skip navigation
Kevin Kline

Kevin Kline

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (1)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Sophie's Choice DVD Screen favorite Meryl Streep received an Academy Award for her portrayal of... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Cyrano De Bergerac DVD Oscar-winner Kevin Kline returns to the stage in this powerful 2007 production... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

The Shakespeare Collection... IncludesA Midsummer Night's Dream (1999)A stellar cast, headed by Michelle... more info $24.98was $24.98 Buy Now

French Kiss DVD Meg Ryan ("Sleepless in Seattle") and Kevin Kline ("Dave") star in this bouncy... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

I Love You To Death DVD As the saying goes, "it's hard to keep a good man down." Apparently, it's also... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

On Golden Pond DVD Ernest Thompson's nuanced and moving family drama goes from stage to screen in... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: Kevin Delaney Kline Died:
Born: October 24, 1947 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: St Louis, Missouri, USA Profession: actor, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Perhaps one of the most prolific and versatile performers of his generation, actor Kevin Kline oscillated easily between stage and screen, while deftly playing for laughs or tears regardless of the medium. Proving equally at home in musical comedy, contemporary drama or the classics, Kline earned his reputation as an "actor's actor" in the 1970s, with numerous critically acclaimed performances; two of which earned him Tony Awards. Moving into features with a stellar performance in "Sophie's Choice" (1982), he quickly established himself as a feature leading man with roles in "The Big Chill" (1983), "Silverado" (1985) and "A Fish Called Wanda" (1988), which earned him an Academy Award. Though Kline demonstrated his capabilities and invoked comparisons with icons like Errol Flynn and Laurence Olivier, he also acquired a reputation for discretion and selectivity, creating an impressive body of work - including "The Ice Storm" (1997), "Life As a House" (2001) and "De-Lovely" (2004) - that deterred him from propelling to the front ranks of stardom. Which was exactly the way he wanted it.

