In the golden days of American cinema, actors were expected to be masters of their crafts — catch that? Not craft, but crafts. If they harbored dreams of seeing their name in lights, then they had better be prepared to act, dance, and sing for their supper. Nowadays, things have definitely changed, and we don’t expect our actors to be delivering Grammy-winning performances or our singers to be dipping their toes in the dramatic — which makes it all the more impressive when they do. From Scarlett Johansson to Robert Downey Jr., we’d forgotten these stars had singing talent to match their acting skills, and it’s a blast from the past to revisit their musical stylings.
There are plenty of working actors today, famous and not-yet-so-famous, who call themselves multi-hyphenates — Lady Gaga has proudly crossed over from singing into acting with her lead role in A Star Is Born, and recent rumblings indicate Selena Gomez is hoping to make a similar transition. Stars like Emily Blunt or Nicole Kidman, on the other hand, seemed perfectly happy to hide their singing talents away for their long, successful acting careers before dazzling us with a final act reveal.
It’s fun to discover new talents in celebrities we’re already excited about watching, and we guarantee you’ll want to check out these music careers you forgot existed. Read on for all the actors whose singing skills you may have overlooked.
A version of this article was originally published in February 2021.