Prince was the ultimate multi hyphenate. The music legend, who died at his Paisley Park studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on Thursday, April 21, may be best known for his genre-defying sound and devil-may-care attitude, but the beloved entertainer also had several movie and TV roles under his belt.
The “When Doves Cry” singer, whose death lead to an outpouring of tributes from fans and celebrities alike, dabbled in acting with roles as far-ranging as 1984’s cult classic Purple Rain and a 2014 episode of New Girl.
Here, Us Weekly rounds up Prince’s six quirkiest TV and movie roles.
1. Purple Rain, 1984
Undoubtedly one of Prince’s best-known on-screen performances, Purple Rain stars Prince as The Kid, a rowdy Minnesota musician who leads a group called the Revolution. Throughout the movie, The Kid tries to pull a fast one on female musicians; gets into fights at First Avenue, the club that he calls a second home; and sings his passionate heart out, ending with a dramatic sequence in which he belts out the titular song (the popular track won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score.)
2. Under the Cherry Moon, 1986
Two years after the success of Purple Rain, Prince returned to the big screen, this time to costar in widely panned film Under the Cherry Moon, about two pals from Miami trying to scam women in the Mediterranean. The enigmatic musician plays a gigolo named Christopher Tracy, opposite love interest Mary Sharon (Kristin Scott Thomas). Under the Cherry Moon also marked Prince’s debut as a director.
3. Batman, 1989
Prince produced the entire nine-track album for Tim Burton’s kooky 1989 Batman, with tracks such as “Batdance” and “Partyman” peppering the film. In one particularly memorable scene, Prince’s voice lays the groundwork for Jack Nicholson’s Joker as the villain and his henchman splatter paint throughout a museum.
4. Graffiti Bridge, 1990
Second time’s … not quite a charm? Graffiti Bridge, the sequel to 1984’s Purple Rain, sees Prince reprise his role as The Kid, opposite Morris (Morris Day), his nemesis from the first film. The duo face off in a music battle to take total ownership of Glam Slam, the club The Kid now manages, giving Prince another chance to show off his vocal prowess.
5. Sesame Street, 1997
How charming! Prince showed off a different side as a guest on Muppets Tonight, gamely chatting and singing with muppets, even donning a cowboy hat, flannel and overalls at one point to sing a hillbilly tune. Later, when one of the Muppets asks Prince where he gets his ideas from, the singer doesn’t miss a beat. “I can get them from anywhere,” he says. “Even here.”
6. The New Girl, 2014
Prince delighted fans when he made a guest appearance on the episode of New Girl that aired after the Super Bowl in 2014. He played himself, offering Zooey Deschanel’s character relationship advice before the twosome paired up for a memorable duet. Executive producer Brett Baer told E! News at the time that Prince reached out wanting to be on the show because he was “a huge fan.”
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