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Christopher Walken
Walken in 2008
Ronald Walken

March 31, 1943 (1943-03-31) (age 78)
Other names Ronnie Walken, Chris Walken
Alma mater Hofstra University
Occupation Actor, dancer
Years active 1953–present
Georgianne Thon (m. 1969)

Ronald Walken (born March 31, 1943), known as Christopher Walken, is an American movie, television, and theatre actor. He is best known for playing evil or mentally damaged characters. He has sometimes used that image for comedic effect.

Walken is a skilled dancer who in many of his movies dances, because he requests it. He has has appeared in more than 100 films and television shows. Walken's films have grossed more than $1 billion in the United States.

Walken debuted as a film director and scriptwriter with the short film Popcorn Shrimp in 2001. He also wrote and acted the main role in a play about his idol Elvis Presley, titled Him, in 1995.

Walken has been guest host on Saturday Night Live many times. He has played many well known characters on that show.

He was born in Queens, New York to a German father and Scottish-born mother. Walken has been married to casting director Georgianne Walken since 1969.

Influenced by their mother's own dreams of stardom, he and his brothers, Kenneth and Glenn, were child actors on television in the 1950s. At age 15, when a girlfriend showed him a magazine photo of Elvis, Walken said, "This guy looked like a Greek god. Then I saw him on television. I loved everything about him." He changed his hairstyle to imitate Elvis and hasn't changed it since.

As a teenager, he worked as a lion tamer in a circus. Walken went to Hofstra University, but dropped out after one year, having gotten the role of Clayton Dutch Miller in an Off-Broadway revival of Best Foot Forward, co-starring with Liza Minnelli, who played Ethel Hofflinger.

Walken initially trained as a dancer in music theatre at the Washington Dance Studio before moving on to dramatic roles in theatre and then film.

In 1964, he changed his first name to Christopher at the suggestion of Monique van Vooren, who had a nightclub act in which Walken was a dancer and who believed the name suited him better than Ronnie (a pet form of his given name, Ronald), which he was credited as until then. He prefers to be known informally as Chris instead of Christopher.

Described as "diverse and eccentric" and "one of the most respected actors of his generation", Walken has long established a cult following among film fans. He's known for his versatility and named as one of Empire magazine's "Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time".


Following his early (1950s) work in television and theater, Walken has acted primarily in films.

