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Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey

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Also Known As: Kevin Spacey Fowler Died:
Born: July 26, 1959 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: South Orange, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, producer, director, apartment superintendent, shoe salesman

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

an of Steel's brilliant nemesis Lex Luthor in "Superman Returns" (2006). With a shaven head and flashy suits, Spacey exuded a much more subdued evil than did predecessor Gene Hackman's campy take in the 1978 version. Nonetheless, Luthor's plot this time around was no less dastardly ¿ he plans to use Superman's own technology from Krypton to create a new land mass in the Atlantic Ocean so he can destroy the United States, sending Superman (Brandon Routh) on an epic journey through the depths of the ocean and into the reaches of outer space. After playing an efficiency expert hell-bent on ridding the world of Christmas in the terribly unfunny "Fred Claus" (2007), Spacey was an unorthodox math professor and genius statistician who leads a group of likewise brilliant MIT students to Las Vegas to crack the gambling code in "21" (2008), a slick and sexy thriller based on the best seller, Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions.Before he was inked to revive Lex Luthor for Bryan Singer's second go-round with "Superman: Man of Steel" (2011), Spacey generated considerable critical acclaim playing Democratic insider Ron Klain in the made-for-television movie,...

an of Steel's brilliant nemesis Lex Luthor in "Superman Returns" (2006). With a shaven head and flashy suits, Spacey exuded a much more subdued evil than did predecessor Gene Hackman's campy take in the 1978 version. Nonetheless, Luthor's plot this time around was no less dastardly ¿ he plans to use Superman's own technology from Krypton to create a new land mass in the Atlantic Ocean so he can destroy the United States, sending Superman (Brandon Routh) on an epic journey through the depths of the ocean and into the reaches of outer space. After playing an efficiency expert hell-bent on ridding the world of Christmas in the terribly unfunny "Fred Claus" (2007), Spacey was an unorthodox math professor and genius statistician who leads a group of likewise brilliant MIT students to Las Vegas to crack the gambling code in "21" (2008), a slick and sexy thriller based on the best seller, Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions.

Before he was inked to revive Lex Luthor for Bryan Singer's second go-round with "Superman: Man of Steel" (2011), Spacey generated considerable critical acclaim playing Democratic insider Ron Klain in the made-for-television movie, "Recount" (HBO, 2008), a behind the scenes look at the voting scandal that erupted in Florida in 2000 during the election between Al Gore and George W. Bush. For his work, he was nominated in late 2008 for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. After voicing the robot Gerty in the acclaimed "Moon" (2009), Spacey co-starred opposite George Clooney in the moderately panned military satire, "The Men Who Stare at Goats" (2009). Returning to the political arena, Spacey was the perfect choice to play Jack Abramoff in the satirical comedy "Casino Jack" (2010), which chronicled the rise and fall of Washington¿s most notorious and disgraced lobbyist. Directed by George Hickenlooper, who died just weeks after the release of the film, "Casino Jack" gave Spacey the right platform to once again put his formidable talents on display, resulting in a Golden Globe nod for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy or Musical.

After playing Jason Bateman¿s manipulative boss in the hit R-rated comedy "Horrible Bosses" (2011), Spacey was a Wall Street executive whose decisions during the first days of the 2008 financial crisis are called into question in the indie financial thriller "Margin Call" (2011). Surrounded by a strong cast that included Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto and Simon Baker, Spacey stood out as a man worn down by the machinations of the cutthroat financial world. In 2011, he returned to the stage to star in a production of "Richard III" directed by Sam Mendes, which premiered at the Old Vic, and later commenced on a worldwide tour that ended in early 2012. From there, Spacey took a rare turn into television with "House of Cards" (Netflix, 2013- ), a remake of a British miniseries of the same name that aired on the BBC in 1990. Set in the world of Washington politics, "House of Cards" starred Spacey as Frank Underwood, the Democratic House Majority Whip who hides behind his genial Southern charm while plotting Machiavellian-like vengeance for being passed over as Defense Secretary. Co-starring Robin Wright as his Lady Macbeth, Kate Mara as an ambitious young reporter and Cory Stoll as a drug-addled congressman under Underwood¿s thumb, "House of Cards" made waves for being streamed exclusively on Netflix, where all 13 episodes were available for viewing at once. Both the series and Spacey¿s performance were widely hailed by critics. Between seasons of the series, Spacey reprised his comic role in "Horrible Bosses 2" (2014).

