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Bowie, Bette, Cher or Dolly: Name the ultimate musician-turned-actor of the '80s



Cherry Moon With the 25th anniversary of Prince's Purple Rain coming Monday, it's time to consider the question: Is Prince the ultimate musician-turned-actor of the '80s?

And the obvious answer: Heck no, Smokey! He appeared in just one other '80s flick -- Under the Cherry Moon -- and I don't think he's a threat for winning anything other than a Razzie for either movie. (Of course, we all still own them both!)

However, the '80s are full of worthy contenders, and since we're covering that topic for next week's podcast, with the always brilliant Times film critic Steve Persall, we need to decide amongst ourselves: Who deserves to be named Best Musician-Turned-Actor of the '80s?

Add your own suggestions in the comments area. For the purposes of this list, they can be musicians from other decades, but their movies needed to appear in the '80s. Here are five to seriously consider:

David_bowie_labyrinth DAVID BOWIE: Of course he can't be strictly called an '80s artist -- either as a musician or actor, but he influenced every single band from England that formed during that decade.
Pros: The Hunger (1983), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)
Cons: Okay, I won't put Labyrinth on this list, because it's a guilty pleasure and I'm watching it right now. But Yellowbeard makes it, right?

Beaches BETTE MIDLER: Definitely not a singing threat anymore in the '80s, except for Wing Beneath My Wings (pause now for acid reflux).
Pros: Beaches (1988), Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Ruthless People (1986)
Cons: Big Business (1988), The Lottery (1989)

Moonstruck-Cher_l CHER: She could be considered a better actress than a musician, someone nobody else on this list would dare to claim.
Pros: Mask (1985), Silkwood (1983), Moonstruck (1987)
Cons: Suspect (1987)

121607rhinestone DOLLY PARTON: Hard to know where to rank someone who basically played herself in every role.
Pros: Nine to Five (1980), Steel Magnolias (1989)
Cons: Everything in between including Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) and Rhinestone (1984)

Tomwaits500 TOM WAITS: Don't tell me you forgot about Tom! He had more roles in the '80s than almost anybody on this list.
Pros: The Outsiders (1983), Rumble Fish (1983), Ironweed (1987)
Cons: The Cotton Club (1984)

Okay, so do any of these five deserve the title? Who else would you add to the list? Rick Springfield, Morris Day? Madonna? And who else needs to be considered an actor-turned-musician of the '80s?

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:48pm]


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