If an entertainers finds success as a musician, it only makes sense they try their hand at acting. There are some entertainers like Janet Jackson and Frank Sinatra who are known for their music but started out as actors. Others emerge as musicians and transition to film and television. Here are the 10 Most Amazing Musicians Turned Actors of all Time.
In the late 80s Queen Latifah was making her way as a rapper and hip hop star following her days beat boxing on the streets. After the release of her successful album “All Hail the Queen” the artist formerly known as Dana Owens took a swing at acting and managed to hit some home runs. After appearing on a few episodes of shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Latifah had a starring role on the Fox sitcom Living Single which lasted five seasons while she was also making her way to the big screen. Since then she has been in countless films and even received an Academy Award nomination for her stellar performance in Chicago which demonstrated her acting and musical talents. All Hail the queen.
Harry Connick Jr.
In the 80s Harry Connick Jr. came out with music showcasing his Sinatra-like crooning ability. He made a name for himself with not only his first album but also his Grammy winning compilation for the When Harry Met Sally Soundtrack. He was the handsome jazz musician that made everyone’s mom swoon. Making the hearts of the elderly skip a beat was not enough. Harry delved into acting with Memphis Belle in 1990. It wasn’t until his high profile roles in Copycat and Independence Day that proved his film appearances were not a fluke. He was wildly charming in Hope Floats opposite Sandra Bullock and used his velvet voice to narrate My Dog Skip. He gained a spot as a judge on American Idol in 2010 but now that the show is over, Connick can dedicate his time to what he does best; utilizing his charisma on the big screen.
Will Smith is one of the best examples of a talented musician turned actor but acting did not always come naturally to the Fresh Prince. After releasing hits like “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and “Summer Time”, NBC decided to make a sitcom loosely based on Smith’s life. In the early years of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, it was apparent that Smith was unsure how to hit a mark or how to avoid mouthing other actor’s lines but he pushed through and became not only a television star but a monumental movie star. The 90s brought the box office hits like Independence Day and Men in Black, but the 2000s brought the critical acclaim with Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness. Smith still occasionally releases music but barely compared to his serious dedication to acting. Since he is able churn out one exceptional performance after another, the kid from Philly can do whatever he wants.
Meat Loaf is known for his powerful voice and theatrical music. In the early 1970s he debuted as the beefy musician with a funny name and a dramatic musical presence. The 70s and 80s were a time of exploring his acting bug with his first film, appropriately a musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and a few supporting roles in smaller films. Meatloaf began racking up film credits in the 1990s with solid performances in Black Dog, The Mighty and Fight Club. He has only since gathered more acting work with no signs of quitting.
As much as Mark Wahlberg may want everyone to forget about his musical career, he actually did hit the Billboard charts twice back when he was part of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Wahlberg made his departure from mediocre rapper to accomplished actor with small roles in The Basketball Diaries opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and quickly landed a lead role in 1996’s Fear as the demented boyfriend of Reese Witherspoon. His performance was memorable but it was his role as Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights that made everyone forget about his pants-dropping earlier career routine. Wahlberg has proven himself as a strong actor since then and while he probably shouldn’t be embarrassed about his music past, audiences are certainly pleased he traded in his mic for an acting chair.