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BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors

catspaw49 29 Nov 07 - 01:27 PM
Folk Form # 1 29 Nov 07 - 01:34 PM
Richard Bridge 29 Nov 07 - 01:35 PM
Little Hawk 29 Nov 07 - 01:38 PM
bobad 29 Nov 07 - 01:46 PM
Little Hawk 29 Nov 07 - 01:46 PM
Little Hawk 29 Nov 07 - 01:48 PM
Little Hawk 29 Nov 07 - 01:50 PM
Folk Form # 1 29 Nov 07 - 01:52 PM
Little Hawk 29 Nov 07 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,number 6 29 Nov 07 - 02:04 PM
Jean(eanjay) 29 Nov 07 - 02:08 PM
katlaughing 29 Nov 07 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,number 6 29 Nov 07 - 02:10 PM
GUEST,number 6 29 Nov 07 - 02:22 PM
Becca72 29 Nov 07 - 02:36 PM
PoppaGator 29 Nov 07 - 02:37 PM
Richard Bridge 29 Nov 07 - 02:43 PM
katlaughing 29 Nov 07 - 02:46 PM
Jim Dixon 29 Nov 07 - 02:51 PM
catspaw49 29 Nov 07 - 03:16 PM
Jim Dixon 29 Nov 07 - 03:34 PM
fat B****rd 29 Nov 07 - 03:52 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 29 Nov 07 - 03:55 PM
Wesley S 29 Nov 07 - 04:01 PM
GUEST 29 Nov 07 - 04:13 PM
Little Hawk 29 Nov 07 - 04:14 PM
Little Hawk 29 Nov 07 - 04:19 PM
PoppaGator 29 Nov 07 - 04:19 PM
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Doc John 29 Nov 07 - 04:31 PM
Little Hawk 29 Nov 07 - 04:41 PM
van lingle 29 Nov 07 - 04:41 PM
Bill D 29 Nov 07 - 05:21 PM
Don Firth 29 Nov 07 - 05:22 PM
Little Hawk 29 Nov 07 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Ze Buddha 29 Nov 07 - 05:40 PM
Don Firth 29 Nov 07 - 05:42 PM
GUEST,Ze Buddha 29 Nov 07 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,Ze Buddha 29 Nov 07 - 05:54 PM
Wesley S 29 Nov 07 - 05:56 PM
David C. Carter 29 Nov 07 - 06:09 PM
Jim Dixon 29 Nov 07 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,Ze Buddha 29 Nov 07 - 06:31 PM
catspaw49 29 Nov 07 - 06:40 PM
GUEST,Ze Buddha 29 Nov 07 - 06:53 PM
Dave Swan 29 Nov 07 - 06:54 PM
Dave Swan 29 Nov 07 - 06:56 PM
katlaughing 29 Nov 07 - 07:48 PM
katlaughing 29 Nov 07 - 07:50 PM
Little Hawk 29 Nov 07 - 07:52 PM
catspaw49 29 Nov 07 - 08:46 PM
Neil D 29 Nov 07 - 08:55 PM
pdq 29 Nov 07 - 08:56 PM
Little Hawk 29 Nov 07 - 09:02 PM
Gorgeous Gary 29 Nov 07 - 09:13 PM
GUEST,Ze Buddha 29 Nov 07 - 09:32 PM
catspaw49 29 Nov 07 - 09:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 29 Nov 07 - 10:49 PM
Jim Dixon 29 Nov 07 - 11:00 PM
Lonesome EJ 29 Nov 07 - 11:24 PM
Lonesome EJ 29 Nov 07 - 11:26 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 29 Nov 07 - 11:32 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Nov 07 - 12:29 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 30 Nov 07 - 12:54 AM
Stilly River Sage 30 Nov 07 - 01:19 AM
Severn 30 Nov 07 - 01:27 AM
catspaw49 30 Nov 07 - 03:32 AM
Newport Boy 30 Nov 07 - 04:17 AM
ard mhacha 30 Nov 07 - 04:45 AM
Dick The Box 30 Nov 07 - 04:48 AM
Folk Form # 1 30 Nov 07 - 05:26 AM
George Papavgeris 30 Nov 07 - 07:00 AM
Teribus 30 Nov 07 - 07:13 AM
Peter Kasin 30 Nov 07 - 07:55 AM
Severn 30 Nov 07 - 08:16 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 Nov 07 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Neil D 30 Nov 07 - 08:48 AM
fat B****rd 30 Nov 07 - 09:02 AM
Roger the Skiffler 30 Nov 07 - 09:05 AM
Wesley S 30 Nov 07 - 09:11 AM
Peter Kasin 30 Nov 07 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,number 6 30 Nov 07 - 09:31 AM
Becca72 30 Nov 07 - 09:32 AM
Midchuck 30 Nov 07 - 10:08 AM
PoppaGator 30 Nov 07 - 10:24 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 30 Nov 07 - 11:17 AM
Folk Form # 1 30 Nov 07 - 11:21 AM
PoppaGator 30 Nov 07 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,Neil D 30 Nov 07 - 01:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Nov 07 - 01:05 PM
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Stilly River Sage 30 Nov 07 - 03:27 PM
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mrdux 30 Nov 07 - 05:17 PM
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Subject: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 01:27 PM

Just what the title says.......Any genre is fine.

Be it Folk or C&W or Pop or Jazz or whatever.........Who are the best and worst actors that came from a musical career. Sometimes they may have gone on to entire acting careers like Sinatra or Alan Arkin or maybe just a one off big screen movie like James Taylor in "Two Lane Blacktop."

