Billy Zane

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Billy Zane
Billy Zane Photo Op GalaxyCon Raleigh 2019.jpg
Zane at GalaxyCon Raleigh in 2019
William George Zane Jr.

(1966-02-24) February 24, 1966 (age 56)
Years active1985–present
(m. 1989; div. 1995)
Partner(s)Candice Neil (2010–present; engaged)

William George Zane Jr. (born February 24, 1966) is an American actor. His breakthrough role was in the 1989 Australian film Dead Calm, a performance that earned him a nomination for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actor. He has since appeared in numerous films and television series, notably playing the main antagonist Caledon Hockley in the epic romance disaster film Titanic (1997), for which he was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Zane's other film roles include Kit Walker / The Phantom in the superhero film The Phantom (1996), "Match" in the Back to the Future franchise, Lieutenant Val Kozlowski in Memphis Belle (1990), The Collector in Demon Knight (1995), Curtis Zampf in The Believer (2001), and Richard Miller in the Sniper film series. He also played the recurring role of John Justice Wheeler in the second season of the TV series Twin Peaks, and provided the voice of Ansem in the video game Kingdom Hearts (2002).

Early life[edit]

Zane was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Thalia and William George Zane Sr., both of whom were professional actors and founders of a school for medical technicians.[1][2] His parents are both of Greek descent (from Chios through his mother and Mani through his father), and his family's original surname, "Zanetakos", was anglicized to "Zane" by his parents, who also raised him in the Greek Orthodox faith.[3][4][5] He has an older sister, Lisa Zane, who is an actress and singer.[6]

After completing a year abroad in Switzerland at The American School in Switzerland (TASIS), Zane graduated from Francis W. Parker School and attended Harand Camp of the Theater Arts, located in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.[citation needed]



Zane's first two screen roles were in the science fiction films Back to the Future in 1985 and Critters in 1986, around the same time he appeared in the music videos for Sheena Easton's songs "Do It For Love" and "Magic of Love". In 1988, he played Tony Gambini alongside Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote: A Very Good Year for Murder. Zane also appeared in an episode of Matlock entitled "The Nurse". In 1989 he reprised his henchman role in Back to the Future Part II. Earlier that same year, Zane gained international recognition with the role of villain Hughie Warriner in the thriller Dead Calm, alongside Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill. He also starred in the NBC film The Case of the Hillside Stranglers (1989), and Adam Sandler's "no budget" debut Going Overboard (1989) which was not released to a wider audience until 1996.


Zane's first starring role was in a 1990 independent film, the low budget science fiction thriller Megaville. In 1990, he also co-starred in the film Memphis Belle, a film version of a 1944 film about a World War II Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, as the bombardier. Zane also forayed into television work, and in 1991 he appeared as John Justice Wheeler in several episodes of David Lynch's hit TV-show Twin Peaks. In 1992 Zane co-starred alongside Tilda Swinton in the film adaptation of Virginia Woolf's novel Orlando. In 1993, he played the Shakespearean actor "Mr. Fabian" in Tombstone, took a starring role in Sniper was also in Lake Consequence and played a playboy named Harry, posing as the elusive, albeit fake Damon Bradley alongside Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. in Only You.

He also starred in a couple of Tales from the Crypt productions, including Tales From the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, where he played a henchman of Satan called The Collector, and the episode "Well-Cooked Hams", where he played a poorly skilled magician who killed to steal good tricks from other magicians. In 1996, Zane played the eponymous classic comic book hero in the big budget action film The Phantom, based on Lee Falk's comic.

Zane played the snobbish millionaire misanthrope Caledon Hockley in James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster Titanic. This role as Rose's (played by Kate Winslet) fiancé earned him an MTV Movie Award nomination for "Best Villain" and a Blockbuster Entertainment Award. He was also nominated for a SAG award.

In 1998, he starred in and produced I Woke Up Early the Day I Died, a silent film based on Ed Wood's last script, intended as a parody on bad filmmaking. He won several awards at the B-Movie Film Festival, including Best Movie and Best Actor, for this work. The year after, he starred opposite Timothy Dalton, Bruce Payne, Sean Pertwee and Leonor Varela (who became his fiancé after shooting ended) in a TV-movie about Cleopatra. Zane played the part of Mark Antony.

The same year, he voiced John Rolfe in Disney's Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World and Etrigan the Demon in an episode of The New Batman Adventures.


Billy Zane at the Cannes Film Festival, 2010

Zane was instrumental in realizing the critically acclaimed film The Believer, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival in 2001.[7] In it, he portrayed neo-Nazi Curtis Zampf, and starred opposite Ryan Gosling. The same year, he also had a cameo as himself in the comedy Zoolander.

Zane appeared on Broadway in Chicago, where he played lawyer Billy Flynn.

Zane also had a recurring role in the television series Charmed in which he played poetry-loving ex-demon Drake. He also provided the voice of Ansem, the main antagonist of the 2002 video game Kingdom Hearts, opposite Haley Joel Osment. Though archive audio of Zane was later used for Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, he was replaced by Richard Epcar for the rest of the series from Kingdom Hearts II onwards. Zane's performance, however, was kept for the Kingdom Hearts Final Mix remaster in Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMix.

In 2006, Zane starred in Arthur Allan Seidelman's West End production of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks as an acerbic gay dance instructor opposite Claire Bloom.[8] The same year, he appeared in the Turkish film Valley of the Wolves Iraq (Kurtlar Vadisi: Irak in Turkish), part of the Kurtlar Vadisi franchise. The film tells the story of the U.S. Army run amok in Iraq, eventually brought into check by a Turkish soldier. Zane plays Sam William Marshall, a cruel U.S. soldier who is the main antagonist in the film.

Zane in 2008

He took over Timothy Olyphant's role as Christina Applegate's ex-boyfriend on Samantha Who?. The show, however, was not renewed for the 2009–2010 season.[9]

Zane is a principal at RadioactiveGiant, a film and television production and distribution company.[10]


Zane starred in the 2012 action/thriller film The Kill Hole,[11] and in January 2017 he appeared in a commercial for KFC as a gold-colored Colonel Sanders to pitch the restaurant chain's newest limited-time flavor, Georgia Gold Honey Mustard BBQ chicken.[12] Zane also appeared in an episode of Community, season 6's "Advanced Safety Features".

Zane was also featured in two episodes of The Boys portraying a fictional version of himself who made a movie with Popclaw and also attended a comic convention with Tara Reid. In season 3, Zane appeared as himself portraying Alastair Adana in the Vought film Not Without My Dolphin'.

Personal life[edit]

Zane was married to actress Lisa Collins from 1989 until 1995. He was also engaged for a time to Chilean actress Leonor Varela, his co-star in the television film Cleopatra (1999).[13]

Zane was later engaged to marry British model-turned-actress Kelly Brook, whom he met when they co-starred in the movie Survival Island (2005), also known as Three. They split in April 2008, got back together again shortly thereafter, then ended the relationship in August 2008.[citation needed] Zane dated Croatian model Jasmina Hdagha in 2010, but they broke up later that year.[14]

Through a friend he met American model Candice Neil who is the mother of his two daughters and to whom he is also currently engaged.[13][15] Their first daughter, Ava Catherine, was born in 2011, and their second daughter, Gia, was born in 2014.[16]

In 1999, Zane participated in the first Gumball 3000 rally, driving a 1964 Aston Martin DB5.[17]

Zane is also an abstract expressionist painter. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions.[18]

Other media projects[edit]

Zane executive-produced a CD by bluesman Tim O'Connor that includes three songs from Dead Calm, in which Zane had one of the lead roles.[19]



