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As time goes by, we often stereotype writers and creators as filling certain niches. Stan Lee is Marvel Universe, Stephen King is horror (or at the very least supernatural), Arthur Conan Doyle is Sherlock Holmes... as a result, there are some times where we see somebody's name on something and go "wait, WHAT? Are you sure it isn't just a guy with the same name?".

These are examples of well-known works (not obscure experiments) of creators that are so far out of their perceived niche that often times people don't immediately realize the person behind it.

Related to Playing Against Type, I Am Not Spock, Genre Adultery and WTH? Casting Agency. Compare Same Face, Different Name, where the creator hides the fact that he's doing something different under a new name. In music, Black Sheep Hit is a special case in which the aberration becomes famous. Compare Hey, It's That Guy! and Hey, It's That Voice!, which are often this trope but for actors.


Real Life Examples:

Actors

  • Julie Andrews (The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins) also writes children's fantasy novels, and has been doing so for some time.
  • Rowan Atkinson is an electrical engineer.
  • Richard Ayoade-- Moss from The IT Crowd, Dean Learner from Garth Marenghi's Darkplace-- also directed quite a few music videos.
  • Steve Burns, the original host of Blue's Clues, is also an indie rocker. Here he is covering a They Might Be Giants song.
  • Jackie Chan is known worldwide for his action movies, combining martial arts with slapstick choreography. While some fans outside of southeast Asia know he's also a director and producer, very few know that he's also an accomplished singer.
  • Charlie Chaplin is certainly known best for his classic Mutual shorts and films like The Great Dictator and City Lights. Perhaps that's why so many are surprised by his very dark comedy Monsieur Verdoux, which is about a Bluebeard. No Slapstick, no bittersweet limerence, no Parody, just humour centered around a man who robs his many wives of their money, and collects the rest when he kills them. Another way of looking at this film: Did you know Orson Welles wrote a Chaplin movie?
  • Misha Collins is known for being an actor, but he also did a stint in politics, set up The Random Act charity, published poems, worked as a carpenter and woodworker, and worked in construction.
  • Michael Crawford, who originated the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera and went on to a successful recording and concert career, was first famous as a light comedy actor, with appearances in several of Richard Lester's films (The Knack...and How to Get It, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, etc.) and a popular BBC sitcom (Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em). He also played Cornelius in the movie of Hello, Dolly!, and it's two of his musical numbers that figure prominently in WALL-E.
  • Adrian Edmondson, best known for causing trails of destruction in The Young Ones and Bottom is also a well-known video director (for The Pogues among others) and musician with The Bad Shepherds.
  • Natalia Guseva played Alisa in Guest From the Future, and is a biochemist.
  • Mark Hamill is best known as Luke Skywalker from Star Wars. He has done a lot more voice work, most famously as The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, but he also appeared in Avatar: The Last Airbender and the English dub of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
    • A small, but amusing example: He cameoed in an episode of The Simpsons as himself, but he also played the southern Drill Sergeant Nasty who trains Homer in the same episode.
  • And everyone loves how David Hayter, Solid Snake himself, is a successful screenwriter who worked on some of the X-Men movies. He also did a draft of Watchmen.
  • David Hemmings, the star of Antonioni's Blow Up began as a boy soprano and originated the role of Miles in Britten's Turn Of The Screw.
  • Phil Hartman was a renowned graphic designer who came up with the Crosby, Stills & Nash logo and designed album covers for bands like Poco and REO Speedwagon. He also co-wrote the screenplay to Pee Wee's Big Adventure.
  • Boris Karloff started out as a stage-trained character in silent movies, then graduated to playing Fu Manchu, Frankenstein's monster, the Mummy, and associated mad scientists and crazy people in horror films. He was also the voice actor for the narration and the Grinch in the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He also played the title police detective, specializing in the Locked Room Mystery, in the 1950s TV series Colonel March of Scotland Yard.
  • Hedy Lamarr (no, not Hedley) was best known as MGM's biggest star. She also had a patent for frequency-hopping spread spectrum, which would eventually lay the groundwork for communications technology that's currently used in wi-fi networks.
  • Hugh Laurie, an actor known for his roles on, Blackdder, House and Jeeves and Wooster, also wrote The Gun Seller, a novel which parodies the spy genre, and has released a musical CD. He both wrote for and appeared in A Bit of Fry and Laurie.
  • Many people don't realize that actress Lindsay Lohan has her own fashion company called 6126, she also has a brand of tanning lotion called Seven9ine.
  • Dolph Lundgren is a trained chemical engineer. And he does actually put it to good use.
  • Steve Martin, the Wild and Crazy Guy? He's also an accomplished banjo player who's performed with Earl Scruggs. He also wrote the serious novella Shopgirl, which he starred in the adaptation of. He also did writing on the thriller Traitor.
  • Herbert "Zeppo" Marx of the Marx Brothers invented a type of watch with a built-in heart-rate monitor, as well as a new kind of heating pad.
  • Leonard Nimoy directed Three Men And A Baby and The Good Mother (as well as the less-surprising Star Trek III the Search For Spock). He has also released five albums, directed music videos, acted in many non-Star Trek-related roles, and (most notably) he is a succesful photographer.
  • Frank Oz is known as the voice of several Muppets, including fozzy, Miss Piggy, Grover, Yoda, (He was also the Hands of the Swedish Chef while Jim Henson did the head and voice). However, he also directed Little Shop of Horrors (which after all uses puppetry to portray a major character) and The Stepford Wives, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
  • Pauley Perrette has earned a cult following for her role as Perky Goth forensics expert Abby Sciuto on NCIS. Many people don't know that she (the actress, Perrette) actually holds a Master's Degree in Forensic Science. Play what you know, I suppose.
  • Vincent Price is best known for his horror roles, but most of his early work was dramatic, and he also took afew voice acting roles, notably in The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo and The Great Mouse Detective. He was also well-known as an art collector (he donated 90 pieces of art to a community college, making it the first community college to have such a collection), and as a noted gourmet cook (authoring several cookbooks, and once giving a demonstration on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson of how to poach a fish in the dishwasher). He also spoke several languages and was an opera grade singer. During a segment on What's My Line where the blindfolded regulars were supposed to guess his identity by listening to his voice and his answers to their questions, he sang all his answers in French to keep them from recognizing his distinctive voice.
  • Ariana Richards, most famous as Lex in Jurassic Park, is an accomplished professional oil painter.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger - the Terminator, Conan the Barbarian, Hercules, the Kindergarten Cop - was Governor of California.
  • While known for the voice of Monkey D. Luffy nowadays, in Japan, Mayumi Tanaka had also been well known for her role in the Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru franchise [2] as the title character.
  • Dick Van Dyke is well-known for his acting. He's also done 3D computer animation for years, even doing special effects for an episode of Diagnosis Murder when there was no budget for a motorcycle crash.
  • Jesse "The Body" Ventura, who appeared alongside Arnie in Predator is also a bodybuilder-turned-governor, also known for his time in Professional Wrestling.
  • Nancy Walker played Ida Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (and its spinoff Rhoda), and appeared in Bounty paper towel commercials. Much of her earlier career was in Broadway musicals, and it was perhaps for this reason that she was chosen to direct the infamous movie musical Can't Stop the Music.
  • In addition to voice acting, Paul Winchell was also a puppeteer, an acupuncturist, and an inventor -- his most famous inventions being the artificial heart and the blood plasma defroster.
  • Ian Ziering, aka Steve Sanders from Beverly Hills, 90210, played Edison Trent from Freelancer. Same goes for John Rhys-Davies, who played Gimli in Lord of the Rings and Tobias from said game.
  • Jennifer Tilly, she of the big-boobed bimbo roles, has also won a bracelet in the World Series of Poker. In fact, this is a subgenre, as many actors are at least passable in poker (notably Gabe Kaplan, Dick Van Patten (whose son Vince calls the World Poker Tour), and Lou Diamond Phillips, just to name a few).


