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Billy Zane

Real name: William George Zane Jr.
Birthdate: February 24, 1966
Status: Single
Partner: N/A

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William George "Billy" Zane, Jr. (born February 24, 1966) is an American actor and director. He is perhaps best recognized for his role as Caledon Hockley in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic, and as The Phantom in the 1996 eponymous film based upon the comic book superhero. As of 2007, Zane has appeared in over 50 films and numerous TV-series.

Zane was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Thalia and William George Zane, Sr., both of whom were amateur actors and founders of a school for medical technicians. His family's original surname, "Zanetakos", was anglicized to "Zane" by his grandparents. Both of his parents are Greek American and Zane was raised in the Greek Orthodox religion. He has an older sister, Lisa Zane, who is also an actress. After completing a year abroad at TASIS (The American School in Switzerland), Zane graduated from the Francis W. Parker School and attended Harand Camp of the Theater Arts, located in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Zane's first screen role was in Back to the Future (1985) playing one of Biff Tannen's friend/henchmen. Zane later reprised the role for the 1989 sequel, Back to the Future II. Later the same year, Zane gained international recognition with the role of psychotic villain Hughie Warriner in the thriller Dead Calm, alongside Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill.

Zane's first starring role was in a 1990 independent film, the low budget science fiction thriller, Megaville. In 1990, he also co-starred in the film Memphis Belle, a film version of a 1944 documentary about a World War II bomber plane. Zane also forayed into television work, and in 1991 he appeared as John Justice Wheeler in several episodes of David Lynch's hit TV-show Twin Peaks. In 1993, he played the Shakespearian actor "Mr. Fabian" in Tombstone .

Zane was instrumental in getting the critically acclaimed film The Believer made, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2001. In it, he portrayed neo-Nazi Curtis Zampf, and starred opposite Ryan Gosling. The same year, he also had a cameo as himself in the popular comedy Zoolander, which gave birth to the popular quote "Listen to your friend Billy Zane, he's a cool dude."

He voiced John Rolfe in Pocahontas 2, and Ansem in Squaresoft and Disney's renowned video game Kingdom Hearts, and voiced Etrigan "The Demon" in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Zane also had a recurring role in the popular television series Charmed in which he played poetry loving ex-demon Drake.

As of 2007, Zane is rumoured to be a candidate for the role of Marlon Brando in a biopic about the legendary actor written by newcomer Johnny Bas. He is also rumoured to star in a dark comedy produced by Bob Yari, the man behind the Academy Award-winning Crash. Zane has lined up several projects, including horror-comedy The Mad, ; 4Chosen (together with Laurence Fishburne); Alien Agent; Don Juan; and his second directorial effort, Uptown, about a man who starts a theater company for the mentally ill. Memory, a psychological thriller where Zane stars opposite Ann-Margret and Dennis Hopper, will be released in 2007. Zane is also set to star in a biopic on singer Mario Lanza, and opposite his fiancee Kelly Brook in family-comedy Fishtales.

In 1999, Zane participated in the first Gumball 3000 rally, driving a 1964 Aston Martin DB5. He was featured in the music video, Epiphany, by Staind, and appeared in his friend Marilyn Manson's Dope Show video.


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