Let's hear your choices.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 01:34 PM

David Bowie has ruined more good films than any other -ahem- actor than I can think. He was good in The Man Who Fell to Earth, but that was because he was playing an alien and because we dont know how aliens are suppose to behave, his inability to act served him well. Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence would have been a classic of world cinema if it wasnt for his Goddamnawful acting. What were they thinking of when they cast him?

Kris Kristofferson. Total shit actor. As above, basically.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 01:35 PM

Mick Jagger's couple of forays into acting are execrable, but not as bad as any "acting" by Madonna or by the Spice Girls, the Monkees or the Beatles.

On the other hand many actors have made musicians of the "Oh God I WISH I could forget that" calibre.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 01:38 PM

Cher turned out to be a superb actress when she took that job on...a far better actress, in my opinion, than she ever was a musical performer...although she has certainly been a quite competent musical performer. I really liked some of her early recordings. When she did a few Dylan songs in the 60's, she did them very well, I thought.

Her screen acting has been uniformly excellent in any movie I've seen her in.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: bobad
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 01:46 PM

I like Tom Waits as an actor in the few roles I have seen him in, the best to my mind is the character he played in "Down By Law" a Jim Jarmusch movie that also had John Lurie of the Lounge Lizards and Roberto Benigni before he became famous (infamous?) for his Academy Award performance. According to IMDb Waits has appeared in 25 films.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 01:46 PM

Madonna was also very good in Evita. As for any other movie roles she did, I can't comment...having not seen any of them.

Kristofferson? I wouldn't rate his acting too high. He also tended to get cast in some pretty bad movies...hard to say if they would have been any better or worse without him...but that would depend on whom you got in his place, wouldn't it?

Just picture replacing him with Steven Seagal in "Heaven's Gate" or "Red Dawn" or "The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea", for instance. ;-) See what I mean? Those movies could have been even worse!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 01:48 PM

Willie Nelson has been absolutely classic in every film he's ever been in, and that was for two reasons.

1. He's got loads of character and charisma in his own very unique way.

2. He was generally cast in roles and scripts that fit him very well.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 01:50 PM

Then there's Elvis. The poor man was cast in an endless series of absolutely dreadful B-movies...with the odd so-so one here and there...and he couldn't act either. ;-)

But hell, he gave it a good shot with the old youthful energy, passion, and good looks anyway, didn't he?


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 01:52 PM

I thought the Beatles were quite good. Not excellent, maybe, but good enough. Check out A Hard Day's Night.

Sinatra was a good actor and so was Bing Crosby, who was a great straight man to Bob Hope's funny man.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 02:00 PM

I never much liked Sinatra, but yes, I think he was a pretty good actor. I just didn't like his style, that's all.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 02:04 PM

Levon Helm did a pretty good job (though a small part) in the Right Stuff.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 02:08 PM

My favourites are Cher and Johnny Cash.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 02:09 PM

I really loved Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan. Thought she did a great job.

Never did like Sinatra as an actor or singer.

Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly...love anything those guys did.

Agree on Willy Nelson, esp. in the Electric Horseman...Mamas don't let your babies grow up to cowboys...

I don't think it matters whether Kristofferson is good or not as an actor...all he has to do is open his mouth and speak.:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 02:10 PM

David Bowie I'm not too impressed with as an actor ... he did an ok job though in one of favourite movies "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence' ... Ryuichi Sakamoto did an excellent acting job in that movie.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 02:22 PM

Kris Kristofferson .... I thought he showed a lot of stamina in "the Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea"

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Becca72
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 02:36 PM

I personally love David Bowie in anything he does. The man is just cool. Labyrinth is one of my favorite movies.

Being a child of the 80's, I love the music of Rick Springfield. He is sexy beyond comparison. But the man cannot act. It seems appropriate that he started out in soap operas.

Meatloaf is pretty good in the stuff he's done, though admittedly he tends to ham it up a bit..but he does that with everything.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 02:37 PM

Levon Helm was great as the dad in "Coal Miner's Daughter" ~ definitely a meatier role than what he did in "The Right Stuff."

I always thought Kristofferson was an OK actor; at the very least, he projects a pretty likeable screen persona. But I may be prejudiced: when I first learned his story ~ Rhodes scholar working as a janitor in a Nashville studio while trying to make his mark as a songwriter ~ I decided right away to be a fan. Back in my street-performer days, I regularly played a few of his songs, and folks would sometimes remark on how much I looked like him. (That is undoubtedly less true now than in 1971.)

As Little Hawk pointed out, Cher is a pretty outstanding screen actress, perhaps better than she was as a singer (which was not too shabby, either.)

I had no idea Alan Arkin was a musician (or singer?) before he became an actor. Tell mre more!


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 02:43 PM

Elvis Presley was actually pretty good in that western he did - didn't sing and played the sullen half-breed pretty well.

I agree Cher has been consistently excellent. The one about the brilliant boy with the head-bone-plate-growth problem is a very well done film.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 02:46 PM

But I may be prejudiced: when I first learned his story ~ Rhodes scholar working as a janitor in a Nashville studio while trying to make his mark as a songwriter ~ I decided right away to be a fan.

Me, too, PoppaGator.

Was Andy Griffith a singer before he was an actor? He sure did a pretty job with a guitar and a few songs.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 02:51 PM

Dwight Yoakam did a fine job as the bad guy in Sling Blade. I haven't seen him in anything else.

I've seen Lyle Lovett in a few small roles, and I thought he did pretty well.