Athletes

  • Babe Ruth's career as a pitcher. While Baseball fans know this very well, it is not as well known outside of Baseball fandom.
  • Ted Williams is widely known as one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball: but he was also an excellent pilot (John Glenn's wingman), and a master fisherman: he was inducted into the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame (yes, there is a fishing hall of fame).
  • Walter Ray Williams, Jr. is a legendary champion in two sports. He's well known for being a great bowler, but he's also a champion horseshoe thrower. His nickname "Dead-Eye" comes from horseshoes, not bowling.
  • The list of athletes and coaches who have gone on to politics is pretty long as well. Most notable in this category is Bill Bradley, who made a run for President of the United States in 2000. He played for the New York Knicks in the '60s and '70s.


Comic Books and Manga

  • Japanese cartoonist Fujio Akatsuka is famous in his home country for gag-oriented and slapstick-heavy mangas such as Bakabon the Genius Idiot and Little Osomatsu. He's also famous for creating Akko's Secret, a Magical Girl series. Akko and Osomatsu both debuted at the same time on different magazines and despite having very different styles they made Akatsuka a house-hold name in Japan.
  • Wilhelm Busch of Max Und Moritz fame did more (like oil paintings, novels and serious poems) than pictured stories. But even most Germans wouldn't know that, or all of his stories.
  • Tokyo Babylon and X 1999 is by the very same women that did Angelic Layer and Cardcaptor Sakura. And then along came Chobits...
  • Francesco Marciuliano, the writer of the widely lambasted family-friendly syndicated comic strip Sally Forth, is also the author of Medium Large, a significantly more off-beat comic that is surprisingly funny.
  • Art Spiegelman, author of Holocaust comic Maus, invented the Ring Pop and the Garbage Pail Kids.
  • In what could be a trope all its own, the list of people not normally identified with the Comic industry who have done comics is long:
    • William Moulton Marston created a lie detector (but not, as is often reported, the polygraph). And Wonder Woman.
    • Richard Donner, creator of the Christopher Reeve Superman franchise, as well as The Omen and Lethal Weapon films, did a stint co-writing (there are arguments as to whether he actually wrote any of it, or just came up with ideas) on Action Comics.
    • Mark Hamill did some work. Damn he's everywhere.
    • Subversion: Contrary to the running gag at Marvel, the Ralph Macchio who works there is not the same person who appeared in the Karate Kid movies.
    • Jodi Picoult, a writer of romance and family drama novels, did a stint on Wonder Woman.
    • Kevin Smith and Brad Meltzer are subversions as, unlike other "celebrity" Comic writers, they have done it more-or-less regularly (enough where it isn't that much of news if they are doing something), as opposed to many of the above examples which were either "publicity stunts" or comics they themselves created (and, in some examples, published).
    • Joss Whedon, although in many cases he is writing properties that he already did on TV. Whedon also directed a episode of The Office and did script doctoring work on things like Toy Story and X Men. He's also credited as a writer for Atlantis the Lost Empire, Titan A.E. and (of course) Alien Resurrection.
    • Going a bit further back, there was a lady by the name of Patricia Highsmith who wrote for two different comic companies (Fawcett and Western Comics) between 1943 and 1947. Certainly not the work she's remembered for these days.
    • Jeph Loeb, as Joseph Loeb III, was one of the screenwriters of the movie Commando.
    • Successful romance novelist Marjorie Liu wrote an X-Men novel in 2005, and soon started writing comics for Marvel as well.
    • Famous science-fiction writer Alfred Bester worked for DC Comics in the 40s and 50s. He is, in fact, credited with creating the Green Lantern Oath.
    • Actor and comedian Patton Oswalt has written quite a few comic books, including a one-shot Firefly comic featuring Wash.
    • Sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison wrote an Avengers/Hulk crossover in the early 1970's. It introduced the (fairly) popular character of Jarella into the Hulk's life.
  • Dave Sim, author of Cerebus the Aardvark, also signed the Bill of Rights for Comics Creators, together with Richard Pini and the artists of Mirage Studios.
  • Ursula Vernon: creator of both the webcomic Digger and The Biting Pear of Salamanca.


