Chris Isaak


Musician, Singer, Songwriter
Chris Isaak

About

Also Known As
Christopher Joseph Isaak
Birth Place
Stockton, California, USA
Born
June 26, 1956

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 Vel...

Family & Companions

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

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 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."

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

The Informers (2009)
A Dirty Shame (2004)
Vaughn Stickles
Grace of My Heart (1996)
Matthew Lewis
That Thing You Do! (1996)
Little Buddha (1994)
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
Special Agent Chester Desmond
The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
Let's Get Lost (1988)
Married To The Mob (1988)
Blue Velvet (1986)
Performer

Music (Feature Film)

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)
Song Performer
Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)
Song
The House (2017)
Song
The House (2017)
Song Performer
Ten Thousand Saints (2015)
Song Performer
Ten Thousand Saints (2015)
Song
Old Dogs (2009)
Song Performer
Old Dogs (2009)
Song
The Love Guru (2008)
Song Performer
The Love Guru (2008)
Song
Chasing Liberty (2004)
Song
Chasing Liberty (2004)
Song Performer
Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
Song Performer
The Family Man (2000)
Song
The Family Man (2000)
Song Performer
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Song
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Song Performer
Home Fries (1998)
Song Performer
Home Fries (1998)
Song
Fools Rush In (1997)
Song
Fools Rush In (1997)
Song Performer
Tin Cup (1996)
Song Performer
Tin Cup (1996)
Song
A Perfect World (1993)
Song Performer
Leaving Normal (1992)
Song
Leaving Normal (1992)
Song Performer
The Cutting Edge (1992)
Song Performer
Wild at Heart (1990)
Song
Wild at Heart (1990)
Song Performer
The Preppie Murder (1989)
Song Performer
The Preppie Murder (1989)
Song
Married To The Mob (1988)
Song Performer
Married To The Mob (1988)
Song
Shag: The Movie (1988)
Song Performer ("Diddly Daddy")
North Shore (1987)
Song Performer
North Shore (1987)
Song
Modern Girls (1986)
Music

Cast (Special)

Elvis Lives (2002)
Host
Elvis Lives (2002)
Performer
MTV20: Kiss and Tell: 20 Years of Making Out on MTV (2001)
My VH1 Music Awards '01 (2001)
Presenter
From The Waist Down: Men, Women & Music (2001)
The 7th Annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards (2001)
Performer
The Politically Incorrect After Party (2000)
An All-Star Tribute to Johnny Cash (1999)
The 1998 VH1 Fashion Awards (1998)
Presenter
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards (1997)
Presenter
1996 Grammy Awards (1996)
Performer
LIFEbeat Benefit Concert -- The Beat Goes on 2 (1995)
ABC's Independence Day Concert (1995)
Performer
Addicted to Fame (1994)
Independence Day Concert (1993)
Coca-Cola Pop Music "Backstage Pass to Summer" (1991)
Roy Orbison Tribute to Benefit the Homeless (1990)

Music (Special)

The Politically Incorrect After Party (2000)
Song Performer
Target Stars on Ice (1999)
Song Performer
An All-Star Tribute to Johnny Cash (1999)
Song Performer
LIFEbeat Benefit Concert -- The Beat Goes on 2 (1995)
Song Performer
Independence Day Concert (1993)
Song Performer
Coca-Cola Pop Music "Backstage Pass to Summer" (1991)
Song Performer
Roy Orbison Tribute to Benefit the Homeless (1990)
Song Performer

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Blue Ridge Fall (1999)
From the Earth to the Moon (1998)

Life Events

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

Co-starred with Tracey Ullman and Johnny Knoxville in John Waters' "A Dirty Shame"

2004

Appeared as Roy Orbison in the NBC drama "American Dreams"

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

Family

Clarence Isaak
Father
Forklift operator.
Dorothy Isaak
Mother
Factory worker. Worked in potato chip factory.
Nick Isaak
Brother
Born in October 1951.
Jeff Isaak
Brother
Born in December 1953.

Companions

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

Bibliography