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Singers Who Could Act

Updated on July 25, 2012

Who Had Talent To Spare?

How are some people so lucky that they can be so great at whatever they choose to do? This is a list of those whose talents knew no bounds.

FRANK SINATRA here is a man who is the greatest singer of all time. He could have rested on his laurels and been remembered just for his contribution to the world with his great hits like I Did it my Way, Fly Me To The Moon, New York, New York, and other songs that are just as timeless, but Frank had a desire to act too. Frank’s singing career was in a downward spiral during the late 40’s. A lot of his audience had been teenage girls. The trouble is that teenage girls grow up and then who is the audience for you? Also Frank had a throat hemorrhage which delayed him being able to sing. Frank decided to try some acting. He made a few films with Gene Kelly and got some good reviews. The movie that really got is career back on track was From Here To Eternity. He campaigned hard to get the role and after Eli Wallach dropped out to go on Broadway the part was Sinatra’s. The New York Post applauded Sinatra, "He proves he is an actor by playing the luckless Maggio with a kind of doomed gaiety that is both real and immensely touching." This was the start of not only a great movie career, but a resurgence of a singing career. The best films of Sinatra were The Manchurian Candidate, From Here To Eternity, Tony Rome, and Ocean’s 11. Frank did it his way and though he may have stumbled a few times he wound up victorious as a singer and as an actor.

DORIS DAY she had plans of becoming a dancer, but a train accident killed that dream. Doris had more talent to spare and became a singer for Les Brown’s Band at the age of 15 she claimed she was 18. Doris went on to have many great songs like Secret Love, Que Sera, Sera, A Guy is a Guy, and It’s Magic. She had many other great tunes but those are among her best. Okay she could dance, she could sing, but then the public found out Doris could act too. Her greatest roles were in such great films as Love Me or Leave Me, The Pajama Game, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Pillow Talk. Doris retired many years ago, but she has a legacy of songs and movies that will keep her from ever being forgotten.

ELVIS PRESLEY he began his career thanks to his deciding to make a record for his mother. A lady at the recording studio who worked with Sam Phillips thought Elvis had the sound Sam was looking for. He had the rockabilly sound with a gorgeous voice. He had the looks, the voice, and the talent. Elvis loved to sing, but he also had a passion for acting. He wanted to be like James Dean and Marlon Brando. It is shameful that Colonel Parker got greedy and had Elvis make one bad embarrassing movie after another. The movies that showed his real talent were King Creole, Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas, and Wild in The Country. Barbara Streisand wanted Elvis to be in A Star is Born, but Colonel Parker wanted Elvis to have top billing and more money than was offered. Alas it was never to be. It could have been the restarting of Elvis’s movie career toward movies with more substance. Elvis left us way too soon, but his movies and songs will be with us forever.

DEAN MARTIN began his career as a singer and it is there that he met Jerry Lewis. They teamed together to create a team that had comedy and song. It was a good formula, but it ended ten years later when Martin wanted something more. Dean like Frank was a man of many talents. He could sing with hits like Ain’t That A Kick In The Head, That’s Amore, Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime, and Volare. He was also a fine actor appearing in great movies like Airport, Ocean’s 11, Rio Bravo, The Sons of Katie Elder. Dean was also a presence on the smaller screen in his television shows The Dean Martin Show, The Dean Martin Comedy Hour, and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast. Dean showed he not only could sing, he could do comedy, drama, and he had a great sense of humor. Dean had talent to spare.

Sonny and Cher 1973
Sonny and Cher 1973

CHER entered the entertainment business reluctantly. Through Sonny her boyfriend, and then later her husband, she became a backup singer. Sonny wrote some songs and wanted Cher to sing them, but she wouldn’t do it alone and Sonny became her singing partner. When album sales dropped in the late 60’s Sonny and Cher took to Vegas to do a dinner club act. It was there they created their style and it landed them a television show called The Sonny and Cher Show. The marriage ended and so did the show, but Cher carved out a career not only as a singer, but as an actress, she has won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, three Golden Globes, and the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her work in film, music, and television. She is the only person in history to receive all of these awards. What great achievements. Her best known songs have been I Got You Babe, Half Breed, I Found Someone, and Believe. Cher has also done some wonderful movies like Silkwood, Mask, and Moonstruck. Cher’s big personality was too big to contain to just one field. She has found success in whatever has sparked her interest. She is an original.

The artists above are truly blessed and so are we that they shared their many talents with the world. We can marvel at their abilities by listening to their music, or by watching a performance on the screen. They proved with drive, vision, and a belief in themselves anything is possible. They have and may inspire more people to follow in their footsteps.


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