Happy Birthday: David Crosby

Monday, August 14, 2017
Happy Birthday: David Crosby

It’s David Crosby’s birthday today, and to celebrate the occasion, we’re celebrating…his acting work. Sure, because when a man’s been a member of The Byrds and worked with Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young, why wouldn’t you immediately rush to praise his work as an actor? Okay, fine, we’ve also got a very special playlist available for your listening enjoyment, but as you’ll see below from this list of nine occasions when Crosby turned up in front of the camera, the man’s gotten a great deal of enjoyment out of being an occasional thespian.


  1. Shannon’s Law (1990): In his review of this Jamey Sheridan legal drama, TV critic Jeff Simon of The Buffalo News expressed how startled he was by the sight of “David Crosby sitting in an empty swimming pool popping off bottles with his six-shooter,” wondering to his readers, “Did David Crosby know how much sport was being made of him?” It’s fair to suspect that Crosby did, given that he had the sense of humor to appear as himself in an episode of The Simpsons a few years later, where loveable drunk Barney Gumble observed that Crosby was his hero and – a moment later – followed the compliment by asking with legitimate surprise, “You’re a musician?!”


  1. To Cross the Rubicon (1991): Although this film is best known these days for featuring early performances by Billy Burke (Revolution) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead), it also features two musicians in its cast. That’s right: in addition to Crosby, the film provides an opportunity for J.D. Souther to strut his stuff as an actor.


  1. Backdraft (1991): As if the cast of this firefighting drama isn’t tremendous enough already, Crosby pops up as an apartment resident who pleads with Kurt Russell to save the building he calls home.


  1. Hook (1991): As Crosby’s movie appearances, this is probably the one that people remember the most, since he gets a couple of good, strong close-ups. Oh, and he also takes a board to the nads. (God knows that’s memorable.)



  1. Thunderheart (1992): Crosby’s character is described in a 1991 Entertainment Weekly piece as “an evil, Indian-hating bartender.” Given the film is about a conflict between the FBI and the Native Americans living in South Dakota, you can imagine that Crosby’s character was reeeeeeeal popular ‘round town.


  1. Roseanne (1992): It’s surprising that this was only a one-off performance, given that Crosby played Bonnie Bramlett’s character’s husband and had an opportunity to sing and play guitar. Still, at least we got the one appearance.



  1. Flying Blind (1993): This one’s a real blink-and-you’ll-miss it appearance, but in a sequence which offers a quick run-through of employers, Crosby plays Employer #4. He’s in good company, though, since the other employers include Dan Hedaya and Norman Fell.


  1. The John Larroquette Show (1993-1994): It’s a shame we didn’t get to see more appearances by Crosby on this show, one of the more underrated sitcoms of the ‘90s, but by playing Chester, the guy who runs the AA meetings in the bar at John’s bus station, he definitely made an impression.



  1. Suddenly (1996): Although we are assured that Crosby is in this Kirstie Alley Lifetime movie, in which she plays a woman who has to deal with her new life as a paraplegic, his role is so small and the movie is so hard to find online that we can’t even confirm who his character – a dude named Eddie – is. Another paraplegic, perhaps? Sure, let’s go with that.