Family & Companions
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 good looks and soft-spoken manner also 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."
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Released debut album, <i>Silvertone</i>; also the name of Isaak's backing band
First film to feature his music, David Lynch's "Blue Velvet"
Released second self-titled album, <i>Chris Isaak</i>
Feature acting debut in "Married to the Mob"
Released third album, <i>Heart Shaped World</i>; featured the hit song "Wicked Game"
An instrumental version of "Wicked Game" was featured in David Lynch's "Wild at Heart"
Had a small role in Jonathan Demme's "The Silence of the Lambs"
Played a major role in David Lynch's "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me"
Co-starred in the Bernardo Bertolucci-directed, "Little Buddha"
Made first TV appearance on an episode of "Friends" (NBC)
Appeared in the HBO miniseries, "From the Earth to the Moon"
"Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing" was featured in Stanley Kubrick's final film, "Eyes Wide Shut"
Starred in "The Chris Isaak Show" (Showtime) as himself and featured actual members of his band
Featured as a correspondent for "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (NBC)
Co-starred with Tracey Ullman and Johnny Knoxville in John Waters' "A Dirty Shame"
Appeared as Roy Orbison in the NBC drama "American Dreams"
Joined the ensemble cast of "The Informers"; based on a collection of short stories by Bret Easton Ellis
Hosted "The Chris Isaak Hour" on the Biography Channel