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John Malkovich

John Malkovich

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The Sheltering Sky ... Debra Winger, John Malkovich, Campbell Scott. An exploration of the tender but... more info $14.95was $17.99 Buy Now

Making Mr Right ... Making Mr Right more info $12.95was $19.95 Buy Now

Of Mice and Men ... Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck's beloved novella (adapted for the screen by... more info $17.95was $29.95 Buy Now

Beyond the Clouds ... Legendary directors Michelangelo Antonioni (L'avventura) and Wim Wenders (Wings... more info $22.95was $29.95 Buy Now

The Killing Fields (30th... Winner of 3 Academy Awards! a New York Times reporter and his Cambodian aide are... more info $22.95was $27.98 Buy Now

Dangerous Liaisons ... Three Academy Awards went to this sly, seductive tale about the fatal attraction... more info $15.95was $19.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: John Gavin Malkovich Died:
Born: December 9, 1953 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Christopher, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, director, sound designer, producer, school bus driver, department store clerk, dishwasher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

John Malkovich was an American actor, director, producer, and fashion designer who always walked to the beat of his own highly idiosyncratic artistic drum. With his low, sonorous whisper of a voice juxtaposed with his towering frame, he first rose to prominence in the world of theatre, before becoming one of the most prolific and acclaimed film actors of the modern era, seamlessly moving between art house faire and splashy blockbusters, playing everything from a lecherous French count to a Depression-era simpleton, to, well, himself. Born on December 9, 1953 in Christoper, IL, Malkovich was the second child born to Daniel Leon Malkovich, a state conservation director and publisher of Outdoor Illinois (a conservation-themed magazine), and Joe Anne Choisser, a media magnate who owned Outdoor Illinois and the Benton Evening News. Malkovich first became interested in acting while attending Benton Consolidated High School, where he acted and sang in school plays. He was also well-known in his community as a member of the local folk gospel group, and would often sing at church services and community events. After a brief stint at Eastern Illinois University, Malkovich transferred to Illinois State...

