When Will Smith (in)famously won an Oscar for “King Richard,” it was a long way from the young rapper who had risen to fame as half of the hiphop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. But Smith wasn’t the first musician to also achieve film fame — or to win an Oscar for his efforts.
Over 80 years ago, Bing Crosby became the first multi-media sensation, and gained stardom across several platforms, including radio, film and TV, and also won an Oscar, for “Going My Way” in 1945. Almost a decade later, crooner Frank Sinatra rejuvenated his declining career with a Best Supporting Actor win for “From Here to Eternity” in 1954. These men, along with Harry Belafonte and Dean Martin, proved that singers could find equal success as actors — and in the ensuing decades, many more have found second careers on film.
From country artists like Tim McGraw to glam rock influencers like David Bowie to rappers like Eminem to the “King of Rock and Roll” Elvis Presley and the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson, several performers have achieved fame across multiple platforms, and have given some acclaimed and iconic film performances.
Tour our photo gallery of the 25 most memorable acting performances from men who rose to fame as singers. You can also enjoy our recent photo gallery ranking the female singers who became film stars.
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