Many musicians have added to their resume by taking a shot at acting. While some have failed miserably, others have done an impressive job. Other musicians only want a quick opportunity to appear in a movie or show and have done so by cameo appearances. These brief glimpses of favorite musicians are a fun addition to an already enjoyable pastime.
One that can't be missed on this list is from Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards in Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End. He portrayed Captain Teague, the father of Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow. He didn't have to stretch his acting chops far as he played the character loosely based on his own personality.
Who doesn't love Alice Cooper? The man is a legend and an all-around nice guy. In 1992 he would make an appearance in Wayne's World as himself. He gives Wayne and Garth a history lesson, and the scene spawns the 'we're not worthy" line. He has also been featured in Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970), Sextette (1978), and Prince of Darkness (1987) and has played Edward Underwood in the Freddy Krueger franchise Freddy's foster father.
Many people may have missed Phil Collins in the 1992 movie Hook. The Steven Spielberg movie is an adaptation of J.M. Barrie's novel Peter and Wendy starring Robin Williams as Peter as an adult. Collins, known for his solo work and as part of the band Genisis, portrayed Inspector Good, charged with locating Peter's children, who Dustin Hoffman's Captain Hook has abducted. David Crosby and Jimmy Buffett briefly appear as Captain Hook's crew members.
In 1979 Beatles guitarist George Harrison portrayed Mr. Papadopoulos in Monty Python's Life of Brian. He was the owner of the mount and had one word of dialog. The movie was produced by HandMade Films, of which Harrison was part owner with Denis O'Brien.
More movies with rock star cameos
Blink-182 made a cameo in the 1999 movie American Pie. They are seen watching Jim (Jason Biggs) and Nadia's (Shannon Elizabeth) webcast during sex that was accidentally sent to all the students at their school. Drummer Travis Barker is incorrectly credited as former Blink-182 drummer Scott Raynor. The band's song "Mutt" is included in the movie.
The late great Chester Bennington of Linkin Park was featured in the seventh installment of the Saw franchise, Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010). He portrayed Even, a racist skinhead who woke to find himself super glued to a car seat before things quickly get worse for him.
Lemmy of Motörhead was featured in the 1994 movie, Airheads, which asks and answers, "Who would win in a wrestling match, Lemmy or God? Trick question, Lemmy IS God." Lemmy is featured in the crowd and utters his one line, "I was editor of the school magazine!"
In 2020, former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighter's front man Dave Grohl would make a brief cameo, as himself, in Bill and Ted's Face the Music. But most of his fans remember his cameo in Tenacious D In The Pick Of Destiny (2006). He reprises his role as Satan from the band's "Tribute" video. He must test his guitar skills against Jack Black and Kyle Gass.
Anthony Kiedis and Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers have been featured in several films. Kiedis first appeared in Less Than Zero (1987) and later in The Chase (1994), but he is mainly remembered for his role in Point Break (1991). He and his gang get into an altercation with Johnny (Keanu Reeves) until Bodhi (Patrick Swayze). Flea has done voice work for several movies and shows and had appearances in Baby Driver (2017), Boy Erased (2018), and The Big Lebowski (1998). Another role he is recognized for is Needles in the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II. Although he stated, he wasn't happy with his performance and didn't really like the film.
The 1992 movie Singles, a Cameron Crowe cult classic, saw cameos from Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains members. Pearl Jam members Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard, and Jeff Ament play the band members of Citizen Dick, a band featured in the film. The late Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog, was seen alongside Matt Dillon's character, Cliff, after an attempt at a car stereo installation blasts music to the neighborhood.
Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon, Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, Debbie Gibson, Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme, & Joel Hoekstra of Night Ranger and Porcelain Black all had cameos in Rock of Ages.
Other rockers in movie cameos include:
- Tom Petty - The Postman (1997)
- Iggy Pop - Cry Baby (1990)
- Ozzy Osbourne - Trick or Treat (1986)
- David Bowie - Zoolander (2001)
- Debbie Harry - Tales From the Darkside: The Movie (1990)
- Jack White - The Dewey Cox Story (2007)
- Nancy Wilson - Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)
- Alex Van Halen - Robocop (1987)
- Guns N' Roses - The Dead Pool (1988)
- Lenny Kravitz - Precious (2009), Hunger Games Movies & Shotgun Wedding (2022)
Hopefully, there were some mentions of musician cameos you weren't aware of, just as many more are not listed. It is always exciting to see favorite musicians pop up in films, whether in short clips or a significant role.
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