Marisa Tomei is an American actress. She is the recipient of various accolades including an Academy Award and nominations for a BAFTA Award, two Golden Globe Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards. Following her work on the television series As the World Turns, she came to prominence as a cast member on The Cosby Show spin-off A Different World in 1987. After having minor roles in a few films, she came to international attention in 1992 with the comedy My Cousin Vinny, for which she received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Tomei has appeared in a number of successful movies, including What Women Want, Anger Management, Wild Hogs, Parental Guidance. Other films include Untamed Heart, Only You, The Paper, Unhook the Stars, Slums of Beverly Hills, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Love Is Strange and The Big Short, she received two additional Academy Award nominations for In The Wrestler. She has portrayed Aunt May in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing in the films Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming and in the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Tomei has worked in theater. She was involved with the Naked Angels Theater Company and appeared in plays, such as Daughters, Wait Until Dark, Top Girls, for which she received a nomination for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, The Realistic Joneses, for which she received a special award at the Drama Desk Awards. Marisa Tomei was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Adelaide "Addie", an English teacher, Gary A. Tomei, a trial lawyer, she has a younger brother, actor Adam Tomei, was raised by her paternal grandparents. Tomei's parents are both of Italian descent, she graduated from Edward R. Murrow High School in 1982. Tomei grew up in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn. While there, she became captivated by the Broadway shows to which her theater-loving parents took her and was drawn to acting as a career. At Andries Hudde Junior High School, she played Hedy LaRue in a school production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. After graduating from Edward R. Murrow High School in 1982, she attended Boston University for a year.
Tomei followed up As the World Turns in 1986 with a role on the sitcom A Different World as Maggie Lauten during the first season. Her film debut was a minor role in the 1984 comedy film The Flamingo Kid, in which she played Mandy, a waitress, she had only one line in the entire film. During this phase, she made her stage debut in 1987 at the age of 22 with the off-Broadway play Daughters, in which she played Cetta; the role earned the Theatre World Award for outstanding debut on stage. Following several small films, Tomei came to international prominence with her comedic performance in the 1992 film My Cousin Vinny, for which she received critical praise. Critic Vincent Canby wrote, "Ms. Tomei gives every indication of being a fine comedian, whether towering over Mr. Pesci and trying to look small, or arguing about a leaky faucet in terms that demonstrate her knowledge of plumbing. Mona Lisa is a first-rate auto mechanic, which comes in handy in the untying of the knotted story." For her performance, Tomei was named Best Supporting Actress at the 1993 Academy Awards, prevailing over Miranda Richardson, Joan Plowright, Vanessa Redgrave and Judy Davis.
American film critic Rex Reed created controversy when he suggested that Jack Palance had announced the wrong name after opening the envelope. While this allegation was disproved – the Academy denied it – Tomei called the story "extremely hurtful". A Price Waterhouse accountant explained that if such an event had occurred, "we have an agreement with the Academy that one of us would step on stage, introduce ourselves, say the presenter misspoke." This was borne out by the events at the 2017 Oscars, when La La Land was first announced as the Best Picture winner based on an error in handling the award cards and the real winner was announced shortly thereafter as Moonlight. After her Oscar win, Tomei appeared as silent film star Mabel Normand in the film Chaplin, with her then-boyfriend Robert Downey Jr. playing the title character. The following year, she starred in the romantic drama Untamed Heart with Christian Slater, for which they won the MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss. Tomei had won the previous year for Best Breakthrough Performance for My Cousin Vinny.