ter persona, he joined Danny DeVito to star as a smooth-talking salesman in "The Big Kahuna" (2000) ¿ a dazzling performance in an otherwise little-seen film ¿ before starring in "Ordinary Decent Criminal" (2000), a fictionalized biography of Irish master thief Martin Cahill. Playing juicy roles in small films had no effect on Spacey's reputation as being one of the premiere actors working in Hollywood, but the actor seemed to have lost some steam when he starred in the mawkish "Pay It Forward" (2000), playing a scarred schoolteacher who opens himself up to love when his young student (Haley Joel Osment) devises a system of paying good deeds forward to three people. Spacey's affected manner and overdone makeup did little to aid this already over-sentimentalized tale. Spacey received mixed reviews when he teamed with Jeff Bridges in "K-PAX" (2001), playing a man who claims to be an alien from outer space. Later that year, he was cast ¿ and many argued, miscast ¿ as the milquetoast hero of the screen adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning "The Shipping News" (2001), which also suffered from tepid reviews and indifferent audience response. Meanwhile, Spacey made the requisite appearance on "Inside the Actors Studio" (Bravo, 1995- ), where he impressed host James Lipton and the audience with dead-on impressions of Jimmy Stewart, Johnny Carson, Christopher Walken, Marlon Brando and even Katherine Hepburn.

In between projects, Spacey distinguished himself as a champion of his craft, becoming involved with the Screen Actors Guild and launching Triggerstreet.com as a means for aspiring creative people to form an online community. In 2003, he was named artistic director of London's historic Old Vic Theater, a stage where he appeared in his triumphant production of "The Ice Man Cometh." Despite being a celebrity ¿ guaranteeing not giving him the anonymity enjoyed past artistic directors ¿ Spacey's tenure at the Old Vic was a rocky one. He was heavily criticized for not putting on enough classics, though his "Richard II," in which he starred as the immature and detached king, was critically acclaimed. While the press had a field day lambasting his choices, Spacey cited his success in bringing the theater back into public prominence. Several productions ¿ notably "National Anthems" (2005) and "Philadelphia Story" (2005) ¿ filled seats, but reviews were savage. Then Spacey hit a bona fide disaster with Arthur Miller's "Resurrection Blues," which suffered from poor performances and attendance that failed to reach even half-capacity. Spacey remained unapologetic, however, claiming that the press was out to get him because of his celebrity.

The actor was next seen as an academic with strong views on capital punishment who finds himself accused of murder in director Alan Parker's film "The Life of David Gale" (2003). Again slipping into a now-familiar martyr role, Spacey found his performance praised despite the movie's many flaws, which included an overwrought and unconvincing story, and an overindulgent anti-death penalty message. Changing gears, Spacey returned beyond the camera to helm ¿ as well as co-write and star in ¿ "Beyond the Sea" (2004), a pet project about the popular 1950s and 1960s singer Bobby Darin, who the actor had idolized and imitated since he was a child. Ironically, the singer had died an early death and by the time Spacey got the project into production, he was nearly too old to play Darin. Fortunately, a clever script device had Darin looking back at his life and plugging his later-years self into his memories, allowing audiences to easily forget Spacey's age. The actor provided a tour de force performance and provided all of the Darin-like vocals himself. As a director, he excelled at visually interpreting the film's lavish and energetic musical sequences, though some of the performances were a tough sell. Nonetheless, Spacey delivered an engaging film and one of his finest performances.

