Yesterday, we woke to the sad news that David Bowie has lost an eighteen month battle with cancer and had passed away at the age of sixty-nine.
Of course, Bowie is best known as a pioneering musician, but we also saw him on the big screen man times over the years. We take a look at some of his best and most memorable performances as we salute and remember this British icon.
- The Man Who Fell to Earth
Bowie made the leap into feature films in 1976 when he landed his first starred role in The Man Who Fell to Earth, which saw his team up with filmmaker Nicolas Roeg.
The Man Who Fell to Earth was based on the 1963 novel of the same name and saw Bowie take on the central role of Thomas Jerome Newton, a humanoid alien who comes to Earth tasked with getting water to help his dying planet. But when he falls in love with Mary-Lou, will he ever return home?
The Man Who Fell to Earth remains one of Bowie's most memorable and iconic acting roles and it really established him as a crossover star. He was the perfect choice for the role of Thomas and you can't imagine anyone else taking on this humanoid alien role.
Over the years, The Man Who Fell to Earth has gained a cult following and is one of Bowie's most acclaimed movies and performances. It was one of the best sci-fi movies of the seventies and was packed with some incredibly interesting themes and ideas.
Forty years on, the movie still looks fantastic - the images captured by cinematographer Anthony B. Richmond really are incredibly beautiful. The Man Who Fell to Earth is poignant and moving film and one that you have to see if you are a Bowie fan.
- The Hunger
Bowie has worked with a number of terrific directors during his acting career and The Hunger saw him team up with another, in the form of Tony Scott.
The Hunger was released back in 1983 and was only the second feature film of Scott's career, coming over a decade after he made his debut with Loving Memory. The movie was based on the novel of the same name by Whitley Strieber and was adapted into a screenplay by Ivan Davis.
The movie saw Bowie take on the role of a vampire called John and is married to Miriam. The vampire duo find themselves in a love triangle with Dr. Sarah Roberts, who specialises in sleep and ageing research. Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon took on the roles of Miriam and Sarah alongside Bowie.
The Hunger went on to screen out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival and struggled with the critics upon release. However, it is another of Bowie's films that has gone on to gain a cult following over the years.
During his acting career, we have not seen Bowie take on too many mainstream roles and The Hunger provided him with another interesting and rather strange character to explore - this is where he really seemed to thrive as an actor.
One of the movies that Bowie will always be remembered for is Labyrinth, and it was back in 1986 when the film hit the big screen for the first time. Labyrinth was an adventure fantasy movie from director Him Henson and saw Bowie take on the role of Jareth the Goblin King.
The movie follows fifteen year old Sarah, who is given thirteen hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King.
Labyrinth is one of those films that everyone watches growing up and Bowie is fantastic in the role of Jareth. It was another role that was just right for the eccentric singer and he just look fabulous in his make-up and costumes.
The movie was not well received by the critics or at the box office when it was originally released in 1986, but it is another of Bowie's films that has gained a cult following over the years. The film went on to be a huge success on home release.
When you think of Bowie that actor, Labyrinth tends to be the film that immediately springs to mind and it is a film that has endured - despite its rocky and rather unsuccessful start.
- The Last Temptation of Christ
In 1988, Bowie returned to the big screen as he took on the role of Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ.
The role of Pontius Pilate was a small one for Bowie as he appeared opposite Willem Dafoe, while Martin Scorsese was in the director's chair.
The movie is based on the controversial novel of the same name by Nikos Kazantzakis, which was released back in 1953. The movie follows the life of Jesus Christ and how he fights against temptation... fighting his last temptation as he is dying on the cross.
It was a movie that did cause controversy and outrage amongst religious communities but the film was widely praised amongst the critics. Scorsese went on to pick up a Best Director Oscar nomination for his work on the film.
We may not see much of Bowie in The Last Temptation of Christ, but it is great to see him in one of his least flamboyant acting roles of his career.
Other Bowie movies that you should check out include The Prestige, Basquiat, The Linguini Incident, and his cameo in Zoolander.
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