The following year, Tomei appeared alongside Downey again in the romantic comedy Only You. She appeared in Nick Cassavetes's Unhook the Stars. Of Tomei's performance, The New York Times wrote, "Ms. Tomei is fine as Mildred's younger, hot-tempered neighbor, whose raw working-class feistiness and bluntly profane vocabulary repel the genteel older woman." She received her first Screen Actor's Guild award nomination for Outstanding Female Supporting Actor for her performance. In 1998, she received an American Comedy Award nomination for Funniest Supporting Actress for Tamara Jenkins's cult film Slums of Beverly Hills; the independent film was well received by the public. The New York Times writes, "Jenkins makes the most of an ingratiating cast, with Ms. Tomei charming and funny as Rita" while another critic states Tomei is "spunky and sexy... more subdued than she is". Tomei spent several years away from high-profile roles and major motion pictures in the late 1990s, before rising again to prominence in the early 2000
Italian Americans are citizens of the United States of America who are of Italian descent. Italian Americans are the fourth largest ethnic group of European Americans behind German Americans, Irish Americans and English Americans. About 5.5 million Italians immigrated to the United States from 1820 to 2004. In 1870, there were fewer than 25,000 Italian immigrants in America, many of them Northern Italian refugees from the wars that accompanied the Risorgimento—the struggle for Italian unification and independence from foreign rule which ended in 1871. Immigration began to increase during the 1870s, when more than twice as many Italians immigrated than during the five previous decades combined; the 1870s were followed by the greatest surge of immigration, which occurred between 1880 and 1914 and brought more than 4 million Italians to the United States, the majority being from Southern Italy and Sicily, with many having agrarian backgrounds. This period of large-scale immigration ended abruptly with the onset of the First World War in 1914 and, except for one year, never resumed.
Further immigration was limited by several laws Congress passed in the 1920s. 84% of the Italian immigrants came from Southern Italy and Sicily, still rural and agricultural, where much of the populace had been impoverished by centuries of foreign misrule, an oppressive taxation system imposed after Italian unification in 1861. After unification, the Italian government encouraged emigration to relieve economic pressures in the South. After the American Civil War, which resulted in over a half million killed or wounded, immigrant workers were recruited from Italy and elsewhere to fill the labor shortage caused by the war. In the United States, most Italians began their new lives as manual laborers in eastern cities, mining camps and farms; the descendants of the Italian immigrants rose from a lower economic class in the first generation to a level comparable to the national average by 1970. The Italian community has been characterized by strong ties to family, the Roman Catholic Church, fraternal organizations, political parties.
Italian navigators and explorers played a key role in the exploration and settlement of the Americas by Europeans. Christopher Columbus, the explorer who first reached the Americas in 1492–1504, was Italian. Another notable Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci, who explored the east coast of South America between 1499 and 1502, is the source of the name America. England's claims in North America were based on the voyages of the Italian explorer John Cabot and his son Sebastian Cabot in the early 16th century. In 1524 the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano was the first European to map the Atlantic coast of today's United States, to enter New York Bay. A number of Italian navigators and explorers in the employ of Spain and France were involved in exploring and mapping their territories, in establishing settlements. In 1539, Marco da Nizza, explored the territory that became the states of Arizona and New Mexico; the first Italian to reside in America was Pietro Cesare Alberti, a Venetian seaman who, in 1635, settled in what would become New York City.
A small wave of Protestants, known as Waldensians, who were of French and northern Italian heritage, occurred during the 17th century. The first Waldensians began arriving around 1640, with the majority coming between 1654 and 1663, they spread out across what was called New Netherland, what would become New York, New Jersey and the Lower Delaware River regions. The total American Waldensian population that immigrated to New Netherland is unknown. Henri de Tonti, together with the French explorer LaSalle, explored the Great Lakes region. De Tonti founded the first European settlement in Illinois in 1679, in Arkansas in 1683. With LaSalle, he co-founded New Orleans, was governor of the Louisiana Territory for the next 20 years, his brother Alphonse de Tonty, with French explorer Antoine Cadillac, was the co-founder of Detroit in 1701, was its acting colonial governor for 12 years. Spain and France were Catholic countries and sent many missionaries to convert the native American population. Included among these missionaries were numerous Italians.
