Having watched many Hong Kong movies over the past several years, something about the stars of many of these movies has peeked my interest. Why is it that so many of the top Hong Kong actors and actresses are also pop singers? The ones that immediately come to mind are Andy Lau, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Anita Mui, and Sammi Cheng(there are several other examples, but these four were the highest profile crossovers I could think of). The two men appear to have been actors first and singers later, and the two women appear to have been singers first and then actors. Heck, when making a list of the most popular HK actors many of them would be pop stars, as the only ones I can think of that would be in the previously mentioned four’s league would be Maggie Cheung, Jackie Chan, Stephen Chow, and Chow Yun-Fat(these four, as far as I know, are not singing stars). The reason why this phenomena interests me is that here in the States, a singer trying work their way into movies(Maria Carey/Britney Spears/Bon Jovi) or an actor trying to work their way into music(David Hasselhoff?, can’t think of many examples of this) is almost universally regarded as a joke. The exception to this comes in the form of rap music and the crossovers occurring there, but I’d rather leave that topic for another discussion as I’m more interested in exploring actor/singer crossovers rather than actor/rapper crossovers. Madonna and Jennifer Lopez appear to be the top female actor/singers we have here in the states, and as far as male singer/actors… ahm maybe Tom Waits? Can anyone offer up some better modern day examples, who are close to the top in both acting and singing? Regardless, I don’t think any examples could come close to the cross media popularity of Andy Lau, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Anita Mui, or Sammi Cheng. In the past, I’d say Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, and maybe Frank Sinatra would probably fit, though I don’t know if Sinatra was ever considered a leading actor(though he was an excellent character actor). Any other examples from the past of people at close to the top of their game in both acting and singing? The death of musicals seems to be a contributing factor to the decline of US actor/singers, but of the four HK artist I mentioned none of them do much if any singing in their movies(Anita Mui does sing in some of her movies, but the other three rarely ever do). What factors go towards making crossovers so popular/commonplace in the Hong Kong’s movie/music industry and yet so rare in the States? Is there any significance to how of the four HK actors/singers I brought up, it was the women who went from singers to actors and the men who went from acting to singing? Theories anyone? Also, for other countries, how common are actor/singer crossovers?