Kevin Spacey

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Kevin Spacey
CBE
KevinSpaceyApr09.jpg
Spacey at South Street Seaport in April 2009
Born Kevin Spacey Fowler
(1959-07-26) July 26, 1959 (age 54)
South Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation Actor, director, screenwriter, producer
Years active 1986–present
Website
kevinspacey.com

Kevin Spacey, CBE (born Kevin Spacey Fowler; July 26, 1959) is an American actor, film director, screenwriter, and film producer. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s, before being cast in supporting roles in film and television. He gained critical acclaim in the early 1990s, culminating in his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Usual Suspects (1995), followed by an Academy Award for Best Actor for American Beauty (1999).

During a career which has earned Spacey several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, his other starring roles include Seven (1995), L.A. Confidential (1997), Pay It Forward (2000), K-PAX (2001), and Superman Returns (2006). He was the artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London from 2004 to 2014. He currently stars as Frank Underwood in the Netflix series House of Cards.

Early life

Spacey was born in South Orange, New Jersey, the son of Kathleen Ann (née Knutson; December 5, 1931 – March 19, 2003), a secretary, and Thomas Geoffrey Fowler (June 4, 1924 – December 24, 1992), a technical writer and data consultant.[1][2][3] He has two older siblings: a sister, Julie, and a brother, Randy. He has Swedish (from his maternal grandfather), English, and Welsh ancestry.[4] Spacey attended Northridge Military Academy, Canoga Park High School (in tenth and eleventh grades), and then Chatsworth High School in Chatsworth, Los Angeles, where he graduated valedictorian of his class.[5][6]

At Chatsworth, Spacey starred in the school's senior production of The Sound of Music, playing the part of Captain Georg von Trapp with Mare Winningham as Maria von Trapp. He took "Spacey" (his middle name and his paternal grandmother's maiden name) as his stage name.[3][7] Several reports have incorrectly suggested that he took his name in tribute to actor Spencer Tracy, combining Tracy's first and last names.[7] He had tried to succeed as a comedian for several years, before attending the Juilliard School in New York City, where he studied drama,[8] between 1979 and 1981. During this time period, Spacey performed stand-up comedy in bowling alley talent contests.[9]

Career

Spacey's first professional stage appearance was as a spear carrier in a New York Shakespeare Festival performance of Henry VI, part 1 in 1981. The following year, he made his first Broadway appearance, as Oswald in a production of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts, starring Liv Ullmann. Then he portrayed Philinte in Molière's The Misanthrope. In 1984, he appeared in a production of David Rabe's Hurlyburly, in which he rotated through each of the male parts (he would later play Mickey in the film version). Next came Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. In 1986, he appeared in a production of Sleuth in a New Jersey dinner theatre.

His prominence as a stage actor began in 1986, when he was cast opposite Jack Lemmon, Peter Gallagher and Bethel Leslie as Jamie, the eldest Tyrone son in Jonathan Miller's lauded production of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night. Lemmon in particular would become a mentor to Spacey.[10] He made his first major television appearance in the second season premiere of Crime Story, playing a Kennedy-esque American senator. Although his interest soon turned to film, Spacey remained actively involved in the live theater community. In 1991, he won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Uncle Louie in Neil Simon's Broadway hit Lost in Yonkers. Spacey's father was unconvinced that Spacey could make a career for himself as an actor, and did not change his mind until Spacey became well-known.[9]

Some of Spacey's early roles include a widowed eccentric millionaire on L.A. Law, the television miniseries The Murder of Mary Phagan (1988), opposite Lemmon, and the comedy See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989). He earned a fan base after playing the criminally insane arms dealer Mel Profitt on the television series Wiseguy. He quickly developed a reputation as a character actor, and was cast in bigger roles, including one-half of the bickering Connecticut couple in the dark comedy film The Ref (1994), a malicious Hollywood studio boss in the satire Swimming with Sharks, and the malevolent office manager in the ensemble film Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), gaining him positive notices by critics. His performance as the enigmatic criminal Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects won him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.[8]

Spacey appeared in the 1995 thriller film Seven, making a sudden entrance late in the film as the serial killer John Doe after going unmentioned in the film's advertisements and opening credits. His work in Seven, The Usual Suspects, and Outbreak earned him Best Supporting Actor honors at the 1995 Society of Texas Film Critics Awards.[11][12] He remarked in 2013: "I think people just like me evil for some reason. They want me to be a son of a bitch."[13]

