Christopher Walken is an American actor best known for his roles in movies such as The Deer Hunter (for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), True Romance, Pulp Fiction and Catch Me If You Can.
Walken was born Ronald Walken (named after actor Ronald Colman) on March 31, 1943. Raised in Queens, New York, Walken worked in the family bakery every day after school.
Influenced by their mother's own dreams of stardom, he and his brothers Ken Walken and Glenn Walken were child actors on television in the 1950s.
Walken has been married to Georgianne Walken (née Thon) since 1969. Georgianne is a casting agent, most notably for The Sopranos. They have no children.
Walken initially trained as a dancer in musical theatre before moving on to more serious roles in theatre and then film. He has a considerable body of work in theatre, with over 100 plays to his credit.
Walken won the Clarence Derwent Award for his performance in The Lion in Winter in 1966 and an Obie for his 1975 performance in Kid Champion.
He has played the main role in a number of Shakespeare plays, notably Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Coriolanus.
Walken tried his hand at writing and directing with the short five-minute film Popcorn Shrimp in 2001. He also wrote and acted the main role in a play about Elvis Presley titled Him in 1995.
Walken has also appeared in over 100 movies and television shows since 1953, including The Deer Hunter, The Dead Zone, A View to a Kill, At Close Range, King of New York, Batman Returns, True Romance, Pulp Fiction, The Funeral and Catch Me If You Can, and in classic TV series such as Kojak and The Naked City.
Walken attained cult status in 90s, playing the role of the Archangel Gabriel in the first three The Prophecy movies. His films have grossed a cumulative North American profit of over $1.8-billion.
Along with Nick Nolte, Walken was considered by George Lucas for the part of Han Solo in the 1977 science fiction film Star Wars. The part eventually went to Harrison Ford.
In 1979 Walken won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Deer Hunter, in which he played a disturbed Vietnam vet alongside Robert De Niro. He was nominated again in 2002 for Catch Me If You Can.
He has also starred in three music videos. His first video role was as the Angel of Death in Madonna's 1993 "Bad Girl" video, the second appearance was in Skid Row's "Breakin' Down" video, and the third one in Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice" in 2001, directed by Spike Jonze.
In addition to this, Walken has voiced characters in a number of video games, and is also the only actor to play both a Bond villain and a Batman villain.