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Christopher Walken

Christopher WalkenAKA Ronald Christopher Walken

Born: 31-Mar-1943
Birthplace: Astoria, NY

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Dead Zone

Christopher Walken is one of the weirdest American actors, with unmistakably stoic mannerisms, delivery, and voice, and a face that seems to hold no emotion, or all emotions. He shot to fame playing Russian roulette in The Deer Hunter.

Walken's parents were both immigrants. His father, a baker from Germany, ran Walken's Bakery in Queens. His mother, an amateur actress from Scotland, gave up her own on-stage ambitions, but noticed there were opportunities in New York for cute children as models, and in TV shows and commercials. Mr. and Mrs. Walken had three cute children, Christopher, Kenneth, and Glenn, and their paychecks helped the family make ends meet. All three appeared on television shows, on Broadway, and in the movies, but only Christopher made it his career.

Young Christopher, or "Ronnie Walken", as he was often credited, was a dancer at first. In those days, most of TV's many variety shows featured dancing, and Walken worked with Milton Berle, Ernie Kovacs, Sid Caesar, Jerry Lewis, and other giants of that era. As a boy, Walken was off-stage, watching Lewis perform live on television, when he decided he would be a performer all his life.

Walken made his Broadway debut at 15 in 1958, playing a lion tamer and working with a live lion in J.B., directed by Elia Kazan. He went to Hofstra University, but dropped out after a year when he was cast opposite Liza Minnelli in the play Best Foot Forward. In 1964, he appeared in a Broadway production of High Spirits directed by Noel Coward. His film debut was in Me and My Brother (1968), with Allen Ginsberg, in which Walken borrowed his father's German accent and shouted directions to an actor auditioning to play a catatonic-schizophrenic.

At some point, Walken developed an aversion to traditional punctuation. He's said that he would sometimes cross out punctuation marks in textbooks, and he still crosses out punctuation in his scripts today. Instead, he's explained that he reads scripts and speaks his lines with a dancer's cadence in his mind, sort of vocally "dancing" the lines. The words come out in Walken's signature style, often parodied by impressionists, to Walken's own delight.

In 1969, while in a touring production of West Side Story, Walken met and married another dancer, Georgianne Thon. She is now a Hollywood casting director, whose name is in the credits for several movies every year, as well as in The Sopranos.

In 1981, while filming the underrated science fiction film Brainstorm, Walken was invited aboard a yacht with his co-star Natalie Wood and her husband Robert Wagner. Off the coast of Catalina Island, Wood fell overboard and drowned. Rumors of foul play or a love triangle of Wagner, Walken and Wood have persisted, but Walken says the truth is much sadder and more boring, as accidents usually are. She simply slipped.

Walken's other famous roles include the dancing pimp in Pennies from Heaven, the man with visions in The Dead Zone, Whitley Strieber, abducted by aliens in Communion, the soulless mobster in King of New York, a lonely farmer in Sarah, Plain and Tall, the part that didn't suck in Batman Returns, the mobster who laughed at Dennis Hopper's insults in True Romance, the angel Gabriel in The Prophecy, the slimeball record producer in Wayne's World 2, a soldier with a watch up his ass in Pulp Fiction, The Hessian Horseman in Sleepy Hollow, and a man with a plan in The Stepford Wives.

Father: Paul Walken (baker, d. Feb-2001)
Mother: Rosalie Walken (baker)
Brother: Kenneth Walken (child actor)
Brother: Glenn Walken (child actor)
Wife: Georgianne Thon Walken (casting director, The Sopranos, m. 1969)

    High School: Professional Children’s School, Manhattan, NY (1961)
    University: Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY (dropout)

    Oscar for Best Supporting Actor 1979 for The Deer Hunter
    Mugged Venice, Italy
    Roast: Lorne Michaels (2004)
    German Ancestry Paternal
    Scottish Ancestry Maternal

