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Austin Powers (character)

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Austin Powers
Austin Powers character
First appearanceAustin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Last appearanceAustin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
Created byMike Myers
Based onJames Bond
Portrayed byMike Myers
Aaron Himelstein (young)
Tom Cruise (in Austinpussy)
In-universe information
Full nameAustin Danger Powers
AliasRichie Cunningham
OccupationSpy for the Ministry of Defence
FamilyNigel Powers (father)
Douglas Powers (twin-brother)
SpouseVanessa Kensington (deceased)
Significant othersFelicity Shagwell
Foxxy Cleopatra
RelativesMini-Me (nephew)
Scott Evil (nephew)
Frau Farbissina (sister-in-law)
Helga Powers (grandmother)
Kyle (great-nephew)

Sir Austin Danger Powers KBE[1] is a fictional character from the Austin Powers series of films, and is created and portrayed by Mike Myers. He is the protagonist of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) and Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002).[2]

He is a womanizing, hard partying British spy embodying the Swinging London psyche and hippie culture of the 1960s who, with his nemesis Dr. Evil, was frozen in a cryonics experiment. The series' humor follows his attempts to adjust to the modern world as he continues to try to save it from terrorism.


Powers' "Shaguar" (Jaguar E-Type)

Austin Powers was a character seen as a parody of James Bond, and being influenced by Evelyn Tremble (played by Peter Sellers) in the spoof James Bond 1967 movie Casino Royale.[3] Other notable influences were Harry Palmer (played by Michael Caine who would go on to play Austin's father, Nigel, in Goldmember), especially his thick horn-rimmed glasses,[4] and the flamboyant dress sense of Jason King (played by Peter Wyngarde).[5]

The character of Austin Powers represents an archetype of 1960s Swinging London, with his advocacy for free love, his use of obscure expressions and his clothing style (including crushed velvet suits and Beatle boots).[6]


Myers, Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs formed the faux British 1960s band Ming Tea after Myers's Saturday Night Live stint in the early 1990s.[7][8] The band members all performed under pseudonyms with 1960s' personas. Myers adopted the pseudonym and character of Austin Powers.

This group made a number of live club and television performances in character. Myers's then wife, Robin Ruzan, encouraged him to write a film based on Austin Powers.[8][9] Obituaries of Simon Dee (1935–2009), the radio and BBC television presenter, stated that his "Sixties grooviness" made him the inspiration for the character.[10][11]

Heavily influenced by British pop culture growing up, Mike Myers has claimed that his British-born father was the inspiration behind Austin Powers.[12]

Other media[edit]


In popular culture[edit]

In November 2010, he was voted #23 in Entertainment Weekly's list "The 100 Greatest Characters of The Last 20 Years."[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Delbyck, Cole (2017-05-02). "10 'Austin Powers' Moments That Are Totally Shagadelic 20 Years Later". HuffPost. Retrieved 2020-12-19.
  2. ^ "THE MEDIA BUSINESS: ADVERTISING; Big marketers are betting on 'Austin Powers' to endear them to young people". The New York Times. 1999-06-14. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  3. ^ "Myers is funny, but he's no Peter Sellers". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). 28 November 2003. Archived from the original on 10 June 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Michael Caine: Austin Powers in Goldmember". BBC. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Obituary - Peter Wyngarde, flamboyant actor known for Jason King and Flash Gordon". The Herald. Glasgow. July 7, 2019.
  6. ^ John Storey (2010). "Culture and Power in Cultural Studies: The Politics of Signification". p. 60. Edinburgh University Press
  7. ^ Digital Hit (1997–2012). "Mike Myers". Digital Hit. Digital Hit Entertainment/ Multiplex Theatre Properties Inc. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  8. ^ a b Cherie D. Abbey; Omnigraphics; Kevin Hillstrom (2004). Biography Today Performing Artists. Omnigraphics. p. 101. ISBN 078080709X.
  9. ^ "This Sort Of Thing Is His Bag, Baby". Newsweek. May 18, 1997.
  10. ^ "TV chat show star Simon Dee dies". BBC. 2009-08-30. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  11. ^ "Dee day for the real Austin Powers". The Age. Melbourne. 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  12. ^ "Austin Powers has The Force". BBC. 1999-06-14. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
  13. ^ Kaplan, Don (1999-05-04). "YEAH, BABY! HBO SINKS TEETH INTO 'AUSTIN POWERS' CARTOON". The New York Post. Retrieved 2010-11-05.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Seiler, Andy (1999-06-21). "The spy who won't go away HBO will animate 'Austin Powers,' and a third movie is expected". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-11-05.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Ressner, Jeffrey (1999-06-21). "Cinema: Austin's Power". Time. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  16. ^ "Freebies Power Austin's Promotional Mojo". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  17. ^ "The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-11-05.