The lead singer of politically-charged Irish band U2 since 1977, Bono's involvement with the movies has been mostly musical. Combining music and politics, Bono took part in Bob Geldof's Do They Know It's Christmas (1984) project to combat famine in Africa, and the anti-South African apartheid documentary Sun City - Artists United Against Apartheid (1985). Bono's primary 1980s onscreen appearance, though, was the concert documentary U2: Rattle and Hum (1988). Shot during the apex of the band's success with their hit album The Joshua Tree (1987), U2: Rattle and Hum delved into the band's admiration for rock's pioneers along with presenting performance footage from their Joshua Tree American tour. Since then, Bono (with and without his bandmates) has worked regularly with German director Wim Wenders, contributing songs to the soundtracks of the futurist road movie Until the End of the World (1991), and the Wings of Desire (1987) sequel Faraway, So Close! (1993), and serving as one of the producers, writers, and composers for Million Dollar Hotel (2000). Harking back to the Irish politics that drove their 1983 album War, Bono and U2 contributed a song to In the Name of the Father (1993). Bono also appeared onscreen as himself in Rattle and Hum director Phil Joanou's Entropy (1999) and Wender's aforementioned Million Dollar Hotel. He contributed a song to the soundtrack of Martin Scorsese's 2002 epic Gangs of New York, and appeared regularly in documentaries about various musicians. In 2007 he played Dr. Robert in Julie Taymor's Across the Universe, and that same year U2 made a 3D concert film. He would reteam with Taymor for the ill-fated Broadway Musical Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark which became allegedly the most expensive production in history before finally opening on Broadway.
Biography by Lucia Bozzola
- Is a progressive social activist and has worked with such disparate figures as former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, former president George W. Bush, former British prime minister Tony Blair and conservative icon Jesse Helms.
- As of 2011, is the only person to have been nominated for an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Grammy and the Nobel Peace Prize.
- Helped organize the worldwide series of 2005 Live 8 concerts to benefit African debt relief.
- As a member of U2, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
- Selected as one of Time magazine's 2005 Persons of the Year (along with Bill and Melinda Gates).
- Made an honorary knight of the British Empire in 2007.
- Helped create humanitarian organizations the One Campaign and DATA, as well as the brands Product Red and EDUN, which were formed to help Africa.
- Had emergency spinal surgery in 2010, causing part of the North American leg of U2's 360 Degrees tour to be postponed until 2011.
- Along with The Edge, wrote the music and lyrics for the rock musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which opened on Broadway in 2011 after many delays.