Can TV stars make good movie stars?

romano.jpgWham! Welcome to Moosepart has become the latest film in a long and glorious history of terrible movies staring television stars. Ray Romano is money in the bank right? Wrong. The critics (and the box office) are chewing up Mooseport and spitting it out. But Romano isn’t the first tv actor to suck on the big screen:

Every “Friends” star has been awful in any film they’ve appeared in (Matthew Perry was good in The Whole 9 Yards, but don’t forget he was also in Serving Sara, Three to Tango, and Fools Rush In. I’m sure he’d like to forget those

Sarah Michelle Gellar of “Buffy” has been stuck in movie obscurity. NOTE: It’s a bad sign when your biggest film success is Scooby-Doo

Remember Bill Cosby? Is there a funnier comedian alive? No, there isn’t. But WOW does he make horrible movies (remember Leonard Part 6?).

Tom Selleck, arguably the biggest TV star of the 80’s was never able to make it work on the big screen.

I’m sure I’m missing some. Tom Hanks in an obvious exception to this rule having moved from Bosom Buddies (Who remembers that show?) to film. So who are other TV stars who could never make it on the big screen? OR, who are some who DID succeed in film?

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17 thoughts on “Can TV stars make good movie stars?

  1. If you’re defining “success” as a movie actor as “an A-list actor that makes enough cash to fund cloning the human race”.. then yes, Michael J Fox, wasn’t one of those. Then again, there’s only about 15 of them.

    Michael J Fox has been in one of the most successful trilogies of all time, made teen flicks, light comedies, many of which have cult status (Bright Lights, Big City – Secret of my Success, even Doc Hollywood..etc) Granted, people can say “Yeah, but those weren’t HUGE movies.” — Very possible, in that case, I would submit the ONLY reason you know about them is *BECAUSE* Michael J Fox was in it. Which, if I was an actor….. oh wait a minute…. is something I’d love to be able to claim. That’s success in my books.

    Besides the Back to the Future thing.

  2. I don’t know, Casualties of War, wasnt a bad film, never was the secret of my success. And the fact that BTF 1,2 and 3 where such massive hits, surely that means he was a successful TV actor turned film star? Three men and a baby / ladie where massive hits so surely he was successful also? Another few for ya Will Smith and Jamie Lee Curtis. She started on some programme called Operation Petticoat.

  3. Ok, I know Day-Vuh will kill me for this, but Micheal J Fox didn’t have much of a movie career at all. With the slight exception of the Back to the Future stuff, all his films sucked. Same with Tom Selleck.

  4. Cant believe you forgot Robin Williams John Campea, you named him your greatest living actor. What about Michael J Fox, Tom Selleck & Jim Broadbent. Im currently trying to think of more, im sure there are loads

  5. I dont find George Carlin to be THAT funny, but he isnt my cup of tea either.

    Richard Pryor was funny in the 80’s when he did his paranoia bit and shot frantic looks at the audience. And that was only funny in the 80’s. Kinda like big bar hair, hip and trendy in the 80’s, and now we just don’t get it. I dont find him funny at all.

    That and I can show Bill Cosby to my kids. That makes him funnier in my books.

  6. Lisa Kudrow in The Opposite of Sex.
    Courtney Cox in Scream.

    Lets not forget Johnny Depp started on TV in 21 jump street (though he hated it.

    And Comedians still alive that are funnier then Bill, as funny as he is both George Carlin and Richard Pryor.

  7. I was thinking Growing Pains for Leo. There’s Travolta, too. Don’t know how I overlooked him. And how do you not count the SNL stars? The generally spend years working on tv before crossing into films. Same with all the former SCTV folk.

  8. Off the top of my head, Claire Danes was in an acclaimed show even though it never got the ratings it deserved called My So-Called Life — this was a number of years ago, but it’s certainly where she got her start.. I think it got cancelled after 9 or 10 episodes or something like that – I can’t quite remember.

    As for Leo, I’d have to look it up.. I know he showed up on Growing Pains.. but I can’t remember anything else.

  9. I don’t really count “variety” shows like In living Color or SNL or the like. But good point about Clooney and Depp (wow that was a LONG time ago).

    Out of curiosity, what were Claire Danes and Leonardo Dicaprio in?

  10. Ah, feeble minds, feeble minds … how quickly we forget …

    Johnny Depp
    George Clooney
    Morgan Freeman
    Jim Carrey
    Mike Myers
    Robin Williams
    Claire Danes
    Leonardo Dicaprio
    John Candy
    Molly Ringwald (granted, she hasn’t been around for a while, but back in the day …)
    Will Ferrell
    Bill Murray
    Dan Akroyd

    These are just the guys that jumped immediately to mind … I’m sure there are lots and lots of others … especially if you start to include British actors (like Robert Carlyle) who are known primarily for their film work here but mostly do tv over there … loads of people make the jump successfully. The problem comes when you take a character or a situation that can sustain the 22 minutes of screen time demanded in a sitcom and try to stretch it over an hour and a half without fleshing it out.

  11. The thing is, Aniston hansn’t been very good in any film she’s been in (and the critics aren’t raving about Along Came Polly).

    I was in love with Cox for 10 years… but even then I had to admit she wasn’t much of an actress… just REALLY hot.

    Perry has been just DREADFUL in everything he’s been in too (with the whole 9 yards being the only exception).

    Perhaps Perry can make a film career go (and I emphasise PERHAPS), but the rest of them will have to get a spot on another show. Just my two cents worth.

  12. The Friends stars may not have done much movie wise, but there were a few that were good. (very few)

    Aniston – Along Came Polly was met with rave reviews, and she was a voice in the Iron Giant (Best Robot ever) and she made the perfect 80’s Rockstar girlfriend in Rockstar.

    Perry – Whole Nine Yards. Nuff said.

    Cox-Arquette – She sort of straddled the TV/Movie line since her start. She was in Coccoon:The Return, Masters of the Universe and Ace Ventura as well as TV gems like Misfits of Science and Family Ties.

    Kudrow – She was in Wonderland, but Marci X looked to painful to even rent. Kudrow is out.

    Schwimmer – Aside from the b movie “Breast Men” I didn’t notice him in much else. I think he is out too.

    LeBlanc – Lost in Space….ok.. didn’t fly, he is now starring in “Joey”. Friends spinnoff next season. People will eat it up to get their Friends fix. Friends who dont get a career after the show ends will appear.

    Some people were just meant for TV

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