Spacey made headlines when he agreed to reunite with Bryan Singer for the first time since "The Usual Suspects," starring in the director's controversial revival of the original comic book film franchise, playing the M

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Beyond the Sea (2004) Director
2.
  Albino Alligator (1996) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Boss Baby (2017)
2.
 Baby Driver (2017)
3.
4.
 Nine Lives (2016)
6.
7.
 Shakespeare High (2011)
8.
 Margin Call (2011)
9.
 Horrible Bosses (2011)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1963:
Moved to Southern California with family
1978:
Performed one-man comedy show wherein he displayed a gift for impressions
1981:
Worked for Joseph Papp in the Xerox room of the New York Shakespeare Festival (NYSF)
:
"Fired" from job at NYSF by Papp in effort to encourage him to pursue an acting career
1982:
Broadway debut in a production of Henrik Ibsen's "Ghosts" opposite Liv Ullmann
:
Appeared with numerous regional and repertory companies (i.e., Kennedy Center, American National Theatre, Seattle Rep)
:
Auditioned for the national tour of "The Real Thing"; director Mike Nichols instead suggested auditioning for "Hurlyburly"
1984:
Acted in the Broadway production of "Hurlyburly"; originally hired as understudy for role of Phil, played by Harvey Keitel; later understudied roles of Mickey and Eddie
1986:
Film debut in the Nichols directed "Heartburn," playing a subway thief who mugs Meryl Streep's character
1986:
First collaborations with Jack Lemmon and Peter Gallagher, the stage revival of "Long Day's Journey Into Night"
1987:
TV acting debut in a guest role on the CBS series "The Equalizer"
1987:
Recreated stage role for the Showtime adaptation of "Long Day's Journey Into Night"
1988:
Had featured role in the NBC miniseries "The Murder of Mary Phagan," starring Gallagher and Lemmon
1989:
Played Lemmon's son-in-law in the feature "Dad"
1990:
Portrayed televangelist Jim Bakker to Bernadette Peters' Tammy Faye in the NBC biopic "Fall From Grace"
1991:
Garnered accolades for his supporting role as a gangster wannabe in Neil Simon's "Lost in Yonkers"
1996:
Directorial debut, "Albino Alligator"
1997:
Played accused murderer Jim Williams in the film version of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"
:
Formed Trigger Street Productions
1998:
Headlined a London stage production of Eugene O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh"; reprised role on Broadway in 1999
1999:
Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame (October 5)
1999:
Produced (also co-starred) "The Big Kahuna"; released theatrically in 2000
2000:
Agreed to serve as a consultant to London's Old Vic Productions
2000:
Co-starred with Helen Hunt in "Pay It Forward"
2001:
Starred as a mental patient convinced he's from another planet in "K-Pax"
2001:
Had lead in film version of the award-winning novel "The Shipping News"
2002:
Cameoed as himself playing a Hollywood version of Dr. Evil in "Austin Powers: Goldmember"
2002:
Launched the website Triggerstreet.com, an online community where aspiring filmamkers could get their ideas to Hollywood power brokers
2003:
Produced (also had supporting role) the independent film "United States of Leland"
2003:
Named artistic director of London's historic Old Vic Theater
2004:
Helmed "Beyond the Sea," a biopic of singer Bobby Darren, which took Spacey five years to bring to the big screen; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Lead Actor and a Grammy nomination for Best Soundtrack
2005:
Appeared on the London stage in the title role of Shakespeare's "Richard II" directed by Trevor Nunn
2007:
Co-starred with Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti in the comedy about Santa's disgruntled older brother "Fred Claus"
2008:
Cast as an MIT lecturer in the film "21" along with Kate Bosworth and Laurence Fishburne
2008:
Joined Jeff Goldblum in David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow" at London's Old Vic theater
2008:
Portrayed Ron Klain, the General Counsel to Al Gore's recount committee in the HBO film "Recount"; also produced; earned Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actor in a TV-Movie
2009:
Voiced a robot named Gerty in the sci-fi thriller "Moon"
2009:
Co-starred with George Clooney in "The Men Who Stare At Goats"
2010:
Starred as Washington, D.C. lobbyist and businessman Jack Abramoff in "Casino Jack"
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture ¿ Musical or Comedy ("Casino Jack")
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture ¿ Musical or Comedy
2011:
Played Jason Bateman's boss in the comedy "Horrible Bosses"
2011:
Joined the ensemble cast of the financial drama thriller "Margin Call"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Los Angeles Valley College: Valley Glen , California -
Northridge Military Academy: Northridge , California -
Chatsworth High School: Chatsworth , California - 1977
The Juilliard School: New York , New York - 1979 - 1981