Spacey played an egomaniacal district attorney in A Time to Kill (1996), and founded Trigger Street Productions in 1997, with the purpose of producing and developing entertainment across various media. He made his directorial debut with the film Albino Alligator (1996). The film was a failure at the box office, grossing $339,379 with a budget of $6 million, but critics praised Spacey's direction. He also did voice work in Pixar's A Bug's Life (1998) voicing Hopper, the leader of a vicious gang of grasshoppers.

Spacey won universal praise and a Best Actor Oscar for his role as a depressed suburban father who re-evaluates his life in 1999's American Beauty;[8] the same year, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Spacey won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor and earned another Tony nomination in 1999 for The Iceman Cometh. In 2001, Spacey co-hosted, with Judi Dench, the Unite for the Future Gala, a UK fundraiser for the British Victims of 9/11 and Médecins Sans Frontières at London's Old Vic Theatre, produced by Harvey Goldsmith and Dominic Madden.

He played a physically and emotionally scarred grade school teacher in Pay It Forward (2000), a patient in a mental institution who may or may not be an alien in K-Pax (2001), and singer Bobby Darin in Beyond the Sea (2004). The latter was a lifelong dream project for Spacey, who took on co-writing, directing, co-producing, and starring duties in the biography/musical about Darin's life, career, and relationship with actress Sandra Dee. Facing little interest for backing in the United States, Spacey went to the United Kingdom and Germany for funding. Almost all of the film was made in Berlin.[10] Spacey provided his own vocals on the Beyond the Sea soundtrack and appeared in several tribute concerts around the time of the film's release. He received mostly positive reviews for his singing, as well as a Golden Globe nomination for his performance. However, reviewers criticized the age disparity between Spacey and Darin, noting that Spacey was too old to convincingly portray Darin, particularly during the early stages of the singer's life depicted in the film.

Spacey at HBO Post Emmys Party, 2008

Spacey hosted Saturday Night Live twice: first in 1997 with musical guest Beck and special guests Michael Palin and John Cleese from Monty Python's Flying Circus, and again in May 2006 with musical guest Nelly Furtado. In 2006, Spacey played Lex Luthor in the Bryan Singer superhero film Superman Returns. He was to return for its 2009 sequel, but it was recently revealed that there will not be a chronological sequel; it is currently unknown if he has been asked to resume the role in any future films.

Spacey also appeared in Edison, which received a direct-to-video release in 2006. In 2008, he played an MIT lecturer in the film 21. The film is based on Ben Mezrich's best seller Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, a story of student MIT card-counters who used mathematical probability to aid them in card games such as blackjack. In early 2010, Spacey went to China to star in writer-director Dayyan Eng's black comedy film Inseparable, becoming the first Hollywood actor to star in a fully Chinese-funded film.

Spacey is well known in Hollywood for his impressions. When he appeared on Inside the Actors Studio, he imitated (at host James Lipton's request) James Stewart, Johnny Carson, Katharine Hepburn, Clint Eastwood, John Gielgud, Marlon Brando, Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, and Jack Lemmon.[14] As a young actor in New York City, he used his skill to pretend to be Carson's son to obtain free theater tickets and enter Studio 54.[15]

Capitol/EMI's album Forever Cool (2007) features two duets with Spacey and the voice of the late Dean Martin: "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" and "King of the Road". Spacey is a patron of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, a charity that enables school children across the UK to perform Shakespeare in professional theatres.[16] He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Motion Picture and Television Fund.[17]

On March 18, 2011, it was announced that Spacey was cast as Frank Underwood in the Netflix series House of Cards.[18] He was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2013.

