After spending most of the '80s as a hard rock god, Jon Bon Jovi decided to put his proven charisma and movie-star looks to work in front of the Hollywood cameras. Making his major screen debut as an amiable house painter in Moonlight and Valentino (1995), Bon Jovi earned surprisingly good notices for his performance, winning both grudging respect from film critics and further offers from casting agents.
Born John Francis Bongiovi in working-class Perth Amboy, NJ, on March 2, 1962, Bon Jovi spent much of his adolescence skipping school to play in a series of local rock bands. After one of his first demos, "Runaway," became a hit on the Jersey airwaves, the young musician formed Bon Jovi in 1983. The group went on to become one of the most successful hard rock bands of the decade, earning a huge number of fans and numerous industry honors. In 1990, during the band's 18-month hiatus, Bon Jovi wrote the soundtrack for the blockbuster Young Guns, and also had a very small role in the film. His soundtrack produced two hit singles and won Grammy and Oscar nominations, and Bon Jovi re-formed his band shortly thereafter.