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Real Name: Nicolas Coppola
Birthday: January 7, 1964
Place of Birth: Long Beach, CA
Education: American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, CA (acting)

 

Biography and Filmography:

Nicolas Cage, a nephew of famous film director Francis Ford Coppola, got his first major movie role in "Valley Girl" (1983), then followed with a small role in his uncle's "Rumble Fish" (1983). Though criticized at the time for his roles in Coppola's "Peggy Sue Got Married", with newcomers Jim Carrey and Helen Hunt (1986), the projects grabbed the attention of Cher who suggested he audition for the role of Ronny in "Moonstruck". Two days later the producers hired him and "Moonstruck" became the actors first official smash hit.

He then took roles in such movies as the Coen brothers' comedy "Raising Arizona" (1987) starring Holly Hunter, and then the David Lynch adventure "Wild at Heart" (1990), where no amount of wild acting would be too much in Lynch's world of movie making. 

The rising star guaranteed a cult status for his work in "Vampire's Kiss" (1989) when he ate a live cockroach in a method acting exhibition. 

The Hollywood press had nothing good to say about his role in "Amos and Andrew" starring Samuel L. Jackson (1993), but most recognized it was his charisma that lead to the success of Andrew Bergman's comedy "Honeymoon in Vegas" (1992). The actor then gave an exceptional performance as an alcoholic write trying to commit suicide. For his work, Nicolas won an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Following his Oscar win, he tried his hand at action hero roles, starting with "The Rock" (1996), where he played an FBI biochemist alongside Sean Connery and Michael Biehn, as the only prisoner to have escaped from Alcatraz to free hostages. In "Con Air" (1997), he tried to stop the plans of some of the hardest criminals ever gathered while flying them around the country for trials and jail reassignments. 

After playing a psychotic terrorist who gets to switch identities with FBI agent John Travolta in  "Face/Off" (1997), he returned to romantic comedy in "City of Angels" with Meg Ryan (1998). Next was the crime thriller "Snake Eyes" (1998), before returning to the action genre in "8mm" directed by Joel Schumacher, and "Bringing Out the Dead" starring Patricia Arquette and directed by Martin Scorsese.

He returned again to thrillers, working with Angelina Jolie in "Gone in 60 Seconds" (2000), where fast cars and police chases dominated most of the scenes, but did well at the box office. His next few movies did not fare as well, with "Family Man" with Téa Leoni (2000), "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" (2001) with Penelope Cruz and Christian Bale, and then "Windtalkers" (2002), where two U.S. Marines in WWII are assigned to protect Navajo Marines who use their native language as an unbreakable radio code. He then both directed and acted in the crime drama "Sonny" (2002), set in New Orleans in 1981 about a man just discharged from the Army who returns home only to find difficult times. That year the actor also married the daughter of Elvis, Lisa Marie.
 

He was then hired and cast in the comedy "Adaptation" (2002), opposite Meryl Streep, about a lovelorn screenwriter who turns to his less talented twin brother for help when his efforts to adapt a non-fiction book go nowhere. The actor then got his big break with the starring role in the comedy "Matchstick Man" (2003), where a phobic con artist and his friend are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle when the con artist's teenage daughter arrives unexpectedly. The following year he starred with Diane Kruger in the adventure thriller "National Treasure" (2004), where his character is in hot pursuit of a mythical treasure that has been passed down for centuries, while his employer turned enemy is onto the same path that he's on.

Next was his role in "Lord of War" (2005) as Yuri Orlov, a world traveling arms dealer trying to stay one step in front of his enemies, his business agent, and his business rivals, while trying to stay true to his own morals. He then took the role of Chicago weather forecaster Dave Spritz, who separated from his wife and children, argues whether professional and personal success are possible at the same time. 

The rising star then lent his voice talents to Zoc, the ant wizard in “The Ant Bully” with Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep (2006), where after a boy floods an ant colony with his water gun, he's magically shrunken down to insect size and sentenced to hard labor in the ruins. 

He then starred as a Port Authority officer in Oliver Stone’s dramatic review of the September 11th terrorist attacks in “World Trade Center” (2006), where two Port Authority police officers become trapped under the rubble of the World Trade Center. Many critics felt the movie was in bad taste, and released too soon after the tragedy. 

Next was the horror mystery “The Wicker Man” (2006), Cage took the starring role in the story of a sheriff who is investigating the disappearance of a young girl from a small island and discovers there's a larger mystery to solve among the island's secretive citizens. The flick was a bomb, and the embarrassed actor walked away with a Razzie Award for Worst actor. Not on to stay down for long, her quickly bounced back for fantasy thriller "Ghost Rider" (2007), a story based on the Marvel Comics character, stunt motor cycle rider Johnny Blaze, who gives up his soul to become a vigilante and fight against power hungry Blackheart, the son of the devil himself. Unfortunately, the actor again took home a Razzie for Worst Actor Award. Ironically, the film raked in over $50 million dollars its opening weekend. 

But a big comeback was right around the corner in Robert Rodriguez sci-fi flick "Grindhouse" (2007), a new twist on big budget projects with two full length feature horror movies written by Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez put together as a two film feature. Including fake movie trailers in between both movies. Another starring role followed in the sci-fi romance "Next" (2007), about a Las Vegas magician who can see into the future and is chased by FBI agents seeking to use his abilities to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack from destroying the world. 

Nicolas then returned for the expected sequel "National Treasure: Book Of Secrets" (2007), again playing treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates, who looks to discover the truth behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by uncovering the mystery within the 19 pages missing from assassin John Wilkes Booth's diary.

In addition to his high-profile acting career, Cage regularly made headlines for his off-screen romances. After a short marriage to Patricia Arquette, he married Lisa Marie Presley but the marriage ended for good in 2004. He then flabbergasted many with his marriage to Alice Kim, a former sushi waitress 20 years younger than him, just three months after his divorce from Presley was finalized.
 

He started off the following year starring in the adventure thriller "Bangkok Dangerous" (2008) about a hitman who is in Bangkok to pull off a series of jobs and falls for a local woman and bonds with his young errand boy. Next was another action adventure film "G-Force' (2009) with Penelope Cruz, about a specially trained squad of guinea pigs who is dispatched to stop a diabolical billionaire from taking over the world. 

More thriller adventures followed with "Knowing" (2009) about a teacher who opens a time capsule that has been dug up at his son's elementary school and in it are some chilling predictions. Next was the dramatic "Electric God" (2009) about a man who lives a life of isolation who finds a solution to his violent temper when he's forced to reach out to others. He then followed with the comedy "Kick-Ass" (2009), the funny tale of an unseen high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a super-hero, even though he has no powers.

He then returned to voice work for the animated "Astro Boy" (2009), voicing the character of Dr, Tenma in a story about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he has lost. Next was the fantasy movie "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (2009), about a powerful sorcerer who seeks out an apprentice in New York City. He wrapped his year in the John Carpenter horror "Scared Straight" (2009), where a governor's delinquent son is sent to prison and is taken hostage during a riot, forcing a lifer to come to his aid.
  

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