Directors and Producers


Musicians / Composers

  • Alexander Courage, whose best remembered composition is the Theme Tune for Star Trek the Original Series, had worked as an orchestrator on MGM musicals such as Annie Get Your Gun, The Band Wagon and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
  • Music/Video game related, Turbo Lover of The Protomen (who voices Dr. Wily) has another band called Cheer Up Charlie Daniels which can only be described as innocent, happy sounding rockabilly as opposed to Orwellian and villainous.
    • Albeit laced with double entendres.
    • Actually, a majority of the band would fall under this trope. Female lead The Gambler (the voice of Emily, Light's love interest) and lead guitarist Sir Robert Bakker (who are married in real life) form the center (or formed, as the group recently disbanded) of the Nashville-based, dinosaur-centric band 'Happy Birthday Amy'. Before that, The Gambler and lead singer Panther were also in yet another band together. Not to mention current drummer (they've had four) The Reanimator and second guitarist Cobra T. Washington, who also perform as part of Nashville metal band 'Destroy Destroy Destroy'... The band is like a supergroup composed of members from all across the Nashville indie music scene, fighting in an all-out last-ditch effort to save music from itself. Which, now that I think about it, sounds completely awesome.
      • That IS their mission statement. So you don't need to think about it for it to be awesome.
  • Mary Rodgers, like her father Richard, was once a composer for Broadway musicals, one of which was Once Upon a Mattress. Then she retired from musical theatre and wrote a book called Freaky Friday.
  • David Allan Coe, a country singer best known among mainstream audiences for the popular hit "Take This Job And Shove It", also did a couple of dirty comedy albums in 1978 and 1982.
  • Elvis Presley sang a lot of gospel. Listen to a satellite radio station that is all-Elvis, all-the-time and you will realize this.
    • Elvis sang a lot of many different things. Besides rock 'n' roll and variety, he also sang gospel, yes, but also country, jazz, soul (listen to his Ray Charles covers), funk (If You Talk In Your Sleep), blues and many other genres.
    • In fact, all three of Elvis' competitive Grammy wins were in the Gospel category.
  • The same is true of Ray Charles.
  • Hank Williams III is a Country Music singer...who also plays Hardcore Punk and Death Metal from time to time. He's made his punk influences blatantly obvious by using a modified Black Flag logo, but his albums usually fell under the line of Country Music, until his label put out his Country Metal album Hillbilly Joker without his permission, not even bothering to advertise the fact that it was a metal album. His independently-released metal albums under his own name escaped the confusion, as did his band Assjack.
  • Peter Garrett, the lead singer of the band Midnight Oil, was elected to the Australian parliament and now serves as a cabinet minister.
  • Contemporary artist Voltaire is most well known for his gallows-humor music, but prior to becoming a musician in the late 1990s, he was an award-winning stop-motion animator who did commercials for IKEA, Wendy's, MTV, Nickelodeon and even a Super Bowl commercial for Budweiser. He's also published two non-fiction books and three graphic novels, as well as being a college professor at the School of Visual Arts (New York), and designing toys.
  • George Harrison (you know, of The Beatles) also was the executive producer for the Monty Python film Life of Brian after the original producers ran off scared. He also had a cameo role in the movie.
  • Yoshikazu Mera is a countertenor who has recorded Bach cantatas and other baroque music. He also did the Princess Mononoke Theme Tune.
  • WH Auden wrote librettos for Benjamin Britten's opera Paul Bunyan and Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, the latter in collaboration with Chester Kallman. Auden and Kallman later wrote an English translation of The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic compiled an album of Desi Arnaz's best musical numbers from I Love Lucy and directed a number of music videos, both his own and others, and has a degree in architecture.
  • Leonard Bernstein's Candide and Mass contain minor lyrical contributions from Dorothy Parker and Paul Simon, respectively.
  • The B 52s did "Revolution Earth." You know, that slow, vaguely Celtic-sounding, completely sober hope-for-the-future song with a single, female vocalist throughout?
  • Brian May, guitarist for Queen, is also an astrophysicist. At the Turn of the Millennium, he returned to his studies after a break and got his PHD. He is now chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University in England.
    • Also John Deacon is an electrical engineer who built an amplifier good enough for Brian to record with it.
  • Aleksander Borodin, the Russian 19th-century composer most famous for his opera Prince Igor, was also a notable chemist.
