Christopher Walken

Actors

Christopher Walken (born Ronald Walken, March 31, 1943) is an American actor, singer, comedian, director, producer, screenwriter, and dancer, who has appeared in more than 100 films and television programs, including Woody Allen‘s Annie Hall (1977), with Diane Keaton; David Cronenberg‘s The Dead Zone (1983), with Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, Martin Sheen, Anthony Zerbe and Colleen Dewhurst; Tim Burton‘s Batman Returns (1992), with Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Danny DeVito; Tony Scott‘s True Romance (1993), with Christian Bale, Patricia Arquette, James Gandolfini, Dennis Hopper, Michael Rapaport, Bronson Pinchot, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, and Brad Pitt; Quentin Tarantino‘s Pulp Fiction (1994), with John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, and Bruce Willis; Blast from the Past (1999), with Brendan Fraser, Alicia Silverstone, Sissy Spacek, and Dave Foley; Burton’s Sleepy Hollow (1999), with Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci; Scott’s Man on Fire (2004), with Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, Radha Mitchell, Giancarlo Giannini, Marc Anthony, Rachel Ticotin, and Mickey Rourke; Martin McDonagh‘s Seven Psychopaths (2012), with Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, and Željko Ivanek; and many others.

He has received a number of awards and nominations, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Michael Cimino‘s The Deer Hunter (1978), with Robert De Niro, John Cazale, and Meryl Streep. He was nominated for the same award and won BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild Awards for Steven Spielberg‘s Catch Me If You Can (2002), with Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Nathalie Baye, and Amy Adams. His films have grossed more than $1 billion in the United States.

As a child, Walken appeared on screen as an extra in numerous anthology series and variety shows during the Golden Age of Television. After appearing in a sketch with Martin and Lewis on The Colgate Comedy Hour, Walken decided to become an actor. He landed a regular role in the 1953 television show The Wonderful John Acton playing the part of Kevin Acton. In 1964, he changed his first name to Christopher at the suggestion of actress and dancer 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.

Walken has also played the lead in the Shakespeare plays Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Coriolanus. He is a popular guest-host of Saturday Night Live, hosting seven times. His most notable roles on the show include record producer Bruce Dickinson in the “More Cowbell” sketch; the disgraced Confederate officer Colonel Angus; and multiple appearances in the Continental sketch. He has also co-starred with Glenn Close in Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Sarah, Plain and Tall (1991), which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. The two would also co-star in the sequels Skylark (1993) and Winter’s End (1999).

Walken debuted as a film director and screenwriter with the 2001 short film Popcorn Shrimp. He also wrote and played the lead role in the 1995 play Him about his idol Elvis Presley. 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.