    Father Figures (21-Dec-2017)
    Nine Lives (3-Aug-2016)
    The Jungle Book (4-Apr-2016) [VOICE]
    Eddie the Eagle (26-Jan-2016)
    Jersey Boys (5-Jun-2014)
    The Power of Few (15-Feb-2013)
    Stand Up Guys (11-Oct-2012)
    A Late Quartet (10-Sep-2012)
    Seven Psychopaths (7-Sep-2012)
    Dark Horse (5-Sep-2011) · Jackie
    Kill the Irishman (11-Mar-2011) · Shondor Birns
    The Maiden Heist (Jun-2009) · Roger Barlow
    $5 a Day (15-May-2008) · Nat
    Balls of Fury (29-Aug-2007)
    Hairspray (20-Jul-2007)
    Man of the Year (13-Oct-2006)
    Fade to Black (9-Oct-2006) · Brewster
    Click (23-Jun-2006) · Morty
    Domino (25-Sep-2005) · Mark Heiss
    Romance & Cigarettes (6-Sep-2005) · Cousin Bo
    The Wedding Crashers (15-Jul-2005)
    Around the Bend (8-Oct-2004) · Turner Lair
    The Stepford Wives (6-Jun-2004) · Mike Wellington
    Envy (30-Apr-2004) · J-Man
    Man on Fire (21-Apr-2004) · Paul Rayburn
    The Rundown (22-Sep-2003) · Hatcher
    Gigli (27-Jul-2003) · Det. Stanley Jacobellis
    Kangaroo Jack (11-Jan-2003) · Sal Maggio
    Julius Caesar (27-Dec-2002)
    Catch Me If You Can (16-Dec-2002) · Frank Abagnale
    Undertaking Betty (4-Oct-2002) · Frank Featherbed
    The Country Bears (21-Jul-2002) · Reed Thimple
    Poolhall Junkies (8-Jun-2002) · Mike
    The Affair of the Necklace (20-Nov-2001) · Cagliostro
    America's Sweethearts (17-Jul-2001) · Hal Weidmann
    Joe Dirt (11-Apr-2001) · Clem
    Scotland, Pa. (22-Jan-2001)
    The Opportunists (21-Jun-2000)
    The Prophecy 3: The Ascent (14-Mar-2000) · Gabriel
    Kiss Toledo Goodbye (22-Nov-1999)
    Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter's End (21-Nov-1999) · Jacob Witting
    Sleepy Hollow (17-Nov-1999)
    Vendetta (3-Jul-1999)
    Blast from the Past (27-Jan-1999)
    New Rose Hotel (14-Oct-1998) · Fox
    Antz (19-Sep-1998) · Cutter [VOICE]
    Trance (18-Sep-1998)
    Illuminata (21-May-1998)
    The Prophecy II (20-Jan-1998) · Gabriel
    Mouse Hunt (19-Dec-1997) · Caeser
    Suicide Kings (6-Sep-1997)
    Excess Baggage (29-Aug-1997)
    Touch (14-Feb-1997) · Bill Hill
    Last Man Standing (20-Sep-1996) · Hickey
    The Funeral (8-Sep-1996) · Ray
    Basquiat (9-Aug-1996) · The Interviewer
    Nick of Time (22-Nov-1995) · Mr. Smith
    The Addiction (4-Oct-1995) · Peina
    The Prophecy (1-Sep-1995)
    Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (May-1995) · The Man with the Plan
    Search and Destroy (28-Apr-1995)
    Wild Side (23-Apr-1995)
    Pulp Fiction (14-Oct-1994) · Capt. Koons
    A Business Affair (16-Mar-1994)
    Wayne's World 2 (10-Dec-1993) · Bobby Cahn
    True Romance (10-Sep-1993)
    Scam (22-May-1993)
    Skylark (7-Feb-1993)
    All-American Murder (18-Dec-1992)
    Day of Atonement (9-Dec-1992)
    Batman Returns (19-Jun-1992) · Max Shreck
    Mistress (29-Apr-1992) · Warren Zell
    McBain (20-Sep-1991)
    Sarah, Plain and Tall (3-Feb-1991)
    The Comfort of Strangers (1-Sep-1990)
    King of New York (18-Jul-1990)
    Communion (10-Nov-1989)
    Homeboy (24-Aug-1988) · Wesley Pendergass
    Biloxi Blues (25-Mar-1988) · Sgt. Toomey
    The Milagro Beanfield War (18-Mar-1988) · Kyril Montana
    Deadline (2-Jul-1987)
    At Close Range (18-Apr-1986) · Brad, Sr.
    A View to a Kill (24-May-1985) · Max Zorin
    The Dead Zone (21-Oct-1983) · Johnny Smith
    Brainstorm (30-Sep-1983)
    Who Am I This Time? (2-Feb-1982)
    Pennies from Heaven (11-Dec-1981) · Tom
    The Dogs of War (28-Jan-1981)
    Heaven's Gate (19-Nov-1980) · Champion
    Last Embrace (4-May-1979) · Eckart
    The Deer Hunter (8-Dec-1978) · Nick
    Shoot the Sun Down (1978)
    Roseland (2-Oct-1977)
    Annie Hall (20-Apr-1977) · Duane Hall
    The Sentinel (7-Jan-1977) · Rizzo
    Next Stop, Greenwich Village (4-Feb-1976)
    The Mind Snatchers (28-Jun-1972)
    The Anderson Tapes (17-Jun-1971) · The Kid
    Me and My Brother (2-Feb-1969)

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