In 1519-25, Alessandro Geraldini was the first Catholic bishop in the Americas, at Santo Domingo. Father François-Joseph Bressani labored among the Algonquin and Huron Indians in the early 17th century. Between 1687 and 1711, the southwest and California were explored and mapped by Italian Jesuit priest Eusebio Kino; the Taliaferro family from Venice, was one of the first families to settle in Virginia. Francesco Maria de Reggio, an Italian nobleman who served under the French, came to Louisiana in 1751 where he held the title of Captain General of Louisiana until 1763. Another colonial, merchant Francis Ferrari of Genoa, was naturalized as a citizen of Rhode Island in 1752, he died in 1753 and in his will speaks of Genoa, his ownership of three ships, cargo of wine and his wife Mary, who went on to own one of the oldest coffee houses in America, the Merchant Coffee House of New York on Wall Street at Water St. Her Merchant Coffee House moved across Wall Street in 1772, retaining the same patronage.
Today, the descendants of the Alberti/Burtis, Fonda, Reggio an
Dominic Chianese is an American actor and musician. He is best known for his role as Corrado "Junior" Soprano on the HBO series The Sopranos, Johnny Ola in The Godfather Part II. Chianese was born in the New York, his father was a bricklayer. His grandfather settled in the Bronx. After a decade of attending college and appearing in Off-Broadway theatre, Chianese attended his first professional acting class at HB Studio in Manhattan, with renowned teacher Walt Witcover. Drama and musical theater became Chianese's passion, his first Broadway show was Oliver! in 1965. He has continued to perform in Broadway theatre, Off Broadway, regional theatre. To supplement income in the dry periods, he played rhythm guitar and sang in taverns and restaurants. Chianese's first television credit occurred when George C. Scott recommended him for a role in the acclaimed series East Side/West Side. In 1974, Francis Ford Coppola cast Chianese as Johnny Ola in The Godfather Part II, which sparked a film career, culminating in several films with Al Pacino.
Before being cast in The Godfather Part II, Chianese worked for the Drug Commission of New York State as a recreational worker in a rehabilitation center. He taught guitar to women. In 2010, Chianese received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of his humanitarian efforts. Chianese has appeared in four movies with his friend Al Pacino: The Godfather Part II - as Johnny Ola Dog Day Afternoon - as Sonny's Father... And Justice For All - as Carl Travers Looking for Richard - as HimselfChianese is an accomplished tenor and musician, having released a CD titled Hits in 2000, on which he sings American and Italian songs, he performed Salvatore Cardillo's sentimental classic "Core'ngrato", on the third-season finale of The Sopranos. In 2003, along with AOL Music, released a second CD titled Ungrateful Heart, which features 16 classic Neapolitan songs. Chianese appeared as a guest actor on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire for three seasons as Leander Whitlock, a retired lawyer and power broker.
In December 2018, Chianese and coauthor, Matthew Sargent, published the powerfully revealing biography of Chianese's improbable rise to the top, Twelve Angels: The Women Who Taught Me How to Act and Love, distributed by Simon & Schuster.' Dominic Chianese - Official Website Dominic Chianese on IMDb Dominic Chianese at the Internet Broadway Database A conversation with Dominic Chianese, The Sopranos' Uncle Junior in Lavery, David. The Essential Sopranos Reader. University Press of Kentucky. Pp. 339–362. ISBN 978-0-8131-3012-5. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list Dominic Chianese - Downstage Center interview at American Theatre Wing.org
Anthony M. LaPaglia is an Australian actor, he played the role of Joe in the coming-of-age comedy Empire Records and John in the film Autumn In New York, as well as FBI agent Jack Malone on the American television series Without a Trace, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama. He appeared in eight episodes of Frasier as Daphne Moon's alcoholic brother Simon. LaPaglia starred in the Australian films Looking for Alibrandi, Holding the Man and Balibo. For the latter two films he won AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 2001 and 2009. LaPaglia was born in Adelaide, South Australia, the son of Maria Johannes, a secretary and model, Gedio "Eddie" LaPaglia, an auto mechanic and car dealer. LaPaglia's mother was Dutch, his father emigrated from Bovalino, Italy, at the age of eighteen, his younger brother, Jonathan LaPaglia, is an actor, his other brother, Michael, is a car wholesaler in Los Angeles. LaPaglia attended Norwood High School. LaPaglia was working in Adelaide as a shoe salesman for Florsheim shoes in the early 1980s.
