“Forgotten Hollywood”- David Bowie the Actor…

Posted on January 11, 2016 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here… David Bowie

   A lot will be written over the next week about the legacy of David Bowie. He was unique in the glam rock-era of popular music. And, he was a cultural icon for his approach as a musician and song-stylist. Let me remind you about Bowie’s formidable cinematic legacy. His career has been punctuated by various roles in movie and theater productions, earning acclaim as an actor.                                 DAVID BOWIE —>

   The beginnings of David Bowie’s film career predate his commercial breakthrough as a musician. Studying avant-garde theatre and mime under Lindsay Kemp, he played Cloud in the 1967 theatrical production Pierrot in Turquoise (later made into the 1970 television film The Looking Glass Murders). In the black-and-white two-reeler The Image, he was a ghost who emerges from a troubled artist’s painting to haunt him. The same year, The Virgin Soldiers saw Bowie make a brief appearance as an extra.

   In 1976, he earned acclaim for his first major starring role, portraying Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien from a dying planet, in The Man Who Fell to Earth, directed by Nicolas Roeg. For his performance in the 1976 science fiction flick, he won a Saturn Award.

   Bowie starred in Just a Gigolo, an Anglo-German co-production  as a Prussian officer who, returning from World War I, is discovered by a baroness (Marlene Dietrich) and put into her stable of studs. He starred in The Hunger, a revisionist vampire film, with Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon. Bowie had a cameo in Yellowbeard, a 1983 pirate comedy created by Monty Python; and he had a small part as a hitman in Into the Night. Bowie appeared in Jim Henson’s dark fantasy Labyrinth. He played Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese’s 1988 epic, The Last Temptation of Christ. He portrayed physicist Nikola Tesla in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige in 2006. The rock star also appeared as himself in Zoolander. He did decline to play the villain in the James Bond film, A View to a Kill.

Elephant man<—David Bowie took the lead in the Broadway production, The Elephant Man, which he performed wearing no stage make-up, and who earned high praise for his expressive performance. He played the part 157 times between 1980 and 1981.

   In 1999, Bowie was made a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. He declined the royal honour of Commander of the British Empire in 2000, and turned down a knighthood in 2003. One year, I went to a terrific concert of his, that one at Dodger Stadium. A favorite television moment of mine: When he joined Bing Crosby on his last Christmas Special in 1977 (and just five weeks before Bing’s passing from a heart attack after a round of golf) singing the medley, Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy. The tune has become a seasonal classic.

bowie crosby

   The innovative performer had just turned 69 on Friday, the day he released his 25th album. But, he continued to influence some of today’s top filmmakers with his groundbreaking approach, including Johnny Depp, Nicole Kidman, and director Tim Burton. British astronaut Tim Peake tweeted his profound sadness aboard the International Space Station about David Bowie’s sudden death from cancer.

   To paraphrase: Ground control to Major Tim…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Monday, January 11th, 2016 at 12:52 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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