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The Best Actors Who Played Rock Stars On Film

Updated August 10, 2020 169.7k votes 20.2k voters 351.3k views27 items

List RulesPortrayals of real-life rockers only (sorry Bradley and Gaga)

Several famous rock stars have led lives so intriguing and/or troubling that they've inspired enviable acting roles. From Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison to Elvis, Elvis, and more Elvis, actors have brought the stories behind the music to life in iconic films. Several actors who have played rock stars have even been nominated for Academy Awards.

Which actors have played rock stars in movies? In 2018, Rami Malek helped Bohemian Rhapsody dominate at the box office thanks to his portrayal of Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury. The following year, Rocketman actor Taron Egerton donned his giant sunglasses to portray Elton John in the 2019 film.

Val Kilmer not only portrayed the Doors singer Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's 1991 film The Doors, but he later played Elvis Presley (AKA "The Mentor") in True Romance. But he is not the only one who played Elvis. That role has also been portrayed by Kurt Russell and Jack White. Other actors who played rock stars include Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett, Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious, and André 3000 as Jimi Hendrix.

Which actor do you think made the best rock star? Give your favorite actors who played musicians a vote up to show you're ready for an encore.

  • Photo: Bohemian Rhapsody / 20th Century Fox

    In 2018, Rami Malek led Bohemian Rhapsody to box office success thanks to his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic. Sacha Baron Cohen was previously set for the role, but creative differences with producers caused him to exit the project.

    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Photo: Universal Pictures/ Ray (Film)

    Jamie Foxx played Ray Charles in the 2004 film Ray and received an Academy Award for his performance.

    • Birthplace: Terrell, Texas
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  • Photo: The Doors / Tri-Star Pictures

    Val Kilmer famously portrayed Doors singer Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's 1991 biopic The Doors. Two years later, he played Elvis Presley (AKA The Mentor) in True Romance.

    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Photo: Sid and Nancy / Palace Pictures/The Samuel Goldwyn Company

    In the 1986 biopic Sid and Nancy, Gary Oldman played infamous Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious.

    Fun Fact: Real life rocker Courtney Love appears briefly in the film, a few years before she started the band Hole.

    • Birthplace: New Cross, London, England, London, United Kingdom
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