I think Paul Simon is absolutely brilliant when he does comedy. SNL recently reran the bit in which he dressed in a turkey costume—see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxe8vlhdKYM. One Trick Pony was underrated. It wasn't all comedy, but there were a few very funny moments.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 03:16 PM

IF you don't know about Alan Arkin......READ THIS.....you'll be amazed I'm sure!

He was also a founding member of Second City in Chicago!

One VERY talented man!!!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 03:34 PM

How can we forget Billy Connolly? Folksinger, stand-up comedian, actor. Not as well known in the US as in Britain, obviously, but he did a fine job in Mrs. Brown. He even had his own American TV sitcom for a while, but it flopped.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: fat B****rd
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 03:52 PM

I recall Charro was Elvis's western. Bobby Darin did "Too Late Blues" in 1961 as ajazz musician. I know he did others but that's the only one I recall.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 03:55 PM

Barbara Streisand - I can't decide which I dislike more, her music or her acting.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Wesley S
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 04:01 PM

Ricky Nelson - Good singer - bad actor


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 04:13 PM

I would agree that Cher and Sinatra are examples of the best. Also agreed that Kristofferson has blundered into too many movies so bad that there was nothing anyone could do with them; anyone else actually spend money to see the "A Star is Born" remake? Urrrrrp!
Streisand also has laid some other true stinkers.
Getting down to absolute rock bottom, it would be hard to choose between Bob Dylan as Alias in "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid", and Glen Campbell's performance in "True Grit".
At the risk of drift, I thought "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" was a hopelessly garbled mess, in the midst of which the Slim Pickens death scene came off as sublime.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 04:14 PM

Yeah, Streisand can be pretty annoying, can't she? ;-)

Kristofferson was blessed with a great voice (like Kat says) and a great face. His acting is passable.

I recall Paul Simon's "One Trick Pony". It was pretty good all right. Didn't Art Garfunkel act in a couple of movies? Was he in "Carnal Knowledge" with Jack Nicholson? Now there was a creepy movie.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 04:19 PM

Another vote, by the way, for Johnny Cash. He was quite a good actor.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 04:19 PM

Not long ago, I saw Andy Griffith's first movie on TCM. Can't remember the title, but he played a folksinger of sorts ~ a hobo guitar player "discovered" while locked up in a small-town Arkansas drunk tank and quickly promoted as a local radio personality and, soon thereafter, as an emerging TV star first in Memphis and then on the national stage in New York.

He did plenty of pickin' and singin' ~ must have developed tht ability somewhere, somehow, in his earlier years.

Dwight Yoakum was, indeed, really outstanding in Sling Blade. I think he's a better actor than Billy Bob is a singer...

Spaw, thanks for the background material on Alan Arkin. I think I had already known about his important role in the early development of Second City, but may never have learned about his musical talents. I do remember The Tarriers, but didn't know the individual members' names back then (not even Erik Darling's, I'm ashamed to admit).


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,frogprince
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 04:31 PM

4:13 was me. Didn't notice someone swallowed the cookie.
                         Dean


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Doc John
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 04:31 PM

Cisco Houston played a few bit parts in some westerns; he certainly looked the part of a Hollywood actor. Does anyone know what the films were and has anyone ever seen them or spotted him.
The Mick Jagger film about Ned Kelly in some lists is reckoned to be the worst film ever made!
Fred Astaire - you don't actually notice his acting, his dancing is so superb. Ditto with Bing and singing.
Cher - wonderful in 'Tea with Mussolini'
Doc John


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 04:41 PM

I saw Ned Kelly when it came out, and I don't remember it being quite that bad! ;-) I mean, worst movie ever??? Think of the competition for that distinction! Just think...

I recall a "head" movie from the same era: "Zacharia" (the promo ads for the movie marketed it as "A Head of His Time.") LOL! You got to see a lot of young longhaired musicians in the Old West engaging in gunslinging and electric guitar duels and encounters with famous whores in lavish bordellos...sort of like Jimi Hendrix at the OK Corral.

Now I bet that one deserves to be at least considered among the top 20 worst movies of all time.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: van lingle
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 04:41 PM

Best: Jimmy Cliff in The Harder They Come

Worst: Gotta second Ricky Nelson in one of those John Wayne "Rio" movies (Bravo?) and tied with the Pogues in that movie they made in Mexico.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 05:21 PM

Burl Ives was actually pretty good...and was in a number of films.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 05:22 PM

In the early 1970s I saw Bobby Darin in straight dramatic roles in a couple of TV movies. Excellent!

Johnny Cash in an episode of "Columbo," playing a touring gospel singer who managed to do in his domineering wife (Ida Lupino). Columbo (as usual) knew he'd done the dastardly deed, but couldn't prove it (yet), and the gospel singer knew that Columbo knew, but couldn't prove it as long as he, the singer, was careful. Watching their polite verbal fencing and jockeying for position was both funny and suspenseful. Columbo got him, of course. Cash was great.

Harry Belafonte isn't a half-bad actor. I saw him in one non-singing role he brought off very neatly.

Cher. Oh, yeah! In "Tea with Mussolini," she managed to hold her own with the likes of Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, and Joan Plowright. They're some pretty heavy-duty, industrial strength actors. And in "Moonstruck" and "Mask." Several others.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 05:38 PM

Burl Ives was truly memorable in the great and seemingly forgotten film "Let No Man Write My Epitaph" (1960). As far as I know, you can't get it at all on DVD. It has vanished. I saw it once on daytime TV in the late 60s-early 70s.

It was based on a book written by the author who wrote "Knock On Any Door".


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,Ze Buddha
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 05:40 PM

How about Cate Blanchett as Dylan? Gotta see that one!

Also, wasn't Iggy Pop in Coffee & Cigarettes?