John Malkovich was an American actor, director, producer, and fashion designer who always walked to the beat of his own highly idiosyncratic artistic drum. With his low, sonorous whisper of a voice juxtaposed with his towering frame, he first rose to prominence in the world of theatre, before becoming one of the most prolific and acclaimed film actors of the modern era, seamlessly moving between art house faire and splashy blockbusters, playing everything from a lecherous French count to a Depression-era simpleton, to, well, himself. Born on December 9, 1953 in Christoper, IL, Malkovich was the second child born to Daniel Leon Malkovich, a state conservation director and publisher of Outdoor Illinois (a conservation-themed magazine), and Joe Anne Choisser, a media magnate who owned Outdoor Illinois and the Benton Evening News. Malkovich first became interested in acting while attending Benton Consolidated High School, where he acted and sang in school plays. He was also well-known in his community as a member of the local folk gospel group, and would often sing at church services and community events. After a brief stint at Eastern Illinois University, Malkovich transferred to Illinois State University, where he studied theater. After graduating in 1976, Malkovich was selected to become a charter member of Chicago's illustrious Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Fellow members that year included Joan Allen, Gary Sinise, and Malkovich's future wife, Glenne Headly. Malkovich made his film debut in 1978 with a brief appearance as an extra in Robert Altman's ensemble comedy "A Wedding" (1978). In 1980, Steppenwolf began staging a production of Sam Shepard's legendary play "True West" in New York City, with Malkovich and Gary Sinise (who also served as director) in the lead roles. When the production debuted in 1982, it was a smash hit, and Malkovich won an Obie Award for Best Lead Actor in a Play. The show ended up running for two years, but by then, Malkovich had moved on to his next project, directing the Steppenwolf production of Lanford Wilson's "Balm of Gilead." This time, Malkovich won both an Obie AND a Drama Desk Award for his efforts. That same year, Malkovich made his Broadway debut playing Biff alongside Dustin Hoffman's Willy Lomax in a revival of "Death of a Salesman." He also somehow found time to co-star in both the Cambodian war drama "The Killing Fields" (1984), and the Depression-era drama "Places of the Heart" (1984), in which he played a blind boarder named Mr. Will. For the latter performance, Malkovich was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. The following year, CBS decided to turn the Broadway production of "Death of a Salesman" (CBS, 1985) into a made-for-TV movie. Malkovich reprised the role of Biff for the film, and won an Emmy for his performance. Having been recognized as a force to be reckoned with in the acting arena, Malkovich next worked with Steven Spielberg on the WWII drama "Empire of the Sun" (1987), was directed by Paul Newman in a film version of Tennessee Williams' classic play "The Glass Menagerie" (1987), and starred in Susan Seidelman's bizarre sci-fi romantic comedy "Making Mr. Right" (1987). For his next role, Malkovich wowed critics and audiences by embodying Valmont, the erotically charged and deeply conniving French lord in Stephen Frears's Oscar nominated period piece "Dangerous Liaisons" (1988). Though the film was a success, sadly life ended up imitating art: when Malkovich's wife, Glenne Headly, found out that he was having an affair with his co-star, Michelle Pfeiffer, she filed for divorce. As it turns out, the romance between Malkovich and Pfeiffer was also short-lived. While filming Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Sheltering Sky" (1990), Malkovich ended up falling for the assistant director, Nicoletta Peyran. Though they never officially married, the two ended up having two children together, and remain a couple to this day. After working with Woody Allen on the stylish drama "Shadows and Fog" (1990), Malkovich reunited with his old Steppenwolf buddy Gary Sinise for a film adaptation of John Steinbeck's classic novel "Of Mice and Men" (1992), with Malkovich playing the simpleton Lenny to Sinise's world-weary George. He followed this up with a deliciously villainous turn as a madman trying to assassinate the president in the action thriller "In the Line of Fire" (1994), a scenery chewing role which earned him his second Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. After reuniting with Stephen Frears for the flop Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde adaptation "Mary Reilly" (1996), Malkovich enjoyed another villainous, scenery-chewing performance, this time as Cyrus the Virus, a super villain who hijacks a plane full of convicts, with only heroic southerner Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage) prepared to stop him, in the silly yet enjoyable summer tentpole "Con Air" (1997). For his next part, Malkovich took on perhaps one of the strangest roles of his career: himself. In "Being John Malkovich" (1999), a fictionalized version of the titular actor finds himself in an existential quandary when an aspiring puppeteer (John Cusack) working a corporate drone job uncovers a porthole into Malkovich's head in his office, setting off a bizarre love triangle between the puppeteer, his hippie granola wife (Cameron Diaz), and his fiendishly sexy coworker (Catherine Keener). Written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by music video auteur Spike Jonze, the film was an indie smash, nominated for multiple Oscars, and ensured that passerby on the street would be screaming "Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich!" at our subject for the rest of time. On a creative roll, Malkovich next played legendary silent filmmaker F.W. Murnau to Willem Dafoe's bloodsucking Max Shreck in "Shadow of the Vampire" (2000), a fictionalized look at the making of "Nosferatu" (1922), before taking on his directorial debut, the dark thriller "The Dancer Upstairs" (2002), starring Javier Bardem. Malkovich then took a hard turn into sci-fi, playing Humma Kavula in the long-awaited film adaptation of Douglas Adams' classic novel "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (2005), and then veering over to dark comedy, playing a pompous, often drunk CIA analyst who finds himself entangled in a hare-brained extortion scheme in the Coen Brothers highly divisive "Burn After Reading" (2008). He clearly had a good time playing a senile former spy in the action comedy "RED" (2010), so much so that he returned for the sequel, "RED 2" (2013), but not before playing around with some giant robots in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (2011). After taking a supporting role as a mild-mannered man trying to survive a very convoluted apocalyptic event in the surprise Netflix horror hit "Bird Box" (2018), Malkovich could most recently be seen playing legendary detective Hercule Poirot in a miniseries adaptation of Agatha Christie's "The A.B.C. Murders" (BBC, 2019), as well as in another Netflix horror offering, "Velvet Buzzsaw" (2019), this time set in the art world of Los Angeles.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Dancer Upstairs, The (2002) Director
2.
  Terrorist, The (1998) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)
2.
 Eve (2019)
3.
 Mile 22 (2018)
5.
 Bird Box (2018)
6.
 Unlocked (2017)
7.
8.
9.
10.
 Zoolander 2 (2016)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

