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Nicolas Cage

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Also Known As: Nic Cage, Nicolas Coppola, Nicholas Kim Coppola, Nicolas Coppola Died:
Born: January 7, 1964 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Long Beach, California, USA Profession: actor, producer, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though haunted by cries of nepotism early in his career thanks to being born the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola and Talia Shire, actor Nicolas Cage managed to strike out on his own based on the strength of his fearless and often over-the-top performances while becoming one of Hollywood's highest paying stars. After landing his first leading role in "Valley Girl" (1983), Cage was featured in a pair of his uncle's films, "Rumble Fish" (1983) and "The Cotton Club" (1984), before establishing his penchant for the bizarre with the offbeat indie "Birdy" (1984). He starred in Coppola's underrated "Peggy Sue Got Married" (1986) and delivered an hilarious turn as an ex-con turned baby kidnapper in the Coen Brothers' slapstick "Raising Arizona" (1987). Cage next earned his first serious critical praise for "Moonstruck" (1987), before again going off the rails as yuppie who becomes a vampire in "Vampire's Kiss" (1989). But it was Oscar-worthy performances in "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995) and "Adaptation" (2002) that elevated his status and propelled him beyond low-budget indies to become a $20 million-per-film star in blockbusters like The Rock" (1996), "Con Air" (1997), "National Treasure" (2004) and "Ghost...