Perhaps one of the most prolific and versatile performers of his generation, actor Kevin Kline oscillated easily between stage and screen, while deftly playing for laughs or tears regardless of the medium. Proving equally at home in musical comedy, contemporary drama or the classics, Kline earned his reputation as an "actor's actor" in the 1970s, with numerous critically acclaimed performances; two of which earned him Tony Awards. Moving into features with a stellar performance in "Sophie's Choice" (1982), he quickly established himself as a feature leading man with roles in "The Big Chill" (1983), "Silverado" (1985) and "A Fish Called Wanda" (1988), which earned him an Academy Award. Though Kline demonstrated his capabilities and invoked comparisons with icons like Errol Flynn and Laurence Olivier, he also acquired a reputation for discretion and selectivity, creating an impressive body of work - including "The Ice Storm" (1997), "Life As a House" (2001) and "De-Lovely" (2004) - that deterred him from propelling to the front ranks of stardom. Which was exactly the way he wanted it.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Hamlet (1990) Stage Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Frank or Francis (2013)
4.
 Last Vegas (2013)
5.
 Lincoln (2012)
6.
7.
 Extra Man, The (2010)
8.
 Conspirator, The (2010)
9.
 Queen to Play (2009)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Acting debut, "The Living Newspaper" at Indiana University in the late 1960s
:
Performed with Indiana University on a showboat on the Ohio River during summer
1970:
New York acting debut in minor roles with the New York Shakespeare Festival in "Henry VI, Parts I and II" and "Richard III"
1972:
Became founding member of The Acting Company, a theatrical troupe comprised of recent Juilliard graduates including David Ogden Stiers and Patti LuPone
1972:
Performed around the US with The Acting Company
1973:
Broadway debut with the Acting Company in "Scapin"
1976:
TV debut as regular on "Search for Tomorrow"
1976:
Appeared in PBS TV production of "The Time of Your Life" with The Acting Company
1978:
Understudied leading role of MacHeath (played by Raul Julia) in Broadway revival of "The Threepenny Opera"
1978:
Breakthrough stage role, Bruce Granit in "On the Twentieth Century"; won first Tony Award as Featured Actor in a Musical
:
Starred as the Pirate King in Wilford Leach's staging of "The Pirates of Penzance"; first performed at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park before moving to Broadway
1982:
Film debut, "Sophie's Choice" starring opposite Meryl Streep
1983:
Reprised role of the Pirate King in the film version of "The Pirates of Penzance"
1983:
First screen collaboration with Lawrence Kasdan, "The Big Chill"
1985:
Co-starred in Kasdan's revisionist Western "Silverado"
1985:
Co-starred with Raul Julia and Glenne Headley in revival of Shaw's "Arms in the Man"; last Broadway appearance for over a decade
1986:
First played "Hamlet" at the New York Shakespeare Festival
1988:
Won Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his comic portrayal of the dim-witted bully Otto in "A Fish Called Wanda"
1990:
Stage directing debut with "Hamlet" at the New York Shakespeare Festival; also played lead; later recreated for PBS' "Great Performances" with Kline directing and starring
1993:
Joined the New York Shakespeare Festival as an artistic associate
1993:
Performed dual roles as the US President and his doppelganger in Ivan Reitman's "Dave"
1994:
Had supporting role of a Greek butler opposite his wife Phoebe Cates in the comedy-drama "Princess Caraboo"
1996:
Provided the voice of Phoebus in Disney's animated "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"
1997:
Again played dual roles in "Fierce Creatures" which reunited him with his "Fish Called Wanda" co-stars; played an Australian media baron and his American son
1997:
Had starring roles in two critically-acclaimed features, the comedy "In & Out" and the drama "The Ice Storm"
1997:
Returned to the Broadway stage after 12 years to star in Chekhov's "Ivanov"
1999:
Played Bottom in Michael Hoffman's screen adaptation of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
1999:
Co-starred as Artemus Gordon opposite Will Smith's James West in the feature version of "Wild Wild West"
2001:
Cast as an award-winning movie actor in "The Anniversary Party"; featured alongside real-life wife Phoebe Cates and their two children
2001:
Returned to the New York Shakespeare Festival to appear in the Mike Nichols-directed Central Park production of "The Seagull"; reunited with Meryl Streep who played Arkadina (July-August)
2001:
Had lead role of a dying man who sets out to achieve his dream of building a home in "Life as a House"
2002:
Portrayed Professor William Hundert in "The Emperor's Club" a film adaptation of "The Palace Thief," based on a short story by Ethan Canin; had originally been announced to direct as well as star
2003:
Starred as as Sir John Falstaff in "Henry IV"; received Tony nomination
2004:
Portrayed Cole Porter, the legendary American composer in "De-lovely," directed by Irwin Winkler; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Lead Actor (Musical Or Comedy)
2004:
Received star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (December)
2006:
Portrayed Chief Inspector Dreyfus, opposite Steve Martin in a prequel to the 1964 Peter Sellers original film "The Pink Panther"
2006:
Cast in Robert Altman's ensemble feature "A Prairie Home Companion," based on Garrison Keilor's radio program
2007:
Cast in Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of the William Shakespeare play "As You Like It" (aired on HBO)
2007:
Played the title role in the Broadway production of Edmond Rostand's "Cyrano de Bergerac"
2009:
The live Broadway production of Edmond Rostand's "Cyrano de Bergerac" aired on PBS; earned Emmy and SAG nomination for Best Actor in a TV Movie
2009:
Nominated for the 2009 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
2010:
Starred in "The Extra Man" with Paul Dano
2012:
Co-starred with Diane Keaton with "Darling Companion"
2013:
Featured with Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Michael Douglas in "Last Vegas"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Saint Louis Priory School: St Louis , Missouri - 1959 - 1965
Indiana University: Bloomington , Indiana - 1970
Indiana University: Bloomington , Indiana - 1970
Juilliard School: New York , New York - 1970 - 1972

Notes

Kline was named Man of the Year (1998) by the Harvard Hasty Pudding Club.

In "A Fish Called Wanda", Kline, in trying to identify a telephone caller, asks "Was it Kevin Delany?" That is his first and middle name.

"'In a way Kevin is exactly like Hamlet,' says acting coach Harold Guskin, [Kline's] first drama teacher at Indiana University in the late 1960s and still a close friend. 'Both as an actor and a person, He always makes the illogical choice. He loves doing exactly what you least expect him to do and making it work. Right from the very beginning, when he quit a good job on [TV soap opera] 'Search for Tomorrow' and didn't have a job for months, he has trusted his instincts. And for good reason."---From "Closet Hamlet" by David Blum, Time, September 22, 1997.

"He's the only guy I know who can go from Jerry Lewis to Shakespeare."---"In & Out" director Frank Oz quoted in Los Angeles Times, September 14, 1997.

