CHRISTOPHER WALKEN Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Christopher was born Ronald Walken on March 31, 1943, in Astoria, Queens, New York. His immigrant parents Rosalie (Scotland) and Paul (Germany)named him after the English actor, Ronald Colman. Walken entered the planet Showbiz when he was a year old, by the time Christopher was 7, he did walk-ons, catalogue modeling. Between regular appearances at ‘Ernie Kovacs’, ‘Philco TV Playhouse’, ‘The Colgate Comedy Hour’, and a series called The Wonderful John Acton, as Kevin Actons, young Ronnie helped out in his father’s ‘Walken’s Bakery’. He was attending Professional Children’s School, and tap dancing classes on Saturdays. He made his off-Broadway debut at 15, in Archibald MacLeish’s J.B. At 16, he was a lion tamer in a circus. After school Christopher attended Hofstra University, he learnt his stage craft, including dancing, and picked up a Theatre World award for his performance in the revival of the Tennessee Williams play “The Rose Tattoo".


Walken then first broke through into cinema in 1969 appearing in Me and My Brother (1969), before appearing alongside Sean Connery in the sleeper heist movie The Anderson Tapes (1971). His eclectic work really came to the attention of critics in 1977 with his intense portrayal of Diane Keaton suicidal younger brother in Annie Hall (1977), and then he scooped the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award in 1977 for his role as Nick in the electrifying The Deer Hunter (1978). Walken was lured back by The Deer Hunter (1978) director Michael Cimino for a role in the financially disasterous western Heaven’s Gate (1980), before moving onto surprise audiences with his wonderful dance skills in Pennies from Heaven (1981), taking the lead as a school teacher with telepathic abilities in the Stephen King inspired The Dead Zone (1983) and then as billionaire industrialist Max Zorin trying to blow up Silicon Valley in the 007 adventure A View to a Kill (1985). Looking at many of Walken’s other captivating screen roles, it is easy to see the diversity of his range and even his droll comedic talents with humourous appearances in Biloxi Blues (1988), Wayne’s World 2 (1993), Joe Dirt (2001), Mouse Hunt (1997) and America’s Sweethearts (2001). Most recently, he continued to surprise audiences again with his work as a heart broken and apologetic father to ‘Leonard DiCaprio’ in Catch Me If You Can (2002).


Walken has hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’ for 5 times now, one of which won him a Comedy Award in 2000. He gave people another surprise when he wanted to host his own cooking show. But a bigger astonishment followed when he tapdanced his way to the MTV Award winning Fatboy Slim video, ‘Weapon of Choice’. It became an instant favorite. With his pragmatic attitude, he has now become a cult icon, and starred in about 70 movies.