Though haunted by cries of nepotism early in his career thanks to being born the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola and Talia Shire, actor Nicolas Cage managed to strike out on his own based on the strength of his fearless and often over-the-top performances while becoming one of Hollywood's highest paying stars. After landing his first leading role in "Valley Girl" (1983), Cage was featured in a pair of his uncle's films, "Rumble Fish" (1983) and "The Cotton Club" (1984), before establishing his penchant for the bizarre with the offbeat indie "Birdy" (1984). He starred in Coppola's underrated "Peggy Sue Got Married" (1986) and delivered an hilarious turn as an ex-con turned baby kidnapper in the Coen Brothers' slapstick "Raising Arizona" (1987). Cage next earned his first serious critical praise for "Moonstruck" (1987), before again going off the rails as yuppie who becomes a vampire in "Vampire's Kiss" (1989). But it was Oscar-worthy performances in "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995) and "Adaptation" (2002) that elevated his status and propelled him beyond low-budget indies to become a $20 million-per-film star in blockbusters like The Rock" (1996), "Con Air" (1997), "National Treasure" (2004) and "Ghost Rider" (2007). Of course, Cage was not immune to tabloids, who publicized his marriages to Patricia Arquette and Lisa Marie Presley while documenting his tax troubles with the IRS. Regardless of how one felt about his often outlandish performances, there was no doubt that Cage was a risk-taking actor willing to do just about anything on screen.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Sonny (2002) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Runner, The (2015)
3.
4.
 Red Squad (2014)
5.
 I Am Wrath (2014)
6.
 Left Behind (2014)
7.
 Joe (2014)
8.
 Croods, The (2013)
9.
10.
 Marble City (2013)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1976:
Moved to San Francisco, CA with family at age 12
1979:
At age 15, enrolled in the American Conservatory Theatre (ACT); appeared there in a production of "Golden Boy"
:
Moved to Los Angeles
1981:
TV debut in the ABC variety special "The Best of Times"
1982:
Film acting debut, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (billed as Nicolas Coppola)
1983:
First leading role, "Valley Girl"; credited as Nicolas Cage, the name was inspired by Luke Cage, a black comic-book superhero who suffers with depression and insecurity; director Martha Coolidge didn't know he was a Coppola when she cast him
1983:
Cast by his uncle Francis Ford Coppola in "Rumble Fish"; played the film's resident nerd
1984:
Second film with his uncle, "Cotton Club"
1984:
Acted opposite Matthew Modine in Alan Parker's "Birdy"; knocked a tooth out in true method acting style to more closely identify with the role
1986:
Gave a brilliant, freakish performance in Francis Ford Coppola's "Peggy Sue Got Married"; his Donald Duck-like voice a copy of horse Pokey's from "The Gumby Show"; his bizarre performance almost got him fired
1987:
Took a comic turn for Joel and Ethan Coen in "Raising Arizona"
1987:
First box-office hit, "Moonstruck"
1989:
Ate a live cockroach in "Vampire's Kiss"
1990:
Ripped-off Elvis for David Lynch's "Wild at Heart"
1992:
First collaboration with director Andrew Bergman, "Honeymoon in Vegas"
1993:
Mistaken for a contract killer in John Dahl's rock-solid little noir thriller "Red Rock West"; film debuted on HBO before receiving a theatrical release
1993:
Starred opposite Samuel L Jackson in "Amos and Andrew"
1993:
Acted in brother Christopher Coppola's "Deadfall"
1994:
Reteamed with Bergman for "It Could Happen to You"
1994:
Protected a former First Lady (Shirley MacLaine) in "Guarding Tess"
1995:
Offered a parody of a mad-dog bad guy in Barbet Schroeder's remake of "Kiss of Death"
1995:
Won Best Actor Oscar for his wrenching portrayal of an alcoholic screenwriter bent on drinking himself to death in Mike Figgis' "Leaving Las Vegas"
1996:
Played a brainy, geeky biochemist-turned-action hero in "The Rock"
1997:
Portrayed Cameron Poe, a bad-luck good guy on his way home after serving eight years, in the action-adventure "Con Air"
1997:
Swapped identities with John Travolta in John Woo's "Face/Off"
1998:
Momentary diversion from action fare in "City of Angels," a remake of Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire" (1988)
1998:
Appeared in the Brian De Palma crime thriller "Snake Eyes"
1998:
Received star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (July 31)
1999:
Cast as an ambulance driver in Martin Scorsese's "Bringing Out the Dead"
2000:
Cast as a master car thief opposite Angelina Jolie in "Gone in 60 Seconds"
2000:
Portrayed a ruthless business executive who magically wakes up on Christmas morning with a wife and two children in the fantasy "The Family Man"
2000:
Served as one of the producers on "Shadow of the Vampire"
2001:
Undertook a romantic role in "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" opposite Penelope Cruz
2002:
Had leading role of a WWII soldier assigned to protect Native American codebreakers in "Windtalkers"
2002:
Co-starred with Meryl Streep in "Adaptation," a drama about making a movie based on Susan Orlean's book "The Orchid Thief"; received leading role nominations for a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, a SAG and an Oscar
2002:
Made feature directorial debut with "Sonny" starring James Franco
2003:
Co-starred with Sam Rockwell and Alison Lohman in Ridley Scott's "Matchstick Men"
2004:
Co-starred with Diane Kruger as treasure-seekers who set out to protect an ancient treasure in "National Treasure"
2005:
Cast as Chicago weatherman Dave Spirtz in "The Weather Man" opposite Michael Caine and Hope Davis
2006:
Portrayed Sgt. John McLoughlin, a policeman who was trapped in the World Trade Center collapse of 9/11, in Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center"
2006:
Cast in Neil Labute's remake of the 70s horror film, "The Wicker Man"
2007:
Played comic book character Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider in Mark Steven Johnson's "Ghost Rider"
2007:
Reprised role for "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," the sequel to the 2004 hit film
2009:
Starred in the sci-fi thriller, "Knowing"; directed by Alex Proyas and co-starring Rose Byrne
2009:
Voiced the brilliant scientist Dr. Tenma in the animated feature "Astro Boy"
2009:
Played a crooked cop in Werner Herzog's "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans"
2010:
Cast in Matthew Vaughn's film adaption of Mark Millar's "Kick-Ass"
2010:
Starred in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" as a master magician
2011:
Starred as a 14th century knight in "Season of the Witch"
2011:
Co-starred with Nicole Kidman in the crime drama "Trespass"
2012:
Reprised titular role for the sequel "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance"
2012:
Starred as a former thief searching for his kidnapped daughter in action thriller "Stolen"
2013:
Voiced the overprotective patriarch of a prehistoric family in DreamWorks animated comedy "The Croods"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Beverly Hills High School: Beverly Hills , California -
American Conservatory Theatre: San Francisco , California -

Notes

"The next morning [after winning the Oscar], I'm downtown, and I'm walking by the newstand, and it was the first time I'd ever been on the front page of the newspaper, which was . . . interesting. Then I went to this old coffee shop to have a cup of coffee and some pancakes, and the cooks and chefs come out and claped, and it was a great feeling. Then I got in my car and put my Beatles song on that I play when I'm feeling proud, which is 'Baby You're a Rich Man'. So I'm listening to that in my Lamborghini, and I'm driving to the beach, feeling pretty good, when a cop pulls me over. And I think I'm going to get a ticket, which is what usually happens in that car, but they say, 'We just want to say congratulations.' And it was cool. And I'm walking on the beach, and surfers from, like, hundreds of yards in are going, 'Hey, Nic, congratulations!' And it was just a wild day. For one second, Los Angeles felt like a small town."---Nicolas Cage to GQ, March 1997.