He asked to be transferred to the US and continued working there whilst studying acting as he was rejected by the prestigious Sydney drama school NIDA. LaPaglia first began his venture into dramatic art in his late teens, when he enrolled in an acting course at the South Australian Castings Agency in Adelaide; the two-and-half-year course was to be supplemented with a further three months, which would have included a "boot camp" and a trial listing with SA Castings. After completing one-and-a-half years of the course, LaPaglia left Adelaide for Los Angeles. LaPaglia's earliest credit was a 1985 part in an episode of the television series Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories, his first feature film was Cold Steel in 1987, followed that same year by the title role of Frank Nitti in the telemovie Nitti: The Enforcer. LaPaglia had a supporting role as a mobster in the minor hit Betsy's Wedding, he starred alongside Danny Aiello and Lainie Kazan in 29th Street, a fact-based comedy/bio-pic, as the first New York State Lottery winner, Frank Pesce, Jr.
This was followed by roles in the vampire/Mafia story Innocent Blood, the comedy thriller So I Married an Axe Murderer, the legal thriller The Client, the comedy Empire Records in 1995. That same year, LaPaglia appeared in the role of Jimmy Wyler, lead character in the TV series Murder One, during its second and final season. During 1997–98, LaPaglia appeared in a Broadway production of Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge with the Roundabout Theatre Company and received a Tony Award for his portrayal of the protagonist, Eddie Carbone. LaPaglia played Tito Merelli in Ken Ludwig's Lend Me a Tenor on Broadway. Before A View From the Bridge opened, LaPaglia was sent a script for the pilot of The Sopranos and met its creator, David Chase, to discuss the role of protagonist Tony Soprano. However, various factors, including his Broadway role, prevented LaPaglia obtaining the role. "'The Sopranos' thing didn't work out... and of course it did work out because the right person ended up with the role.
You can't imagine that show without James Gandolfini." LaPaglia did, however play an actor in a Sopranos-style TV show-within-a-film, in the comedy movie Analyze That. Spike Lee cast LaPaglia as a New York police detective in Summer of Sam. During 2000–04, LaPaglia appeared in eight episodes of the sitcom Frasier, including the finale, playing Daphne Moon's brother Simon; the role won him an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series". LaPaglia made his debut in an Australian production opposite Hugo Weaving in The Custodian; the following year he appeared in the romantic comedy Paperback Romance with Gia Carides, whom he married. He continued to live in Los Angeles, returning - from about 2000 - for roles in major Australian films such as Looking for Alibrandi, The Bank, Happy Feet, $9.99, Balibo and Happy Feet Two. In 2002, LaPaglia co-starred as a fire captain opposite Sigourney Weaver in The Guys, a film about New York firemen who died in the World Trade Center, he played the role onstage, rotating with Bill Murray and others.
"We did it as a tribute to the men," said LaPaglia. "I've been so lucky to do it. But I can't watch the video. It's too painful." He played fictional Australian actor Anthony Bella in the comedy movie Analyze That, but was uncredited in his role. In addition to playing the central character in Without a Trace during 2002–09, LaPaglia co-wrote an episode entitled "Deep Water". In 2009, LaPaglia played the part of Roger East, a real-life Australian journalist, in the political thriller Balibo, about the killing in 1975 of five Australian journalists by the Indonesian Army in the town of Balibo, East Timor; the opening scene depicts East's own summary execution, during the Indonesian invasion. In October 2011 it was announced that LaPaglia would join the cast of Quentin Tarantino's new film Django Unchained, in which he would portray an Australian character once again. However, he left the project, calling the production "out of control."In February 18, 2012, it was announced that LaPaglia would star in the ABC drama pilot Americana.
The show was not picked up. It was announced in May 2013 that LaPaglia signed on in the feature adaptation of Step
Mississippi is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Mississippi is the 32nd most 34th most populous of the 50 United States, it is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Alabama to the east, the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana to the south, Arkansas and Louisiana to the west. The state's western boundary is defined by the Mississippi River. Jackson, with a population of 167,000 people, is both the state's capital and largest city; the state is forested outside the Mississippi Delta area, the area between the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers. Before the American Civil War, most development in the state was along riverfronts, as the waterways were critical for transportation. Large gangs of slaves were used to work on cotton plantations. After the war, freedmen began to clear the bottomlands to the interior, in the process selling off timber and buying property. By the end of the 19th century, African Americans made up two-thirds of the Delta's property owners, but timber and railroad companies acquired much of the land after the financial crisis, which occurred when blacks were facing increasing racial discrimination and disfranchisement in the state.
