A Star Is Born

In the wake of Jamie Foxx’s Billboard-chart-topping Unpredictable, plus a visit from country singer and Sex and the City hunk John Corbett (last Wednesday at the Grand Emporium), it’s easy to forget where the actor-turned-singer phenomenon truly began: Jack freakin’ Wagner! Here, we pit him against the poseurs.

Jack Wagner

Choice acting gig: Melrose Place

(Dr. Peter Burns)

Music: Solo artist, four albums

eBay value: Lighting Up The Night (import CD), $110

Wagnerism: Originally tied to his General Hospital band, Riff Raff, Wagner broke free with that consummate ’80s hit single, “All I Need.”

Robert Downey Jr.

Choice acting gig: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (Harry Lockhart)

Music: Solo artist, one album

eBay value: The Futurist (CD), $5

Wagnerism: Between his liberal replacement of s’s with z’s (“Little Clownz”) and his Phil Collins-ish emoting, we gotta wonder if dude’s been speedballin’ again.

Jared Leto

Choice acting gig: My So-Called Life

(Jordan Catalano)

Music: Vocals and guitar, 30 Seconds to Mars, two albums

eBay value: A Beautiful Lie (CD), $11.26

Wagnerism: Maybe if Jordan Catalano had fronted this cookie-cutter distortion band at Liberty High, Angela would have fallen for Brian Krakow instead.

Jennifer Love Hewitt

Choice acting gig: Party of Five

(Sarah Reeves)

Music: Solo artist, four albums

eBay value: Barenaked (CD), $5.72

Wagnerism: Why bother ripping on her nasal voice when there are lyrics like this: There were lasers and computers and living in space/The ’90s kids’ dream is for the whole human race/My dream for the ’90s/We’ll make it come true/This world will be a better place/For me and you.

Billy Bob Thornton

Choice acting gig: Bad Santa (Willie)

Music: Solo artist, three albums

eBay value: Hobo (CD), $7.54

Wagnerism: Sounds just like Tom Waits — although we’re not sure that’s a compliment when you’re not Tom Waits.

John Corbett

Choice acting gig: Sex and the City

(Aidan Shaw)

Music: Solo country artist, two albums

eBay value: “Ain’t No Trouble To Me” (MP3), $0.99

Wagnerism: For the first time ever, we’re OK with Carrie dumping this Toby Keith disciple.

Marla Sokoloff

Choice acting gig: Full House (Gia Mahan)

Music: Solo artist, MySpace

(www.myspace.com/marlasokoloff)

eBay value: N/A

Wagnerism: We’ve believed in this girl’s musical talents since she and Stephanie formed the band Girl Talk and played Ace of Base at the talent show.

William Shatner

Choice acting gig: Star Trek (Captain Kirk)

Music: Solo artist, two albums

eBay value: Has Been (CD) for $12.34

Wagnerism: None! Shatner is the shit-ner!

Juliette Lewis

Choice acting gig: Natural Born Killers

(Mallory Knox)

Music: Singer, Juliette & the Licks, two albums

eBay value: You’re Speaking My Language (CD), $3.54

Wagnerism: She tries so desperately to be hardcore like Joan Jett or Karen O. But it’s, like, hey, remember when she guest-starred on The Wonder Years?

Eddie Murphy

Choice acting gig: Coming to America

(Prince Akeem)

Music: Solo artist, three albums

eBay value: How Could It Be (CD), $36.01

Wagnerism: My. Girl. Wants. To. Party all the time! Party all the ti-i-ime!

Minnie Driver

Choice acting gig: Good Will Hunting (Skylar)

Music: Solo artist, one album

eBay value: Everything I’ve Got in My Pocket (CD), $11

Wagnerism: Once, our brother thought he was going to see a band called Minnie Driver, but then it was actually Minnie Driver. He was refused a refund.

Patrick Swayze

Choice acting gig: Dirty Dancing (Johnny Castle)

Music: Solo artist, three songs

eBay value: “She’s Like the Wind” (7-inch) for $1.76

Wagnerism: With a single like this, no wonder his murderer in Ghost took him for a cream puff.

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