Posted August 16, 2012 by Myke Friscia in Movies

Best Rock Stars turned Actors


When actors make it big, they often want to get a band together and become a rock star.  When rock stars make it big, they want to get into acting.  I guess it’s only natural any artist would want to find as many mediums as they can to create.  Can’t think of too many actors that have had massively successful music careers, but there are quite a few rock stars who have done well as actors.  Here’s my list for the best mega rock stars turned mega actors.

1) Cher – dropped out of high school at 16 to come to Hollywood to be an actor.  Discovered by Sonny Bono and Phil Spector, they thought she might do well as a singer.  And did she.  She is the only artist ever to have a number one single in 4 consecutive decades.  Her and Babs are the only singers to have a number one single and win an Academy Award for acting.  She won her Best Actress Oscar for Moonstruck and it was well deserved.  She may be about the most talented person in human history.  Other notable performances: Mask, Burlesque, Suspect, Silkwood.

Cher in Silkwood                                                     in Burlesque

2) Justin Timberlake – After appearing on Star Search as Justin Randall at age 11, he kept on singing and formed NSYNC at age 14.  The two time Grammy winner had his first major role in Alpha Dog.  If you haven’t seen him in SNL sketches, he’s hilarious, as well as he comedy videos with Andy Samberg.   I think he’s about the most talented talent in the entertainment industry today.  Notable performances: Social Network, Bad Teacher, all his SNL sketches, D!@$ in a box video.


JT also performs it live.   Who wants to see what’s in that box?

3) Barbara – the five time Grammy winner has sold 70 million albums worldwide, directed 4 Oscar winning performances, and won 2 herself among her far too many to list accomplishments.  She made her acting debut in Funny Girl in 1968 for which she as paid a whopping $200,000.  8 years later she had become so popular, she was paid over 15,000,000 for A Star is Born, an unheard of salary for the time.  Babs is still going strong with her Focker performances.  Keep an eye out for her with Seth Rogen in “The Guilt Trip”.  Notable performances: Prince of Tides, Yentl, Funny Lady.

4)   Better Midler – Got her start playing gay bath houses with Neil Diamond.  Had 2 hit albums in 1972 and 73 that earned her 4 Grammy awards.  Made her first major film debut playing the Janis Joplin type character in The Rose in 1979 in which she gave an amazing performance.  Keep an eye out for her with Billy Crystal in Parental Guidance.  Notable performances: Beaches, The First Wives Club, Scenes from a Mall.

5) Will Smith – Although he plays and acts mostly silly on film, you can’t argue with success.  One of the biggest movie stars in history. Has the record for starring in the most consecutive movies to gross over $100 million with 8! He started off singing with Jeffery A. Townes as D.J. Jazzy and The Fresh Prince.  They became hugely popular and Will earned himself 2 Grammy’s.  He also earned a ton of money which he spent until he went bankrupt.  Then he met Benny Medina who had an idea for a sit-com starring him and the rest is history.  Keep an eye out for him in any movie that ends with a 2 or 3 (Hancock 2, I Robot 2, Bad Boys 3, MIB 3, I Am Legend 2, Independence Day 2).  Notable performances: Pursuit of Happiness, Six Degrees of Separation, 7 pounds, Ali.

8 hits in a row!  The average Will Smith movie grosses $134 million domestic B.O.

6) Kris Kristofferson – After a prominent military career as a helicopter pilot, he got a job as a janitor in a Nashville recording studio.  He pushed some of his stuff on Johnny Cash, which was continually ignored.  Kristofferson then landed a helicopter in Johnny’s yard and said listen to my stuff already, will ya?  Johnny did and liked it.  Kristofferson went on to win Country Music Songwriter of the Year in 1970 and have a prominent career which eventually got him inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  He took to acting in 1971 and has been going strong in many notable films since, including one I was an extra in and got to watch him work.   Kris, since it worked for you, I have a script or two I need some people to look at.  Can I rent your helicopter out?   Keep an eye out for him in The Motel Life with Dakota Fanning.   Notable roles: Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Payback, A Star is Born, Blade, Planet of the Apes.

7) Mark Wahlberg – after a rough troubled childhood and serving 50 days in jail, he became a late addition to his brother’s band, the already successful New Kids On The Block.  He went on to have a successful solo career as Marky Mark.  He got into TV acting as Marky Mark, then on to film as Mark Wahlberg in The Renaissance Man.  Since then he has been in a number of hugely successful films that has earned him a well deserved spot on the A list.  The mega hit show Entourage is loosely based on his experiences trying to make it in Hollywood.  Keep an eye out for him in Three Mississippi with Will Ferrell and Broken City with Russell Crowe.  Notable Roles: Boogie Nights, The Fighter, Four Brothers, Ted, The Departed, Invincible.

Other rock Stars who have done well as actors.

  • Queen Latifah
  • Olivia Newton John
  • Mos Def
  • L.L. Cool J
  • Ice T
  • Ice Cube
  • Harry Connick Jr.
  • Dolly Parton
  • Elvis
  • Meat Loaf

Rock star Notable performances

Keep an eye out for her in Fast and Furious 6

  • Rihanna  – Battleship
  • Eminem – 8 Mile
  • Prince – Purple Rain
  • Jennifer Hudson – Dream Girls
  • Sting – Dune
  • Jon Bon Jovi – U571
  • Curtis Jackson (.50 Cent) – Get Rich or Die Trying
  • Christina Aguilera – Burlesque
  • Willie Nelson  -Honeysuckle Rose
  • Dolly Parton – 9 to 5
  • Beyonce – Dream Girls, The Fighting Temptations

Rock stars who should stay rock stars

  • Madonna
  • Kelley Clarkson
  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • Mariah Carey
  • Mick Jagger
  • Courtney Love
  • Britney Spears
  • Keith Richards
  • Bob Dylan
  • Sting
  • Master P


Movie fans and critics continually rank these among the worst movies ever made.

Myke Friscia

Myke Friscia

Screenplay Analyst, Writer, Director of Development for Gallagher Literary Management, Little Monster. "Words are my Passion".