Clearing of the land for plantations altered the Delta's ecology, increasing the severity of flooding along the Mississippi by taking out trees and bushes that had absorbed excess waters. Much land is now held by agribusinesses. A rural state with agricultural areas dominated by industrial farms, Mississippi is ranked low or last among the states in such measures as health, educational attainment, median household income; the state's catfish aquaculture farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the United States. Since the 1930s and the Great Migration of African Americans to the North and West, the majority of Mississippi's population has been white, although the state still has the highest percentage of black residents of any U. S. state. From the early 19th century to the 1930s, its residents were majority black, before the American Civil War that population was composed of African-American slaves. Democratic Party whites retained political power through disfranchisement and Jim Crow laws.
In the first half of the 20th century, nearly 400,000 rural blacks left the state for work and opportunities in northern and midwestern cities, with another wave of migration around World War II to West Coast cities. In the early 1960s, Mississippi was the poorest state in the nation, with 86% of its non-whites living below the poverty level. In 2010, 37% of Mississippians were African Americans, the highest percentage of African Americans in any U. S. state. Since regaining enforcement of their voting rights in the late 1960s, most African Americans have supported Democratic candidates in local and national elections. Conservative whites have shifted to the Republican Party. African Americans are a majority in many counties of the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta, an area of historic slave settlement during the plantation era; the state's name is derived from the Mississippi River. Settlers named it after the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi. Mississippi is bordered to the north by Tennessee, to the east by Alabama, to the south by Louisiana and a narrow coast on the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition to its namesake, major rivers in Mississippi include the Big Black River, the Pearl River, the Yazoo River, the Pascagoula River, the Tombigbee River. Major lakes include Ross Barnett Reservoir, Arkabutla Lake, Sardis Lake, Grenada Lake with the largest lake being Sardis Lake. Mississippi is composed of lowlands, the highest point being Woodall Mountain, in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, 807 feet above sea level; the lowest point is sea level at the Gulf Coast. The state's mean elevation is 300 feet above sea level. Most of Mississippi is part of the East Gulf Coastal Plain; the coastal plain is composed of low hills, such as the Pine Hills in the south and the North Central Hills. The Pontotoc Ridge and the Fall Line Hills in the northeast have somewhat higher elevations. Yellow-brown loess soil is found in the western parts of the state; the northeast is a region of fertile black earth. The coastline includes large bays at Bay St. Louis and Pascagoula, it is separated from the Gulf of Mexico proper by the shallow Mississippi Sound, sheltered by Petit Bois Island, Horn Island and West Ship Islands, Deer Island, Round Island, Cat Island.
The northwest remainder of the state consists of the Mississippi Delta, a section of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. The plain widens north of Vicksburg; the region has rich soil made up of silt, deposited by the flood waters of the Mississippi River. Areas under the management of the National Park Service include: Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site near Baldwyn Gulf Islands National Seashore Natchez National Historical Park in Natchez Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail in Tupelo Natchez Trace Parkway Tupelo National Battlefield in Tupelo Vicksburg National Military Park and Cemetery in Vicksburg Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 50,000: Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 20,000 but fewer than 50,000: Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 10,000 but fewer than 20,000: Mississippi has a humid
The Rose Tattoo (film)
The Rose Tattoo is a 1955 American film adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play of the same name. It was adapted by Williams and Hal Kanter and directed by Daniel Mann, with stars Anna Magnani, Burt Lancaster, Marisa Pavan and Jo Van Fleet. Williams wrote the play for Italian Anna Magnani to play on Broadway in 1951, but she rejected the offer because of her difficulty with the English language at the time. By the time of this film adaptation, she was ready. Anna Magnani won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance, it won Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography and received five other nominations including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Pavan. Serafina Delle Rose proudly praises her husband Rosario to her female neighbors in a shopping market, before revealing that she is pregnant with their second child. Returning home she finds Rosario asleep in bed and whispers to him. Emerging from his room she finds a young woman named Estelle at the door who wants her to make a shirt for her lover from some expensive silk material.
