FILMS and TV… David Bowie does the Movies


Recalling David Bowie’s Acting Career…


In honour of the late, great David Bowie, this is a wee list of 5 of his film appearances over the years.



I was sad to hear of the passing of this singer and sometimes actor. Bowie has of course influenced many such as writers of the excellent BBC time-travelling series, Life on Mars (2006-07) and it’s sequel Ashes to Ashes (2008) to comedy in the form of Flight of the Conchords (2007-09). These are just five of these appearances, that I remember him in… 


The Snowman (1982)

The Snowman – David Bowie intro, MeWantLutz

Bowie narrated this children’s animated classic. It tells of the adventures of a boy and his snowman once the snowman becomes magically alive. In 1982 was shown on Channel 4 as part of it’s Christmas schedule in Great Britain. It feels like it’s been on Christmas television ever since. I remember Aled Jones sang the soundtrack song which even entered the British charts at the time.

I remember like most British kids my age that I hoped his voice would break when he’d sing it live on British telly. As a family, this was essential viewing and always instigated by my gran, which meant that after a number of years meant us running from the room when the tune started. I forgot Bowie narrated it,  til now. Wonder what he made of the excellent parody for that Scottish soft drink.


Zoolander (2001)

timkiwi, Zoolander – Walk Off Scene

Zoolander is a Ben Stiller comedy about the male model Derek Zoolander and his rivalry with Hansel, another model. In this film, there is a wee cameo where Bowie instruments then judges a walk-off competition between the male models, Derek (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson).

In the scene, he totally upstages them. For reasons unknown to me, Stiller and his fellow writers feel they have to mention who Bowie is on-screen. Perhaps it for those of us who had the “OMG It’s Bowie!” moment at the cinema. Or perhaps they had that moment themselves, and it’s just to remind them how awesome it is.


 Into the Night (1985)

David Bowie in Into The Night, Bodacea1

This John Landis directed film tells about Ed, an insomniac played by Jeff Goldblum. Ed becomes unwittingly involved with a jewel smuggler Diane, played by a young Michelle Pfeiffer. In this film, Bowie plays a British hitman who is in pursuit of Diane.  

As with the John Landis film The Blues Brothers (1980), there are a large number of cameos such as the writers of classic films such as author Colin Higgins – writer of Harold and Maude (1971) – and Lawrence Kasden, who wrote The Big Chill (1983).


The Prestige (2006)

David Bowie as Nikola Tesla, Cinematheia

The film tells about two magicians who are two rival English magicians in the 19th century. The pair try and outdo each other.. but with unforeseen consequences. Only saw this film recently thanks to darlin’ husband who had to mansplain it afterwards, so watch carefully. I still often confuse it with The Illusionist (2006).

Bowie’s first appearance in this film is electrifying as the inventor, Tesla who creates a teleporting machine for Huge Hugh Jackman’s character for his stage show. The film was co-written by Christopher Nolan so as well as Bowie lookout for Nolan regulars, Christian Bale, Rebecca Hall and Sir Michael Caine.


Labyrinth (1986)


Of course, this film is number 1, REALLY did you expect anything else. This George Lucas directed film tells how teenager Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) wishes her half baby brother is taken away by the Goblin King (Bowie). So he does… in this 1980s fantasy classic.

If you asked any adult brought up in the 1980s which fantasy film they remember from this film it would be this one..  over other gems such as The Dark Crystal (1980) – which now looks really creepy – and Willow (1988) which is NOT a movie about my family despite what the stepdudes say. They are under the impression, all Scottish people are small.

Bowie of course is remembered for his tight-fitting goblin king costume more than his role, which many a schoolgirl swooned over – and of course, Bowie being the only person ever to get away with having a mullet in the 1980s.

These are just some of Bowies’s filmography, but I’ve many more to watch (and possibly review). As when it comes to his films you could say I’m an absolute beginner…



8 thoughts on “FILMS and TV… David Bowie does the Movies

  1. A really and truly amazing man! Sad thing is, most of what I know and learned about him was after his passing All I really knew about him was his dressing style and that he was married to Iman. After his passing i learned so much about his life and his work. A real loss!

  2. I love your choices Gill. This’d is a very sweet tribute to Bowie. I did not know of the Snowman. Sounds like a Christmas classic.
    I completely forgot Bowie Was in Zoolander😂😂😂
    One of my personal favorites is his portrayal of Tesla. Have you seen the horror movie The Hunger?
    Thanks again for a well written blog💕 xxx

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