11 of David Bowie’s Most Iconic Film and TV Roles (Videos)

From “Labyrinth” to “The Prestige,” Bowie’s onscreen roles added another dimension to a legendary career that ended two years ago

David Bowie Movies and TV

“The Man Who Fell to Earth”

Bowie’s first leading role was in 1976’s “The Man Who Fell to Earth” as an alien who comes to Earth to bring water back to his home planet. Bowie later admitted he was abusing cocaine while filming the movie.

“The Hunger”

Starring alongside Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon, Bowie played a vampire in the 1983 cult classic “The Hunger.”

“Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence”

An adaptation of the Laurens van der Post novel “The Seed and the Sower,” 1983’s “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” starred Bowie as a POW held in a Japanese internment camp during WWII.


Bowie’s most iconic on-screen role was as the big-haired Goblin King Jareth in Jim Henson’s “Labyrinth” in 1986. In addition to starring in the film alongside Jennifer Connelly, Bowie also composed all of the music.

“The Last Temptation of Christ”

Replacing Sting, who passed on the role, Bowie played religious figure Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” in 1988 alongside Willem Dafoe as Jesus Christ.

“Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me”

Though he never appeared in the original ABC series, Bowie appeared in David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” prequel movie “Fire Walk With Me” in 1992.


In one of his smaller film appearances, the “Life on Mars” singer played artist Andy Warhol in Julian Schnabel’s biopic of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1996.

“The Hunger” (TV Series)

Bowie narrated the second season of the Showtime horror anthology “The Hunger” in 2000, providing ominous introductions to standalone stories about cannibalism, vampires, sex, and poison each week.


One of the most memorable moments from 2001’s “Zoolander” was a scene in which Bowie judged a walk-off between Ben Stiller’s Derek Zoolander and Owen Wilson’s character Hansel.

“The Prestige”

Playing Andy Warhol in “Basquiat” wasn’t the last time Bowie portrayed a real-life figure on screen. In 2005 he appeared in Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige” as physicist Nikola Tesla.


In 2007, Bowie made a guest appearance on Ricky Gervais’ comedy series “Extras” as himself, sitting down at a piano and singing a biting tribute to the comedian