"I was very young when I shot "Peggy Sue". I will stand by that character, but I can see why my playing it that way was frustrating for Kathleen Turner. She had her vision of what the character was like, and her vision was more in keeping with everybody else's, and there I would be on the set, saying, 'This guy's going to be a goofball, he's going to be a nerd.' But that was the deal I had with Francis. He said, 'I'll let you do what you want,' so I did it."---Cage quoted in Premiere, June 1997.

"Interpretations of Superman usually center on his superhuman powers, and nobody's ever focused on his status as an outsider before. Tim Burton has always been sensitive to characters who feel alienated and excluded from society, and Tim, [screenwriter] Wesley Strick and I are in complete agreement as to the direction the film should take. Yes, it's a comic book movie, but it's also a wonderful modern myth of the Atomic Age. And I think it's important to do my best acting in a film kids can see. The ideas children get fed are important, so to me 'Superman' is an important movie."---Nicolas Cage on playing Superman, to Los Angeles Times, August 31, 1997.

Cage is an avid race-car driving enthusiast.

"... I think I am Everyman in a lot of ways, because I've never felt handsome by Hollywood standards. I look like a pretty average guy. I feel like there's some truth in me being somebody who could be in any situation at any time."---Nicolas Cage to Interview, August, 1994.

"He's a chameleon. One of the few true chameleons who really does change with each role. He was a natural."---Ridley Scott, who directed Cage in "Matchstick Men" to Extra, August 25, 2003.

"I think everything I've experienced has left its imprint on my mind and on my soul, and it comes out in the work, whether I want it to or not."---Cage to GQ, March 2005.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Lori Allison. Later married Johnny Depp.
companion:
Kristina Fulton. Actor. Mother of Cage's son Weston; born c. 1957; separated from Cage in 1991.
companion:
Sarah Jessica Parker. Actor. Had one-year relationship with Cage in the 1990s.
companion:
Kristen Zang. Together from 1992-94; had announced engagement; born c. 1974.
wife:
Patricia Arquette. Actor. Born on April 8, 1968; dated briefly c. 1987; married in April 1995; Cage filed for divorce in February 2000; couple briefly reconciled and Cage withdrew his suit; Arquette filed for divorce in November 2000; divorced finalized on August 29, 2001.
companion:
Penelope Cruz. Actor. Met during filming of "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" (2001); no longer together.
wife:
Lisa Marie Presley. Singer. Began dating in spring 2001; separated c. January 2002; married August 10, 2002 in Hawaii; filed divorce papers in Los Angeles on Nov. 26, 2002; divorce finalized May 24, 2004.
companion:
Carrie Tivador. Model. Rumored to be dating as of March 2003.
wife:
Alice Kim. A former sushi waitress, met at the restaurant where she worked; began dating Febuary 2004; married July 30, 2004, at a private Northern California ranch.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

grandfather:
Carmine Coppola. Flautist, composer, musical arranger. Born on June 11, 1910; died on April 26, 1991; shared 1974 Oscar for Best Original Score for "The Godfather, Part II".
father:
August Floyd Coppola. Writer, professor. Pioneer in studies for the blind; divorced from Cage's mother c. 1976.
mother:
Joy Vogelsang. Dancer, choreographer. Suffered from chronic depression; divorced from Cage's father c. 1976.
aunt:
Eleanor Neil Coppola. Producer, filmmaker. Born in 1936; married to Francis Ford Coppola.
uncle:
Francis Ford Coppola. Director, producer, screenwriter. Born in 1939; directed Cage in the films "Rumble Fish" (1983), "The Cotton Club" (1984) and "Peggy Sue Got Married" (1986).
aunt:
Talia Shire. Actor, director. Born in 1946; formerly married to composer David Shire; later married to and widowed by producer Jack Schwartzman.
brother:
Marc Coppola. Actor, disc jockey. Born in 1957.
brother:
Christopher Coppola. Director, screenwriter, producer, composer. Born on January 25, 1962; directed Cage in "Deadfall".
cousin:
Roman Coppola. Director. Born in 1965.
cousin:
Jason Schwartzman. Actor, musician. Born in 1980; son of Talia Shire and Jack Schwartzman.
cousin:
Robert Schwartzman. Actor. Born in 1982; son of Talia Shire and Jack Schwartzman.
step-son:
Enzo Luciano Rossi. Born on January 3, 1989; mother, Patricia Arquette.
son:
Weston Coppola Cage. Born December 26, 1990; mother, Kristina Fulton.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Uncaged: The Biography of Nicolas Cage" Boxtree

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