, and enjoy his 15 tweets @jharrymills