10 Country Artists Who Graced the Silver Screen

The Oscars may be over, but these country artists have a long history of delivering buzz-worthy performances on the silver screen.

Tim McGraw’s performance of Glen Campbell’s “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” was one of the most sentimental moments of the 2015 Oscars ceremony, but over the years, country artists have proven it’s not just their voices that can tug at an audience’s heartstrings. Here are 10 country artists who have carried their success from the radio to the movies. 

10. Tim McGraw

Wikimedia Commons /Guety

Of course, McGraw himself is no stranger to the silver screen. Among his credits are minor roles in Four Christmases (2008) and Friday Night Lights (2004). He starred as the long-suffering husband of Gwyneth Paltrow’s drug-addicted country star in 2010’s Country Strong, but he’s best known for playing Sean Tuohy in the Oscar-nominated family film The Blind Side opposite Sandra Bullock.

9. Carrie Underwood


Underwood is more widely known for her TV roles—she made a guest appearance on How I Met Your Mother, starred as Maria von Trapp in NBC’s production of The Sound of Music Live! and has co-hosted the annual CMA Awards with Brad Paisley for the past seven years. However, she also bolstered her squeaky-clean image with a role as Bethany Hamilton’s encouraging youth minister in 2011’s Soul Surfer.

8. Dwight Yoakam

Flickr/SD Dirk

Acting is a second passion for Yoakam, who grew up acting in his high school plays. While country fans know and love him for upbeat hits like “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Guitars, Cadillacs,” he’s proven his dramatic chops more than once on the big screen. His villainous performances in Sling Blade (1996) and Panic Room (2002) garnered strong reviews from the critics.

7. Dolly Parton

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“9 to 5” is more than just one of Parton’s catchiest songs—it was also the title of her first big film. Parton starred opposite Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as the lovable Doralee Rhodes, and legend has it that she memorized every part in the movie to prepare for her role. After 20 years, she made a triumphant return to the big screen in 2012’s Joyful Noise.

6. Trace Adkins

Trace Adkins Concert
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Adkins’ tough-guy persona made him a perfect choice for the role of Eddie Vogel, the head of a local biker gang, in 2011’s The Lincoln Lawyer. While it was a supporting role, Adkins had several memorable scenes with the film’s star, Matthew McConaughey, and added some levity to an otherwise heavy plot.

5. Julianne Hough

Flickr/Stacy Huggins

It should come as no surprise that the camera loves Julianne Hough – before she was a rising star on the country scene, Hough and her brother, Derek, were best known for their time on Dancing with the Stars. In recent years, Hough has tried her hand at movie roles that allow her to showcase her singing and dancing abilities, including starring in the 2011 remake of Footloose and 2012’s Rock of Ages.

4. Glen Campbell

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What do Glen Campbell and Matt Damon have in common? They’ve both played the role of Texas Ranger LaBoeuf in film adaptations of the 1968 novel True Grit. Campbell originated the part in the 1969 film opposite John Wayne himself, which led to a few more acting roles for the country superstar.

3. Reba McEntire

Flickr/Keith Hinkle

TV audiences love Reba for her star turns in family-friendly shows like Reba and Malibu Country, but she’s made her splash on the big screen as well. She starred in the 90s cult classic Tremors opposite Kevin Bacon, and younger fans will recognize her as the voice of Betsy the Cow in 2006’s Charlotte’s Web.

2. Taylor Swift

Flickr/Eva Rinaldi

Known for perfectly capturing all the ups and downs of teenage love in her songs, Swift was a natural choice for the role of love-struck dance team member Felicia in 2010’s Valentine’s Day. After she met Taylor Lautner on the set, their chemistry on screen turned into an off-screen relationship, and their ultimate breakup inspired Swift’s hit song “Back to December.”

1. Gene Autry

Gene Autry
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Autry is one of the few performers whose film career truly was as successful as his music career. He is the only artist ever to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for all five categories: film, television, music, radio and live performance. He appeared in 93 films, while his records have sold more than 100 million copies.

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10 Country Artists Who Graced the Silver Screen