Amazingly versatile stage & screen actor with sandy colored hair, pale complexion and a somewhat nervous disposition. Has a reputation for playing mentally unbalanced characters on-screen, however that generalisation would not do justice to Walken's depth and breadth of performances. He learnt his stage craft, including dancing, at Hofstra University & ANTA, 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 disastrous 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 humorous appearances in Biloxi Blues (1988), Wayne's World 2 (1993), Joe Dirt (2001), Mousehunt (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 Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can (2002). Christopher Walken's talents continue to remain in high demand and movie audiences relish watching how capably he re-invents himself for each new challenging role.
Jerry Lewis influenced Walken to make show business his career. At age 10, he met Lewis on _"The Colgate Comedy Hour" (1950)_ , where Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin were guest hosts. Walken was an extra on the show and was in a skit with Jerry Lewis.
Walken initially intended to study dancing instead of acting, but dropped out of Hofstra University after one year when he landed an off-Broadway musical "Best Foot Forward" in 1963.
Ranked #96 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Brother of Glenn Walken.
Was George Lucas's second choice for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars (1977)
Brother of Ken Walken.
Worked briefly as a lion tamer in a circus at age 15.
Attended the Professional Children's School.
Has a phobia of going too fast in cars.
Was assaulted in a street in New York in 1980 when he asked two men to turn down their music. His nose was broken in the incident.
Was robbed at the airport in Venice and his The Prophecy II (1998) (V) script, glasses, keys, drivers licence, and $100 were stolen. All items were later found, except for the money.
Was on Natalie Wood's yacht the night she drowned.
Only Oscar-winning actor to portray a primary 007 villain, in A View to a Kill (1985).
He, along with Nick Nolte, were both considered for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars (1977).
Manages to insert a little dance number into nearly all of his roles, no matter how small, scripted or not.
Won an MTV Video Music Award for choreographing his own moves in Fatboy Slim's 2001 music video "Weapon Of Choice."
Member of "Saturday Night Live" (1975)'s prestigious "Five Timers Club".
At the begining of The Dead Zone (1983) he tells his class to read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". 16 Years later he plays The Hessian Horseman in Sleepy Hollow (1999).
Met wife, casting agent Georgianne Walken (née Thon), while touring with West Side Story.
Has an intense dislike of handguns.
Along with Alec Baldwin, he has a standing invitation to host "Saturday Night Live" (1975) every year (if scheduling permits).
When hosting "Saturday Night Live" (1975), he likes to sing during his monologues (which has become a crowd pleasing favorite).
Is only the second person in history to be nominated for both Best Supporting Actor from the Oscars, for Catch Me If You Can (2002), and Worst Supporting Actor from the Razzies, for The Country Bears (2002) in the same year. The first was James Coco, who was actually nominated for both awards for the same role in Only When I Laugh (1981).
Danced with Judy Garland at Liza Minnelli's sixteenth birthday party
The son of a baker.
In his 35 years in film, he has acted in well over 90 films. He rarely turns down a part, under the belief that making movies (whether they turn out good or bad) is always a rewarding experience.
Has said that his adopted name of "Christopher" sounds "like a sneeze", and he prefers to be called Chris.
At the time of filming The Rundown (2003), he had never seen the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), and was therefore reluctant to use the phrase "Oompah Loompah" in his final scene. When learning of this, director Peter Berg gave him a copy of the film, and he finally decided to use the phrase.
Has played 3 different characters with the name Max in Kiss Toledo Goodbye (1999), Batman Returns (1992) and A View to a Kill (1985).
Has different-colored eyes (one blue and one hazel). This is a condition known as heterochromia.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame [October 8, 2004].
One of the few hosts of "Saturday Night Live" (1975) who has hosted enough times to have his own recurring skit ("The Continental").
Loves horror films featuring zombies.
Ranked #1 for Tropopkin's Top 25 Most Intriguing People
Was nominated for Broadway's 2000 Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical) for "James Joyce's The Dead."
In order to achieve the gaunt, withdrawn and hollow look of his character in The Deer Hunter (1978), it's reported that he ate a diet consisting of only rice and bananas in preparation for this film.
Alternated with his brother 'Glenn Walker' in the role of Mike Bauer on the soap opera "The Guiding Light" (1952) (1954-1956)
Ranked #1 on Tropopkin's Top 25 Most Intriguing People [Issue #100]
Is portrayed by Malcolm Kennard in The Mystery of Natalie Wood (2004) (TV)
Said in an interview (July 2005) with the German magazine "Der Spiegel" that his father was a German baker from Essen, Germany.
Frequently works with director Tim Burton.
He said in an interview that he has never turned down a role.
Was considered for the role of Number Two in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
Was considered for the role of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
Had read Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" for an audio book.