The son of comparative literature professor August Coppola (a brother of director Francis Ford Coppola) and dancer/choreographer Joy Vogelsang, Cage changed his name early in his career to make his own reputation, succeeding brilliantly with a host of classic, quirky roles by the late 1980s.
Initially studying theatre at Beverly Hills High (though he dropped out at 17), he secured a bit part in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) -- most of which was cut, dashing his hopes and leading to a job selling popcorn at the Fairfax Theater, thinking that would be the only route to a movie career. But a job reading lines with auditioners for uncle Francis's Rumble Fish (1983) landed him a role in that film, followed by the punk-rocker in Valley Girl (1983) which was released first and truly launched his career.
His one-time passion for method acting reached a personal limit when he smashed a street-vendor's remote-control car to achieve the sense of rage needed for his gangster character in The Cotton Club (1984).
In his early 20s, he dated Jenny Wright for two years, later linked to Uma Thurman. After a relationship of several years with Christina Fulton, a model, they split amicably and share custody of a son, Weston Coppola Cage (b.1992).
Half German, half Italian.
Withdrew his divorce papers that were filed in February. [April 2000]
Ranked #40 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Was engaged to Kristen Zang.
Nephew of Francis Ford Coppola.
Nephew of Talia Shire.
Got Johnny Depp his first acting job.
Close friends with Tom Waits.
Stage name taken from comic book character Luke Cage.
Owns a Lamborghini that used to belong to the Shah of Iran.
Brother of Marc Coppola and Christopher Coppola.
Grandson of Carmine Coppola.
Proposed to Patricia Arquette on the day he met her in the early 80s. Arquette thought he was a bit strange but played along with his antics by creating a list of things Cage would have to fulfil to win her. When he started to work his way through the list, Arquette got scared and avoided him. They met again many years later and later went on to marry.
He lives in a fake castle on the outskirts LA. He wants to import an authentic one from overseas. 
Loves to improvise, ocassionally to the annoyance of other cast members.
Collects comic books and sees them as being today's equivalent of mythology.
The Wild at Heart (1990) movie poster lists his name as both "Nicolas Cage" and "Nicholas Cage".
Ranked #37 in Premiere's 100 most powerful people in Hollywood in 1998.
Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1984" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 36. 
Cousin of Jason Schwartzman.
Suffers from vertigo.
Tim Burton cast Cage in his doomed Superman project. Cage even did fittings of the costume.
Ate a live roach in Vampire's Kiss (1989).
On his upper back he has a tattoo of monitor lizard with a top hat.
Announced that he is dating Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of the late Elvis Presley. [Summer 2001]
Cousin of Robert Schwartzman, who changed his name to Robert Schwartzman-Cage inspired by Nicolas.
Given an Honory Doctorate in Fine Arts by California State University, Fullerton in May, 2001. Cage spoke at the commencement.
Father August Coppola, formerly a professor at Cal State Long Beach and Dean of Creative Arts at San Francisco State University
During an A&E Biography on him, the host explained that Nicolas was Director Sam Raimi's first choice to play Norman Osborn/Green Goblin in the movie Spider-Man (2002). Apparently this was before he met Willem Dafoe.
Graduated UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.
Cousin of Sofia Coppola and Roman Coppola.
On "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (1992), he told Jay that he took the name "Cage" from a comic book character named Luke Cage, the "first black superhero". When asked which of the powers he would prefer to have, he said flight was his desire.
Has a son, Weston Coppola-Cage (with actress Christina Fulton), born 26 December, 1990.
Together with actors Lee Marvin (Cat Ballou (1965)) and Peter Sellers (_Dr. Stranglove (1964)_ ) , he is the only actor with an Oscar nomination for playing multiple characters in a film (in Adaptation. (2002), he plays two characters, Donald and Charlie). Marvin is the only one who actually won one for a double role.
Former cousin, by marriage, of director Spike Jonze.
Met wife Alice Kim at a sushi bar where she was a waitress. She was only 20-years-old at the time they married.
Went to the same High School as Angelina Jolie, Michael Klesic, Lenny Kravitz, David Schwimmer, Jonathan Silverman, Gina Gershon, Rhonda Fleming, Jackie Cooper, Rob Reiner, Antonio Sabato Jr., Pauly Shore, Michael Tolkin, Betty White, Corbin Bernsen, Elizabeth Daily, Albert Brooks and Crispin Glover.
Close friends with Crispin Glover.
Ate a real cockroach in the film Vampire's Kiss (1989), it reportedly took three takes. He once said about the experience, "Every muscle in my body didn't want to do it, but I did it anyway."
Attended Justin-Siena High School in Napa, California. During the early 80s.
His is (along with his cousin Sofia Coppola) the third generation of Oscar winners in the Coppola family. His uncle, Francis Ford Coppola and his grandfather, Carmine Coppola, are the other two generations. They are the second family to do so, the first family is the Hustons - Anjelica Huston, John Huston and Walter Huston.
Nick and his wife, Alice, had a son, Kal-el Coppola Cage, on October 3, 2005 in New York City. Just as Nick was named after a comic book character, Luke Cage, so has he named his son after the comic book character Kal-el (aka Superman).
Trains in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Royce Gracie
David Lynch referred to him as the "Jazz musician of acting"