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Music History Events: Film Debuts

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December 25, 2006 Alongside stars like Beyoncé, Eddie Murphy, and Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson makes her acting debut in the movie Dreamgirls, based on the Supremes-inspired Broadway musical.More

June 11, 2004 Faith Hill makes her film debut in the comedic remake of the 1975 thriller The Stepford Wives. Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, and Bette Midler also star.

October 3, 2003 School of Rock opens in theaters, starring Jack Black as a musician who poses as a substitute teacher and forms a band with the students. Classic rock abounds in the film, with teachable moments soundtracked to "Highway to Hell," "Smoke on the Water" and even "Immigrant Song" - a track secured after Black made a video literally begging Led Zeppelin to let them use it. The movie is also notable for featuring Miranda Cosgrove's acting debut.More

November 8, 2002 8 Mile, a semi-biographical look at Eminem's early days as a struggling rapper in Detroit, opens in theaters. The film is a critical and commercial success, and Eminem's "Lose Yourself" becomes the first rap song to win the Oscar for Best Original Song.More

July 26, 2002 Beyoncé makes her film debut, playing Mike Myers' love interest, Foxxy Cleopatra, in Austin Powers in Goldmember. Her catch phrase: "I'm a whole lotta woman." Britney Spears also shows up in the film as a fem-bot who gets blown up by Myers.More

March 31, 2000 The movie High Fidelity, starring John Cusack and Jack Black as record store clerks, and featuring a cameo by Bruce Springsteen, opens in theaters.More

November 25, 1992 In her first film role, Whitney Houston plays a pop diva under the protection of Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard. The highlight of the movie is Houston's rendition of "I Will Always Love You," which hits #1 three days after the movie's release.More

December 19, 1980 9 to 5, starring Dolly Parton and featuring the classic theme song by the singer (where she uses her fingernails as an instrument), opens in theaters. Parton, in her first acting role, stars alongside Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda as disgruntled secretaries who get even with their sexist boss.More

December 21, 1979 Willie Nelson makes his acting debut in the Sydney Pollack film The Electric Horseman, starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. He also sings five songs for the soundtrack, including the #1 country hit "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys."More

October 24, 1978 The movie version of The Wiz, which debuted as a Broadway stage production in 1975, hits theaters. The all-black cast includes Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow. The film marks Jackson's acting debut.

August 27, 1964 Disney releases Mary Poppins, a Sherman Brothers musical featuring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. It's the first movie role for Andrews, who is already a Broadway star. Her portrayal of the title character earns her the Academy Award for Best Actress.More

August 9, 1961 The movie Come September, starring first-time actor Bobby Darin and his wife Sandra Dee, opens in theaters. The pair met on set and married after a whirlwind romance.

November 15, 1956 Elvis Presley's first movie, Love Me Tender, premieres at the Paramount Theater in New York City. The film is a Civil War drama that was going to be called The Reno Brothers, but when Elvis became a major star during the shoot, it was re-titled after his hit song, with Elvis given top billing.

November 5, 1999 Mariah Carey makes her acting debut, playing a temperamental opera singer in the romantic comedy The Bachelor, starring Chris O'Donnell and Renée Zellweger.

November 2, 1979 The Who's musical film Quadrophenia, featuring a small part played by Sting, opens in US theaters.

March 18, 1976 The Man Who Fell To Earth, starring David Bowie, premieres in London. The film is based on Walter Tevis' novel of the same name, about an alien who visits Earth in search of water for his planet, which is suffering from a drought. It's Bowie's first major film role.

October 12, 1972 The movie Lady Sings The Blues, a musical biopic of singer Billie Holiday that launches the movie career of star Diana Ross, opens in theaters.

October 19, 1970 The Australian outlaw film Ned Kelly, featuring Mick Jagger in his first starring role, is released to scathing reviews.

August 1, 1970 After two years of sitting on the shelf (namely due to shocking sex and violence scenes), the gangster movie Performance premieres in London. It features what would have been the acting debut of the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger (Ned Kelly was released first).

October 11, 2013 Lady Gaga makes her movie debut playing shape-shifting assassin La Camaleon in the Robert Rodriguez action-crime flick Machete Kills.

May 18, 2012 Rihanna makes her acting debut playing a naval weapons specialist in the action/sci-fi movie Battleship.

January 9, 2004 Miley Cyrus makes her movie debut in Tim Burton's Big Fish, playing 8-year-old Ruthie. She's credited as "Destiny Cyrus."

June 3, 1994 Mark Wahlberg of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch makes his film debut in the comedy Renaissance Man as an army private who is teased by his fellow recruits for having no rhythm.

July 23, 1993 Poetic Justice, starring Janet Jackson (in braids) and Tupac Shakur, opens in theaters. Jackson has been acting on TV since she was a kid, appearing regularly on Good Times and Diff'rent Strokes, but the film marks her big-screen debut.

July 2, 1991 In his first acting role, Ice Cube stars alongside Cuba Gooding Jr. in the acclaimed drama Boyz N the Hood. Writer/director John Singleton wrote the role of troubled gangster Darrin "Doughboy" Baker specifically for the ex-N.W.A rapper.More

June 7, 1991 Spike Lee's film Jungle Fever debuts in theaters. It boasts a soundtrack written and produced by Stevie Wonder and features Queen Latifah's acting debut. The rapper plays a waitress who snubs the interracial couple played by Wesley Snipes and Annabella Sciorra.

January 19, 1990 Reba McEntire makes her acting debut fending off snake-like monsters in the horror flick Tremors, starring Kevin Bacon.

September 16, 1988 Phil Collins lands his first leading role in a film, playing real-life criminal Buster Edwards in the box-office bomb Buster. Musically, the movie isn't a bust, with two #1 hits on the soundtrack: "A Groovy Kind Of Love" and "Two Hearts."

October 1, 1985 Madonna makes her acting debut in the low-budget independent film A Certain Sacrifice. Filmed five years earlier, it's released on video to capitalize on the pop star's fame.

September 22, 1978 Tom Waits makes his film debut in Paradise Alley, written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, playing a bar-dwelling piano player named Mumbles.

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