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Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak

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Also Known As: Christopher Joseph Isaak Died:
Born: June 26, 1956 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Stockton, California, USA Profession: musician, singer, songwriter, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A blue-eyed, retro-hip crooner who has crossed over into acting, Chris Isaak has lent his smooth mournful guitar and lilting vocals to several feature soundtracks. The son of a blue-collar California family, Isaak studied in Japan in the 1970s, then began his music career with the band Silvertone in the mid-80s. He first came to filmgoers' attention with songs in David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" (1986) and "Wild at Heart" (1990), notably the hit "Wicked Game". He has also been heard on the soundtracks of "Modern Girls" (1986), "North Shore" (1987), "Shag" and "Married to the Mob" (both 1988). Between record releases and tours, Isaak has recorded for such latter-day films as Edward Zwick's "Leaving Normal" (1992), Clint Eastwood's "A Perfect World" (1993) and Ron Shelton's "Tin Cup" (1996).Isaak's slim good looks and soft-spoken manner have earned him several small film roles, beginning as a fast-food clown in Jonathan Demme's "Married to the Mob" (1988) and a SWAT commander in Demme's "Silence of the Lambs" (1991). Isaak also appeared in the rockumentary "Let's Get Lost" (1988) and played an FBI agent in David Lynch's "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" (1992). But his acting career was pretty much a lark...

A blue-eyed, retro-hip crooner who has crossed over into acting, Chris Isaak has lent his smooth mournful guitar and lilting vocals to several feature soundtracks. The son of a blue-collar California family, Isaak studied in Japan in the 1970s, then began his music career with the band Silvertone in the mid-80s. He first came to filmgoers' attention with songs in David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" (1986) and "Wild at Heart" (1990), notably the hit "Wicked Game". He has also been heard on the soundtracks of "Modern Girls" (1986), "North Shore" (1987), "Shag" and "Married to the Mob" (both 1988). Between record releases and tours, Isaak has recorded for such latter-day films as Edward Zwick's "Leaving Normal" (1992), Clint Eastwood's "A Perfect World" (1993) and Ron Shelton's "Tin Cup" (1996).

Isaak's slim good looks and soft-spoken manner have earned him several small film roles, beginning as a fast-food clown in Jonathan Demme's "Married to the Mob" (1988) and a SWAT commander in Demme's "Silence of the Lambs" (1991). Isaak also appeared in the rockumentary "Let's Get Lost" (1988) and played an FBI agent in David Lynch's "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" (1992). But his acting career was pretty much a lark until 1994, when Bernardo Bertolucci cast him as the father of a child who may be the "Little Buddha". More supporting roles followed in the music-related films "Grace of My Heart", directed by Alison Anders, and "That Thing You Do!" (both 1996), which marked Tom Hanks' directorial debut. Also in 1996, Isaak made his TV acting debut as a children's library worker on the highly-hyped post-Super Bowl episode of NBC's hit sitcom "Friends".

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Informers, The (2009)
2.
 Dirty Shame, A (2004) Vaughn Stickles
3.
 Grace of My Heart (1996) Matthew Lewis
4.
 That Thing You Do! (1996) Uncle Bob
5.
 Little Buddha (1994) Dean Conrad
6.
 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) Special Agent Chester Desmond
7.
 The Silence Of The Lambs (1991) Swat Commander
8.
9.
 Let's Get Lost (1988)
10.
 Blue Velvet (1986)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Studied in Japan in the 1970s
:
Moved to San Francisco in the early 1980s
:
Signed a contract with Warner Bros. Records
1985:
Released debut album, <i>Silvertone</i>; also the name of Isaak's backing band
1986:
First film to feature his music, David Lynch's "Blue Velvet"
1986:
Released second self-titled album, <i>Chris Isaak</i>
1988:
Feature acting debut in "Married to the Mob"
1989:
Released third album, <i>Heart Shaped World</i>; featured the hit song "Wicked Game"
1990:
An instrumental version of "Wicked Game" was featured in David Lynch's "Wild at Heart"
1991:
Had a small role in Jonathan Demme's "The Silence of the Lambs"
1992:
Played a major role in David Lynch's "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me"
1993:
Co-starred in the Bernardo Bertolucci-directed, "Little Buddha"
1996:
Made first TV appearance on an episode of "Friends" (NBC)
1998:
Appeared in the HBO miniseries, "From the Earth to the Moon"
1999:
"Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing" was featured in Stanley Kubrick's final film, "Eyes Wide Shut"
2001:
Starred in "The Chris Isaak Show" (Showtime) as himself and featured actual members of his band
2001:
Featured as a correspondent for "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (NBC)
2004:
Appeared as Roy Orbison in the NBC drama "American Dreams"
2004:
Co-starred with Tracey Ullman and Johnny Knoxville in John Waters' "A Dirty Shame"
2009:
Joined the ensemble cast of "The Informers"; based on a collection of short stories by Bret Easton Ellis
2009:
Hosted "The Chris Isaak Hour" on the Biography Channel
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

There is an official website at http://www.repriserec.com/chrisisaak/

"My view of relationships isn't too optimistic. I look back a lot and think about the perfection of that date in high school with your 15-year-old girlfriend and think, 'why can't I hold on to that forever?'" --Chris Isaak, quoted in Us, November 1996.

"He's got a look and an attitude; he's handsome, but looks kind of beaten up, too. He's more like an actor from the 40's or 50's" --director David Lynch on Isaak, from The New York Times, June 16, 1995.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Margaret Cho. Actor, comic. No longer together.
companion:
Bai Ling. Actor. Reportedly dating from late 1999.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Clarence Isaak. Forklift operator.
mother:
Dorothy Isaak. Factory worker. Worked in potato chip factory.
brother:
Nick Isaak. Born in October 1951.
brother:
Jeff Isaak. Born in December 1953.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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