10 Best Country Music Stars-Turned-Actors Ranked From Worst To Best
There are many stars in Hollywood that have crossed over into different branches of the entertainment industry and more often than not it is singers who try their hand at acting. While it is quite common for pop stars to give it a shot, some country stars have also taken a stab at it. For some, the decision to branch into acting was a really good one, and they have seen a lot of success on the big or small screen, but others perhaps should have just stuck to belting out country hits. Check out 10 of the best country music stars who turned to acting ranked from worst to best:
10. Trace Adkins
Country star Trace Adkins is well known for his numerous hit songs such as “You’re Gonna Miss This” and “Ladies Love Country Boys,” but he is lesser known for his numerous acting appearances. His very first role came as a small part in 1987’s Square Dance. It wasn’t until 13 years later he appeared in a single episode of the series 18 Wheels of Justice, and then continued his on-screen work from there. Without a doubt, his biggest roles have been in 2011’s The Lincoln Lawyer and 2016’s Deepwater Horizon and he now has 24 acting credits to his name. Despite all his roles, it can’t be said that Adkins is a particularly good actor, and his singing skills greatly outweigh his acting abilities.
9. Toby Keith
Toby Keith is a true entertainer, so it doesn’t seem surprising that he would take a shot at acting. In 2006 he starred in Broken Bridges as Bo Price and then in 2008’s Beer for My Horses as Joe Bill ‘Rack’ Racklin. Although neither one of the films were hits, Keith did act alongside like the likes of Burt Reynolds and Kelly Preston, but he ultimately decided music is where his heart lies. “I think I had quality songs and we had hits and stuff but it affected my day-today, my system, my routine and the volume of songs that I bring to the table when I record an album,” he said of how acting impacted his music career. It’s hard to put Keith any higher on this list because he didn’t do enough acting to fully discern if he was good or bad.
8. Faith Hill
Faith Hill is talented and gorgeous, and she definitely seems like she could be an actress as easily as a singer, but she too only gave it a very small try. In 1997, Faith Hill made her first on-screen appearance in the series Touched by an Angel. In 2004 she had her biggest role in the film the Stepford Wives as one of the “perfect” wives but it was 11 years before she once again acted, this time in the indie film Dixieland. Although she certainly showed promise, Faith Hill didn’t give fans enough to tell if she really could act.
7. Willie Nelson
With or without acting, Willie Nelson will always be an icon, especially in the country music world. He made his first on-screen appearance in 1978’s The Rockford Files before quickly moving to the big screen with 1979’s Electric Horseman. Over the years Nelson has now appeared in around 50 different roles across film and television in all kinds of genres, and while fans love to see him, it is only because he is Willie Nelson. His iconic nature really means that not a lot is asked for him in his many roles, so while he has had a lot of success in acting, it doesn’t necessarily come down to skill.
6. Randy Travis
Randy Travis is a man of many talents, and after years of being one of country music’s most influential stars, he took to acting. In the early ’90s, Travis landed his first acting role in the series Matlock, and quickly racked up more and more parts. He went on to appear or star in many more series and films including Black Dog, Fire Down Below, Christmas on the Bayou and so many more. Like Willie Nelson, it’s always great just to see Travis on screen, however, he has proved he really can act and has tackled every role thrown his way.
5. Kris Kristofferson
Kris Kristofferson’s transition from a country star to an actor has been so incredibly successful that some of his fans don’t even realize he is also a singer. After serving in the Army, Kristofferson’s music career took off and in the ’70s he turned his focus to acting, landing his first role in 1971’s The Last Movie. He has now become just as prolific of an actor as he is a singer with over 100 acting credits to his name. Thanks to his many leading roles it is hard to narrow down his most popular, but there is absolutely no denying his success in the entertainment industry.
4. Jana Kramer
Jana Kramer is gorgeous, down-to-earth, and a double threat in Hollywood as both a successful actress and singer. Unlike many others on this list she actually started out in acting before signing her record deal. She has appeared on many hit series but is best known for her work in Friday Night Lights, 90210, and her biggest role Alex Dupre on One Tree Hill. After debuting her singing skills on One Tree Hill, she has now had a few country hits including “Whiskey” and “Why Ya Wanna.” Now she is juggling both acting and singing and is loved for both!
3. Dolly Parton
By now, fans know that there is nothing that Dolly Parton can’t do. After becoming an icon as a country singer, she made the smooth transition into acting with her debut role in 9 to 5, which became a massively successful film. While she has a reputation for playing herself on-screen, she has proven herself to be a talented actress with her roles in Steel Magnolias, Straight Talk and Joyful Noise. With 34 acting credits to her name, as well as three Golden Globe nominations for her acting specifically, she obviously has a lot of talent!
2. Tim McGraw
It goes without saying that Tim McGraw is the perhaps the most successful country singer turned actor of his generation. At only 49 years old, McGraw has already become an icon in the country music world thanks to his incredible talent and success, so in the early 2000s, he turned his sights to new challenges. Although his first ever on-screen appearance was in the late ’90s, his big roles came in 2004 when he appeared in the films Black Cloud and Friday Night Lights. Although he only has 12 acting credits, they have all been pretty substantial roles in major films including The Blind Side, Country Strong and Tomorrowland. This year fans will finally be able to see McGraw take on a more hefty role in the film adaptation of The Shack, but he has already proven his acting chops are good enough to hang with some of Hollywood’s best.
1. Reba McEntire
Last but most certainly not least is Reba McEntire. Aside from stunning fans with her amazing ballads and inspiring songs over her three decade career as a singer, she has also become a celebrated actress. Back in 1990 she proved she was a very talented actress with her role in Tremors, but it wasn’t until 2001 that she was on a level all her own when she landed her very own sitcom Reba. Her role as Reba Hart had fans laughing out loud and it became one of the most beloved shows of the 2000s with Reba’s incredible talent at the helm. There are a lot of good singers turned actors, but Reba McEntire stands out amongst them all.