Year Film Role Notes
1985 Back to the Future "Match" O'Malley
1986 Critters Steve Elliot
1989 Going Overboard King Neptune
Dead Calm Hughie Warriner nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actor
Back to the Future Part II "Match" O'Malley
1990 Megaville CKS Agent Raymond Palinov / Jensen
Memphis Belle Lieutenant Val Kozlowski nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actor
1991 Femme Fatale Elijah
Blood and Concrete Joey Turks
Millions Maurizio Ferretti
1992 Orlando Shelmerdine
1993 Sniper NSC Agent Richard Miller
Posse Colonel Graham
Poetic Justice Brad
Tombstone Mr. Fabian
Betrayal of the Dove Jesse Peter
1994 Reflections on a Crime Colin
The Silence of the Hams Jo Dee Fostar
Flashfire Jack Flinder
Only You Harry / Fake Damon Bradley
1995 The Set-Up Charles Thorpe
Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight The Collector
1996 The Phantom Kit Walker / The Phantom
Head Above Water Kent
Danger Zone Rick Morgan co-producer
1997 This World, Then the Fireworks Marty
Titanic Caledon N. "Cal" Hockley Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Drama
nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast
nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
1998 I Woke Up Early the Day I Died The Thief executive producer
Susan's Plan Sam Myers
Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World John Rolfe voice
1999 Promise Her Anything George Putter
2001 Zoolander Himself uncredited cameo
The Believer Curtis Zampf
CQ Mr. E.
Morgan's Ferry Sam
2002 Claim Roberto Bealing
Landspeed Michael Sanger
2003 Silent Warnings Sheriff Bill Willingham direct-to-DVD
Vlad Adrian
The Kiss Alan Roberts / Young Philip Naudet direct-to-DVD
Starving Hysterical Naked Jack
Imaginary Grace Nero
2004 Silver City Chandler Tyson
Big Kiss Billy director and executive producer
2005 Dead Fish Virgil
The Pleasure Drivers Marvin
BloodRayne Elrich
2006 The Last Drop Lieutenant Robert Oates direct-to-DVD
Survival Island Jack
Valley of the Wolves: Iraq Sam William Marshall
Memory Taylor Briggs
2007 The Mad Jason Hunt
Fishtales Professor Thomas Bradley co-producer
Alien Agent Tom Hanson / Saylon
2008 Perfect Hideout Victor
The Man Who Came Back Ezra
Love N' Dancing Kent Krandel
2009 Surviving Evil Sebastian "Seb" Beazley
Blue Seduction Mikey Taylor
Evil – In the Time of Heroes Prophitis Messenger
Darfur Bob Jones
The Hessen Affair Jack Durant
2010 Magic Man Darius
The Confidant Monty
Enemies Among Us Graham
2011 The Roommate Professor Roberts
Boop Max Fleischer short
Sniper: Reloaded NSC Agent Richard Miller direct-to-DVD
Mercenaries Colonel Torida
Flutter Edwin "The Dentist"
Mysteria The Producer
Lovemakers Jake's Agent
Guido Sid Shine
2012 The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption King Talus
Electrick Children Paul McKnight
Mama, I Want to Sing! Dillan
A Green Story Greg Hutchins
Two Jacks Max Faraday
Border Run Aaron Talbert
Dark Star Hollow The Devil
2013 The Employer Alan
The Kill Hole Marshall
Blood of Redemption Quinn Forte direct-to-DVD
Come Find Me Uncle short
2014 Scorned Kevin
The Ganzfield Haunting Father
HUVr Himself short
Ghost of Goodnight Lane Alan
Mining for Ruby Professor Sam Goodwell
2015 Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard Seiler
Billy Zane Thinks Zayn Tweets Are About Him Himself short
West of Redemption Hank Keller
Trouble Sleeping Charles
2016 A Winter Rose Preston Holdsworth
Zoolander 2 Himself
Swing State Governor Richard Sollow
Dead Rising: Endgame Leo Rand
Blue World Order Master Crane
White Island Leo[20][21]
Sniper: Ghost Shooter NSC Agent Richard Miller direct-to-DVD
The Adventure Club Langley
2017 Sniper: Ultimate Kill NSC Agent Richard Miller direct-to-DVD
2018 Samson King Balek
Holmes & Watson Himself cameo
2019 Cliffs of Freedom Christos
The Great War Colonel Jack Morrison
2020 Ghosts of War Dr. Engel
Final Kill Carl Riser
Guest House Douglas Masters
Battle of the Bulge: Winter War General Omar Bradley Direct-to-DVD
2021 The Believer Dr. Benedict
Iké Boys Newt Grafstrom
2022 Hellblazers Joshua
TBA Takeover Gamal Akopyan


