It’s funny, but while he gained global acclaim for continually re-imagining himself and his stage personas in the world of rock music, glam icon-turned-New Wave mentor-turned-electronica experimentalist David Bowie, who passed away this weekend after an 18-month battle with cancer at 69, always remained identifiable in his relatively abbreviated screen acting career.
It didn’t matter who–or what–he was playing: an alien come to Earth to save his dying homeworld; a centuries-old vampire nearing the end of his “unlife”; a WWII British officer in a Japanese POW camp; the devious lord of a fantasy realm; or such real-life figures as Pontius Pilate, Andy Warhol and Nikola Tesla. You could always see and hear him in every offbeat and otherworldly character he played. And no matter how minor the role, you didn’t want to take your eyes off him.
We at MovieFanFare want to remember David with a look at some of those unforgettable performances:
Bowie’s feature film debut, an uncredited cameo (second from left) in The Virgin Soldiers (1969).
Performing on stage in Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973).
In The Hunger (1983), alongside fellow vampire Catherine Deneuve.
As a British POW in World War II in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983).
A memorable cameo as a hit man in Into the Night (1985).
In Labyrinth (1986) as Jareth the Goblin King.
As Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988).
In Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) as FBI agent Phillip Jeffries.
Another cameo, this time as himself, in Zoolander (2001).
In The Prestige (2006), portraying scientist/inventor Nikola Tesla.
And his final screen appearance, as himself once more, in Bandslam (2009).
What are your favorite movie memories of David Bowie? Please share them with us in the comments section.