William George Zane Jr.
February 24, 1966
|Other names||Bill Zane|
(m. 1989; div. 1995)
|Partner(s)||Candice Neil (2010–present; engaged)|
William George Zane Jr. (born February 24, 1966) is an American actor, producer, and artist. His breakthrough role was in the 1989 Australian film Dead Calm, which 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, but is perhaps best known for playing Caledon Hockley in the epic romance disaster film Titanic (1997), for which he was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Zane's other notable 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).
Zane was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Thalia and William George Zane Sr., both of whom were amateur actors and founders of a school for medical technicians. 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. He has an older sister, Lisa Zane, who is an actress and singer.
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.
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 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.
Zane was instrumental in realizing the critically acclaimed film The Believer, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival in 2001. 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 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. 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 is a principal at RadioactiveGiant, a film and television production and distribution company.
Zane starred in the 2012 action/thriller film The Kill Hole, 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. 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.
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. Zane dated Croatian model Jasmina Hdagha in 2010, but they broke up later that year.
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. Their first daughter, Ava Catherine, was born in 2011, and their second daughter, Gia, was born in 2014.
Other media projects
|1985||Back to the Future||'Match'|
|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'|
|1990||Megaville||Raymond Palinov / Jensen|
|Memphis Belle||Lieutenant Val Kozlowski||nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actor|
|Blood and Concrete||Joey Turks|
|1993||Sniper||NSC Agent Richard Miller|
|Betrayal of the Dove||Jesse Peter|
|1994||Reflections on a Crime||Colin|
|The Silence of the Hams||Jo Dee Fostar|
|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||Thief||executive producer|
|Susan's Plan||Sam Myers|
|Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World||John Rolfe||voice|
|1999||Promise Her Anything||George Putter|
|The Believer||Curtis Zampf|
|2003||Silent Warnings||Sheriff Bill Willingham||direct-to-DVD|
|The Kiss||Alan Roberts / Young Philip Naudet||direct-to-DVD|
|Starving Hysterical Naked||Jack|
|2004||Silver City||Chandler Tyson|
|Big Kiss||Billy||director and executive producer|
|The Pleasure Drivers||Marvin|
|2006||The Last Drop||Robert Oates||direct-to-DVD|
|Valley of the Wolves: Iraq||Sam William Marshall|
|2007||The Mad||Jason Hunt|
|Fishtales||Professor Thomas Bradley||co-producer|
|Alien Agent||Tom / Saylon|
|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||The Prophet|
|The Hessen Affair||Jack Durant|
|Enemies Among Us||Graham|
|2011||The Roommate||Professor Roberts|
|Sniper: Reloaded||NSC Agent Richard Miller||direct-to-DVD|
|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|
|The Kill Hole||Marshall|
|Blood of Redemption||Quinn Forte||direct-to-DVD|
|Come Find Me||Uncle||short|
|The Ganzfield Haunting||Father|
|Ghost of Goodnight Lane||Alan|
|Mining for Ruby||Professor Sam Goodwell|
|2015||Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard||Seiler|
|Billy Zayn Thinks Zayn Tweets Are About Him||Himself||short|
|West of Redemption||Hank Keller|
|2016||A Winter Rose||Preston Holdsworth|
|Swing State||Governor Richard Sollow|
|Dead Rising: Endgame||Leo Rand|
|Blue World Order||Master Crane|
|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|
|Holmes & Watson||Himself||cameo|
|2019||Cliffs of Freedom||Christo|
|The Great War||Colonel Jack Morrison|
|2020||Ghosts of War||Dr. Engel|
|Final Kill||Carl Riser||post-production|
|Guest House||Douglas Masters|
|Battle of the Bulge: Winter War||Direct-to-video|
|2021||The Believer||Dr. Benedict|
|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|
|Boston Public||Matthew Baskin||4 episodes|
|2004||Bet Your Life||Joseph||TV movie|
|2008||Finnegan||Brian Clark||TV movie|
|2009||Blue Seduction||Mikey Taylor||TV movie|
|Samantha Who?||Winston Funk||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"
|2014||Checked Out||Uncle Dennis||Pilot|
|Psych||Ian Collins||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||Stanley 'Stan' Guthrie||10 episodes|
|2017||Legends of Tomorrow||P. T. Barnum||Episode: "Freakshow"|
|2019||Curfew||Joker Jones||8 episodes|
|The Boys||Himself||2 episodes|
|2001||SSX Tricky||Brodi Ford|
|2002||Kingdom Hearts||Ansem, Seeker of Darkness|
|1985||"Do It For Love & Magic of Love"||Sheena Easton|
|1998||"The Dope Show"||Marilyn Manson||Recording industry executive|
|2013||"Rock n Roll"||Avril Lavigne||Protagonist/Antagonist/BearShark|
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- 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.
- Zwecker, Bill (April 26, 2005). "Honeymoon seems to be over for 'Newlyweds'". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007.
- Billy Zane Archived February 20, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- "Sundance Film Festival (2001)". IMDb.
- Billington, Michael (December 2, 2006). "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks". The Guardian. London. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
- 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.
- Interview with Billy Zane. Ecofabulous (September 23, 2010). Retrieved on 2011-11-15. Archived October 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- 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.
- Wohl, Jessica (January 25, 2017). "See the Spot: KFC's Latest Celebrity Colonel Goes for the Gold". Advertising Age. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
- "Billy Zane – Billy Zane Refers To Girlfriend As 'Wife'". Contactmusic.com. April 6, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- "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.
- Eden, Richard (October 13, 2013). "Titanic star Billy Zane puts wedding on hold because Candice Neil expecting their second child". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
- "Billy Zane: Oh, Captain!". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on March 28, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- "Gumball 3000 1999". Gumball 3000. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
- Hughes, Sarah (February 9, 2019). "Billy Zane: 'My art is similar to my acting – improvisational'". The Guardian. London.
- "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.
- "White Island". IMDb. June 23, 2016.
- Grater, Tom (February 10, 2016). "Independent picks up 'White Island' for EFM". Screen Daily.
- Bierly, Mandi (March 27, 2014). "'Psych' series finale postmortem: James Roday on landing that dream guest star and the ending". Entertainment Weekly.
- "Avril Lavigne teases new music video for 'Rock N Roll'" (Press release). Avril Lavigne. August 15, 2013 – via Pressparty.
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