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Holiday Sneaks

Who knew?

With so few musicals being made these days, actors who have musical backgrounds rarely get a chance to show their skills in the movies. When they do, it takes audiences by surprise.

November 03, 2002|Susan King

Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor: Best known for their dramatic work, the two sang and danced their hearts out in Baz Luhrmann's audacious 2001 musical "Moulin Rouge."

Kevin Kline: A two-time Tony Award winner for musicals, Kline was a ruggedly sexy musical-comedy star in the 1983 movie version of his Broadway triumph "The Pirates of Penzance."

Patrick Swayze: This former ballet dancer and musical comedy star returned to his roots in the 1987 film "Dirty Dancing."

Christopher Walken: The intense dramatic actor, along with Wild and Crazy Guy Steve Martin, hoofed up a storm in Herbert Ross' downbeat 1981 Depression-era musical "Pennies From Heaven." Martin learned how to dance for the film; Walken, though, is a veteran song-and-dance man of the New York stage.

Timothy Spall: The portly British character actor, best known for dramatic work in such Mike Leigh films as "Secrets & Lies" and the current "All or Nothing," performed Gilbert & Sullivan operettas in Leigh's 1999 musical "Topsy-Turvy."

-- Susan King

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