David Bowie in
The Elephant Man

David Bowie, musician, actor, and artist starred in the play, The Elephant Man, from July 29, 1980 to January 3, 1981. The play was performed in Denver, Chicago, and New York. Bowie's performance in The Elephant Man was between movie performances in Just a Gigolo and Christine F. During this time period, Bowie had recently divorced his first wife, Angela; his 14th album, Scary Monsters ... and Super Creeps was just released; and his good friend, John Lennon, (coauthor, along with Carlos Alomar, of Bowie's hit song, Fame), was assassinated (December 8, 1980). While Bowie had many career paths in motion during these years, many people felt that Bowie's performance in The Elephant Man established him as a true actor.

I was fortunate enough to see the play four times at the Blackstone Theatre in Chicago. I sat in the 2nd row during two performances. I was able to sneak in a camera while I sat in the balcony during one performance—Bowie's last in Chicago. I snapped pictures immediately after Bowie would make a humorous statement so that the laughter from the audience masked the sound of the camera's shutter. Since this was the fourth time I saw the play, I knew almost every line by heart. Later I learned that there were very few photographs of Bowie's actual performance in The Elephant Man in circulation. I have included a couple of my photographs on this web site.

I decided to write this web site because very few Bowie fans had the opportunity to see the Elephant Man. I also recorded the entire play using a microcassette recorder. Hopefully, one day I'll find the audiotapes.

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Last Updated: 2/18/2002