  • Sid Ramin did orchestrations for Broadway musicals such as West Side Story, Gypsy and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, usually working in collaboration with Irwin Kostal or Robert Ginzler. He also composed the Theme Song for The Patty Duke Show, and the Top Ten Jingle that became "Music to Watch Girls By."
    • Ramin's lyricist for the Patty Duke theme, Bob Wells, is better known for writing the words of "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire)". Two other classic Christmas songs were written by composers who went to write classic TV themes: "Silver Bells" by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans (Mister Ed), and "It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year", co-written by George Wyle (Gilligan's Island).
  • Gerry Rafferty, best known as the singer and guitarist from Stealers Wheel, was formerly (during The Sixties) in a folk music duo called The Humblebums. The other person in the group was Billy Connolly, who's better known as a comedian and actor.
  • Frederick Hollander composed the Marlene Dietrich songs in The Blue Angel, and went on to write music for the Dr. Seuss songs in The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T.
  • Howard Dietz was a songwriter who often worked with Arthur Schwartz, and many of their songs were featured in the Jukebox Musical movie The Band Wagon. But before he started writing songs for musicals, as a Hollywood advertising man he created the world-famous trademark of Leo the Lion. No wonder Dietz revised the lyrics of "Triplets" for the movie The Band Wagon to include the line "MGM has got a Leo."
  • Sure, you've heard "Hotel California" and "Take It Easy" dozens of times. But did you know that the Eagles also did the theme song from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Yep, that's "Journey of the Sorcerer", from the album One of These Nights, the same album that gave us "Lyin' Eyes".
  • Stephen Sondheim was a writer for the series Topper. He wrote the screenplay to The Last of Sheila with Anthony Perkins, and wrote the non-musical play Getting Away With Murder with George Furth.
  • Before becoming the lead guitarist for Tool, Adam Jones was a special effects artist for several feature films such as Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Predator 2, two of the Nightmare On Elm Street movies, Ghostbusters, Dances with Wolves and Jurassic Park. Not as overtly surprising as many examples, as his talents are on display in several of the band's music videos.
  • Led Zeppelin could qualify for this trope. While casual listeners may know them strictly for their rock songs, the band has done other songs (especially folk) that are so far removed from rock they cannot even be properly classified as the genre. Especially "That's The Way".
  • John Morris, Mel Brooks' Associated Composer, was also the dance arranger for a number of musicals, including Peter Pan, Bells Are Ringing, Bye Bye Birdie, Mack & Mabel, and two flops on which Brooks worked as a librettist.
  • Tony Banks, better known as a founding member of/keyboard player in the prog rock band Genesis, also did Seven: A Suite For Orchestra, an album of original classical music performed by The London Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Elton John had, prior to making it as a singer-songwriter, worked as a session musician (he played piano on the Hollies' "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", and sang on low-budget soundalike covers of famous songs, which were sold in local department stores; he was basically Drew's Famous before the fact. This is the source material for the unofficial covers album, "Elton John: Chartbusters Go Pop!" Some of these covers include "In The Summertime" by Mungo Jerry, "Spirit In The Sky" by Norman Greenbaum and..."Young, Gifted And Black" by Aretha Franklin.
  • Sidemen for Joey Dee and the Starlighters ("The Peppermint Twist") included, at one time or another, Joe Pesci (on guitar!), Jimi Hendrix, Charles Neville of the Neville Brothers and members of The Young Rascals. Often the Ronettes would dance and sing back-up at the Peppermint Lounge.
  • Charles Ives is famous now for his innovative musical works, but had the habit of not trying hard to have his stuff performed or published in his lifetime. He was known in his day for his innovative business practices as the head of an insurance company, where he wrote such books as Life Insurance with Relation to Inheritance Tax.
  • Jeremy Soule - best known for his work on the soundtracks for Baldur's Gate, The Elder Scrolls, Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic, Guild Wars and Secret of Evermore also did the music for... many Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish, and Pajama Sam games.
  • Devo is best known as a one-hit wonder with flower-pot hats. However, most people have heard a few of their other works: all of the music on "Rugrats" and most Wes Anderson movies, firstly. They've been composing as Mutato Muzika since the mid-90's.


