There were a number of performers who started their careers in the music industry and gradually made their way on to the screen. Some of the stars stuck with their move while others would combine the both and perform in either profession, depending what professional opportunities were available to them.
One of the UKs biggest rock stars at the start of the 1970s was Roger Daltrey who was the lead singer of The Who. The band was a big success, selling over 100 million records around the world, and in 1974 the film “Tommy” was released which was based on their album of the same title. In the film, the band members performed and the lead singer Roger Daltrey, played the title role. This was just the start for Daltrey, who starred in the film “McVicar” which was about a bank robber, and the singer played the main character. He then went on to perform both in television and in the West End, while still making the odd appearance in films.
Another of the Who’s hit albums that was also released into a film was “Quadrophenia” which released in 1979. On this occasion, none of the group appeared in the film, but the one singer who did appear was Sting, the lead singer from the new wave band “The Police”. The group experienced great success selling over 75 million records, but following “Quadrophenia’s” success, Sting went on to appear in many more films including “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” that appeared in 1998. He the ventured onto Broadway both writing and acting.
Another musician who successfully made the transition into acting was Martin Kemp, who first appeared as a child actor in junior television programs. He then joined the successful band Spandau Ballet as the bass guitarist who went on to produce some major hits in British pop music. After the group had split up, Kemp returned to acting, appear both in films and on television.
Spandau Ballet were a new romantic band but they split up in 1986 and Kemp had his big break when he stared in the 1990 film “The Krays”, playing Ronald Kray alongside his brother Gary who performed as Reggie Kray. From this point on, his career flourished in films.
He even made an impact in television and appeared for four years in the BBC soap opera “Eastenders,” playing night club owner Steve Owen. He has furthered his career by directing and also appearing on Broadway.
Another musician who appeared in “Eastenders” was David Essex. During the 1970s, the male singer had a string of hit singles and albums with his pop style voice. His vocals were ideal for musicals and he has appeared in the west end on many occasions. He also ventured into serious acting roles appearing as Eddie Moon in “Eastenders”, plus roles in “Tribe” in 2011 and the “Guvnors” in 2014.
One singer, who became a big success in Hollywood, was the singer Sheena Easton who sold over 20 million records, before venturing across to America to pursue an acting career. She has appeared on Broadway, acting in films and also was cast in five episodes of “Miami Vice”. There were many musicians whose success in the 1970s was just the start of their careers in the media spotlight.