Whether it's full-blown lead roles or funny cameos, Willie Nelson has appeared in 35 films since his debut in The Electric Horseman in 1979. Though he calls himself "the worst actor," we beg to differ. Here are Nelson's Top 10 movie roles:
1. Buck Bonham in Honeysuckle Rose (1980)
Nelson essentially plays himself - a country singer named Buck Bonham who tries to balance having a music career and a family life. He falls for the daughter of one of his former bandmates, singer Lily Ramsey (Amy Irving). "On the Road Again," from the film directed by Jerry Schatzberg (The Panic in Needle Park), was nominated for an Academy Award.
2. Barbarosa in Barbarosa (1982)
A true Willie Nelson Western with horses and everything. He plays the title character, an outlaw who's married to a Mexican woman and ends up on the run with another cowboy (Gary Busey) in Mexico
3. Wendell in The Electric Horseman (1979)
Nelson's first film, directed by Sidney Pollack, stars Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in the leading roles, and a brightly lit-up horse. Nelson plays Redford's crusty manager. Several of his songs are on the soundtrack.
4. Rev. Julian Shay in Red Headed Stranger (1986)
In this Western, Nelson plays a preacher who rides to Montana with his wife (Morgan Fairchild). It's based on Nelson's 1975 album of the same name.
5. Historian Smoker in Half Baked (1998)
One of several noteworthy cameos in the Dave Chappelle classic, Nelson plays the "historian smoker" who remembers when "a dime bag cost a dime."
6. Uncle Jesse Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
As Uncle Jesse in this remake of the '70s TV classic, Nelson hits an apple pipe near the end of Jay Chandrasekhar's flick. He also sings the theme song.
7. Johnny Dean in Wag the Dog (1997)
As songwriter Johnny Dean, Nelson's commissioned to write a theme song for a fake war in Barry Levinson's twisted political comedy.
8. Farmer Bob in Surfer, Dude (2008)
Nelson plays Farmer Bob in this underrated stoner comedy staring his stoner buds Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Bob grows top-shelf weed and gifts a bag to McConaughey's "Surfer Dude" Steve. (See clip below.)
9. Stoner in Beerfest (2006)
A gag at the end of this Chandrasekhar comedy features the country legend, playing himself, smoking a joint in a dark alley in Amsterdam.
10. Doc Jenkins in Songwriter (1984)
Nelson teams up with Kris Kristofersson in this real-life story, directed by Alan Rudolph, about the harsh realities of making it in the music business.
Portions of this review are excerpted from Reefer Movie Madness: The Ultimate Stoner Film Guide.