Software

Writers / Poets

  • Isaac Asimov is known as a sci-fi writer, but also dabbled in lots of other genres, and published books on history, The Bible, William Shakespeare, Gilbert and Sullivan, and several collections of dirty Limericks. His work can be found in nine of the ten categories of the Dewey Decimal System — all ten, if forewords count.
  • Dave Barry is known most for his humorous books and newspaper columns, and Ridley Pearson is known very well for his thriller and suspense novels. You wouldn't expect these two to overlap in any way, right? Well, not only has Ridley Pearson written several children's books by himself (Namely The Kingdom Keepers and Steel Trapp), but he and Barry have actually written five books together. Four of them being Peter and the Starcatchers books, the other being Science Fair.
  • Lewis Black, he of the foul-mouthed, politically-bent standup comedy routine, is an accomplished playwright, having written over 40 plays.
  • Pierre Boulle, the French novelist most famous for writing The Bridge Over the River Kwai, also wrote Planet of the Apes.
  • Ray Bradbury wrote a great deal of non-SF in addition to his famous SF works. He also wrote and narrated The Halloween Tree, and adapted Moby Dick into a screenplay for John Huston's film.
  • Anthony Burgess, the writer of A Clockwork Orange, is described by The Other Wiki as a "novelist, critic, composer, librettist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, travel writer, broadcaster, translator, linguist, [and] educationalist"; he wrote one of the most popular English translations of Cyrano De Bergerac. (In fact, he didn't like A Clockwork Orange very much - he once described as "something I knocked off for money in three weeks.")
  • Orson Scott Card wrote the famous Insult Fights from the Monkey Island games, as well as the script for The Dig. He also wrote for Marvel Comics.
  • Anton Chekhov was a famous doctor and considered literature something more of a hobby.
  • GK Chesterton, the famous detective story author, wrote books and articles on religion, mysticism...and just about every other literary genre. Including plays and poetry.
  • Ray Comfort, author of The Way Of The Master Christian book series, also wrote a humor book on plane travel.
  • Michael Crichton, of Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain fame, also created ER. Of course, he had a medical degree, he just never practiced due to publishing a runaway bestseller novel when he was barely out of medical school.
  • Agatha Christie wrote romance novels under the Pen Name Mary Westmacott. She also wrote a handful of supernatural horror stories.
  • Roald Dahl, today best-known for his children's books, was chosen to write the screenplay to You Only Live Twice on the basis of his skill as a writer of war stories and his friendship with Ian Fleming. Dahl also wrote the screenplay for the film version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and helped devise a therapy regimen for his then-wife Patricia Neal after she was debilitated by a stroke. He also helped to invent the Wade-Dahl-Till valve: a medical device used to treat hydrocephalus ("water in the brain") by draining the excess fluid out of the skull.
  • Richard Dawkins, a British zoologist who is now probably most known for his outspoken atheism and criticism of religion, is also known in the scientific community for his contributions to the gene-centered view of evolution. He also coined the term "meme".
  • August Derleth is best known for founding Arkham House and writing various Lovecraft Lite short stories with a controversial Alternate Character Interpretation of the denizens of the Cthulu Mythos. He also penned several volumes of detective stories starring Solar Pons, a Captain Ersatz of Sherlock Holmes.
  • Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a famous Victorian British mathematician, author of some prominent works on logic, also wrote some children's books.
  • Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger series of books, most notably The Lost World. (His historical novels, which he thought of as being his "real" work, are an even greater departure from Sherlock Holmes, but nobody ever reads them and goes "Wait, what?" because nobody ever reads them.)
  • Ian Fleming also did a travelogue book, entitled Thrilling Cities. To enhance sales, he put a James Bond short story at the end of it. James Bond's gadget-filled Aston-Martin was the literary cousin of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a children's book also authored by Fleming.
  • C. S. Forester wrote both the Horatio Hornblower books and The African Queen. He also wrote Payment Deferred, a crime novel that was adapted into a play and movie.
  • Alexander Griboyedov, a Russian 19th century playwright, was more famous at the time as a brilliant diplomat. And also wrote music.
  • L. Ron Hubbard, the sci-fi author who wrote Battlefield Earth, is the same author of Dianetics, a self-help book, and is the founder of a certain religion associated with Dianetics.
  • Nikolay Gogol also wrote books on religion and mysticism.