I think Whitney Houston makes a credible actor, in that way Willie Nelson does through choice of material that isn't beyond what they are capable of. But I wouldn't describe either of them as being as good at acting as they are at music.

Diana Ross, not so much. I really dislike that dude who played Ray Charles, and the movie sucked. But his portrayal of Charles was pretty good, and he sings really well.

And Sissy Spacek channeled Loretta when she did Coal Miner's Daughter. But as far as I know she considers herself more a baton twirler than a musician.

Reba, OTOH, can NOT act. Seeing her on the tv makes me want to spit.

How about Snoop, eh? The rappers haven't transitioned well into acting I don't think. Too stiff and wooden.

But to me, one of the best film performance by a musician was Bjork in "Dancer in the Dark". She was astoundingly good. It was a really painful film to watch, but really good, IMO.

And Cher in "Moonstruck".

Can't wait to see Monsieur Depp sing in "Sweeney Todd". It is to be our family Christmas outing this year.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 05:42 PM

Oh, yeah! Definitely Burl Ives. He got a well deserved Oscar for his role in "The Big Country" and followed it with a bravura performance as Big Daddy in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Fantastic actor!

Barbra Streisand. Pretty good in several things. Loved her in "What's Up, Doc?" The whole movie was a riot, and she was hilarious!

"We're gonna make it! We're gonna make it!" Volkswagen beetle hurtles off the end of the dock. When it becomes obvious, as it arcs through the air, that it's going to fall about thirty feet short of the departing ferry:   "We're not gonna make it. . . ."   Or one of the funniest, best timed lines in the whole movie:   "Hi, daddy. . . ."   And if you had seen "Love Story," the final two lines in the movie, between Streisand and Ryan O'Neal, would crack you up entirely. Sort of an "in-joke."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,Ze Buddha
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 05:45 PM

Sam Shepard rocks it, no matter what he does. That dude is a genius even when he's awful.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,Ze Buddha
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 05:54 PM

And I'm surprised no one has mentioned Arlo in "Alice's Restaurant". And y'all claim to be folkies!

Sinead O'Connor in "The Butcher Boy" was quite believable, I thought.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Wesley S
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 05:56 PM

Ice-T is another actor that picks his roles well and doesn't attempt to do stuff that's out of his limited range.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: David C. Carter
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 06:09 PM

Marianne Faithfull in-Irina Palm,was brilliant.
No frills,nothing.Just pure talent.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 06:29 PM

The Andy Griffith movie that PoppaGator referred to above was "A Face in the Crowd." Well worth seeing. He played an obnoxious character—quite the opposite of the wholesome image he cultivated later.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,Ze Buddha
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 06:31 PM

And what famous musician trying out his acting chops uttered the line "May I rub your ball, sir?"

I agree Babs is usually dire. But Judy Garland, IMO, was a far better musician/actor than Frank Sinatra on both counts.

And her daughter Liza was stunningly good in "Cabaret", and a few other films.

Harry Connick Jr is also quite good as a comedic actor. Perhaps it's a timing thing. As is Bernadette Peters, though whether she started out as a musical theatre person, I'm not sure. Goodness knows there are plenty of excellent musical theatre actors who sing well, like Kristin Chenoweth, who has been in a lot of good & awful stuff (she is a trained opera singer, I believe). She's even got the distinction of having won a Razzie! I love her.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 06:40 PM

Well I'm enjoying this!

I think there are a number of good candidates for best acting. Most of the names mentioned have done more than credible jobs. Levon Helm has done a number of movies and I think he's always done quite well with limited recognition. Others like Cher have excelled. Johnny Depp, soon to be seen as Sweeney Todd, considered himself, and in fact was, a musician first. Alan Arkin has done the greatest range of subjects and all of them great!

Now while Bowie, Dylan, and the completely pathetic Glen Campbell(my #2 choice) are gawdawful, if you haven't seen "Two Lane Blacktop" with James Taylor and Charley Manson's mentor and roomie, Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, you don't know what bad is. JT indeed is almost catatonic in his acting and Wilson spends the entire movie saying they have to "re-jet the carbs," seemingly the only half-assed technical term the writer or anyone else new. The movie has developed a bit of cult status but even with Warren Oates at his weirdest, it sucks like a million Hoovers......and so do Wilson and Taylor. Neither of them have any music either with Kristofferson singing "Bobbi McGee" and Arlo doing "Stealin'" in the soundtrack.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,Ze Buddha
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 06:53 PM

Lest we forget, other side the pond, there is Ewan MacColl. I never know quite what to say about him & those like him. Theatre and music was closely entwined for many folkies from that era.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Dave Swan
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 06:54 PM

Kristofferson in Lone Star. Nice work, in my opinion.

Sheb Wooley in Rawhide and Silverado, as straightforward Western types. He gave us the Purple People Eater, but let us not forget I Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore.

D


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Dave Swan
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 06:56 PM

I forgot to add that I Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore is the official company song of Lane, Fielding, Patterson & Swan, Layabouts for Hire, and is sung before each and every company meeting. Something to think about for those of you who imagine that the job is a bed of roses.

D


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 07:48 PM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Steve Martin. Surely he picked banjo before he became an actor?


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 07:50 PM

Didn't know this, found it by accident. Remember Radar?

(my emphasis)Gary Burghoff

Born 24th May 1943 in Bristol, CT
Started as a musician. He moved to New York to study acting. His first major role was in the stage musical Charlie Brown. A talented artist, he now spends most of his time painting wildlife pictures.


Who knew?!