It transpires that Rosario is her lover as, when Serafina is out of the room, she steals a photograph of him from Serafina's sideboard before departing. That night Rosario is out working and Serafina is busy working on the shirt for her customer; the women of the neighborhood discover that Rosario has been killed in a fiery road accident while trying to speed away from the police. When Serafina discovers her beloved husband's demise she collapses, the local doctor informs her daughter Rosa and the women of the neighborhood that Serafina has miscarried. Three years Serafina is a recluse, having withdrawn from the world, she has allowed her appearance to deteriorate. It is the day of the high school graduation and the women of the neighborhood are impatiently banging on Serafina's front door for their daughters' graduation dresses, which she has sewn. Rosa is begging for her graduation dress from her mother, but Serafina has locked them—along with the rest of Rosa's clothes—away. Rosa's teacher turns up in the neighborhood demanding to know.
She goes to the Delle Rose household and makes Serafina see sense and she hands over the key. After much thought Serafina decides to attend her daughter's graduation. During this time two women arrive asking if Serafina can mend their bandanas for a festival to which they are going. Serafina reluctantly does so, but reprimands them. One of the women, takes offense and informs Serafina that her late husband was having an affair. Serafina does not go to the graduation ceremony after this revelation, but instead sits alone in the dark until Rosa comes home, she is infuriated when Rosa introduces her to her new sailor boyfriend Jack Hunter and Serafina mistrusts his intentions. After her interrogation, he confides, she forces him to vow before a statue of the Virgin Mary. Rosa and Jack are picked up by a car of friends for a party. Serafina is still stinging from the revelation. On a mission to root out the truth, she heads to the church to ask the priest if her husband had confessed to an affair with another woman.
He refuses to answer and she attacks him. A truck driver named Alvaro pulls her off the priest, but she tears Alvaro's shirtfront in her attack. Serafina collapses. Alvaro drives the dazed Serafina home in his banana truck, she offers to repair his torn shirt. At her home Alvaro acts the clown, flatters Serafina with compliments, brashly confiding his life story to her; some wine is consumed and she begins to talk of her late husband, whom she still idolizes. She mentions. Serafina loans Alvaro the rose silk shirt that she had sewn the night of her husband's death until she is able to repair the shirt she tore, they agree to meet that night. Alvaro returns, having impulsively gotten a rose tattooed on his chest. Serafina goes to throw him out, stating that he is dishonoring Rosario's memory, he awkwardly blunders at her. Reconsidering, Serafina demands. Once there she meets Estelle who asked her to make a silk shirt for her lover and guesses that she was having an affair with him. Estelle confesses that she was having an affair with Rosario before proceeding to show Serafina the rose tattooed on her chest as a symbol of her love for Rosario.
Returning home, Serafina smashes the urn containing Rosario's ashes. She invites Alvaro to return in the night. Alvaro turns up hours at the Delle Rose household intoxicated and, mortified by his actions, Serafina leaves him in a drunken stupor and retires to bed; that night Rosa falls asleep on the sofa. As Alvaro awakes from his drunken stupor he sees Serafina's beautiful daughter lying there asleep and moves over to kiss her; as he does Rosa wakes up and screams, before confronting her mother as to why there is a strange man in the house. Serafina gets rid of him, but the following morning she finds him on top of a boat mast outside her house begging for her forgiveness. Serafina and Rosa are embarrassed and Serafina refuses to leave the house in order to make him come down, much to Rosa's frustration. At that moment Jack asks Serafina if he can marry Rosa. Serafina is stunned, but seei
Christopher Walken is an American actor, director and playwright who has appeared in more than 100 films and television shows. Walken has had roles in films such as Annie Hall, The Deer Hunter, The Dogs of War, The Dead Zone, A View to a Kill, Batman Returns, True Romance, Pulp Fiction, Vendetta, Sleepy Hollow, Catch Me If You Can, Seven Psychopaths, the first three Prophecy films, The Jungle Book, Irreplaceable You, as well as music videos by many popular recording artists, he has received a number of awards and nominations, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Deer Hunter. He was nominated for the same award and won BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild Awards for Catch Me If You Can. Walken's films have grossed more than $1 billion in the United States. A two-time Tony Award nominee, he has played the lead in the Shakespeare plays Hamlet, Macbeth and Juliet, Coriolanus, he is a popular guest-host of Saturday Night Live. His most notable roles on the show include record producer Bruce Dickinson in the "More Cowbell" sketch.