Notes

There's an official "Kevin Spacey Fan Site" located at www.spacey.com

In 2000, after seeing an Off-Broadway revival of the play "Cobb", featuring Matthew Mabe, who was Spacey's understudy in "The Iceman Cometh", Kevin Spacey reportedly gave the producers a donation in order to keep the show running for an additional two weeks.

"Success is like death. The more successful you become, the higher the houses in the hills get and the higher the fences get."---Kevin Spacey quoted in People, June 10, 1991.

"I've played supporting roles in films for a while, in the hope that I would learn something. And I certainly have. But it's a frustrating experience, because the relationship that you're searching for with a director doesn't really occur. Directors feel that if they've hired a competent actor in that small role, then they can concentrate on the three or four actors who move the plot along."---Spacey in Premiere, October 1992.

"It's about time I worked with Woody Allen, I'm the only New York actor he has't put in a movie, dammit."---Spacey to New York Post, July 18, 1996.

"How is my life going? On a scale of one to ten, I'd say I'm due to get hit by a bus tomorrow."---Spacey to Jerry Stahl in "Hollywood's King of Cool", Buzz, October 1996.

"... as though the only thing one could possibly sat about Kevin Spacey is what everyone else has already said, which is that he is supposed to be very smart, that he is supposed to be very private, that he is supposed to be extraordinarily committed to the protection and development of his extraordinary gifts as an actor, and that he is supposed to be gay. And that is all he's supposed to be, by advance billing; that is IT. He is one of our culture's usual suspects, and, like the character he played in the movie of that name, he is both narrowed by our suspicions and set free by them, sprung by them, for he is an actor, and when all we know of an actor is that we don't quite trust him, don't quite believe him, then he is free to become whatever he wants to become, which, in the case of Kevin Spacey, is a movie star."---From "'Kevin Spacey?' My Mom Said, 'I Hear He's ..." by Tom Junod in Esquire, October 1997.

"I have always chosen to try to maintain a degree of dignity about that stuff. The people that are important to me, my family, colleagues, friends, they know what the scoop is, and that's all that's really important. Not for a second have I ever gotten an indication from any of the thousands of letters I receive that anybody gives two hoots about WHAT my private life is. Nobody cares. They like the work."---Spacey quoted in W, July 1998.

"... I'll tell you something I think only my friends know about me: I move furniture around. This is how bad it is: My friends'll come around for dinner and then they'll come back again a few weeks later to play with the dogs or bring their kids to hang out, and the furniture will probably have changed four or five times since then. They'll go, 'Hey, Kevin, wasn't the couch over there before?' 'Yeah.' 'So why did you move it?' And I can't tell them why. 'I don't know. I guess I just didn't like it over there anymore.' I can't stop moving furniture, and I do it alone at 3 in the morning. Do you know how I do it? I take a towel, because big, heavy pieces of furniture are hard to move without scratching the floor. I'll put the towel under a corner, tip and then drag the whole thing. I have a whole process."---Spacey on his eccentricity from his nomadic childhood, to the Paper, March 1999.

"Kevin has a sexuality that's subtle, beneath the surface."---"Ordinary Decent Criminal" co-star Linda Fiorentino quoted in Time Out New York, April 8-15, 1999.

