Famous rockers that appeared on the big screen

Ah, rockstars. They are a funny bunch. Seemingly never content with dominating the Billboard charts, and selling out arenas across the land. The guys (and gals) also feel like they need to get their fingers into other pies as well. One of the major arenas rockstars enjoy frequenting these days is the world of motion pictures.

Now, we know it’s generally more common the other way around – there are countless actors who have also turned their hands to music. But, in recent times we have seen an increase in the number of legendary crooners who have taken up the acting mantle. Here are some of our favorite examples of famous rockers who have appeared on the big screen (with varying degrees of success).

David Bowie

Musical legend David Bowie shocked the world when he passed away in January of 2016. The British rocker left a musical legacy that will never be forgotten, but, did you know, he also tried his hand at acting as well. Most famously, Bowie starred as Jareth, the Goblin King, in the 1986 fantasy film Labyrinth. He also received acclaim for his performances in The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Hunger, and The Last Temptation of Christ.

Famous rockers that appeared on the big screen

Debbie Harry

One of the greatest rock icons of all-time, Debbie Harry sizzled as the lead vocalist of Blondie, but, the fiery Floridian was also no stranger to the acting scene either. Having acted in over 60 projects, Harry has made a name for herself as an accomplished actress. Her most famous role is arguably as James Woods’ love interest Nicki Brand in David Cronenberg’s 1983 flick Videodrome. But, other projects of note she has appeared in include Cop Land, and Hairspray.


Sting is a required taste for some, but there’s no denying the musical talents of the Police frontman. Having carved out a niche for himself in the world of music, Sting (real name Gordon Sumner), also turned his attentions to acting. Though he has not done a lot of acting, Sting does have two notable roles under his belt. The first came in 1984 when he played the role of Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in Dune, and the other was the role of J.D. in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.

Keith Richards

Rolling Stones legend and guitar icon Keith Richards is a man who should probably have left this mortal coil about 30 years ago, for all the drink and other stuff he’s done. But, our Keith is still going strong at the ripe old age of 73. Richards is not a natural thesp by nature, but the big screen appearances he has made were largely the result of a joke. Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies was said to be based on Keith Richards. So the series decided to go meta and brought Richards in to play the role of Sparrow’s father in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, and two subsequent sequels.

Famous rockers that appeared on the big screen

These are just a few of the big-name rock stars who have made names for themselves on the big (and small) screen. There are plenty of other rockstars out there who we could add to the list, as many have made that transition. Rockers are normally never quite as good at acting as they are musically, but that doesn’t stop them from having a good go.