He has appeared in Hallmark Hall of Fame's Sarah and Tall, which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. Walken debuted as screenwriter with the 2001 short film Popcorn Shrimp, he wrote and played the lead role in a 1995 play about his idol, Elvis Presley, titled Him. Christopher Walken was born Ronald Walken on March 31, 1943, in Astoria, New York, the son of Rosalie, a Scottish immigrant from Glasgow, Paul Wälken, a German immigrant from Gelsenkirchen who owned and operated Walken's Bakery in Astoria. Walken was named after actor Ronald Colman, he was raised Methodist. He and his brothers and Glenn, were child actors on television in the 1950s, influenced by their mother's dreams of stardom; when he was 15, a girlfriend showed him a magazine photo of Elvis Presley, Walken said, "This guy looked like a Greek god. I saw him on television. I loved everything about him." He has not changed it since. As a teenager, he worked as a lion tamer in a circus, he attended Hofstra University but dropped out after one year, having gotten the role of Clayton Dutch Miller in an off-Broadway revival of Best Foot Forward alongside Liza Minnelli.
Walken trained as a dancer at the Washington Dance Studio before moving on to dramatic stage roles and film. As a child, Walken appeared on screen as an 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 two years, he appeared on television and had a thriving career in theatre. From 1954 to 1956, Walken and his brother Glenn originated the role of Michael Bauer on the soap opera The Guiding Light. In 1963, he appeared. In 1966, Walken played the role of King Philip of France in the Broadway premiere of The Lion in Winter. In 1968 he played Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at the Stratford Festival in Canada. In 1969, Walken guest-starred in Hawaii Five-O as Navy SP Walt Kramer.
In 1964, he changed his first name to Christopher at the suggestion of Monique van Vooren, who had a nightclub act in which Walken was a dancer and who believed the name suited him better than Ronnie, which he was credited as until then. He prefers to be known informally as Chris instead of Christopher. Walken made his feature film debut with a small role opposite Sean Connery in Sidney Lumet's The Anderson Tapes. In 1972's The Mind Snatchers a.k.a. The Happiness Cage, Walken played his first starring role. In this science fiction film, which deals with mind control and normalization, he plays a sociopathic U. S. soldier stationed in Germany. Paul Mazursky's 1976 film Next Stop, Greenwich Village had Walken, under the name "Chris Walken", playing fictional poet and ladies' man Robert Fulmer. In Woody Allen's 1977 film Annie Hall, Walken played the homicidal and borderline crazy brother of Annie Hall. In 1977, Walken had a minor role as Eli Wallach's partner in The Sentinel. In 1978, he appeared in Shoot a western filmed in 1976 that costarred Margot Kidder.
Along with Nick Nolte and Burt Reynolds, Walken was considered by George Lucas for the part of Han Solo in Star Wars. In 1977, Walken starred in an episode of Kojak as Ben Wiley, a robber. Walken won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Michael Cimino's 1978 film The Deer Hunter, he plays a young Pennsylvania steelworker, destroyed by the Vietnam War. To help achieve his character's gaunt appearance before the third act, Walken consumed only bananas and rice for a week. Walken's first film of the 1980s was the controversial Heaven's Gate directed by Cimino. Walken starred in the 1981 action adventure The Dogs of War, directed by John Irvin, he surprised many critics and filmgoers with his intricate tap-dancing striptease in Herbert Ross's musical Pennies from Heaven. In 1