Rami Malek belongs to a small but special musical biopic Oscar club

Rami Malek belongs to a small but special musical biopic Oscar club
The way Rami Malek got under Freddie Mercury’s skin and brought him to life again in “Bohemian Rhapsody” was no small miracle. It is similar to how Gary Busey became a star when he uncannily channeled the‘50s rock icon in 1978’s “The Buddy Holly Story.” Or when Joaquin Phoenix was able to capture Johnny Cash’s charisma and his tumultuous dark side in 2005’s “Walk the Line.”

But neither Busey nor Phoenix won in their years. In fact, besides Malek, only five lead actors have been given an Oscar for playing real-life music makers – although it interesting that Mahershala Ali earned a corresponding supporting statuette as concert pianist Don Shirley in “Green Book” this year as well.

Who are these fellows and what traits might their roles have in common?

First was James Cagney as George M. Cohan in 1942’s “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Cagney, best known for his gangster roles,
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