The Old Vic

In February 2003, Spacey announced that he was returning to London to become the artistic director of the Old Vic, one of the city's oldest theatres.[19] Appearing at a press conference with Judi Dench and Elton John, he promised both to appear on stage and to bring in big-name talent.[20] Spacey undertook to remain in the post for a full ten years. The Old Vic Theatre Company staged shows eight months out of the year. Spacey's first season started in September 2004, and opened with the British premiere of the play Cloaca by Maria Goos, directed by Spacey, which opened to mixed reviews.[21] In the 2005 season, Spacey made his UK Shakespearean debut, to good notices, in the title role of Richard II directed by Trevor Nunn.[21]

In mid-2006, Spacey said that he was having the time of his life working at the Old Vic; at that point in his career, he said, he was "trying to do things now that are much bigger and outside himself".[22] He performed in productions of National Anthems by Dennis McIntyre, and The Philadelphia Story by Philip Barry in which he played C.K. Dexter Haven, the Cary Grant role in the film version. Critics applauded Spacey for taking on the management of a theatre, but noted that while his acting was impressive, his skills and judgment as a producer/manager had yet to develop.[citation needed]

In the 2006 season, Spacey suffered a major setback with a production of Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues, directed by Robert Altman.[23] Despite an all-star cast (including Neve Campbell and Matthew Modine) and the pedigree of Miller's script, Spacey's decision to lure Altman to the stage proved disastrous: after a fraught rehearsal period, the play opened to a critical panning, and closed after only a few weeks.[22] Later in the year, Spacey starred in Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten, along with Colm Meaney and Eve Best. The play received excellent reviews for Spacey and Best, and was transferred to Broadway in 2007. For the spring part of the 2007–08 season, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Michelle Kelly joined Spacey as the three characters in David Mamet's 1988 play Speed-the-Plow.[24]

In January 2009, he directed the premiere of Joe Sutton's Complicit, with Richard Dreyfuss, David Suchet and Elizabeth McGovern.

In September 2009, Trevor Nunn directed Spacey in a revival of Inherit The Wind. Spacey played defense lawyer Henry Drummond, a role that was made famous by Spencer Tracy in the 1960 film of the same name.

Sam Mendes directed Spacey in a Shakespeare's Richard III; Spacey played the title role. The show began in June 2011, commencing a worldwide tour culminating in New York in early 2012.[25] In March 2014, it was announced that Spacey would star in a one man play at the Old Vic to celebrate his 10 years as artistic director. He took on the part of Clarence Darrow in the play.[26]

Other honors

Spacey was awarded a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa from the London South Bank University in November 2005.[27]

In June 2008, he was appointed as Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at St Catherine's College, Oxford, succeeding Patrick Stewart in the post. He was officially welcomed on October 13, 2008.[28]

On November 3, 2010, he was invested as an honorary CBE by Prince Charles at Clarence House, on behalf of the Queen, for services to drama.[29]

Personal life

A 1999 Sunday Times article stated that Spacey's "love affair with acting, and the absence of a visible partner in the life of an attractive 40-year-old, has resulted in misunderstanding and Esquire magazine's bet-hedging assertion two years ago that he must be gay".[30] He responded to such rumours by telling Playboy and other interviewers that he was not gay,[31] and telling Lesley White of the Sunday Times, "I chose for a long time not to answer these questions because of the manner in which they were asked, and because I was never talking to someone I trusted, so why should I? Recently I chose to participate because it's a little hard on the people I love."

In an interview with Gotham Magazine, Spacey said, "I've just never believed in pimping my personal life out for publicity. I'm not interested in doing it. Never will do it. They can gossip all they want; they can speculate all they want. I just happen to believe that there's a public life and there's a private life. Everybody has a right to a private life no matter what their profession is."[32] In 2000, he took his girlfriend of several years to the Academy Awards and thanked her during the acceptance speech for his Best Actor award.[32] Reports in 1999 and 2000 suggested that she was a script supervisor named Dianne Dreyer.[32][33][34][35]

In September 2006, Spacey said that he intends to take up British citizenship when it becomes available to him.[36][37] He is a Democrat and a friend of Bill Clinton, having met the former U.S. President before his presidency began. He described Clinton as "one of the shining lights" of the political process.[9] According to Federal Election Commission data, as of 2006, Spacey had contributed $42,000 to Democratic candidates and committees.[38] He additionally made a cameo appearance in the short film President Clinton: Final Days, a light-hearted political satire produced by the Clinton administration for the White House Correspondents Dinner.[39]

