One famous actor had a #1 country hit! Do you know who it is?
There are very few things I love more than listening to good music, but watching great movies comes in a very close second. Some of my faves are incredibly talented humans with many enviable skills like writing, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and singing! I thought it would be fun to look at bonafide award-winning movie stars that were inspired to sing country.
These are not singers turned actors like Dwight Yoakam, Grainger Smith, and Kris Kristofferson among so many others. These are successful actors that sang/sing country music, and dare I say do a fine job. A few actually had Billboard charted hits which really goes to show that you just never know where a little inspiration and courage can take you..
Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland,
what an awesome name! He is better known as Kiefer Sutherland, and is an Emmy winning actor with a long impressive trajectory in film which includes acting, and directing. Kiefer is part of the famed 80's brat pack, but is probably best known for his portrayal of Jack Bauer on the Fox series 24. But some of us cult classic movie fans loved him in The Young Guns.
In Kiefer's amazing career he has amassed several epic awards, and accolades including two Emmys, two Satellite awards, The Zurich Film Festival's Golden Eye Lifetime Achievement, and a Golden Globe award among many others. But did you know that Kiefer is also a country singer, and songwriter? And he's pretty darn good too. In 2016, he had a top 40 country album with Down In A Hole. We especially like this one from the album, its so sad..
A living legend and the epitome of good guy cool with his iconic Dirty Harry movie persona. Clint Eastwood's jaw-dropping career spans seven decades of acting with his last film Juror #2
scheduled for release in 2024.
Clint's enormous talent has not gone unrewarded as he's won the most prestigious award in the film industry The Oscar an unprecedented six times! Two of those Oscars was for a personal fave Unforgiven. He won for best film, and best director.
Yes like Kiefer Sutherland, Clint Eastwood is an actor and director AND country singer/songwriter! He co wrote Barroom Buddies with Merle Haggard, and others for the film Bronco Billy. The song topped the Billboard Hot Country Song Chart on July 1980, and was one of the top country songs of the year.
Who can forget Dennis Quaid's uncanny portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis in Great Balls Of Fire?! A native Texan, Dennis' acting career has crossed paths with country music through films like Amateur Night At The Dixie Bar And Grill, and The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia, among several others. We were not surprised at all to discover Dennis Quaid's obvious talents in music.
Named by The Guardian as one of the best actors to unbelievably not have received an Oscar. But Dennis has won many other awards such as The Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance in Traffic-another really good movie. And he received a Chicago Film Critic Award, and a New York Film Critic Award for Far From Heaven among many others.
What you might not know is that Dennis is also a person of faith and credits his relationship with God for helping him kick a cocaine habit, and improving the overall quality of his life. Henceforth his tribute to the almighty by way of Fallen: A Gospel Record For Sinners.
It was an Amazon Best Sellers in Country, and debuted at No. 1 on the Top Christian/Gospel Albums chart and Top 15 on Billboard’s Top 200 Christian/Gospel chart. I encourage everyone to check it out as it really is a soulfully stirring rendition of classics we grew up singing.
We are sharing a song Dennis started writing for his mother Juanita but never got around to finishing it until 20+ years later. The song On My Way To Heaven was featured on another favorite movie I Can Only Imagine.
I think no-one has the career trajectory that Steve Martin has. Truly a uniquely talented performer with accolades and awards to boot. Originally from Waco, Texas, Steve came into prominence as a writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the 1960's. His talent earned the then young comedian an Emmy Award. Steve Martin's career kept rising as a comedian with stints on the famed Saturday Night Live where he worked with some of the greatest comedians of all-time like the late John Belushi, and Dana Carvey.
An impressive film career followed with 33+ lead actor roles.
It's Complicated being one of his highest grossing films with
over 219 Million in box office revenues worldwide, and earned a National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Award.
It's impossible to list all of Mr. Martin's awards, but some of the highlights are the very prestigious Kennedy Center Honors,
The Oscar, American Comedy Award, and 2x People's Choice Award to name a few. Steve is also a best selling author with his novella Shopgirl placing at #4 on the New York Times Best Seller List, and received the impressive Mark Twain Award for his literary achievements.
His success has carried over to a career in country roots music with five Grammy wins and counting.. Additionally, Mr. Martin has earned six number one albums on Billboard's Bluegrass Album Chart.
It's mind-boggling to believe someone with this level of talent is alive among us. Legendary is the only word that comes to mind to describe
this amazing human. Here's one of my faves from Mr. Martin.
Very few families are as talented as the Bridges starting with Poppa Lloyd Bridges, who was best known for his role in the enduring Gary Cooper classic High Noon, also starring Grace Kelly. Lloyd was married once in his life, and for nearly 60 years which is really unheard of in the entertainment industry.
Jeff Bridges, the youngest of four first rose to prominence with his academy award worthy role in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot starring another one of our faves on this list Clint Eastwood. Some of the movies Jeff was in became cult classics like The Last Picture Show, and The Big Lebowski.
Three more academy award nominations followed until Jeff finally won the top prize with yet another fave Crazy Heart. Though I have to say, I'm not so crazy about the ending..
Crazy Heart was somewhat based on the life of Texas Honky Tonk star Hank Thompson. Hank topped the country charts three times, and remained a popular juke joint performer for most of his music career.
Jeff Bridges performance in the film is flawless. You really believe he is Bad Blake, a former country star with an almost crippling drinking problem, who is fortunate enough to get another shot at love and music success.
The film earned T-Bone Burnett, and Ryan Bingham Oscars for Weary Kind in the Best Original Song category. As well as a Golden Globe Award, and a Grammy. Jeff Bridges does do a fine job singing in the movie. So, I was not surprised when in 2011, Jeff released his major label debut album. The album did well across multiple Billboard charts including Billboard's Country top 10. Here's the lead single from Jeff's debut album.
One of my all-time faves and widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of all-time Robert Duvall! Anyone who's watched The Godfather I&II, Apocalypse Now, and Get Low knows what I'm talking about.
Robert also teamed up with Jeff Bridges on Crazy Heart. Mr. Duvall's mother is part of the Lee Family of Virginia, and relative of Robert E. Lee, a person Robert would play in the 2003 film Gods and Generals. While his dad is of French Huguenot lineage. Hmm, we might be distant cousins. :)
Mr. Duvall started his career playing bit roles on TV in the 60's. But it did not take long before Broadway, and movie offers started rolling in. His first unbelievable break came with To Kill A Mockingbird. The critically acclaimed movie won a total of 14 awards including three Oscars.
Robert's career would continue to flourish with memorable roles in a variety of movies including The Great Santini, Rambling Rose, Lonesome Dove and Falling Down. In his 60+ years working as an actor, Robert has won over 60 awards including two Emmys, six Western Heritage Awards, one Bafta, and four Golden Globes among a long list of many others.
However, it was another one of my personal faves that earned Robert Duvall the coveted Oscar for Best Actor. Tender Mercies is a movie about a down on his luck country singer who finds God, and a new family after walking away from the music business. Robert does much of his own singing in the movie, and is painstakingly believable throughout. We are also treated to a rare Lefty Frizzell classic It Hurts To Face Reality sung by Robert. For those like me that like old movies, and country music, Tender Mercies is a must see. You can rent it here or on Amazon Prime.
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