Tom Waits

A Grammy Award-winning musician known for his raspy voice, darkly humorous lyrics, and unusual instrumentation, Tom Waits parlayed his unique musical vision into a side career as a character actor specializing in the same down-at-the-heels men who often populated his songs. During his early career in the 1970s, the vivid storyteller's distinctive blend of outdated musical styles and Beat poetry earned him a cult following, but over the next four decades, Waits became highly sought after to contribute music to over 100 film and television productions, while his ever-evolving sound broke through to larger audiences with albums Bone Machine and Mule Variations. On screen, Waits was tapped for over two dozen film roles by directors including Robert Altman, Jim Jarmusch, Terry Gilliam and Francis Ford Coppola. Whether playing a convict on the run in "Down By Law" (1986), a trailer-park dwelling chauffeur in "Short Cuts" (1993), a dapper Devil in "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" (2009), or any number of skid row bums and streetwise hustlers, Waits always offered an inventive, humorous, and ultimately sympathetic portrayal of outcasts from the lower rungs of society.