Michael Jackson was a superstar singer who was also fascinated with fame. As he gained more creative control over his music videos he began to include more and more famous people into the casting. If you compare his early music videos (Billy Jean and Thriller) you will notice that while they are excellent videos, they don't have the standard celeb cameos that show up later on in his career. However, it is partly because of those early videos, and one should include Beat It and Bad in that list, that he was later able to cast so many celebs. Not only did Jackson love to work with superstars, major celebs loved to work with him. Here are seven examples of big stars who did cameo roles in Jackson's music videos.
Marlon Brando and Chris Tucker (and Michael Madsen as a bonus)
Marlon Brando is a perfect example of a superstar who appeared in a Michael Jackson video. The two men were friends in real life, and Jackson probably appreciated that the reclusive actor was one of the few celebs who could understand the level of fame he had. Jackson cast Brando in one of the last music videos he ever shot. It was for the song You Rock My World. It also started the actor Chris Tucker. Brando plays a shady mob type figure who runs a nightclub that Chris and Michael enter. The video also has a cameo by tough guy character actor Michael Madsen. Jackson and Brando were able to create a visually fun video where Brando did a riff on his most famous role (Don Corleone in The Godfather.)
Eddie Murphy and Iman
For his song Remember The Time, Jackson wanted to create a video set in Ancient Egypt. For the role of the pharaoh, he cast Eddie Murphy. He was also able to get Iman to play the role of the queen. The video was a lush, beautiful piece that showcased Jackson's dancing against a gorgeous ancient Egyptian backdrop.
Macaulay Culkin and George Wendt
For the music video for Black or White, Jackson brought in Macaulay as well as Cheers start George Wendt. They opened the music video with a short bit about a child arguing with his parents and then sending the father shooting through the roof of the house and into outer space. The video then cuts to Jackson dancing across various continents with people of different colors. The video was very controversial at the time, as it touched on race relations and as well as racial identity.
When Michael wanted to film a video of himself facing off against a basketball player, who did he get but the biggest basketball player in the world. The song Jam was made in 1992, when Jordan was at the height of his popularity. Jordan was among a handful of celebs that could attract the same media attention as Jackson.
The premise for the video is that there is a trade off in knowledge between the two men. In return for dance lessons, Jordan teaches Jackson how to play ball. For more Jackson trivia, talk to a company like Michael Jackson American Master.