  • Brain Jacques, best known for authoring the Young Adult Fantasy Series Redwall, wrote a lot of and portraits about his hometown Liverpool and Merseyside and a couple of autobiographical pieces about his life there, in which he worked as a police constable, a lorry driver, a merchant sailor, a bus driver, a longshoreman, a boxer, a postmaster, a milkman, a railway fireman, a stand-up comedian, a folk singer, a radio host and as a writer of humorous short stories.
  • Stephen King wrote The Shawshank Redemption and the story that inspired the movie Stand by Me. He also wrote Hearts in Atlantis, a compilation of novellas one of which was adapted into the movie of that name. Stephen King also wrote The Green Mile, and is a regular columnist for Entertainment Weekly and wrote a few non-fiction books, one about writing, one about the Boston Red Sox.
  • Thriller novelist Dean Koontz has scripted (but not drawn) In Odd We Trust, a manga-style comic book prequel to his Odd Thomas series.
  • Mikhail Lermontov, a Russian 19th-century poet, was also a talented landscape painter.
  • HP Lovecraft wrote a few travelogues, despite usually being considered a recluse who rarely left his home (which isn't true. While he did spend most of his life in Providence and didn't socialise much, he did often travel to meet his friends in other parts of the country). He also wrote the comic short story Sweet Ermengarde, a parody of romantic melodrama, and Waste Paper, a painfully spot-on parody of "The Waste Land." In a vaguely related vein, he responded to a friend's teasing about his teetotaling by writing "Old Bugs", a parodically exaggerated Scare'Em Straight story about alcohol.
  • Vladimir Mayakovskiy, a famous Soviet poet, was also a futuristic artist when he was young.
  • R.L. Stine, well known for his horror books such as the Fear Street and Goosebumps series, also published various humor books (such as the Novelization of Spaceballs) and was the creator and writer for Nickelodeon show Eureekas Castle.
  • Vladimir Nabokov was also an entomologist, and he extensively studied a boring butterfly tribe, the Polyommatini.
  • Naomi Novik, author of the Temeraire series of novels, was originally a prolific writer of Transformers Generation 1 Fan Fiction.
  • Mystery novelist Anne Perry's real name is Juliet Hulme. That's right, she's the same Juliet Hulme of Parke-Hulme murder case fame, which was the basis of the film Heavenly Creatures. She has also written a religious-themed fantasy novel.
  • Edgar Allan Poe helped invent detective fiction. He also wrote a lot of satirical/parodic short stories (leading some to wonder how serious some of his serious writing really was) and a long philosophical-scientific treatise. He was a pretty versatile guy
  • The Philip Reeve who wrote the Mortal Engines quartet (a cynical, Black and Grey Morality-laden Used Future set After the End) and Here Lies Arthur, a Demythtification that deconstructs Arthurian legend, also wrote Larklight and sequels, a hilarious and absurd Affectionate Parody of things like Treasure Island which runs on British Stuffiness, Rule of Funny, and occasional Rule of Cool. And good always wins. Yes...yes, they are by the same person.
  • Shel Silverstein wrote children's poetry such as The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends. He also wrote novelty songs such as: "The Great Smoke Off", "The Cover of Rolling Stone", "A Boy Named Sue" and its sequel "The Father of a Boy Named Sue".
  • In addition to writing The Jungle, Upton Sinclair also wrote the Children's book The Gnome-Mobile.
  • Dr. Seuss used to be a political cartoonist during World War II, creating many hilarious cartoons about the defeat of Hitler and more than a few horrifying caricatures of Japanese people.
  • Walter Tevis, author of The Hustler and The Color of Money, also wrote The Man Who Fell to Earth.
  • JRR Tolkien is most famous for his fantasy novels, but his day job was as a philologist, translator, and university professor; he wrote one of the seminal articles on the subject of the Old English poem Beowulf, translated part of the Jerusalem Bible, did one of the best-known translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and contributed to the Oxford English Dictionary. On the side, he was also an amateur philosopher and Catholic apologist.
  • Mark Twain was probably diverse enough where nothing would surprise those familiar with him, but those not familiar would probably be surprised to hear about how he wrote travelogues. His first two books were travelogues (The Innocents Abroad, Roughing It) and The Innocents Abroad was his best-selling book while he was alive.
  • E.B. White, author of beloved children's books Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web, is also the "White" of "Strunk and White", the handbook more formally known as The Elements of Style.
  • PG Wodehouse is nowadays better known for his light novels than for his work on musical comedies; the song lyrics he wrote for these shows received considerable praise.
  • Aside from writing acclaimed speculative fiction novels such as the Book of the New Sun and Book of the Long Sun, Gene Wolfe also developed the machine that cooks Pringles potato chips.
  • Apparently, the Paul Zindel who won a Pulitzer Prize for the play The Effects Of Gamma Rays On Man In The Moon Marigolds is the same one who wrote such horror novels as The Doom Stone and Reef of Death.


