September 17, 1990 12:00 PM

It’s strange that now, when the visual aspect of pop music is so crucial, so few singers and musicians are making serious attempts at acting. Certainly Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, the three most successful American male pop singers of the century, profited immensely from their film careers. There are fewer examples among women singers—Doris Day just about sums it up. But the potential is there today despite the indifferent results encountered by such modern pop stars as Mick Jagger, Diana Ross, Sting and Olivia Newton-John. It’s true that Harry Connick Jr. has already thrown his ego into the ring. But it’s not hard to imagine a major movie role for such cinematically unexploited current stars as Bruce Springsteen, Annie Lennox, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Axl Rose (are you listening, David Lynch?). Then there’s Madonna, who—this should not be interpreted as a call to play Ophelia—deserves something better, along the lines of a Double Indemnity, than she has been given so far.

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