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Charitable New Orleans heartthrob Harry Connick, Jr. is popularly known as both a jazz musician and an actor.
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His first role was as a hard-gambling airman in the World War II bomber drama Memphis Belle (1990). Connick went on to appear in a string of successful movies, playing a serial killer in Copycat (1995), a pilot in the Will Smith blockbuster Independence Day (1996) and a romantic lead opposite Sandra Bullock in Hope Floats (1998). In 2002,
Connick took on a recurring role as the boyfriend and later husband of character Grace Adler in the smash sitcom Will & Grace, a gig he held through the show's finale in 2006.
When Will & Grace stopped production, Connick starred in a Broadway revival of The Pajama Game, a 1950s-era musical about a labor dispute in a pajama factory. He also agreed to be a part of the judges panel for the 13th season of American Idol in 2013. After having already made appearances on the show as a guest mentor for the contestants, Connick said that audiences should "expect the unexpected" from his season.
Despite these successful forays onto stage and screen, Connick remained focused primarily on his music, releasing a steady stream of new albums full of jazz, funk, pop and Christmas songs. After Hurricane Katrina laid waste to his hometown in 2005, Connick returned to New Orleans and teamed up with Branford Marsalis and Habitat for Humanity to build homes and a new community center, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music. Connick remains one of the most outspoken celebrity voices advocating for New Orleans' reconstruction.
Connick married Jill Goodacre, a former Victoria's Secret model, in 1994. The couple has three daughters. Over the course of his career, Connick has sold more than 25 million records and appeared in nearly two dozen films. "Everything I do is part of my passion," he said, explaining his diverse talents. "I do the things I like to do. It's sort of a bigger version of having more than one hobby. I love to play piano, sing, and act. I love to do all those things."
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Jazz vocalists have made immeasurable contributions to the American songbook. Not only was Louis Armstrong renowned for his innovations as a trumpet soloist, but he also had a distinctive, gravelly voice that incorporated swing and humor. A host of other jazz singers enjoyed great popularity in the mid-20th century, including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne and Nina Simone. Several established careers in film and television as well. Contemporary artists like Harry Connick Jr. and Diana Krall continue to carry the musical baton.
Jazz Singers 18 people in this group
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