Other

  • Miley Cyrus' late grandfather, Ron Cyrus could count as this. United States Senator for 21 years, Little League coach, Armco steel rigger, Kentucky Colonel, executive secretary and treasurer of the Kentucky AFL-CIO, served in the U.S. Air Force in Japan, worked as a regional representative for Alan Greenspan of the Federal Reserve Board, sang bluegrass with the Crownsmen Quartet, and was a member of the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association.
  • Albert Schweitzer is remembered by most people as a physician and humanitarian, but he was also a musician (organist), musicologist (who wrote studies of the works of J.S. Bach), theologian, Lutheran minister, and philosopher.
  • Alfred Nobel (yes, that Nobel) invented dynamite and owned huge weapons factories. He created the Nobel prizes after a scathing obituary was written about him being a "merchant of death" (after a mix-up where his brother died and that paper thought it was Alfred). He willed the bulk of his estate to awarding the prizes so he wouldn't be remembered that way.
  • Noted film critic Roger Ebert co-wrote the screenplay for notorious shlock-fest Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Even more jarringly, among his bibliography of film guides, criticism and collections of reviews is a cookbook for electric rice-cookers.
  • Pablo Picasso was most famous for his cubist work, but he was also a major player amongst futurists, expressionists, surrealists, neoclassicists, artists of New Objectivity, dadaists and Art Brut. Many people don't realize that most members of these movements hated all the other movements, so Picasso's involvement with them all (and the fact that he was idolized by them all) is astounding. He was also a successful impressionist, and one of the earliest known comic artists.
  • James Lipton of Inside the Actor's Studio wrote the opening theme for Thundercats.
  • Shigesato Itoi, the man responsible for the MOTHER/Earthbound series, is ridiculously versatile and has dabbled in pretty much everything in the past thirty years, MOTHER being just another dabbling. He's also known for his fishing games, doing guest-judging on Iron Chef, and for voicing the father on My Neighbor Totoro. His actual profession is writing essays and copywriting, in his signature writing style and idiosyncrasies. In Japan, that's what you think when you hear the name Shigesato Itoi, but in America, (if at all), it's Earthbound. MOTHER was just Itoi experimenting into a new medium after being inspired by playing Dragon Quest, and its sales in Japan are largely based on the fact that he made it, and it and its sequels' slogans were also a factor, of course. The TV commercial even specifically says that it was by him, invoking In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It without actually using it. Its sequels' sales were also boosted by the fact that they were sequels to the games before them.
  • Louis Farrakhan: leader of the Nation of Islam religious group, political activist...former calypso singer?
  • Herb Kohl (D-WI)is not only a respected long serving United States Senator, and before that president of the retail chain Kohl’s, he is also the owner of an NBA Basketball team the Milwaukie Bucks.
  • Former United States Senate Majority Leader and current special envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell (D-ME), between holding those jobs he became the Chairman of Walt Disney, Chancellor of Queen's University in Belfast Northern Ireland, lead the Baseball steroid investigation, was president of the international law firm DLA Piper, helped negotiate peace in Ireland, and was a board member of several companies including the Boston Red Sox, and held several diplomatic post.
  • Keith Olbermann, the famous American Liberal talk show pundit, is also one of the country's foremost experts on the subject of baseball cards. He's written columns for various sports websites about his love of baseball and is a member of the Society Of American Baseball Research. He used to be one of the anchors for ESPN's Sports Center.
  • Dr. Benjamin Spock, the famous child care specialist also won an Olympic gold medal in rowing back in 1924.
  • Albert Speer, the architect responsible of the Nazi monumental architecture, was also the creator of the Volkswagen (ironically known as a hippie-culture icon).
  • Tom Kneitel was a well-known figure among radio hobbyists, mostly for being the editor of the magazines S9 (about CB radio) and Popular Communications (mainly about shortwave radio). But he and his wife were also extremely influential figures in the establishment of Wicca in America. Since he used a "craft name" (Phoenix) for his Wiccan activities, hardly anyone in either camp was aware of his prominence elsewhere.
  • Henry Agard Wallace was FDR's Agriculture Secretary, Vice President and Commerce Secretary, in that order. While he is remembered more for his political work, he was among the first to breed hybrid corn (and other things from strawberries to chickens), and wrote a number of works on agriculture. In addition, he edited both The New Republic (after he left government) and Wallaces' Farmer (before he went into government).