"What he's doing is what we all do in our lives. We conduct ourselves on several levels, What Kevin manages to do with his acting is hint at all these other layers, the darker aspects, the secrets, the disappointments, the ironic humor. And that hinting is very, very attractive."---"The Iceman Cometh" director Howard Davies on Spacey, quoted in Time Out New York, April 8-15, 1999.

"I truly sucked. I was miserable, working out of fear. I became a bit of a jerk. It's a period in my life I'm not proud of. It cost me friendships. I wasn't good enough and it was a hard thing to admit. I had all this talent inside, but it was undeveloped and raw, untried and unfocused. I was inexperienced and yet I had this huge ambition."---Spacey about his work in the 1982 Broadway production of "Ghosts", to Michael Fleming of Playboy, October 1999.

"What's special about Kevin is his combination of slyness, mischievousness and superior intelligence. A combination not a lot of actors have. I want to see Kevin reveal those parts of himself, because that's what he is. I don't want to see him dumb down. Not that he couldn't, but why would he want to?"---"L.A. Confidential" director Curtis Hanson quoted in Los Angeles, October 1999.

"I'm not married and I won't talk about my private life, so it must mean I'm gay. ... In fact, I have been quite open about my hope of having a family. I've been open about things that are of interest to me personally. But in some journalistic circles privacy means only what you do in the bedroom. I apparently haven't been forthcoming about that. Excuse me if I don't want to take the entire public on my own personal journey. I choose not to give people a private tour of my experience. But am I hiding anything? No. ... "---Kevin Spacey quoted in Playboy, October 1999.

"It's hard to know why Kevin Spacey is so fascinating. He's hardly Brad Pitt. It's something to do with the space he creates around himself, the strange feminine quality in his acting. You never quite know who he is."---From "The Nice Man Cometh" by Claire Armistead, The Guardian, November 17, 1999.

"Making movies is plodding, mechanical. It's a difficult process. As Sam Mendes put it, it's like hammering a nail into a stick of wood - not at all glamorous. In this film, particularly, we were on a very tight schedule. I would be shooting early Lester in the morning and late Lester in the afternoon; how do you make sure that in each scene you're in the right place emotionally, physically and spiritually? Well, sometimes it's trickery: pasty make-up or a bigger costume, but it's also to do with understanding the arc of a character. That's where a theatre training comes in.

"The reason movies are odd for an actor like me is that there's so much guesswork: you're guessing something is right. In the theatre you get to try out all the possibilities. You can stink in rehearsals. On a film you can't do that: it's in the can, it's taken away."---Spacey to The Guardian, November 18, 1999.

"I was quite moved by his journey because it's such a quiet and internal one. At its heart it's a story about a man who finally learns about not just the connections and the truths of his family but lets go of the past and starts embracing the future as a father and a man. To me, that's incredibly poignant."---Spacey on why he wanted to play the role of Quoyle in "The Shipping News" to the Daily News, December 18, 2001.

Spacey joines Chris Tucker and former President Clinton on a on a five-day tour of Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique and South Africa, to help fight AIDS and to encourage economic development in Africa.

In London April 17, 2004, Kevin Spacey suffered a head injury after tripping over his dog while pursuing a young man who stole his cell phone. Initially, he reported that the injury was the result of a mugging, but later admitted the truth and stated that he was embarrassed by the situation

"My primary focus is going to be theatre," he says. "It's the most satisfying place to be as an actor."---Spacey on his current focus to London Theatre Guide, July 2004.

"I think Bobby, without question, faced the same dilemma that a lot of artists face, which is the conflict between professional expectations and personal freedom. He chose personal freedom, sometimes at the expense of his career... But you have to live for yourself. You can't live for your critics."---Spacey on Bobby Darin , who he portrayed in ""Beyond the Sea" to Venice, November 2004.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Thomas Fowler. Technical writer. Was often unemployed causing family to move frequently; died in 1993 at age 68.
mother:
Kathleen Fowler. Secretary.

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