Whitney Houston, who passed away suddenly on Saturday afternoon at the age of 48, will be forever remembered as a once-in-a-generation singer, but Houston’s work as an actress showed her incredible talents weren’t limited to just the stage.
Houston starred in three films between 1992 and 1996, working opposite Oscar-nominated actors like Kevin Costner, Denzel Washington and Angela Bassett. Her screen debut was as singer Rachel Marron in the smash-hit romance “The Bodyguard.” The film was nominated twice in the Best Original Song category at the Academy Awards in 1993 (for “I Have Nothing” and “Run to You,” both performed by Whitney), though the film’s soundtrack is best remembered for Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You,” which spent a then-record 14 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The soundtrack for “The Bodyguard” is the biggest selling movie soundtrack ever, and won a Grammy for Album of the Year in 1994. Of course the film was no slouch either: it earned $ 410 million worldwide, which even by today’s standards is a massive financial windfall.
After the success of “The Bodyguard,” Houston led the ensemble dramedy “Waiting to Exhale” in 1995. She played a television producer in the film adaptation of Terry McMillian’s best-selling book. Last summer, Bassett said that a sequel was in the works, with McMillian adapting his “Exhale” follow-up, “Getting to Happy.” Houston was tentatively attached to star.
Following “Exhale,” Houston only acted three more times: opposite Washington in “The Preacher’s Wife,” as the Fairy Godmother in a television version of “Cinderella,” and in “Sparkle,” a remake of the 1976 film about an all-girl group that struggles with fame and the drug problems of one of its members. That film, with singer Jordin Sparks as Sparkle, is due out in theaters in August. Houston was an executive producer on “Sparkle,” and spent over a decade trying to get it to the screen.
Watch Houston and Costner in the final moments of “The Bodyguard” (video unembeddable) by clicking here.
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