The Actor-Singer Crossover

Actors act and singers sing but sometimes actors sing and singers act. There are few who succeed at both.

This week we are listening to Frank Sinatra, who was a founding member of the Rat Pack. The Rat Pack was a group of actors in the 1960’s, consisting of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Dickinson. The group were friends and they socialised with the biggest stars of the day, such as Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland. They also blurred the line between actors and singers, managing successful music careers whilst also appearing in films together, such as Ocean’s Eleven. Frank Sinatra even won an Oscar for his role in From Here To Eternity.

Singers have been acting for a long time. Elvis Presley appeared in 33 films; The Beatles made a few; Cher has won two Golden Globes for her acting. The Monkees was a TV show about a fictional band trying to become successful but they grew into a very successful band in their own right. This idea was repeated with S Club 7. One asset singers have in this situation is being able to sing the soundtrack, as Dolly Parton did in Nine To Five. Not only was the song the biggest hit of her career, but her acting skills won her two Golden Globe nominations.

Musicals are a special case of film, where the actors must be able to sing, and often dance. The reverse situation for singers is the music video. They act as a great opportunity for singers to show off their acting skills. I remember when Robbie Williams Millenium video led to calls for him to be the next James Bond. Robbie is my favourite music-video-actor. He knows when to look at the camera and can be both funny and serious, sometimes at the same time. Here he is in Eternity.

There are however times when singers fail. Mariah Carey for example won a Razzie Award for her performance in Glitter. Britney Spears’ movie Crossroads was also not very well received.

Sometimes singers start off as actors, such as Kylie Minogue and Natalie Imbruglia, who both started out in Neighbours. Sometimes singers turn to acting, for example Keith Duffy from Boyzone and Kym Marsh from Hear’say in Coronation Street. Suzanne from Hear’say is in Emmerdale. Why is it always soaps?

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