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 07:52 PM

Say, Spaw, there's something you oughta check out on the James Taylor thread up in the music section.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 08:46 PM

Why? Are you the guy JT was trying to sell the prepaid sendoff to?

Didja' buy?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Neil D
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 08:55 PM

Frogprince mentioned Dylan as Alias in "The Ballad of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" as an especially bad performance and the movie as a garbled mess. I agree, but surprised he didn't mention Kris Kristofferson as Billy the Kid. Let me repeat: Kristofferson as Billy the Kid!?!?!? Not so much that the acting was so bad, but its the worst case of miscasting since John Wayne played Genghis Khan.
Billy The kid was 5'2" and died at 21. Kristofferson was 6'4" and 37 when he played the role. With a full beard even. The saving grace of the movie, besides Coburn as Garrett, was the scene where Slim Pickens lies dying in his woman's arms with the sun setting over a lake and Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door" playing over the scene. How Peckinpah got that one scene so right and everything else so wrong is unfathomable.
    The best actor of the Beatles was Ringo.
    Check out Tom Waits in the Jim Jarmusch film "Down By Law".
    Spaw, thanks for the info about Alan Arkin. One more reason to respect one of my favorite actors. He once starred as Inspector Clouseau in the 1968 movie of the same name and was every bit as good as Peter Sellers who had a franchise with that character. His performance in last year's "Little Miss Sunshine" was sublime.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: pdq
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 08:56 PM

Yes, Sheb Wooley was is Rawhide, but so was a young jazz piano player named Clint Eastwood.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 09:02 PM

I have to agree with everything you said about "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid", Neil. Kristofferson was horribly miscast in that movie, and Dylan was sort of doing his absurdist or minimalist thing...interesting for a real Dylan fan to watch, nonetheless, though you can't call it "acting". ;-)

Spaw, I don't understand what you mean about JT's "prepaid sendoff". Not in this thread, not in the other thread either. I just don't get it. Please explain what that means, if you would.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 09:13 PM

It probably says something about my taste in films that the first examples that pop to mind are Grade A cheese, but here goes...

Sting in David Lynch's "Dune". Definitely a contender for worst!

The BeeGees, Peter Frampton, Aerosmith, Earth Wind & Fire, Billy Preston and any other musicians associated with the travesty that was "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". I think the only folks who escaped that waste of celluloid with any respect whatsoever were Steven Tyler and the boys, who at least made a hit of their "Come Together" cover.

And of course I must mention Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and James Brown's respective cameos in "Blues Brothers" (one of my all-time favorite movies)

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,Ze Buddha
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 09:32 PM

Actually, I much preferred Cab Calloway in the Betty Boop cartoons to the Blues Brothers. Aretha stole the whole movie in one scene in Blues Brothers, to my taste anyway. I don't remember the Ray Charles scene in the Blues Brothers, so that should tell you something right there. And I LOVE Ray Charles!


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 09:37 PM

I too like Andy Griffith in his dramatic role in "A Face in the Crowd." For those of you wth the Turner Classic Movie Channel (TCM), it is on tonight at 10:15 PM Eastern.......about 40 minutes from now.

Helluva' good flick! Done before we met Sheriff Taylor of Mayberry.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 10:49 PM

Oscar Levant was clever, though he always seemed to play some version of himself.

I liked Streisand in a lot of her roles. They weren't all easy to watch because of the subjects, but she has overall done very well in film. Funny Girl, Hello Dolly, What's Up Doc?--what's not to love?

Shirley Jones was quite an accomplished musical performer and a natural for lots of Broadway musical roles and then in films like Oklahoma and The Music Man. When she was cast against type in Elmer Gantry she won an Academy Award. It was on television last week and I caught most of it. She earned it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 11:00 PM

Another example of Paul Simon's humor: his video of You Can Call Me Al with Chevy Chase.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 11:24 PM

Anyone see Marianne Faithfull in a 1969 Hamlet with Nicol Williamson? Quite good.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 11:26 PM

On the other hand, Sid Vicious was absolutely terrible as Professor Higgins in My Fair Lady.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 11:32 PM

Speaking of "A Face in the Crowd", Andy Griffith's well-known 1956 Martin D-18 was a prop in that movie. The prop department bought the guitar new, painted it black, and glued sequins to it. When filming was over, Griffith "rescued" the guitar, removed the sequins, sanded off the black paint, and had John D'Angelico refinish it.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 12:29 AM

Diana Ross was wonderful in "Lady Sings the Blues." Of course, it helps that she was playing a singer.

How about Scatman Crothers? He had a memorable small role in "The Shining."


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 12:54 AM

I kind of liked calypsonian, Sir Lancelot, in a half dozen or six movies in the '40s & '50s. They were smallish roles--one was as a deckhand--
and in one his songs moved the plot forward. They (the films) turn up on Turner movies from time to time.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 01:19 AM

How about Tiny Tim? He appeared in several films, though I don't think I've seen any of them. Did he always play himself, or someone transparently like him?

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Severn
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 01:27 AM

Sheb Wooley didn't only do Pete the scout in "Rawhide" and the Principal in "Hoosiers", he was also in a horrible film called "Hootenanny Hoot" which was an attempt to do for the Folk Scare what some of the Rock & Roll movies did for th 50's.


Still in country, Ferlin Husky and Don "Wildwood Weeds" Bowman starred in the truly horrible "Hillbillies in a Haunted House" and "Las Vegas Hillbillies" which had Sonny James, as well.


Robert Mitchum actually had a hit record with the theme song from "Thunder Road" which featured Keely Smith of Louis Prima fame as a love interest. He also issued an album of calypsos under his name during that craze, for an example of doing it the other way round.


