Leonard Cohen is the Canadian Bob Dylan. While best known perhaps as a singer-songwriter who penned the tune “Hallelujah” — which was covered by Jeff Buckley, John Cale and just about everyone else under the sun — he was also at varying points in his colorful life a poet, a novelist, a law student and a Zen monk. Well, you can add to this list guest star on Miami Vice. Yes. Miami Vice, Michael Mann’s decade-defining crime series that somehow made stubble, pastel colors and Don Johnson cool.
Appearing on the episode “French Twist,” Cohen plays Francois Zolan, a French secret service agent who is up to no good. Though he’s in the episode for only a couple of minutes and almost all of it on the phone, Cohen just manages to ooze menace. You can see him and some truly breathtaking examples of ‘80s fashion in the clip above.
Miami Vice had a habit of casting music icons. Little Richard, Frank Zappa , Willie Nelson, Eartha Kitt and Miles Davis also appeared in the series. But, unlike Cohen, they didn’t act in French.
Jonathan Crow is a Los Angeles-based writer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hollywood Reporter, and other publications. You can follow him at @jonccrow. And check out his blog Veeptopus, featuring one new picture of a vice president with an octopus on his head daily.