In September 2007, Spacey met Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Neither spoke to the press about their encounter, but hours later, Spacey visited the government-funded film studio Villa del Cine.[40] In December 2007, he co-hosted the Nobel Peace Prize Concert with Uma Thurman.[41] In March 2011, following Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko's crackdown on the Belarusian democracy movement, Spacey joined Jude Law and others in street protests against Lukashenko.[42]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1986 Heartburn Subway Thief
1988 Working Girl Bob Speck
1988 Rocket Gibraltar Dwayne Hanson
1989 Dad Mario
1989 See No Evil, Hear No Evil Kirgo
1990 When You Remember Me Wade Television film
1991 Henry & June Richard Osborn
1991 Darrow Clarence Darrow
1991 Show of Force, AA Show of Force Frank Curtin
1992 Consenting Adults Eddy Otis
1992 Glengarry Glen Ross John Williamson
1994 Ref, TheThe Ref Lloyd Chasseur
1994 Iron Will Harry Kingsley
1994 Doomsday Gun Jim Price Television film
1995 Seven John Doe
1995 Usual Suspects, TheThe Usual Suspects Roger "Verbal" Kint
1995 Swimming with Sharks Buddy Ackerman
1995 Outbreak Major Casey Schuler
1996 Looking for Richard Himself
Duke of Buckingham
1996 Time to Kill, AA Time to Kill District Attorney Rufus Buckley
1997 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil James "Jim" Williams Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Actor
1997 L.A. Confidential Detective Sergeant Jack Vincennes
1997 Albino Alligator Director
1998 Hurlyburly Mickey
1998 Negotiator, TheThe Negotiator Lieutenant Chris Sabian
1998 Bug's Life, AA Bug's Life Hopper Voice
1999 American Beauty Lester Burnham
2000 Ordinary Decent Criminal Michael Lynch Producer
2000 Pay It Forward Eugene Simonet
2000 Big Kahuna, TheThe Big Kahuna Larry Mann Producer
2001 Shipping News, TheThe Shipping News Quoyle
2001 K-PAX Prot / Robert Porter Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actor
2001 Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure Narrator Voice
2002 Austin Powers in Goldmember Himself Playing Dr. Evil in a film
2003 Life of David Gale, TheThe Life of David Gale David Gale
2004 Beyond the Sea Bobby Darin
2004 United States of Leland, TheThe United States of Leland Albert T. Fitzgerald Producer
2006 Edison Wallace Direct-to-video
2006 Superman Returns Lex Luthor
2007 Fred Claus Clyde Northcut
2007 Hackers Wanted Narrator / Himself Unreleased - Leaked in 2010
2008 21 Mickey Rosa
2008 Recount Ron Klain
2009 Shrink Henry Carter
2009 Telstar Major Banks
2009 Moon Robot ("Gerty") Voice
2009 Men Who Stare at Goats, TheThe Men Who Stare at Goats Larry Hooper
2010 Casino Jack Jack Abramoff Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2010 Father of Invention Robert Axle
2011 Margin Call Sam Rogers
2011 Horrible Bosses Dave Harken
2011 Inseparable Chuck Wall Street Journal's Top 10 Most Notable Asian Films of 2011
2012 Envelope Evgeniy Petrov
2013 Captain Phillips Executive producer
2014 Horrible Bosses 2 Dave Harken
2014 Unity Narrator Documentary
2014 NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage Richard, Duke of Gloucester Documentary

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1988 Wiseguy Mel Profitt 7 episodes
2013–present House of Cards Francis "Frank" Underwood 26 episodes
Pending – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2014)
Nominated – Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Drama Actor (2013)
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (2013)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2013)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series (2013)
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (2014)

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2014 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Jonathan Irons[43] Voice and motion capture[44][45]

Discography

Albums

Year Title Notes
2004 Beyond the Sea Nominated—Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
with Phil Ramone

Singles

Year Title Notes
1997 "That Old Black Magic" From the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil soundtrack

