It’s pretty safe to say that it’s not enough to have only one skill in Hollywood. Many of the celebrities who get the most work know how to act, sing, dance, produce, design clothing, and a whole host of other creative talents. Many celebrities have done crossover projects (i.e. actors who star in musicals, singers who star in movies), and this has often done wonders for their careers.
While there are still some celebrities who are known for one specific talent, there was a time in Hollywood when being a triple threat was the norm. Back in the days of classic actors like Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner and Dorothy Dandridge, famous people were expected to dazzle audiences with their beautiful voices, dance in a musical number or two, and deliver a convincing character portrayal, all in the same show or movie. It’s definitely a lot of work, and only the most dedicated performers were able to pull it off with grace and skill and make it look easy. There are still a few Hollywood stars who are committed to achieving and maintaining triple threat status. Here are the top 12 triple threats in Hollywood right now.
12. Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris is one smart cookie when it comes to his career. As a teenager, he starred in the hit show Doogie Howser, MD, and after we didn’t hear from him for a while, we realized during his comeback to Hollywood that he was busy making himself a triple threat. Harris has hosted the Tony Awards several times, and he keeps getting asked back because he dazzles the crowd with his singing and dancing abilities. He has also appeared on Broadway several times and is the host of Best Time Ever, which gives him another chance to show off his acting, dancing and singing abilities. Harris is perhaps best known for his role as the womanizing Barney on How I Met Your Mother, but the Tony and Emmy-Award winner will likely successfully reinvent himself again in the near future.
11. Jamie Foxx
Some would classify Jamie Foxx as a quadruple threat, since he can act, sing, dance and is a comedian. Foxx rose to fame as a cast member of the comedy show In Living Color, and went on to have his own sitcom, The Jamie Foxx Show. On the sitcom, Jamie got the chance to show off his vocal skills, and even sang with legend Gladys Knight on the show (she portrayed his mother). Jamie also has several comedy specials under his belt. Foxx got critical acclaim for his portrayal of music icon Ray Charles in the movie Ray, and showed the world that he was more than just a comedic actor. At the 2009 BET Awards, Foxx opened up the show with a dance routine in honor of Michael Jackson. Obviously, he wouldn’t attempt a Jackson routine if he weren’t a skilled dancer.
10. Sarah Jessica Parker
To many of her adoring fans, Sarah Jessica Parker will always be known as Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. However, she’s been in the business for a long time, and when she was younger, she showed off her singing and dancing skills much more. She was cast in the Broadway musical Annie as a kid, and played a girl with “dance fever” in the movie Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Parker also played the Vogue exec with a song in her heart on the Fox show, Glee. In addition to being able to act, dance and sing, Parker is also a fashion designer and has a line of shoes available at Nordstrom.
While her acting skills are debatable to some, Beyonce has managed to land roles in major films like Goldmember and Dreamgirls. She also portrayed singer Etta James in the movie Cadillac Records. However, there’s no doubt that Beyonce is one of the greatest singers of our time. She is known for her outstanding work ethic and entertaining shows (she dances for hours in high heels), and has a string of hits that will likely keep us dancing for years to come. Beyonce is also a great dancer, and has been showing off her business acumen lately after parting ways professionally with her father and former manager, Matthew Knowles.
8. Kate Hudson
The beautiful and talented Kate Hudson has the ability to act, sing and dance. She showed off her dancing skills when she starred in the movie Nine, and again when she appeared on the show Glee. Hudson, who is the daughter of acting legend Goldie Hawn, is also known for her work in the movies Bride Wars, Something Borrowed and How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days. Hudson has also been making strides in the business world with her new line of workout wear for women. We’re guessing the clothing line is going to do pretty well, since Kate is the spokesperson and her well-toned body is definitely motivation to get in shape.
7. Miley Cyrus
While she can be a little (okay, a lot) outrageous at times, there’s no denying that former Disney star Miley Cyrus is talented. When she starred in her own TV show Hannah Montana, she had to sing, dance and act, sometimes simultaneously. She went on to make music that was more Miley and less Hannah, and continued to show off her dancing and singing expertise. Right now, her dance of choice is twerking, but we’re hoping she can get back to being a more versatile artist (and stop engaging in celebrity “beef”) so that her acting, singing and dancing abilities can shine through once again.
6. Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman has proven time and time again that he’s more than just Wolverine from the X-Men movie franchise. He gave a stunning performance in the movie adaptation of the play Les Miserables, and also starred in movies such as The Prestige and Prisoners. Jackman is a favorite on Broadway, and has hosted both the Tony and Oscar Awards, where he got the opportunity to show off his singing and dancing talents. As if that isn’t enough, Jackman is also a television producer and has lent his talent to several voice acting projects. He’s also one of those celebrities who is known for being especially warm and friendly, which is somewhat rare in Hollywood these days.
5. Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake used to be the dreamy curly-haired kid in the boy band N’Sync. Now that those days are over (the band recently had a reunion tour), Timberlake has done quite well as a solo artist. His singles “Sexy Back” and “Cry Me a River” were chart-toppers, and his album The 20/20 Experience also did very well. Justin is also a great dancer, and he often shows off his skills during live shows and in music videos. In addition to being a talented singer and dancer, Justin has also shown his acting chops in several movies, including Bad Teacher, The Social Network and Friends With Benefits.
4. Gwyneth Paltrow
Paltrow is known for movies like Seven and Emma, and is the daughter of legendary actress Blythe Danner. These days, Gwyneth has been focusing more on being a lifestyle expert, offering (sometimes unsolicited) diet advice, and providing fitness guidance for anyone who will listen. She also appeared in the movies Country Song and Duets, where she got the chance to show the world that she can sing. A guest spot on the Fox hit show Glee also let her fans know that she can dance. We’re hoping she’ll land some more worthwhile projects soon and get back to being an entertainer, since she’s better at that than making “suggestions” about how other people should live their lives.
3. Catherine Zeta-Jones
Gorgeous actress and wife of actor Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones confirmed her triple threat status when she got the role of Velma Kelly in the 2002 adaptation of the Broadway musical Chicago. Zeta-Jones was alluring and completely convincing in the role, and critics agreed that her voice was beautiful and her dance moves were impressive. She won an Academy Award for the role. Catherine Zeta-Jones is also known for her roles in movies such as The Haunting, High Fidelity, Traffic, Ocean’s Twelve and The Legend of Zorro, and has received three Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as a BAFTA Award.
2. Meryl Streep
Aside from being a favorite at the Oscars for her superb acting ability, Meryl Streep can also sing and dance! It’s almost unfair for one person to have that much talent. Streep was a hit in the movie Mamma Mia, which was released in 2008 and is an adaptation of the musical. She’ll always be known for the cold-hearted boss in The Devil Wears Prada, and has also acted in movies such as The Bridges of Madison County and Marvin’s Room. She even learned to play the violin so that she would be more believable as a musician in the movie Music of The Heart. Streep recently starred in a movie with her real-life daughter, actress Mamie Gummer, called Ricki And The Flash. She is also a film producer.
1. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez debuted in Hollywood as a Fly Girl on In Living Color. Since then, she’s been a breakout star. She’s starred in several movies, including Anaconda, Angel Eyes, Shall We Dance and Maid In Manhattan. There was also that terrible movie she did with then-beau Ben Affleck (Gigli), but she’s more than redeemed herself since then. Lopez is also a clothing and fragrance designer, book author, and singer, with several high-selling albums under her belt. Her singles have included “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”, “Jenny From The Block” and “Waiting for Tonight.” Jennifer is also a judge on American Idol, has her own production company and is a fashion icon. There’s pretty much nothing she can’t do.