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Justin Timberlake: The 'Benefits' of musicians acting

Friends With Benefits

Friends With Benefits Credit: Handout

"Friends With Benefits," opening Friday, completes Justin Timberlake's transition to full-on movie star. For the first time, the musical icon is the top-billed actor in a flick, starring with Mila Kunis in this romantic comedy about the challenges of a sex-only relationship.

While the premise makes the film sound like a carbon copy of "No Strings Attached," the Ashton Kutcher-Natalie Portman vehicle from earlier this year, it stands apart because of Timberlake, who is a gifted, charming big-screen performer with significant potential.

In the 30-year-old's honor, we look at our favorite musicians turned actors:

Frank Sinatra
Ol' Blue Eyes was a terrific actor, ably headlining musicals such as the NYC-set "On the Town" and winning an Academy Award for his serious, sincere work on "From Here to Eternity." Today, there's basically no one who's a comparably all-encompassing showbiz force.
Check out: The original "Manchurian Candidate"

The atrocity that is "Burlesque," Cher's last film, almost led us to deep-six her from this list. But even that overwrought flop can't detract from her solid, if somewhat thin, big-screen career. The 65-year-old diva won an Oscar for "Moonstruck" and starred in some of the most notable movies of the '80s.
Check out: "Silkwood"

Mark Wahlberg
The former Marky Mark plays the same basic character - tough yet sensitive Bostonian - in just about every movie, but we love him anyway. Top-notch filmmakers from Paul Thomas Anderson ("Boogie Nights") to Martin Scorsese ("The Departed") share our sentiments.
Check out: "Three Kings"

Kris Kristofferson
With his distinctive, gravelly voice, the "Me and Bobby McGee" folk singer has built an impressive, wide-ranging cinematic career. He's best known for westerns such as "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid," but he's turned up in everything from "Big Top Pee-wee" to the "Planet of the Apes" remake.
Check out: "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore"

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