David Bowie passed away late Sunday evening due to an 18-month fight with cancer leaving behind not only an incredible catalogue of music but mainly a portfolio of work that goes beyond lyrics and melody. He was the definition of the word artist by taking on certain personas/performances throughout his music and film career, rarely just being “David Bowie”. Here’s our ranking of the coolest (and often wonderfully weird) personas David Bowie had created that will live on.
8. The Vampire
Bowie was as much of an actor as he was a musician and his performance as vampire John Blaylock was right up there with, say, Bela Lugosi. If you haven’t seen The Hunger, check it out. Directed by the great Tony Scott.
7. The Fashion Judge
It was rare to see Bowie in anything but a dramatic or sci-fi driven “role” (when he wasn’t performing that is) but his perfect cameo as himself in the 2001 comedy Zoolander proved he could make himself at home in just about anything.
6. The Alien
Bowie plays an alien in search of water for his home planet but doesn’t play the role as a K-Pax or Starman (respectively), but rather someone in awe of how earthlings interact without a robotic demeanor. He plays the role more human than the humans in the film.
5. The Fictional Rockstar (aka Ziggy Stardust)
Known to his fans at the time as Ziggy Stardust, Bowie took on the persona of a fictional rockstar (or as Bowie says, his alter ego) in 1972. Ziggy’s overall goal however was to give fans “a message in the last years of earth’s existence”; simply peace and love.
4. The Transgender
Waaaaay before Caitlyn Jenner, Bowie was confusing audiences as to whether he was a woman or a man, especially during his “Ziggy Stardust” days by not only wearing makeup and lavish costumes, but having the physique and prowess of a woman as well. Case and point.
3. The Stud
After becoming a woman, Bowie turned it all around and audiences went right along with him. Sure, this may not look “studly” per se in 2015 but put yourself in the shoes of a girl in 1983. This look right here was the shit. Bowie rocked the yellow suit with a loosened bow-tie for his album Let’s Dance.
Modern Love is a damn classic. Turn this up right now.
2. The Scientist
In one of the more underappreciated Christopher Nolan films (and David Bowie performances), Bowie plays Nikola Tesla in The Prestige, who introduces Hugh Jackman’s driven magician character to a machine in order to clone himself. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should. I won’t ruin it for you.
1. The Goblin King
Personally I was never a big fan of The Labyrinth, a slightly nightmarish but still kid-friendly film from Jim Henson in 1986, but one can’t deny its impact on audiences who had possibly never heard of David Bowie or his music until this movie. A rare film role for Bowie that gave him a chance to also sing as well.
Rest in peace, David Bowie. You were truly one of a kind.