2000:
Acted opposite Gerard Depardieu in French television adaptation of "Les Misérables"; English language version aired in U.S. 2001 on Fox Family Channel
1984:
Broadway debut, "Death of a Salesman," playing Biff to Dustin Hoffman's Willy Loman
:
Directed and designed sound for the revival of Lanford Wilson's "Balm in Gilead" at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago and subsequently off-Broadway
1993:
Formed Smith-Malkovich Productions with Russell Smith
2003:
Featured in A&E miniseries "Napoleon"; received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
1984:
Made film debut as photojournalist in "The Killing Fields"
1982:
Made off-Broadway debut in Steppenwolf production of "True West," directed by Sinise (who also co-starred)
1999:
Played John Malkovich, a fictionalized version of himself, in Spike Jonze's witty and picaresque "Being John Malkovich"
1996:
Portrayed profligate seducer Gilbert Osmond in "The Portrait of a Lady," adapted from novel by Henry James
:
Stage directing debut, "The Rear Column," at the North Light Repertory Theatre, Evanston, IL
1994:
Adapted and directed the Steppenwolf production of Don DeLillo's "Libra," starring Laurie Metcalf and Alexis Arquette
1978:
Appeared in production of Sam Shepard's "Curse of the Starving Class" at Chicago's Goodman Theatre
2006:
Cast as King Galbatorix, a powerful Dragon Rider in "Eragon" a fantasy/adventure movie based on novel of same name
2008:
Cast as Reverend Briegleb in Clint Eastwood's "Changeling"
2003:
Co-starred in spy comedy feature "Johnny English"
1988:
Debuted as executive producer with "The Accidental Tourist"; did not act in film
1985:
First starring role in a feature, as journalist Nicholas Gage in Peter Yates' "Eleni"
2008:
Joined ensemble cast for Coen brothers' "Burn After Reading"
1988:
Offered an intriguing turn as the treacherous French aristocrat Valmont in "Dangerous Liaisons," helmed by Stephen Frears; on-set romance with co-star Michelle Pfieffer led to end of his marriage to Glenne Headly
1987:
Played dual roles of a nerdy scientist and a lookalike android in Susan Seidelman's "Making Mr. Right"
1999:
Played Herman J. Mankiewicz in HBO's "RKO 281," detailing the clash between Orson Welles and William Randolph Hearst over production and release of "Citizen Kane"
1992:
Played Lennie to Sinise's George in remake of "Of Mice and Men," directed by Sinise; had first essayed role in a Steppenwolf stage production many years earlier
2007:
Portrayed Austrian artist Gustav Klimt in Raoul Ruiz's "Klimt"
2000:
Portrayed film director F. W. Murnau in "Shadow of the Vampire," a fictionalized account of Murnau's filming of "Nosferatu," based on Bram Stoker's "Dracula"; screened at Cannes
2007:
Portrayed Unferth in Robert Zemeckis' big-budget film version of "Beowulf"
1997:
Reveled in scene-chewing role of Cyrus 'The Virus' Grissom in "Con Air"
1987:
Starred opposite Joan Allen in Broadway production "Burn This"
1990:
Teamed with director Bernardo Bertolucci for vividly atmospheric but torturously slow "The Sheltering Sky"
1994:
Appeared as sinister Kurtz in TNT movie presentation "Heart of Darkness," directed by Nicolas Roeg
1985:
Broadway directing debut, "Arms and the Man"; later assumed leading role, replacing Kevin Kline; production also featured then-wife Glenne Headly
1984:
Earned Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his turn as a misanthropic blind man in Robert Benton's "Places in the Heart"
1998:
Formed Mr. Mudd production company with producers Lianne Halfon and Russell Smith
2002:
Made feature directorial debut with "Dancer Upstairs," a police thriller based on a novel by Nicholas Shakespeare
1993:
Received second Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination as demented assassin Mitch Leary in "In the Line of Fire"
1991:
Returned to New York stage as the bombastic war veteran of Shepard's "States of Shock"
1999:
Staged "Hysteria" at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater Company
2004:
Starred as Comandante John Walesa in Manoel de Oliveira's "Um Filme Falado/A Talking Picture"
1984:
Starred in TV adaptation of "True West" (aired on PBS' "American Playhouse")
2006:
Cast in Terry Zwigoff's adaptation of Daniel Clowes' comic story "Art School Confidential"
2010:
Co-starred with Josh Brolin and Megan Fox in "Jonah Hex"
1976:
Joined Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre (founded 1974 by Gary Sinise), working on more than 50 productions during the years
1998:
Offered over-the-top performance as a Russian mobster in "Rounders," scripted by David Levien and Brian Koppelman
2007:
Portrayed Alan Conway in "Colour Me Kubrick," the true story of a man who posed as director Stanley Kubrick
1985:
Reprised stage role of Biff in CBS TV adaptation of "Death of a Salesman," starring Hoffman; received Emmy Award
2001:
Served as one of producers of "Ghost World"
1981:
TV-movie debut, "Word of Honor" (CBS)
2010:
Portrayed trainer Lucien Laurin in "Secretariat," based on horse that won U.S. Triple Crown in 1973
2011:
Appeared in Michael Bay's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
2010:
Joined Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman in action comedy "Red"
2013:
Appeared in zombie romance "Warm Bodies," starring Nicholas Hoult
2013:
Featured in "Red 2"
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Education

