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THE MIME ARTISTS.

Byline: SASHA MANSWORTH

DESPITE releasing her own album, actress Minnie Driver mimed her way through the big screen adaptation of Phantom Of The Opera. Hollywood has fallen in love with the musical again after the success of Moulin Rouge and films about music legends have always been big news. But while some actors such as Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman are able to hold a tune, others would rather sit back and let a professional singer do all the hard work. Here SASHA MANSWORTH reveals the true crooners and exposes the actors who can't quite hit the high notes.

GORGEOUS George Clooney donned a pair of dungarees for the part of Everett McGill, a fast-talking petty criminal in Hillbilly caper Brother Where Art Thou? He mimed to the musical numbers in the movie, provided instead by a band of talented Bluegrass folk musicians.

SHE looked the double of the young Tina Turner, in the biopic movie What's Love Got To With It. But when it came to belting out Tina's mammoth hits, actress Angela Basset mimed instead of providing the real thing.

BBC hit Pennies From Heaven saw stars Bob Hoskins and Gemma Craven miming to popular Thirties' ditties.

BEATLES' biopic Backbeat charts the early years of the band before Beatlemania set in - when the Fab Four were actually five - including John Lennon's closest friend - the talented Stuart Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff). The band of actors playing Britain's first boy band mimed to a soundtrack provided by (among others) Dave Grohl of Nirvana fame.

DENNIS QUAID stars in the 1989 biopic about the life, times, and music of rocker Jerry Lee 'the Killer' Lewis. Meg Ryan's ex may have Lewis' devil-may-care southern charm, his mane of golden hair, but he mimes to classic tunes like Great Balls Of Fire and Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On.

ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. stars as Dan Dark in the big screen adaptation of The Singing Detective. The character, penned by Dennis Potter, becomes lost in memories of his miserable childhood and elaborately staged song-and-dance numbers. But the actors lip-synched all the way.

PUT him in a coiffeured wig and a white, flared Elvis suit and Kurt Russell may pass for the King. But when it came to producing the love god's massive anthems, film bosses thought it best Mr Goldie Hawn lip-synched in 1979 biographical flick Elvis.

WHEN Audrey Hepburn appeared as cockney sparrow Eliza Doolitle in My Fair Lady, her singing voice was provided by Marni Nixon, who hit those notes Ms Hepburn couldn't quite reach.

AND THE STARS WHO DIDN'T LIP SYNCH...

VAL KILMER'S portrayal of troubled Doors frontman Jim Morrison was uncannily good. The actor once said playing the Lizard King was like 'drinking dirty water from an old boot'.

IN De-Lovely, the Hollywood biopic of composer Cole Porter, Kevin Kline performs his numbers live while doodling at the piano rather than miming to a pre-recorded track.

JANE HORROCKS amazed fans with her singing impressions of divas, including Marilyn Monroe, Shirley Bassey and Judy Garland in Little Voice. Jane plays a small, shy girl who listens to her late father's record collection.

NICOLE KIDMAN and Ewan McGregor sang, acted and danced their way through Baz Luhrmann's stylish musical Moulin Rouge, despite Nicole Kidman being injured.

TOUGH guy Clint Eastwood sang in his very own musical Paint Your Wagon. The musical follows a Michigan farmer and a prospector who form a partnership in the California gold country.

THE all- singing, dancing duo Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger appeared in the Oscar-winning Chicago in 2002. Welsh beauty Zeta Jones has been singing since she was a youngster in Swansea.

MADONNA wrote an eight- page letter to Evita director Alan Parker begging him for the role of Eva Peron. The queen of pop then defied critics with her powerful renditions of songs.

LONG before Jodie Foster befriended serial killer Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs she was singing to a different tune. At 14, she appeared as gangsters' moll Tallulah in Bugsy Malone.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 10, 2004
Words:668
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