Robert Guilliomme was in a black folk trio called The Pilgrims in the 60's with an album, I think, on Columbia.


I even saw Limelighter Lou Gottlieb in a bad comedy as a Guru type.Did it have Peter Sellers in it? ("I Love You Alice B. Toklas"?, maybe?)

And his bandmate Alex Hassilev was on the submarine crew in "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming", a crew commanded by.....


Theodore "You speak 16 tongues and whaddaya get" Bikel, a fine actor award winning in film and Broadway and member of the Newport Folk Festival Board of Directors. He was in anything from "The African Queen" to My Fair Lady" to "I Bury The Living" speaking every dialect known to man, most of them convincingly.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 03:32 AM

Theo Bikel and Alan Arkin starred together in "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming."

And let's not forget Hamilton Camp! Along with other good performances, he gave us an absolutely hilarious turn as wired up discount stereo store owner Del Murdock in an episode of "WKRP in Cincinnati."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Newport Boy
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 04:17 AM

This looks like it could run and run. I'd also choose Burl Ives, Johnny Cash & Harry Belafonte.

I saw Ewan MacColl on stage at Stratford East before I first heard him sing at Soho Square. The theatrical background was always evident in his singing.

Extending the style boundaries a little, how about Paul Robeson. Best in his stage roles, although some of the films were not bad, and his singing was top-class.

A current favourite is John Telfer. A few extracts from a BBC biog when he joined the cast of "The Archers":

"He went on to study at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has appeared in more than 35 plays with the Bristol Old Vic Company.

These include Titus Andronicus, The Golden Pathway Annual, Comedians, All My Sons, A Midsummer Night's Dream – which transferred to The Old Vic London – and most recently the premiere of Black/White. He played Mortimer and Westmoreland in the recent Henry IV parts 1 and 2."

He has written music for stage, television and radio, and a CD of his songs and occasional music for Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory productions is now available.

John also fronts a big band, singing standards, and is lead singer and keyboard player with rock band afgm (Afewgoodmen). The band released their third album in October 2004 and are looking for a record deal."

Full biog here:
John Telfer biog

The only thing I don't like about John is that he was the dream man of both my wife and my daughter in the early 80's. Glad to say they've both gone off him now.

Phil


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: ard mhacha
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 04:45 AM

Mario Lanza, he was able to blast out the odd song, but what a bloody awful actor.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Dick The Box
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 04:48 AM

Interesting that most replies are centred around film and TV. What about the stage? There are a lot of stage productions that use music (as opposed to musicals which are a different kettle of fish). My first introduction to this was "The Mysteries" back in the early 80s. The obvious name from that production was John Tams who is a fine musician and a good actor. I think you wil find that the crossover of actors and musicians has been much more widespread on the stage, but of course the ephemeral nature and scale of stage productions means that fewer people see them and there is no lasting record.

In those days there was no formal training available (I think) but that is now changing. My son Jared has recently graduated from Rose Bruford college with an actor/musician degree. He is a fine actor and also a talented multi-instrumentalist. There are many more like him and the theatre is changing with more and more productions using music as an integral part of the production i.e. the run of Brecht's "The Resistable Rise Of Arturo Ui" based at the Watford Palace that has just finished. Hopefully the right people will get the jobs in future but I doubt it while Hollywood feels that a big name is better than acting talent!

Richard Ashe


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 05:26 AM

Whatever possessed Richard Harris, one of the finest actors and brawlers of his generation, to try his hand at singing?


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 07:00 AM

I agree with Gorgeous Gary - Sting in "Dune" was beyond bad, he managed to make an important role weirdly irrelevant.

On the other end of the spectrum, I was impressed by the acting of Will Young in "Moulin Rouge".


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Teribus
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 07:13 AM

Absolutely amazed that no-one from the UK side of the pond has mentioned John Tams excellent portrayal of Daniel Hagman, the "dead shot" ex-poacher turned Rifleman, in the Richard Sharpe Series.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Peter Kasin
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 07:55 AM

For best, my votes go to Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Alan Arkin, Bobby Darin, Paul Robeson, and Cher. Impossible for me to pick one from that bunch. All of them had and have outstanding natural acting ability. Honorable mention to Burl Ives as Big Daddy in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Severn
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 08:16 AM

Then Theo Bikel gets to stay home with his Oscar and Tony nominations, Chanteyranger? But then, an album called "An Actor's Holiday" tells you his favorite side of the fence, I guess.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 08:31 AM

Fred Astaire made some good films not dancing. My favourite was Ghost Story.

The most 'got it wrong' was probably Paul Simon in One Trick Pony - what does HE know about being an unsuccessful musician!


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 08:48 AM

Johnny Nash was an accomplished actor years before he wrote and recorded "I Can See Clearly Now".


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: fat B****rd
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 09:02 AM

I enjoyed Artie Garfunkel in "Bad Timiing" but Jagger was bloody awful in "Ned Kelly"


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 09:05 AM

Adam Faith in "Never let Go" -dreadful acting. Improved some later on tv (not much of a singer either!).

RtS
No actor & dreadful singer myself.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Wesley S
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 09:11 AM

Didn't one of the Clancy Brothers show up in a few movies?


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Peter Kasin
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 09:17 AM

Right, Severn, Bikel! Knew I'd forget one or two.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 09:31 AM

The Dave Clark 5 ... in "Catch us if you can" ... just a pop group playiung a pop group .. silly period flick, but all in fun.