Eastern Illinois University: Charleston, Illinois -
Illinois State University: Normal, Illinois -

Notes

"The hardest thing about this part was all the running I had to do--I hate running and don't intend to do it again for a long time. I didn't train for the running scenes either--I just put down my cigarettes for a minute and ran." --Malkovich, remarking on his role in "In the Line of Fire" to Los Angeles Times Calendar, July 4, 1993.

"With Steppenwolf, our approach was to try to make a theater where a bunch of strangers could go into a dark room and forget what they're thinking about for awhile and become immersed in some other view of the world ... It wasn't anything more than that. And we didn't do it using any method. We never felt you had to become helium in order to fly a hot air balloon.

"So how do you do it? How do you get a room full of strangers who don't know you or care about you, people who are pissed off that they had to pay twenty or thirty dollars for a ticket, people who have seen hundreds of plays already and want something different, people leading average, everyday, boring lives who are looking to you to fill that void in their soul--how do you get through to them? There is no answer really, except that you have to work as hard as you can to burst through all that. And if you fail, so what? That's part of it. You have to be thick-skinned about it and go on." --quoted in Buzz, October 1994.

Responding to a question about the impact of violence on children: "I actually think it's up to the parents. I went accidentally with my grandmother to see 'Psycho' when I was 6 years old and I still haven't killed any women in a shower.

"So I understand people's concern and it's a right concern. And I do very few violent films. Certainly would not want to do them as a steady diet. But I think parents should do a lot better job raising their children and teaching them the difference between reality and fantasy. And giving them some idea of what it means to cause pain to others in a real sense.

"Hollywood's at fault, sure, there's no question about that. But it's a business. If people don't go to these films, they won't be made ... But I don't mind a certain amount of violence because the world is violent ... Why not have an acquaintance with it so that when you encounter it in life you have some familiarity with it?" --quoted in Los Angeles Times, June 4, 1997.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Glenne Headly. Actor. Married on August 2, 1982; divorced in 1988; acted together in "Eleni" and "Making Mr. Right"; also a member of Steppenwolf stage ensemble; directed by Malkovich in Broadway production of "Arms and the Man".
companion:
Michelle Pfeiffer. Actor. Met on the set of "Dangerous Liaisons" (1988).
companion:
Nicoletta Peyran. Asian culture scholar. Met during the filming of "The Sheltering Sky" (1990), on which she was 2nd assistant director; Italian; mother of Malkovich's two children.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Joe Anne Malkovich. Newspaper owner. Owned the <i>Benton Evening News</i>; known to her children as 'Frog' because of her deep voice.
father:
Daniel Malkovich. Environmentalist. Born on December 20, 1926; died suddenly of a heart attack in March 1980 at the age of 53; served as state conservation director; published a conservation magazine.
brother:
Danny Malkovich. Newspaper editor. Elder brother.
sister:
Melissa Malkovich. Journalist. Lived in NYC c. 1985.
sister:
Amanda Malkovich.
sister:
Rebecca Malkovich.
daughter:
Amandine Malkovich. Born c. 1990; mother, Nicoletta Peyran.
son:
Lowey Malkovich. Born c. 1992; mother, Nicoletta Peyran.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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