Christopher Walken Biography
Christopher Walken, born Ronald Walken on March 31, 1943, is an accomplished American actor who has made his mark in film, television, and on stage.
Throughout his career, Walken has been recognized with multiple awards for his performances, including an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and nominations for two Primetime Emmy Awards and two Tony Awards.
Christopher Walken starred in many supporting roles in the 950s and 60s before making a name for himself in films such as The Anderson Tapes (1971), Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976), Roseland (1977) and Annie Hall (1977).
This led to his major breakthrough, when he was cast as the troubled Vietnam War veteran Nick Chevotarevich in The Deer Hunter (1978). His performance earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Since his breakthrough, Walken has appeared in films in various genres, both in lead and supporting roles. These include The Dogs of War (1980), The Dead Zone (1983), as Bond villain Max Zorin in A View to a Kill (1985), At Close Range (1986), Biloxi Blues (1988), King of New York (1990).
Other major films include, The Comfort of Strangers (1990), Batman Returns (1992), True Romance (1993), Pulp Fiction (1994), Suicide Kings (1997), Sleepy Hollow (1999), and in Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can (2002), which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Later films include Man on Fire (2004), Wedding Crashers (2005), Hairspray (2007), Seven Psychopaths (2012), A Late Quartet (2012), the first three Prophecy films, and Percy (2020). He has also provided voice work the animated films Antz (1998) and The Jungle Book (2016).
On television, Christopher Walken has appeared in films such as Who Am I This Time? (1982), and Sarah, Plain and Tall (1991), for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. More recently, he has starred in television series The Outlaws (2021-), and Severance (2022-), which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series nomination.
He is a popular guest-host of Saturday Night Live, hosting seven times. His most notable roles on the show include record producer Bruce Dickinson in the “More Cowbell” sketch, the disgraced Confederate officer Colonel Angus, and multiple appearances as an aging, unsuccessful lothario in the Continental sketch.
As a stage actor, Christopher Walken has played the lead in the Shakespeare plays Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Coriolanus. His performance in the original rendition of James Joyce’s The Dead (2000), earned him a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical nomination. He was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his role in Martin McDonagh’s A Behanding in Spokane (2010).
He also wrote and played the lead role in the 1995 play Him, about his idol Elvis Presley. During a tour of West Side Story in 1963, Walken was introduced to Georgianne Thon. They got married in January 1969, but the couple never had children.