Wealth Of Geeks
From Lyrics to Lines: 24 Singers Who Dazzled in Acting Roles
August 30, 2023
Great Singers Who Dazzled As Actors
It’s not uncommon for musical artists to take a spin at acting during their careers. And we’ve had some Great Singers Who Dazzled As Actors. Unfortunately, musical talent does not always translate into acting chops- I’m looking at you, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift; sorry, ladies.
However, some singing stars light up the screen and nail their roles, showing their magnanimous talent and range.
Check out 24 of the best artists who gave acting a whirl and absolutely crushed it.
1. Bette Midler
Bette Midler started her career as a fabulous singer, but at this point, she’s better known for her many amazing roles in various movies, including Hocus Pocus, What Women Want, The Stepford Wives, Beaches, and many more. Her acting is so impressive that she brings me to tears in her more emotional and dramatic roles.
2. Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand has said in interviews that she still gets insanely nervous and scared before performing in front of people, so it makes sense she may prefer acting on a set to singing on a stage. She’s delightful and hilarious in movies like The Guilt Trip, Meet the Fockers, and Hello, Dolly, but her performance in movies like The Way We Were will have you bawling.
3. Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson has acted in many major movies, including Cats, Hairspray, and Dreamgirls. She even won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Dreamgirls, solidifying her place in Hollywood. Like Cher, there is something compelling about Hudson that makes her wonderful to watch in films.
4. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga truly proved she’s a fabulous actress with her roles in A Star Is Born and House of Gucci. She has an impressive range of expressions and emotions and can even put on a decent accent when she needs to! Her artistic talent clearly goes beyond music, and she even utilized some method acting techniques.
5. Queen Latifah
A rom-com queen if there ever was one, Queen Latifah’s career took a hard pivot when she switched from rapping and singing to acting. She wows in endearing rom-coms like Last Holiday, Just Wright, and Beauty Shop but can also play hardcore roles in films like Set It Off and The Equalizer.
Cher is easily one of the most talented singers alive today, but she has also proved to be a wonderful actress in movies like Burlesque, Moonstruck, The Witches of Eastwick, and more. She has a distinct, charismatic way about her that makes her a delight to watch and just as captivating on screen as on stage.
7. Judy Garland
The original singer-turned-actor, Judy Garland, is better known as an actress. Of course, she’s probably most famous for The Wizard of Oz but has also wowed in movies like Listen, Darling, Babes on Broadway, and The Clock. She had a charming and adorable way about her that made her perfect for the big screen.
8. Mandy Moore
Mandy Moore may not be an Oscar-winning actress, but she’s lovable and compelling on screen. She’s nailed many roles, including her characters in This Is Us, A Walk to Remember, License to Wed, All I Want, Saved!, and more. She has an impressive range, and she even voices Rapunzel in Tangled!
9. Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John didn’t star in a ton of movies, but her small acting career was relatively successful. Of course, her most well-known and iconic role is as Sandy in Grease, but she was also in A Christmas Romance, Xanadu, and a few other movies where she shows her acting skills.
10. Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton is easily one of my favorite singers-turned-actors, and I positively adore her in everything she is in. She always plays a charming and caring character in her films, including her characters in Steel Magnolias, 9 to 5, and Blue Valley Songbird. She also appeared in the Hannah Montana Movie as well as the TV show.
11. Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston only starred in a handful of movies before her tragic death. However, she absolutely shined in every film she appeared in, including The Bodyguard, The Preacher’s Wife, and Waiting to Exhale. But to me, she will always be the best portrayal of Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother in Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
12. Reba McEntire
Reba has starred in her fair share of cute and quirky films, including Barb & Star Go to Visit Del Mar, Charlotte’s Web, Tremors, Maverick, The Little Rascals, and more. She also had her own TV show that aired for six seasons, called Reba. So, she’s had plenty of time on screen and proved herself as an entertaining actress.
13. Janelle Monáe
I think Janelle Monáe will always be a singer and musical artist first and foremost, but she dazzles on screen as well. She’s had substantial roles in Glass Onion, Moonlight, Hidden Figures, and Antebellum. Monáe also appeared in shows like Human Resources, We the People, Homecoming, and more!
14. Jennifer Lopez
Okay, I’m not saying JLo is a top-notch actress who has mastered the craft, but her movies can be cute and fun. Many consider her a rom-com queen, as she starred in films like Shotgun Wedding, Marry Me, The Back-Up Plan, Maid in Manhattan, and Monster-in-Law. However, she’s tried more serious roles in projects like Enough, An Unfinished Life, and The Mother, which were admirable.
Ice-T is a quintessential character in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which is one of the most popular Law & Order shows on air. His rugged and no-nonsense performance has been compelling and captivating for more than 20 seasons, and the show would simply not be complete without him. And that doesn’t even touch upon his roles in movies like Stranded and Gangland.
16. Julie Andrews
I never even knew Julie Andrews was a singer until I’d already fallen in love with her as an actress. I feel like she’s such an integral part of my childhood as she starred in some of my favorite movies like Mary Poppins and Princess Diaries. Her endearing mannerisms and soft presence make her lovable in every film.
17. Jamie Foxx
Every time I see Jamie Foxx in a movie, I’m surprised by how much I love him. The singer and rapper has been in more movies than most realize, including Horrible Bosses, Day Shift, Just Mercy, The Soloist, Django Unchained, and many more. He has a decent range, nailing everything from gritty criminal roles to voices of animated kids’ characters.
18. Selena Gomez (barf. Mister D)
I don’t think Selena Gomez is the best actress of all time, but she holds her own in projects like Only Murders in the Building, A Rainy Day in New York, The Dead Don’t Die, and a few more. And while Disney Channel acting isn’t exactly top-notch, she was wonderful in Wizards of Waverly Place and clearly made an impact on the audience.
19. Will Smith
Will Smith is one of the best singers-turned-actors of all time. He can do it all, from a lovable and funny kid in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to womanizer in Hitch to the sarcastic rookie in Men in Black. My favorite performance of his is in Seven Pounds, which always has me in tears by the end. And this is a fraction of his filmography.
20. Ice Cube
Ice Cube is another rapper who took a swing at acting and knocked it out of the park. He’s delivered excellent performances in movies like Barbershop, Friday, 21 Jump Street, Ride Along, Boyz n the Hood, and more. He’s wildly funny in movies like Are We There Yet?, but has also shown he can shine in dramatic, emotional roles.
21. Harry Connick Jr.
One of my favorite rom-com leads, Harry Connick Jr., is a sensational actor in everything he is in. He’s known for his roles in Iron Giant, Hope Floats, Independence Day, New in Town, and Mickey, and others. While he has some serious roles, he is best in light-hearted romantic comedies.
22. Madonna (barf. Mister D)
Madonna is an underrated singer-turned-actress, in my opinion. I adore her character in A League of Their Own, but she also appeared in movies like Desperately Seeking Susan, Swept Away, Die Another Day, and Body of Evidence, where she manages to embody the characters well.
23. Justin Timberlake
Again, not saying JT deserves an Oscar nom, but I do enjoy some of his movies, and he’s done plenty. Friends With Benefits is an adorable rom-com with Mila Kunis, and he’s also funny in Bad Teacher with Cameron Diaz. However, he’s also played more serious characters and did a decent job.
24. Mark Wahlberg
Marky Mark has had plenty of time on the big screen, and people seem to love him in movies. Some of his best films include The Other Guys, Ted, Instant Family, The Fighter, Date Night, and The Perfect Storm. He can be hilarious and sarcastic or gritty and intense, showing his ability to take on various characters.