Year Film Role Notes
1986 Brotherhood of Justice Les TV movie
Heart of the City Tobin Episode: "Don't Sell Yourself to the Cannibals"
1987 Matlock Eric Dawson Episode: "The Nurse"
Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8 Police Officer TV movie
1988 Crime Story Frankie "The Duke" Farantino Episode: "Protected Witness"
Murder, She Wrote Tony Gambini Episode: "A Very Good Year for Murder"
Police Story: Monster Manor Officer Don Varney TV movie
1989 The Case of the Hillside Strangler Kenneth Bianchi TV movie
1991 Twin Peaks John Justice Wheeler 5 episodes
1993 Lake Consequence Billy TV movie
Running Delilah Paul TV movie
Tales From the Crypt Miles Episode: "Well-Cooked Ham"
1998 The New Batman Adventures Jason Blood / Etrigan The Demon Voice
Episode: "The Demon Within"
1999 Cleopatra Marc Antony 2 episodes
2000 Sole Survivor Joe Carpenter TV movie
Hendrix Michael Jeffrey TV movie
2001 The Diamond of Jeru Mike Kardec TV movie
Invincible Os TV movie
Boston Public Matthew Baskin 4 episodes
2004 Bet Your Life Joseph TV movie
2005 Charmed Drake 3 episodes
2008 Finnegan Brian Clark TV movie
2009 Blue Seduction Mikey Taylor TV movie
Samantha Who? Winston Funk[9] 5 episodes
2010 Journey to Promethea King Laypach TV movie
The Deep End Cliff Huddle 6 episodes
2012 Red Clover Sheriff Connor O'Hara TV movie
Hannah's Law Lockwood TV movie
Robot Chicken Commander Edwards / King Ding Dong Voices
Episode: "Poisoned by Relatives"
Barabbas Barabbas TV movie
2014 Checked Out Uncle Dennis Pilot
Psych Ian Collins[22] Episode: "The Break-Up"
2015 The Wheel of Time: The Winter Dragon Elan Morin Tedronai / Ishamael TV movie
Community Honda Boss Episode: "Advanced Safety Features"
2015–2016 Mad Dogs Milo 2 episodes
2016 Guilt Stan Guthrie 10 episodes
2017 Legends of Tomorrow P. T. Barnum Episode: "Freakshow"
2018 Deception "Switch" 2 episodes
2019 Curfew "Joker" Jones 8 episodes
2019, 2022 The Boys Himself 3 episodes
2021 True Story Ari 2 episodes
MacGruber Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth 5 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
2001 SSX Tricky Brodi Ford
2002 Kingdom Hearts Ansem, Seeker of Darkness

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Artist Role Notes
1985 "Do It For Love & Magic of Love" Sheena Easton Unknown
1998 "The Dope Show" Marilyn Manson Recording Industry Executive
2001 "Epiphany" Staind Unknown
2013 "Rock n Roll"[23] Avril Lavigne Protagonist / Antagonist / BearShark


  1. ^ Mark, Norman. "The Brigadoon of Film Fests". TravelLady. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  2. ^ Billy Zane. Retrieved on November 15, 2011.
  3. ^ Dinges, Barnaby (March 18, 1990). "Lisa Zane looks soberly at 'Influence' Chicago actress has bold words about role and co-star Rob Lowe". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
  4. ^ Nasson, Tim (December 27, 2005). "Billy Zane & BloodRayne: From Wig to Wig". Wild About Movies. Archived from the original on November 2, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
  5. ^ Zwecker, Bill (April 26, 2005). "Honeymoon seems to be over for 'Newlyweds'". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007.
  6. ^ Billy Zane Archived February 20, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Sundance Film Festival (2001)". IMDb.
  8. ^ Billington, Michael (December 2, 2006). "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks". The Guardian. London. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Ausiello, Michael (December 19, 2008). "'Sam Who' Recast Scoop: Zane In, Olyphant Out". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  10. ^ Interview with Billy Zane. Ecofabulous (September 23, 2010). Retrieved on 2011-11-15. Archived October 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Bryan, Steven (June 30, 2013). "'The Kill Hole' Features Chadwick Boseman, Billy Zane, Real-life Vets…". Yahoo! Voices. Archived from the original on June 30, 2013.
  12. ^ Wohl, Jessica (January 25, 2017). "See the Spot: KFC's Latest Celebrity Colonel Goes for the Gold". Advertising Age. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Billy Zane – Billy Zane Refers To Girlfriend As 'Wife'". April 6, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  14. ^ "Hollywood star Billy Zane and Croatian model Jasmina Hdagha break up". Croatian Times. Archived from the original on May 22, 2013. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  15. ^ Eden, Richard (October 13, 2013). "Titanic star Billy Zane puts wedding on hold because Candice Neil expecting their second child". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on January 11, 2022. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  16. ^ "Billy Zane: Oh, Captain!". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on March 28, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  17. ^ "Gumball 3000 1999". Gumball 3000. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  18. ^ Hughes, Sarah (February 9, 2019). "Billy Zane: 'My art is similar to my acting – improvisational'". The Guardian. London.
  19. ^ "Billy Zane's Parents Accused Of Cheating Students After They Closed Down Medical School". All Headline News. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
  20. ^ "White Island". IMDb. June 23, 2016.
  21. ^ Grater, Tom (February 10, 2016). "Independent picks up 'White Island' for EFM". Screen Daily.
  22. ^ Bierly, Mandi (March 27, 2014). "'Psych' series finale postmortem: James Roday on landing that dream guest star and the ending". Entertainment Weekly.
  23. ^ "Avril Lavigne teases new music video for 'Rock N Roll'" (Press release). Avril Lavigne. August 15, 2013 – via Pressparty.

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