Paul Jones .... in "Privilege" ... ok, part in a what could have been an interesting movie.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Becca72
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 09:32 AM

Speaking of Chevy Chase...I believe he was the drummer in Steely Dan (or one of their offshoot groups) in the very early 70s.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Midchuck
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 10:08 AM

I thought the 1984 movie of "Dune" was mostly junk.

But Sting NAILED the character of Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. IMO.

Peter


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 10:24 AM

Hey ~ I liked "Hootenanny Hoot" when I stumbled upon in on TCM a year or so ago.

Just as in other pop-music quickie productions of that era, the plot was stupid and irrelevant, and the non-musician actors were a bunch of no-talent nobodies. But the movie included plenty of uninterrupted performances of songs, all of which were at least interesting, and most of them pretty good.

I was particularly struck that Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two were presented as a "folk group." Other performers in the film were more representative of the early-folk-scare-era: The Brothers Four, Judy Henske...I should remember more names, but can't at the moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 11:17 AM

Sheb Wooley was also one of the bad guys in 'High Noon'
Johnny Cash did several dramatic turns on TV in TV westerns in their day. And, later, 'Little Houses on the Prairie' and TV movies.
Merle Travis was an NCO in 'From Here to Eternity'.
Tennessee Ernie was in 'Best Years of Our Lives' (well really only as a singer), and, sans mustache, a Randolph Scott oater.
Dick Haymes did lots of 20th musicals in the '40s.
Johnny Johnston, a band singer of the 40s, wanting to become a dramatic actor, passed on singing the title song to 'Unchained' in which he was a co-star. Bad career move!   Everyone except him has had a hit with 'Unchained Melody', and his dramatic career ended there too.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 11:21 AM

Joe Strummer in Mystery Train. Not much of a actor and not much of a singer, if truth be told.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 11:27 AM

Geez, I just watched "Best Years of Our Lives" a few evenings ago, and failed to notice Tennessee Ernie's appearance. Dang!


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 01:04 PM

I think John is thinking of a different movie because he describes "Best Years of Our Lives" as a Randolph Scott oater. It's not. It is actually a very fine film starring Frederick March about men returning from WWII. It does, however, fit this category because it features Hogie Carmichael as a tavern owner.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 01:05 PM

Jerry Reed was in Smokey and the Bandit.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 02:47 PM

Furry Lewis was in "Smokey and the Bandit" as well. He mainly sang and played guitar on his front porch. Not exactly what ya'd call "acting".


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 03:14 PM

Roger Daltrey is a decent actor.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 03:27 PM

There are also a few actors known mostly for dramatic or comedic roles (in contrast to musicals) who are damned fine musicians. James Mason, Jack Lemon, Jack Benny, I'm sure there are many more who others can name.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 04:23 PM

To Guest,NeilD: I don't believe that what I wrote indicates that 'Best Years...' is a Randolph Scott western. Please read again.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 04:40 PM

JOTSC, if you had added a single word ~ "and, sans moustache, in a Randolph Scott oater" ~ it would have been more clear that you were talking about two different movies.

Adding a second additional word, "also," would have made doubly sure that you'd be correctly understood.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Severn
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 04:51 PM

Now, we've previously paid tribute to Levon Helm and Cissy Spaceck in "Coal Miner's daughter. In the early part of the movie in the original hometown, you'll find amongst the locals a bunch of people, prformers amd otherwise, connected with the operations of June Appal Records. I recognized Nimrod Workman and his daughter in the crowd, so I checked the credits at the end in the theatre and some more showed up. Any of you who know the June Appal people or have the movie, check it out.

You couldn't look much more strikingly Appalachian than Nimrod!


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 05:10 PM

I have re-read the offending sentence several more times. If you take out the parenthetic phrase, and the apositive [is that the right term?] descriptor 'sans mustache' then the sentence reads:
"Tennessee Ernie Ford was in 'Best Years of Our Lives", and a Randolph Scott oater." I do not see any way to interpret that as indicating that BYOL is a Randolph Scott movie. Had there been no 'and' in the sentence ...different meaning as per NeilD.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: mrdux
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 05:17 PM

Dexter Gordon was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award -- and won a
handful of other Best Actor awards -- for his role as a jazz sax player in 'Round Midnight (1986)(loosely based on sort of a combination of Bud Powell and Lester Young). A pretty amazing performance, and a pretty decent movie.

Hoagy Carmichael had a fairly prolific acting career. My favorite role was as Cricket, the laconic, wisecracking piano player in To Have and to Have Not (1944), in which he had at least one fun scene with Lauren Bacall.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Nov 07 - 05:29 PM

100


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: bankley
Date: 01 Dec 07 - 08:10 AM

Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Jim Nabors


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: bankley
Date: 01 Dec 07 - 08:12 AM

and Oscar Levant..... a contemporary of George Gershwin


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 01 Dec 07 - 10:11 AM

Oh how I loved Oscar Levant! No matter the movie, or character name, he was always neurotic, chain-smoking, drinking, sarcastic Oscar Levant. He played pretty good piano too.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Dec 07 - 12:39 PM

Oscar Levant......He came up earlier too. I enjoyed him in almost any format, perhaps on talk shows above all else. Oscar Levant had one of the greatest love/hate relationships of all time......with himself. Tragically happy and wonderfully sad, he found himself a great joy and an impossibilty to live with. His wit was like a highly charged rapier, quick, powerful, and slashing. It could attack anyone anywhere, including himself. Of Marilyn Monroe he said something like since Marilyn had converted to Judaism, Arthur Miller could eat her. Of himself, he once said that underneath his flabby exterior was an enormous lack of character.

