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Bowie, David (1947-)

Musician, Actor

Main image of Bowie, David (1947-)

One of rock music's most influential figures, David Bowie (born David Hayward-Jones in Brixton, London on 8 January 1947) has consistently fought to be recognised as a credible actor.

After bit parts in several minor films in the late '60s, Bowie's rise to the heights of rock fame allowed him to appear in the dreamy fantasy, The Man Who Fell To Earth (d. Nicolas Roeg, 1976). He gave a fine performance in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (UK/Japan, d. Nagisa Oshima, 1982) before upstaging a group of puppets in Jim Henson's Labyrinth (1986).

He has appeared mainly in American films, often as pop culture icons with profiles as prominent as his own: e.g., as Andy Warhol in Basquiat (US, d. Julian Schnabel, 1996). He has proved to be one of the great visual innovators with many of his video clips (particularly during the '90s) but his filmography remains slight and abstract.

He is married to model/actress Iman (b.Mogadishu, Somalia, 1955), who appeared, among others, in the UK/US co-productions The Human Factor (d. Otto Preminger, 1979) and Jane Austen in Manhattan (d. James Ivory, 1980).

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Thumbnail image of Man Who Fell To Earth, The (1976)Man Who Fell To Earth, The (1976)

Mysterious, intricate sci-fi film with David Bowie as a stranded alien

Thumbnail image of Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (1983)Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (1983)

Controversial Anglo-Japanese film about gay passion in a POW camp

Thumbnail image of Buddha of Suburbia, The (1993)Buddha of Suburbia, The (1993)

Hanif Kureishi's ambitious Anglo-Asian rights-of-passage drama

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