1 DAVID BOWIE
Best SF performance: Thomas Jerome Newton in The Man Who Fell To Earth
Pop fame: Mercurial, image-chameleon, elder statesman of Brit art-rock
SF fame: It’s fair to say that Bowie is limited as an actor, but when directors played to those limitations – and, indeed, played up to rock star persona – the results could be electrifying to watch. The casting of The Man Who Sold The World as The Man Who Fell To Earth in Nicolas Roeg’s cerebral ’70s sci-fi movie was an ingenious decision. The character of Thomas Newton, the media obsessed alien who lives like a rock, is almost the Bowie audiences wanted to believe in at the time – a mysterious, enigmatic, otherwordly creature. Whether you’d prefer to credit the carefully-tailored script or director for creating such a memorable character, you can’t deny that Bowie’s compellingly idiosyncratic performance holds the whole film together.
The former Mr Jones also impressed in The Prestige and was rather good in (very tight) tights as the Goblin King in Labyrinth. He’s also appeared in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me as a mysterious FBI agent, and as rapidly ageing vampire in The Hunger. He later hosted the second season of the TV show The Hunger, was wasn’t really very good at it. But we’ll forgive him, because he’s also fathered Duncan Jones, director of the really rather fab Moon.
Go to number one