Actors to musicians

So, a friend and I were talking about singers that have tried to start acting careers, and we’ve come accross a few (Madona, Bette Midler, Allyia [forgive the horrible misspelling]), but then we started talking about actors who have tried to start music careers, and the list is full of a lot less successful people. Here’s a few we came up with:

Russel Crow: Don’t know the name of his band, but he plays guitar and sings occassionally.
Keanu Reeves: Plays bass for Dogstar
Bruce Willis: He’s got some band no one’s heard of
Allyissa Milano: Had a pop carreer in Japan (Oooo!!)
Adam Sandler: Although I consider his music more an branch of his comedy, my friend says “He’s still a musician,” and I really can’t argue.
Jack Black: Same as above. Started as a comedian, his music is really part of his comedy, and then became an actor, but more famous for the prior before the latter, so there you go.
And that’s all I can think of for now. Anyone got any more names (and any that seem to have been successful?)?

David Hasselhoff. He was big in Germany, last I heard.

Edward Furlong was also popular in Japan. There was a song (or album) called ‘Hold Me Tight’ or something like that.

Whywhywhy does my head retain such information?

I have a few:

Kate Winslet had a hit a few months ago in the UK.

Nicole Kidman, on top of her work in Moulin Rouge, recently recorded a duet with Robbie Williams (a cover of “Something Stupid”)

Sopranos stars Dominic Chianese (Uncle Junior), and Jamie Lynn-Sigler (Melody) have recently recorded albums.

Dan Castalleneta (The Simpsons) has recorded two albums that I know of.

Didn’t Kylie Minogue have a role in an Austrailian soap opera before her singing career took off?

Also, I’m tempted to say John Travolta, but I’m not sure whether his acting debut or his singing debut came first.

Johnny Depp plays bass for “P”, his band with Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers

Successful? They had a #1 hit in Southeast Asia with their cover of “Dancing Queen”!

BillDozer74 to the best of my recollection Kylie Minogue was indeed a soap star in Australia before becoming a singer.

Both Don Johnson (Miami Vice and Nash Bridges) and Eddie Murphy had albums in the 1980s, and at least one minor hit song each (“Heartbeat” for DJ, “Party all the Time” for EM).

Vicki Lawrence of Carol Burnett show fame had a full fledged hit in the 1970s with “The Night the Lights went Out in Georgia”.

Pia Zadora, anyone?

I just saw an old clip from the 1960s on American Bandstand or one of those shows with Michael Landon singing some pop song, so I guess he gave it a shot.

You could argue that since the guys in the Monkees went from acting like they could play their instruments to actually being able to play their instruments, to some degree, they would qualify.

Ditto with some of the cast members of “The Commitments”. They put a band together after the movie was a hit and toured, although IIRC none of them played the same instrument in real life that they did in the movie!

Steve Martin - very good banjo player

George Segal (Just Shoot Me) - professional Banjo player

Jon Cypher (General Marcus C. Craig on “Major Dad”) - incredible singer - only sang once on show but it was an amazing performance.

John Tesh (Entertainment Tonight) - composer
Jerry Orbach (Law and Order) - very well regarded professional singer -Mostly in Broadway Productions - He was also “Lumiere” the candle in Disney’s the “Beauty and the Beast” where he sang “Be our guest. Be our guest”

Dennis Quaid’s a musician, don’t remember his band name.

Gwyneth Paltrow is a good singer as well.

And Natalie Imbruglia–she was a soap star in Australia, if I recall correctly.

Mandy Patinkin–great singer.

Let’s not forget Kevin Bacon, who is in the band The Bacon Brothers with (shock!) his brother.

Anne Magnussen – half of Bongwater.

Umm, I’d say Samantha Fox, but it could be argued that the earlier part of career wasn’t really acting, and the later part of her career wasn’t really music. (I had a Samantha Fox record when I was about 13 – it was stapled into an issue of Cheri, or some similar porno-mag. I keep waiting to hear someone sample that – "Hi! This is super-sexy Samantha Fox, and I wanna… " well, you get the drift.


Actor Jesse Ventura had a band sometime between his wrestling and his political careers. I forget the bands name. He gives it a couple pages in his book, I Ain’t Got Time To Bleed. I got the impression it was some kind of hard rock/blues type thing, and that he sang and played the harmonica.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure he was already established as an actor (using the term in the loosest sense) before he became a musician.

Stephen King was an extra in several of his movies before he went on the road with his band. Not that he’s a “real actor,” but still . . .

There’s a bunch of porn stars who formed a band in LA–I forget the name, or who’s in it, but from what I read they were some of the bigger names in the XXX industry–and supposedly pretty good musicians as well. I’ll try to find a link that’s postable here . . .

Sherrie (sp?) Austin. The Australian actress turned country singer. She was on Facts of Life during the last season as an exchange student. Recently, she’s had a few hit songs on the country charts, including a cover of “Jolene” by Dolly Parton.

Kylie and Natalie Imbruglia both starred in our quaint little soap Neighbours. There was a couple more from Neighbours who forged careers as musicians, but with lesser success (and that’s putting it mildly).

Russell Crowe’s band is called ‘40 Odd Foot Of Grunt’. (Never heard 'em myself, but apparently they’re quite terrible.)

I’m Australian, but I’ve never heard of Sherrie Austin.

Musically, you’re not missing much with Sherrie Austin. But she is cute.

According to the IMDB, she went by the name Sherrie Krenn while acting, and most of her other acting credits were in American TV movies.

Narrad is close- Russell Crowe’s band is 30 Odd Foot of Grunt. They play here in Austin a lot.

Bear in mind, a lot of performers studied singing AND acting in school. So, it’s not ALWAYS just an ego trip when a successful actor tries to make a record, or a singer tries to star in a movie. Kevin Spacey did a lot of muscal theater as a young man. He became successful a a serious actor, so a lot of people don’t know he can sing. IF he ever decides to make an album or star in a musica,maybe peple wll think it’s an eo tip… but he’d really just be going bakto an old love.

In the same way, Rick Springfield frt gained successas a soap actor… but he ALWAYS considerd himself a musician first. He just used his acting fame as a platform for singing, hich is what he wanted to do all along.

But amongthe people I know of who ecme faousfirst as actors, and THEN tried to have singing careers, there are…

  1. David Soul of “Starsky & Hutch,” who had a #1 hit with “Don’t Give Up On Us Baby”

  2. Rick Springfield

  3. Michael Damian (soap star who had smash hit with cover of David Essex’ “Rock On”)

  4. Lonard Nimoy (he did a HORRIBLE album with covers of “Gentle on My Mind” and “Proud Mary”)

  5. The Brady Bunch

Doh! My mistake!

But what’s a grunt or ten between friends, anyway? :stuck_out_tongue:

Woody Allen plays clarinet in a Dixieland jazz band called The Bunk Project. I have the CD, it’s not bad if you like Dixieland.

I think everyone else already mentioned the other ones that sprang immediately to mind.

Aahhh! I totally remember watching this episode of Major Dad and thinking that is was the best thing ever! Sadly (oh, and I know I’m just a total dork for even mentioning this), I’ve looked for that performance on mp3 on the off chance that someone would have it. No one does. sigh Okay, can I go back to not being lame now?

Let’s not forget everyone’s favorite porn star, Dirk Diggler.

Yes, I know he’s fictional. I just couldn’t resist.

Silent movie stars Bebe Daniels and Ramon Novarro unexpectedly revealed terrific singing voices when talkies came in, and both made several records and toured onstage.

Jack Lemmon was a great pianist. David Hyde Pierce (Niles on Fraiser) is also a performance quality pianist.