This was really my kind of guy! If you can, read The Unimportance of Being Oscar. There are several things on YouTube including a complete show with Fred Astaire, but TRY THIS for a quick taste of Oscar Levant.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Dec 07 - 12:41 PM

"I may not be the handsomest man in the world, but behind this flabby exterior, you will find a distinct lack of character."             --Oscar Levant in An American in Paris

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Dec 07 - 01:13 PM

Thnaks Don for the exact quote.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Dec 07 - 02:37 PM

Geez! What an unsavoury and nasty little man. I must confess that I was pretty much unaware of Oscar Levant until now. He looks like a man who would have fit right in on a desert island with only Peter Lorrie, Woody Allen, and Jerry Lewis there for company. The four of them together around the campfire every night. Just think what that would have been like! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 01 Dec 07 - 03:21 PM

Lorre, Allen & Lewis wouldn't have stood a chance. In fact Allen probably would have melted away from Levant's acerbic torts and retorts.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Rog Peek
Date: 01 Dec 07 - 03:42 PM

John Leyton did a few films including "Von Ryan's Express" and of course "The Great Escape". I thought he gave a good pretty account of himself as 'Willie the Tunnel King' amoung a pretty distinguished group of actors.

Rog


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: pdq
Date: 01 Dec 07 - 04:08 PM

Oscar Lavant quotes (a few of many):

"The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue."

"I'm a self-made man. Who else would help?"

"I don't drink; I don't like it--it makes me feel good."

"I was once thrown out of a mental hospital for depressing the other patients."

"There is a thin line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line."


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 01 Dec 07 - 04:18 PM

John,
       I reread your post and saw that I did indeed misinterpret it.
   By parsing the sentence I realize that you were saying Mr. ford was in "Best Years of Our Lives" and a Randolph Scott oater. It was the clause that through me off. Sorry if I offended.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Dec 07 - 06:32 PM

Glen Campbell gets my vote as the worst musician actor. Ricky Nelson second. I thought Hoagy did pretty well in "Old Buttermilk Sky" too. Bing Crosby is my pick as the best.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Sorcha
Date: 01 Dec 07 - 10:04 PM

At least in Alices Restaurant, Arlo was being Arlo. There was that god awful TV series he was in....I think he played an angel....once was all I could stand to watch. Just too painful.

And honestly, how many 'film personas' can actually ACT? I can name a bunch that I don't think can. John Wayne, Chuck Norris, Arnold, most of the 'chop socky/hit em up' fellas.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: bankley
Date: 02 Dec 07 - 09:22 AM

besides Levant could play the hell out of the 88s, he and Gershwin had a friendly competition going on in the 'chops' dept. Talk about getting up close and personal to a master... those were the days....


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: bobad
Date: 02 Dec 07 - 12:18 PM

Having watched the Peter Sellers movie "The Party" last evening I would have to nominate Claudine Longet for the title of worst actor and singer.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Janie
Date: 02 Dec 07 - 12:33 PM

I thought Dolly Parton did a decent job with her acting in "Steel Magnolias." I haven't seen her other flicks.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: bankley
Date: 02 Dec 07 - 12:43 PM

"Nine to Five" was more fun than "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas"


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Dec 07 - 02:25 PM

An American in Paris. Marvelously entertaining movie! It was years ago that I saw it (Hmm! I'll have to check NetFlix), but among many outstanding scenes, I recall two in particular that featured Oscar Levant.

Scene in a sidewalk café:   Gene Kelly, a handsome young French friend of his, and Oscar Levant are sitting at a table. Kelly and the Frenchman are both going into romantic rhapsodies about the marvelous young woman each of them has just met. They are both madly in love! And, being good friends, they are both very happy for each other.

Levant, in the meantime, follows the conversation with apprehension. He knows what they don't:   they're both talking about the same young woman—Leslie Caron. While nervously listening and fearing the impending revelation, he gets all mixed up between the cup of coffee he's drinking and the cigarette he's smoking. The collisions and the dunkings are absolutely hilarious!

Another great scene is a dream sequence. Levant, in his reverie, is playing Gershwin. He's at the piano, of course. As the camera pans through the orchestra, one notices that it's Levant playing all the instruments—even the big cymbal clash. At the end (beautifully played, incidentally;   Levant was an excellent pianist), an enthusiastic audience member is clapping wildly and shouting "Bravo! Bravo!" The camera pans up to the box, and it's Oscar Levant.

Gotta love the guy!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Dec 07 - 03:37 PM

I second the vote for Judy Garland as best.
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Dec 07 - 07:00 PM

Well I'm glad someone finally noticed Levant. I did name him ages ago in this thread (on Nov. 29. I said he was clever, but always seemed to paly some version of himself). I liked him in all of the films he appeared in. :)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 03 Dec 07 - 02:27 PM

Bobby Short did a fine episode of In the Heat of the Night. Robert Goulet did an extraordinary job in another one. Who knew?


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Flash Company
Date: 04 Dec 07 - 10:14 AM

The late Jerry Orbach had quite a long career on the musical stage, before going on to playing a wisecracking cop in 'Law & Order'

FC


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 04 Dec 07 - 11:25 AM

Did anyone see Martin Carthy in that BBC2 (?) play - oh, must be twenty years back at least... Picked up on Napoleonic themes in folk songs, young girls dressing as men to follow their loves into battle... I'm not saying he was bad though, just that he was an acting musician.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Dec 07 - 12:14 PM

i think Martin Carthy told me one time that he'd done an acting gig at Stratford playing with the RSC.


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Subject: RE: BS: BEST/WORST--- Musicians as Actors
From: GUEST,wlisk
Date: 04 Dec 07 - 01:25 PM

And don't forget the late Hoyt Axton.


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