Year Title Role Director
1966 Barefoot in Athens Lamprocles George Schaefer
1969 The Three Musketeers John Felton
1969 Me and My Brother The Director Robert Frank
1971 The Anderson Tapes The Kid Sidney Lumet
1972 The Happiness Cage Pvt. James H. Reese Bernard Girard
1975 Valley Forge The Hessian Fielder Cook
1976 Next Stop, Greenwich Village Robert Paul Mazursky
1977 The Sentinel Detective Rizzo Michael Winner
1977 Annie Hall Duane Hall Woody Allen
1977 Roseland Russel (The Hustle) James Ivory
1978 Shoot the Sun Down Mr. Rainbow David Leeds
1978 The Deer Hunter Nikanor "Nick" Chevotarevich Michael Cimino
1979 Last Embrace Eckart Jonathan Demme
1980 Heaven's Gate Nathan D. Champion Michael Cimino
1980 The Dogs of War James "Jamie" Shannon John Irvin
1981 Pennies from Heaven Tom Herbert Ross
1982 Who Am I This Time? Harry Nash Jonathan Demme
1983 Brainstorm Dr. Michael Anthony Brace Douglas Trumbull
1983 The Dead Zone Johnny Smith David Cronenberg
1985 A View to a Kill Max Zorin John Glen
1986 At Close Range Brad Whitewood Sr. James Foley
1987 Deadline Don Stevens Nathaniel Gutman
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War Kyril Montana Robert Redford
1988 Biloxi Blues Sgt. Merwin J. Toomey Mike Nichols
1988 Puss in Boots Puss Eugene Marner
1988 Homeboy Wesley Pendergass Michael Seresin
1989 Communion Louis Whitley Strieber Philippe Mora
1990 King of New York Frank White Abel Ferrara
1990 The Comfort of Strangers Robert Paul Schrader
1991 Sarah, Plain and Tall Jacob Witting Glenn Jordan
1991 McBain Bobby McBain James Glickenhaus
1992 Mistress Warren Zell Barry Primus
1992 Batman Returns Max Shreck Tim Burton
1992 Day of Atonement Pasco Meisner Alexandre Arcady
1992 All-American Murder P.J. Decker Anson Williams
1993 Scam Jack Shanks John Flynn
1993 Skylark Jacob Witting Glenn Jordan
1993 True Romance Vincenzo Coccotti Tony Scott
1993 Wayne's World 2 Robert C. "Bobby" Cahn Stephen Surjik
1994 A Business Affair Vanni Corso Charlotte Brandstrom
1994 Pulp Fiction Captain Koons Quentin Tarantino
1995 Wild Side Bruno Buckingham Donald Cammell
1995 Search and Destroy Kim Ulander David Salle
1995 The Prophecy Gabriel Gregory Widen
1995 The Addiction Peina Abel Ferrara
1995 Nick of Time Mr. Smith John Badham
1995 Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead The Man with the Plan Gary Fleder
1996 Last Man Standing Hickey Walter Hill
1996 Celluloide US Officer Rod Geiger Carlo Lizzani
1996 Basquiat The Interviewer Julian Schnabel
1996 The Funeral Raimundo Tempio Abel Ferrara
1997 Excess Baggage Raymond "Ray" Perkins Marco Brambilla
1997 Suicide Kings Carlo Bartolucci/Charlie Barret Peter O'Fallon
1997 MouseHunt Caeser, the Exterminator Gore Verbinski
1997 Touch Bill Hill Paul Schrader
1998 The Prophecy II Gabriel Greg Spence
1998 Illuminata Umberto Bevalaqua John Turturro
1998 New Rose Hotel Fox Abel Ferrara
1998 Trance Uncle Bill Ferriter Michael Almereyda
1998 Antz Colonel Cutter (voice) Eric Darnell
1999 Sleepy Hollow The Hessian Tim Burton
1999 Kiss Toledo Goodbye Max Lyndon Chubbuck
1999 Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter's End Jacob Witting Glenn Jordan
1999 Vendetta James Houston Nicholas Meyer
1999 Blast from the Past Calvin Webber Hugh Wilson
2000 The Prophecy 3: The Ascent Gabriel Patrick Lussier
2000 The Opportunists Victor "Vic" Kelly Myles Connell
2001 Joe Dirt Anthony Benedetti/Clem Doore/Gert B. Frobe Dennie Gordon
2001 The Affair of the Necklace Alessandro Cagliostro Charles Shyer
2001 America's Sweethearts Hal Weidmann Joe Roth
2001 Scotland, Pa. Lieutenant McDuff Billy Morrissette
2001 Popcorn Shrimp Writer, director Christopher Walken
2001 Jungle Juice Roy Tony Vitale
2001 The Country Bears Reed Thimple Peter Hastings
2002 Catch Me If You Can Frank William Abagnale Sr. Steven Spielberg
2002 Undertaking Betty Frank Featherbed Nick Hurran
2002 Engine Trouble Rusty (voice) Brad Barnes
2002 Poolhall Junkies Uncle Mike Flynn Mars Callahan
2003 Kangaroo Jack Salvatore "Sal" Maggio David McNally
2003 The Rundown Cornelius Hatcher Peter Berg
2003 Gigli Det. Stanley Jacobellis Martin Brest
2004 Envy J-Man Barry Levinson
2004 The Stepford Wives Mike Wellington Frank Oz
2004 Around the Bend Turner Lair Jordan Roberts
2004 Man on Fire Paul Rayburn Tony Scott
2005 Wedding Crashers William Cleary David Dobkin
2005 Domino Mark Heiss Tony Scott
2006 Romance & Cigarettes Cousin Bo John Turturro
2006 Click Morty Frank Coraci
2006 Man of the Year Jack Menkan Barry Levinson
2006 Fade to Black Brewster Oliver Parker
2007 Hairspray Wilbur Turnblad Adam Shankman
2007 Balls of Fury Feng Robert Ben Garant
2008 Five Dollars a Day Nat Parker Nigel Cole
2009 The Maiden Heist Roger Barlow Peter Hewitt
2010 Life's a Beach Roy Callahan Tony Vitale
2011 Kill the Irishman Shondor Birns Jonathan Hensleigh
2011 Dark Horse Jackie Todd Solondz
2012 Seven Psychopaths Hans Martin McDonagh
2012 A Late Quartet Peter Mitchell Yaron Zilberman
2012 Stand Up Guys Doc Fisher Stevens
2013 The Power of Few Doke Leone Marucci
2013 Gods Behaving Badly Zeus Marc Turtletaub
2014 Jersey Boys Gyp DeCarlo Clint Eastwood
2014 Turks & Caicos Curtis Pelissier David Hare
2015 One More Time Paul Robert Edwards
2015 The Family Fang Caleb Fang Jason Bateman
2015 Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser Anthony Benedetti/Clem Doore/Gert B. Frobe Fred Wolf
2016 Eddie the Eagle Warren Sharp Dexter Fletcher
2016 The Jungle Book King Louie (voice) Jon Favreau
2016 Nine Lives Felix Perkins Barry Sonnenfeld
2017 Irreplaceable You Stephanie Laing
2017 The War with Grandpa Jerry Tim Hill In post-production

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