Live performances

References

  1. ^ "Social Security Death Index". Ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ Fischer, Paul (October 20, 2001). "The Alien World Of Kevin Spacey". FilmMonthly. Archived from the original on January 24, 2007. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Who's who in the world, 1991–1992 (Volume 10 of Who's who in the world). Marquis Who's Who. 1990. p. 348. ISBN 0-8379-1110-9. 
  4. ^ Biography for Kevin Spacey at the Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ "Kevin Spacey". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  6. ^ "13 Famous Valedictorians". MSN Encarta. 2008. Archived from the original on October 31, 2009. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b Soroff, Jonathan (2007). "Soroff/On Kevin Spacey". The Improper Bostonian. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  8. ^ a b c Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2000
  9. ^ a b c Kevin Spacey (video). Interview with Andrew Denton. July 10, 2006. Enough rope. ABC. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  10. ^ a b "In Step With: Kevin Spacey". Parade Magazine. December 5, 2004. 
  11. ^ Levy, Abraham (December 30, 1995). "Texas film critics give 'Suspects' top honors". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  12. ^ "The Society of Texas Film Critics 1995 Awards". Austin Chronicle. January 5, 1996. 
  13. ^ Nashawaty, Chris (February 8, 2013). "Kevin Spacey: Good & Evil". Entertainment Weekly (New York: Time Inc.): 54. 
  14. ^ Impersonations by Kevin Spacey (Full Video) on YouTube
  15. ^ Fallon, Jimmy (host) (2014-05-02). The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Season 1. NBC. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PEz8PQ5YPE.
  16. ^ http://ssf.uk.com/patrons/kevin-spacey
  17. ^ "Foundation Board of Directors". Motion Picture & Television Fund. Retrieved May 4, 2009. [dead link]
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 3, 2011). "Kevin Spacey Set To Star in David Fincher's Drama Series For MRC 'House of Cards'". Deadline. Retrieved March 3, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Spacey 'to run Old Vic'". BBC News. February 3, 2003. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Spacey becomes London theatre boss". BBC News. February 6, 2003. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  21. ^ a b "A Brief History of the Old Vic". Old Vic Theatre. 2008. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  22. ^ a b Lyall, Sarah (May 29, 2006). "Beyond a Sea of Criticism, All's Well for Kevin Spacey at Old Vic". New York Times. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  23. ^ "Spacey defends Old Vic management". BBC News. April 13, 2006. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  24. ^ Page, Alistair (December 10, 2007). "Goldblum to join Spacey in the Old Vic's Speed-the-Plow". The Stage. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  25. ^ "The Old Vic". Oldvictheatre.com. July 22, 2002. Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Kevin Spacey to star in one-man play at Old Vic". www.theguardian.com. March 18, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Honorary degrees for Kevin Spacey and the Bishop". London SE1 Community Website. November 11, 2005. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  28. ^ Martin, Nicole (July 12, 2008). "Kevin Spacey made professor at Oxford". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved July 3, 2008. 
  29. ^ Spacey invested with honorary CBE
  30. ^ White, Lesley (December 19, 1999). "Spacey's Odyssey". The Sunday Times Magazine. 
  31. ^ "Playboy interview". October 1999. 
  32. ^ a b c Bliss, Sara (May 2007). "The Drama King". Gotham Magazine. 
  33. ^ Wolk, Josh (April 7, 2000). "The Parties". Entertainment Weekly. 
  34. ^ "Lights, Camera, Freebies". Entertainment Weekly. April 7, 2000. 
  35. ^ Dianne Dreyer at the Internet Movie Database
  36. ^ Hastings, Chris (September 10, 2006). "Spacey sets the stage for nine years at the Old Vic". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  37. ^ Mauro, Jeff (July–August 2006). "Kevin Spacey's balancing act". Player. 
  38. ^ "Kevin Spacey's Campaign Contribution Report". NewsMeat.com. Retrieved July 17, 2006. 
  39. ^ "President Clinton: Final Days (2000)". New York Times. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  40. ^ Thomson, Katherine (September 25, 2007). "Kevin Spacey Meets With Hugo Chavez". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 2, 2008. 
  41. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize Concert 2007". The Norwegian Nobel Committee. December 11, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  42. ^ "BBC News - Kevin Spacey and Jude Law march against Belarus regime". BBC Online. 30 March 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  43. ^ http://www.charlieintel.com/2014/05/02/kevin-spaceys-character-in-advanced-warfare-may-be-named-jonathan-irons-head-of-atlas-corporations/
  44. ^ http://www.destructoid.com/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-leaked-see-the-first-video-and-images-274126.phtml
  45. ^ http://instagram.com/p/neawCsSp2H/#

External links