  • Audie Murphy is probably best known as a highly decorated WWII veteran who earned most of his medals by doing Crazy Awesome things in combat. But he also cowrote (with the help of an uncredited journalist friend) a best-selling war memoir, To Hell And Back, which he parlayed into an acting career that spanned 44 movies in 20 years, mostly lead roles in b-westerns. During the Korean War, he served stateside as a training instructor in the Texas National Guard. He also became a breeder of racing Quarter Horses, and contributed significantly to the development of the breed. He also occasionally rode as a jockey and won two novelty races. He sought catharsis for his war experiences by writing poetry, and from there he branched out into writing lyrics for Country Music songs. In addition, he occasionally worked as an undercover agent for the police, investigating drug dealers and possibly the mafia. And this was a guy who didn't live to see retirement age!
  • Both World Wars pretty much ensured that a large number of famous people from two generations also served in the military or related fields in addition to the main source of their fame. Among these can be cited of note (takes breath) Christopher Lee (Commando in WWII), Kurt Vonnegut (WWII private and Dresden flattening survivor), William Butler Yeats (volunteer in WWI), Ernest Hemingway (volunteered as paramedic in WWI and spy in WWII), bogus director and crossdresser extraordinaire Ed Wood (war hero in Guadalcanal... in panties), Ian Fleming (WWII), painters Otto Dix, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka and lots of other Germans/Austrian young poor artists (drafted in WWI), Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (tank commander in the Great Patriotic War, decorated twice), B-25 bomber gunner Charlton Heston (WWII) a whole lot of French enlisted in La Résistance (mime Marcel Marceau, philosopher Simone Weil, writers Marguerite Duras, Albert Camus, Samuel Beckett, Paul Eluard, Louis Aragon, André Malraux, Tristan Tzara etc). Technically, Queen Elizabeth II also served in WWII, though not in a fighting capacity - she volunteered for the British women's auxiliary force, thus making her the only current head of state who's a veteran of that war. (A fact which caused some controversy when she wasn't invited to the D-Day commemoration in 2010.)
  • History has seen a lot of Warrior Poets, along with Warrior Philophers, and Warrior Artists.Socrates fought against the invading Persians, Xenophon was a Greek mercenary, Thucydides experienced first-handedly the Peloponnesian Wars, Horace fought in the Roman Civil Wars, a sharp decrease can be seen during the Dark Ages (where the ruling caste were often barbarian invaders) and the Middle Ages (where the feudal lords were sometimes literate and sometimes not and usually had enough on their plates politically to keep them busy). Things go booming during the last years of the High Middle Ages, where knights were supposed to be poets as well, while still being actually efficient and ruthless iron-clad warriors. The heyday of the Warrior Poet, some examples includes Chrétien de Troyes, Sir Thomas Mallory, and very notably Dante Alighieri, who incidentally had to exiled from Florence and became a rogue knight who fought for many different lords, Leonardo da Vinci was contracted as a military engineer in Venice, Miguel De Cervantes was a young officer and war hero at Lepanto and so it goes.
  • probably half of the United States Presidents fought in some war. Even if one limited it to the ones who held the rank of general it would take some time to list them all. The most famous are, of course, Washington, Jackson and Grant, whose pictures appear on the currency. But Taylor, Eisenhower and Harrison (the one who died of pneumonia) also had very successful military careers before going into politics.
  • Chaim Weizmann was a Zionist leader and the first President of Israel. He was also a notable chemist, "who developed the ABE-process which produces acetone through bacterial fermentation" (Wikipedia).
  • Árpád Göncz, the first president of post-Communist Hungary, was previously a writer who translated many books into Hungarian, including The Lord of the Rings.
  • Pioneering goresploitation film director Herschell Gordon Lewis leads a double-life as an advertising copywriter and has written dozens of books about direct-market advertising (don't you dare call it "junk mail" in his presence).


In-Universe Examples:

  • Zal of Quantum Gravity primarily does Mode X (think rock/alternative) stuff, but when he was starting out, he did a lot of different stuff. Naming it all is a task better put to a page detailing music genres.
  • In Jon Sable Freelance mercenary Jon Sable is also writes children's books. Of course, he goes to great length to keep that a secret since who would hire a mercenary that writes children's books. He also was an Olympic Athlete.
  • Buckaroo Banzai is a world-famous scientist, neurosurgeon, presidential advisor, rock and roll musician, and explorer of the unknown.

Notes

  1. From right to left: Necronomicon: Book of Dead (1993), Beyond Re-Animator (2003), Bride of Re-Animator (1990) and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
  2. best known in the U.S. for its incarnation as a Turbo Grafx-16 game, which was released as Keith Courage in Alpha Zones in that territory
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