Christopher Walken

Actor

Born: 31 March 1943
Birthplace: New York, New York
Best known as:

The Russian roulette guy in The Deer Hunter

Christopher Walken starred as Nick, the on-the-edge Russian roulette player in The Deer Hunter (1978), a role that earned him an Oscar as best supporting actor and established him as a specialist in playing unstable characters. By the 1990s, Christopher Walken's creepy charm had become a popular in-joke, with him being cast in films for laughs almost as often as for serious effect. His films include The Anderson Tapes (1972, with Sean Connery), At Close Range (1986, as Sean Penn's father), the James Bond movie A View To a Kill (1985, with Roger Moore) and Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994). As the century turned, Walken seemed to be everywhere. He was in the Fatboy Slim video for "Weapon of Choice," he was on Saturday Night Live in the popular "more cowbell" skit, and he appeared in several films, including the horror series Prophecy (1995-2000), the animated feature Antz (1998), Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow (1999, starring Johnny Depp), Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can (2001, starring Leonardo DiCaprio) and the second film version of Hairspray (2007, starring John Travolta as Walken's wife).

Extra credit:

As a boy, Christopher Walken appeared on the soap opera The Guiding Light and worked with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin on the Colgate Comedy Hour... Christopher Walken co-starred with Natalie Wood in Brainstorm (1983), and was on a yacht with the actress and her husband Robert Wagner the night she drowned... Walken played writer Whitley Strieber in the film version of Communion (1989)... Christopher Walken had a small but memorable role in Woody Allen's Annie Hall (1977), playing Diane Keaton's brother.

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