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Christopher Walken

Real name: Ronald Walken
Birthdate: March 31, 1943
Status: Married
Partner: Georgianne Walken


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Christopher Walken (born March 31, 1943) is an American film and theatre actor. In 1979, Walken won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Deer Hunter, where he played a disturbed Vietnam veteran alongside Robert De Niro. Walken was nominated again in 2002 for Catch Me if You Can. He won the Clarence Derwent Award for his performance in The Lion in Winter in 1966 and an Obie for his 1975 performance in Kid Champion. He has played the main role in the Shakespeare plays Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Coriolanus.

Walken debuted as a film director and script writer with the short five-minute film Popcorn Shrimp in 2001. He also wrote and acted the main role in a play about Elvis Presley titled Him in 1995.

Walken first appeared on the screen as a child extra in numerous anthology series and variety shows during the Golden Age of Television. After appearing in a sketch with Martin and Lewis on The Colgate Comedy Hour, Walken decided to become an actor. He landed a regular role in the 1953 television show The Wonderful John Acton as the show's narrator. During this time, he was credited as "Ronnie Walken".

Over the next 20 years, he appeared frequently on television, landed an experimental film role in Me and My Brother, and had a thriving career in theatre. In 1964, he changed his name to "Christopher" at the suggestion of a friend who believed the name suited him better. He nowadays prefers to be known informally as "Chris Walken".

Walken won an Academy Award for best supporting actor in the controversial 1978 film, The Deer Hunter. He plays a young Pennsylvania steelworker who is emotionally destroyed by the Vietnam War. To help achieve a gaunt appearance for the role, Walken ate nothing but bananas and rice for a week.

At Close Range starred Walken as Brad Whitewood, a rural Pennsylvania crime boss who tries to bring his two sons into his empire.

In 2000, Walken was cast as the lead, along with Faith Prince, in James Joyce's The Dead on Broadway. A "play with music", The Dead was directed by Richard Nelson. The show featured music by Shaun Davey, conducted by Charles Prince with music coordination and percussion by Tom Partington. James Joyce's The Dead won a Tony Award that year for Best Book for a Musical.

Walken also had a part in the 2003 action comedy film The Rundown starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Seann William Scott, in which he plays a ruthless despot.

Walken is currently in the movie Five Dollars a Day, in which he plays a con man proud of living like a king on five dollars a day.

In another appearance, he performed a song and dance rendition of the Irving Berlin standard "Let's Face the Music and Dance". Finally, the "Colonel Angus" sketch, in which Walken played a dishonored Confederate officer, laden with ribald double entendres. Walken's SNL appearances proved so popular that he is one of the few SNL hosts for whom a "Best of...SNL" DVD is available (an honor usually reserved only for SNL cast members).

Walken has been married to Georgianne Walken (née Thon) since 1969. She is a casting director, most notably for The Sopranos. They live in rural Connecticut. In regards to his villainous roles preceding him when meeting new people, Walken says that "when they see me in a movie they expect me to be something nasty... that's why it's good to defy expectations some times."


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