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6 Singers Who Have Won the Oscar for Their Movie Performances

Though many singers have tried their luck in the charming world of Hollywood, only a few have received the coveted accolade for their acting performances. Here is the complete list of those singer-turned-actors who won the Academy Award. 

Will Smith, King Richard (2021)

Will Smith plays the role of Serena and Venus Williams’s father, whose eccentric behaviour was perfectly executed. Smith, who had previously been nominated for other movies as well, is already considered one of Hollywood’s most popular actors. This Best Actor award sealed the deal for his skills as a versatile actor, which he rightfully deserved for his role as King Richard, whose determination and optimism to turn his young daughters into the best sportsperson the world had ever seen and eventually succeeded.

Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls (2006)

Finding fame as the finalist of American Idol, Jennifer Hudson’s off-screen vocal capabilities were surprisingly equivalent to her on-screen charisma. This movie, which is a film adaption of the musical Dreamgirls, was headlined by Beyoncé herself, but as soon as Hudson walked into the frame, it was evident that the movie belonged to her. Her character navigates the ruthless music industry as she personifies her struggles with each note she sings, which is a mixture of optimism, vulnerability, and a dare to dream. She won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in her first movie outing. 

Cher, Moonstruck (1987)

Getting the Best Actress Academy Award is a daunting feat in itself, and Cher, who had a tough competition that year, found solid footing as a widowed American Italian who got attracted to her late husband’s younger brother, known for his hot temper. Though having acted in numerous films, her emotional depth was never presented as this character of Loretta did for her, which was a vivid portrayal of complex and conflicting feelings. Her memorable slap in the movie surely goes down as one of the best, which can be considered a cherry on top of her stellar performance.

Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl (1968)

The singer-actress fit like a glove in this iconic role, and it felt that she was born to play the comedian and singer Franny Brice. She first took the same role in the 1964 Broadway musical Funny Girl and got rave reviews, infusing life into the character. Although she didn’t receive the Tony Award, some four years later, she held the Academy Award for Best Actress for the same role in the movie. Her humour, wittiness, and subtle naturalist way of projecting feelings and emotions resonated well with the audience, along with her hit songs  ‘People’ and ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’, which suited her powerhouse voice.

Doris Day, Pillow Talk (1959)

Doris Day found tremendous success with the song ‘Sentimental Journey’ and never looked back as a vocalist. She similarly ventured into movies and was equally successful as a romantic comedy heroine in the 50s and 60s. Pillow Talk is surely one of the most beloved rom-com movies to date, and one of its reasons is Day’s charming performance. While she did not receive the Academy Award for this one, she later won the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Frank Sinatra, From Here to Eternity (1953)

Music without Frank Sinatra is incomplete, just like his role in this movie, which is a romantic war movie that deals with the days leading up to Pearl Harbour. Playing the role of Private Angelo Maggio, who always gets into trouble as he is sent to prison, which sucks his soul out. He escapes from jail and eventually dies in his best friend’s arms, and just like the effortless charm of Sinatra, it is hard to escape from feeling for his character, which won him the Best Supporting Actor award in that year’s Academy Awards. 

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