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Updated by Love It Loud on Jul 09, 2013
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Top Ten Worst Rock Stars Turned Actors

GENE SIMMONS (Runaway)

With Kiss having abandoned their trademark make-up and theatrics with their 1983 album Lick It Up, the band became one of the most popular acts on MTV during the channel’s early days with their radio friendly hits Heaven’s on Fire, Tears Are Falling and Crazy, Crazy Nights. Around this time, bassist Gene Simmons was cast as psychotic criminal mastermind Dr. Charles Luther in 1984′s Runaway, a science fiction thriller from author Michael Crichton (later of Jurassic Park fame). The movie starred Magnum P.I.‘s Tom Selleck as Jack Ramsay, a hardboiled cop investigating a series of murders caused by rotobic spiders and heatseeking bullets.

MICK JAGGER (Freejack)

With the run of Brat Pack movies having run out of steam by the early 1990s (following the likes of The Breakfast Club and Young Guns), Emilio Estevez began to struggle with roles, instead appearing in such forgettable efforts as The Mighty Ducks and The Mighty Ducks. In 1992 he starred in Freejack, a science fiction thriller directed by Geoff Murphy (Young Guns II), portraying racing driver Alex Furlong who seemingly dies in a crash and wakes up in 2009, where he is hunted mercenary Victor Vacendak. The role of the latter would be given to Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger whose prior acting included an appearance in the cult classic Performance. His turn as Vacendak would fail to lead to further roles and is often considered the weakest element in a disappointing movie.

BRET MICHAELS (A Letter from Death Row)

With the death of glam metal with the rise of grunge and the firing of guitarist C.C. Deville in 1991, Poison‘s popularity had begun to dwindle and frontman Bret Michaels attempted to turn to acting with the 1998 psychological thriller A Letter from Death Row. Writen by Michaels and co-directed with Marvin Baker, Michaels starred as convicted killer Michael Raine, whose guilt comes into question, whilst Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now) co-starred as his father. Not content with his other roles, Michaels also produced and composed the soundtrack to the movie.

MARILYN MANSON (Party Monster)

Whatever respect Marilyn Manson had gained with their classic albums Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals had started to wane at the turn of the century. Having contributed two songs to the soundtrack of David Lynch’s surreal thriller Lost Highway, frontman Marilyn Manson and bassist Twiggy Ramirez had also taken a cameo in the movie as porn stars. The roles required little acting ability and several years later Manson attempted to launch an acting career with the comedy drama Party Monster, which co-starred former child actor Macaulay Culkin (of Home Alone fame) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Seth Green. A loose biography based on the life of Michael Alig, the movie saw Culkin moving to New York and befriending Green. Manson’s gender-bending turn as Christina is by far his worst performance, even more disappointing than his appearance in Asia Argento’s drama The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things the following year.

STEVE VAI (Crossroads)

Ralph Macchio had become a household name after starring in the 1984 drama The Karate Kid, whose success would lead to a cult franchise, but his subsequent career had seen him struggle to land interesting or commercial roles. In 1986, Macchio starred as budding blues guitarist Eugene Martone in Walter Hill’s Crossroads, a Robert Johnson-like drama that enjoyed minor success on home video. The standout moment in the movie came when Eugene faced-off in a guitar contest against the legendary Steve Vai in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Despite Macchio convincingly portraying a talented guitarist, all his parts were in fact dubbed by Ry Cooder.

JON BON JOVI (Vampires: Los Muertos)

John Carpenter’s 1998 horror Vampires was an unsuccessful blend of horror and western, the kind of genre-blending movie that the filmmaker had become renowned for. Based on the novel Vampire$ by John Steakley, the movie saw James Woods leading a Vatican-sanctioned group of vampire hunters tracking down an indestructable bloodsucker. A sequel would follow four years later, directed by Tommy Lee Wallace (Halloween III: Season of the Witch, IT) and starring a host of unrecognisable faces. Bon Jovi frontman Jon Bon Jovi had spent the majority of the 1990s attempting to launch his acting career with roles in such unforgettable affairs as Moonlight and Valentino, U-571 and Pay It Forward and Vampires: Los Muertos would be a further disappointment for his acting résumé.

IGGY POP (The Crow: City of Angels)

The character of Funboy in the 1994 adaptation of the cult graphic novel The Crow had initially been written with punk legend Iggy Pop in mind but due to scheduling conflicts he had been unable to take the role. Instead he would appear in a similar supporting role in 1994′s disappointing sequel The Crow: City of Angels as Curve. Pop had already appeared in minor roles in a variety of movies, from the science fiction horror Hardware (providing the voice-over for DJ Angry Bob) to the comic book flick Tank Girl. During the mid-1990s he also appeared in the art movies Dead Man and The Brave, both of which starred Johnny Depp.

ROGER DALTREY (Buddy’s Song)

Roger Daltrey had taken the title role in Ken Russell’s surreal music Tommy, based on the concept album of the same name by Daltrey’s acclaimed group The Who. In 1991, Daltrey was cast as Terry Clark, the father of pop star wannabe Buddy, in Claude Whatham’s coming-of-age drama Buddy’s Song. The movie (which was also produced by Daltrey) served as a vehicle for nineteen-year old Chesney Hawkes, who was being marketed as the latest pop sensation with his hit single The One and Only. Daltrey had never been the most convincing of actors but his role in Buddy’s Song was the worst of his career.

DAVID BOWIE (Labyrinth)

David Bowie’s acting career first gained momentum in 1976 with the starring role in Nic Roeg’s science fiction classic The Man Who Fell to Earth, in which he played an alien stranded on Earth. Prior to this, he had made his screen debut in 1969 (the same year as his breakthrough album Space Oddity) with the short film The Image. Following The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bowie enjoyed further acclaim with the vampire horror The Hunger and the drama Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. In 1986, Bowie took the lead role in Jim Henson’s musical fantasy Labyrinth, playing Jareth the Goblin King opposite a teenage Jennifer Connelly. A hit at the box office, the movie also boasted a successful soundtrack from Bowie and one of the worst mullets to ever be subjected to celluloid (along with Tina Turner’s from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome).

KEITH RICHARDS (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End)

When adapting Disney’s successful theme park attraction Pirates of the Caribbean for the big screen the writers introduced the character of Captain Jack Sparrow, which star Johnny Depp reportedly based on Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. Despite lacking any real acting experience, the producers pursued Richards for a supporting role in the fourth movie of the franchise, At World’s End, in which he would portray Sparrow’s father, Captain Teague. Much like his Rolling Stones bandmate, Mick Jagger, Richards proved that acting was not one of his strongest points.