"I've been called absurdly selective or lazy. What was it John Cleese said? I'm the one person who makes Hamlet look decisive. But in fact I don't agonize over things... I don't have more meetings than anyone else or agonize over it more than anyone else."---Kline on his reputation for declining offers of work, Los Angeles Times, September 14, 1997.

"Musicals were something I never set out to do. It wasn't painful, it wasn't like I really wanted to only do Hamlet, but I wanted to do movies.

"Only after 10 years, I thought 'Hmmm. I guess this isn't going to happen. Maybe that's passed me by. Now, maybe I'm just going to do stage.' Then 'Sophie's Choice' happened."---Kline quoted in USA Today, September 12, 1997.

"... Kline is a demonically insiduous verbal and physical comic, his looks and carriage and dignity frequently preventing the onlooker from knowing until too late that the rug has been effortlessly yanked away. His talent is vast and though he hates to talk about it, the essence of it is this: Kline is a great comedian in dramatic disguise; he is a superb dramatic actor who never loses sight of comedy."---From "Mr. Decline" by James Kaplan, New York, September 8, 1997.

"Kline's not just great... No one else can play tragedy and comedy like he can. He's the only successor to Olivier."---Ian Judge, a director with Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company to The New York Times, January 26, 1997.

"While my father had opera in his background, my mother was, and continues to be, the really dramatic theatrical character in our family. She's way larger than life ... I think I learned comedy watching my father react to her because you had to have a sense of humor because, well, she's formidable!"---Kline to Dotson Rader in Parade, October 16, 1994.

"I think every American actor wants to be a movie star ..., but I never wanted to do stupid movies, I wanted to do films. I vowed I would never do a commercial, nor would I do a soap opera, both which I did as soon as I left the company [The Acting Company] and was starving."---Kevin Kline in Caught in the Act: New York Actors Face to Face by Don Shewey, 1986

"Kline in many ways epitomizes the generation of young actors who rejected the Actors Studio's Method that dominated American acting in the 1950s and sought an all-inclusive training that would make them adaptable to the full spectrum of experience as an actor. Musicals, dramas, theater and film, Shakespeare and Lanford Wilson."---Kevin Kline in Caught in the Act: New York Actors Face to Face by Don Shewey, 1986

"You hear about the difficulty stage-trained actors have when they get in front of a camera, where your energy is restricted from the neck up. It's taken me a while to realize that scale is a personal thing, and that you can play big. Olivier, O'Toole and Brando are just a few of the actors who have taken big chances. One of the differences I think is that if you take a big chance on screen and fail, the medium is more unforgiving."---Kevin Kline in the Los Angeles Times Calendar May 26, 1991.

He received the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theater from the Shakespeare Theater at the Folger in Washington, DC, for his numerous Shakespearean performances in 1989.

"His agent told us he turns down everything," says Ang Lee, [laughingly recalling an indecisive early meeting with the actor.] "At his agency they call him Kevin Decline." --From New York, September 8, 1997.

"Well, we don't live in this town, which may help. We live in another town. Phoebe's just retired to raise the children. She finds complete fulfillment in that. It's certainly a 24-hour a day commitment. She's never looked back. The thing about Phoebe is that when the kids are grown up and in college, she'll still look 22 so she can go off and start her career then. She refuses to age."---Kline on how he maintains a healthy marriage to Phoebe Cates in Hollywood www.christiananswers.net 2002

"I like the way it scrambles the whole movie-musical convention. There's something sui generis about it."---Kline on his film "De-Lovely" EWonline April 21, 2004

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Patti LuPone. Actor. Met at Juilliard; together from 1971-78.
companion:
JoBeth Williams. Actor. Dated briefly.
companion:
Glenn Close. Actor. Dated in the late 1970s.
wife:
Phoebe Cates. Actor. Met c. 1983; married on March 5, 1989.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Robert Joseph Kline. Toy and record store owner. Non-practicing Jew; born on January 10, 1909; died on September 5, 1996 at age 87; family owned Kline's department stores in the Midwest; had trained as an opera singer in his youth; owned and operated the toy and record store The Record Bar from 1942 until 1980.
mother:
Peggy Kline. Catholic.
sister:
Kate May. Founder, Shakespeare Project; producer; screenwriter. Older.
brother:
Christopher Kline. Younger.
brother:
Alex Kline. Younger.
son:
Owen Joseph Kline. Born October 14, 1991; mother Phoebe Cates.
daughter:
Greta Simone Kline. Born March 21, 1994; mother, Phoebe Cates.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute