Those good with one thing and branch to another. Who rocked it and who flopped?
Obviously Harris sang in Camelot (1967) and then MacArthur Park exploded on the charts. Park is his only hit.
Frankie Avalon came first to mind. He was a very successful singer with something like 30 hit singles, including at least a couple number ones. He was also in a number of movies. Mostly the beach party genre (I think his first one was called Beach Party and probably was the model for a bunch of others). Of course, MSTies know him from the KTMA Million Eyes of Sumurru and while the movie itself wasn’t amazing, I will say that Frankie had a couple of entertaining one-liners in that.
His movies aren’t really amazing but he did quite a few. His singing was definitely successful. So not really a flop on the transition.
And who could forget this one?
John Denver had a wildly popular recording and touring career, then he costarred with God.
Oh, and there’s Jeremy Renner. I know some people don’t think much of him as an actor but I’ve liked him when I’ve seen him in movies. He’s an enjoyable actor (and not at all bad-looking).
He’s made an album. He’s not a bad singer but I haven’t seen any signs so far that he’s really been successful in breaking into that area. I think his most famous song was on a car commercial. I listened to a few others and they ranged from only okay to pretty good.
I guess most people first became familiar with Joe Pesci through his work as an actor, but he is a talented singer as well.
Here he is on a 1968 album:
And on a 2019 album
Kris Kristofferson may have had his hopes for a major acting career dashed by the notorious failure of Heaven’s Gate, but the times he’s gone back to it since (I’m thinking especially of the Blade films) show he really does have some talent there.
IIRC he both sung and acted in the infamous Country Bears movie.
Mariah Carrey did both in the infamous Glitter.
MST3K favorite Patrick Swayze (who was taken from us far too soon) of course had a very illustrious acting career, but he also appeared on several of his films soundtracks, including this chart topper from the Dirty Dancing disc from 1987:
None of his other songs were nearly as popular, but this one hit #3 on Billboards Top 100, and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Probably the most embarrassing attempt by a popular actor to pivot to a serious singing career was Mr. Bruce “Bluesman” Willis. who shared the pop chart with the California Raisins, Mac Tonite, and New Kids on the Block.
But at least he had the self-awareness to make fun of himself.
I’ve always loved that song.
Glenn Campbell is awful hard to watch in 1969’s True Grit.
Jeff Bridges (True Grit 2010) was more convincing as a country singer.
Robert Davi croons like Sinatra, and pulls it off.
Eddie Murphy? Hmmm.
I dislike Barbra’s music but that cat can sing and, within a narrow range, can act.
In the Golden Age of Hollywood most actresses could sing, and some like Judy Garland or Alice Faye sang and acted so well, you’d be hard pressed to favor one over the other.
Speaking of guys who sing as well as they act:
Oh, so that’s where Shatner got it from!
Old Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra. Chasing films by the early 40s, the music icon graced Anchors Aweigh (1945), Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949), On the Town (1949), From Here to Eternity (1953), Suddenly (1954), The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), Guys and Dolls (1955), The Tender Trap (1955), Not as a Stranger (1955), High Society (1956), Pal Joey (1957), The Joker Is Wild (1957), Kings Go Forth (1958), Some Came Running (1958), Can-Can (1960), Ocean’s 11 (1960), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Von Ryan’s Express (1965), Tony Rome (1967), The Detective (1968), The First Deadly Sin (1980). Without hesitation, among the greatest singing to acting careers I could think of.
Marjoe Gortner (Starcrash). Child evangelist, exposer of evangelist scams, recording artist, actor (aktor?) - quite a career.
Dean Martin. Aspiring singer matched to Jerry Lewis, they explode on the scene turning out films like a slot machine. 10 years later, the pair folds and Dean embarks on a solo path in pictures. Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957), The Young Lions (1958), Some Came Running (1958), Rio Bravo (1959), Career (1959), Who Was That Lady? (1960), Bells Are Ringing (1960), Ocean’s 11 (1960), All in a Night’s Work (1961), Ada (1961), Sergeants 3 (1962), Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964), Kiss, Me Stupid (1964), The Sons of Katie Elder (1965), Bandolero! (1968), Airport (1970), The Cannonball Run (1981). It’s obvious Dean lost serious interest as his movies persisted. Even so he lasted and I won’t deprive him of that.