Later films include Todd Solondz’s Dark Horse (2011), with Justin Bartha, Selma Blair, Mia Farrow, Jordan Gelber, Donna Murphy, Zachary Booth and Aasif Mandvi; Stand Up Guys (2012), with Al Pacino and Alan Arkin; One More Time (2015), with Amber Heard, Kelli Garner, Hamish Linklater, Ann Magnuson, and Oliver Platt; The Family Fang (2015), with Jason Bateman and Nicole Kidman; Eddie the Eagle (2016), with Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Iris Berben, and Jim Broadbent; Father Figures (2017), with Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, J.K. Simmons, Katt Williams, Terry Bradshaw, Ving Rhames, Harry Shearer, June Squibb, and Close; The Jesus Rolls (2019), with John Turturro (who also directed), Bobby Canavale, Audrey Tautou, John Hamm, Pete Davisson, and Susan Sarandon.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • The Boy Who Saw Through (1956) – directed by George Stoney – credited as Ronnie Walken
  • Barefoot in Athens – directed by George Schaefer – TV movie
  • Me and My Brother (1969) – directed by Robert Frank
  • The Three Musketeers (1969) – directed by John Hirsch
  • Cleopatra (1970) – directed by Michael Auder
  • The Anderson Tapes (1971) – directed by Sidney Lumet
  • The Mind Snatchers (1972) – directed by Bernard Girard – aka The Happiness Cage – TV movie
  • Valley Forge (1975) – directed by Fielder Cook – TV movie
  • Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976) – directed by Paul Mazursky
  • The Sentinel (1977) – directed by Michael Winner
  • Annie Hall (1977) – directed by Woody Allen
  • Roseland (1977) – directed by James Ivory
  • The Deer Hunter (1978) – directed by Michael Cimino
  • Shoot the Sun Down (1978) – directed by David Leeds
  • Last Embrace (1979) – directed by Jonathan Demme
  • Heaven’s Gate (1980) – directed by Michael Cimino
  • The Dogs of War (1980) – directed by John Irvin
  • Pennies from Heaven (1981) – directed by Herbert Ross
  • Brainstorm (1983) – directed by Douglas Trumbull
  • The Dead Zone (1983) – directed by David Cronenberg
  • A View to a Kill (1985) – directed by John Glen
  • At Close Range (1986) – directed by James Foley
  • Witness in the War Zone (1987) – directed by Nathaniel Gutman – aka Deadline
  • The Milagro Beanfield War (1988) – directed by Robert Redford
  • Biloxi Blues (1988) – directed by Mike Nichols
  • Puss in Boots (1988) – directed by Eugene Marner
  • Homeboy (1988) – directed by Michael Seresin
  • Communion (1989) – directed by Philippe Mora
  • King of New York (1990) – directed by Abel Ferrara
  • The Comfort of Strangers (1990) – directed by Paul Schrader
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall (1991) – directed by Glenn Jordan – TV movie
  • McBain (1991) – directed by James Glickenhaus
  • All-American Murder (1991) – directed by Anson Williams
  • Mistress (1992) – directed by Barry Primus
  • Batman Returns (1992) – directed by Tim Burton
  • Le Grand Pardon II (1992) – directed by Alexandre Arcady
  • Skylark (1993) – directed by Joseph Sargent – TV movie
  • Scam (1993) – directed by John Flynn – TV movie
  • True Romance (1993) – directed by Tony Scott
  • Wayne’s World 2 (1993) – directed by Stephen Surjik
  • A Business Affair (1994) – directed by Charlotte Brandström
  • Pulp Fiction (1994)** – directed by Quentin Tarantino
  • The Addiction (1995) – directed by Abel Ferrara
  • The Prophecy (1995) – directed by Gregory Widen
  • Search and Destroy (1995) – directed by David Salle
  • Wild Side (1995) – directed by Donald Cammell
  • Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead (1995) – directed by Gary Fleder
  • Nick of Time (1995) – directed by John Badham
  • Celluloid (1996) – directed by Carlo Lizzani
  • Basquiat (1996) – directed by Julian Schnabel
  • The Funeral (1996) – directed by Abel Ferrara
  • Last Man Standing (1996) – directed by Walter Hill
  • Touch (1997) – directed by Paul Schrader
  • Excess Baggage (1997) – directed by Marco Brambilla
  • Suicide Kings (1997) – directed by Peter O’Fallon
  • Mousehunt (1997) – directed by Gore Verbinski
  • The Prophecy II (1998) – directed by Greg Spence
  • Illuminata (1998) – directed by John Turturro
  • New Rose Hotel (1998) – directed by Abel Ferrara
  • The Eternal (1998) – directed by Michael Almereyda – aka Trance
  • Antz (1998)* – directed by Eric Darnell & Tim Johnson
  • Blast from the Past (1999) – directed by Hugh Wilson
  • Vendetta (1999) – directed by Nicholas Meyer – TV movie
  • Sleepy Hollow (1999) –
  • Sarah, Plane and Tall: Winter’s End (1999) – directed by Glenn Jordan – TV movie
  • Kiss Toledo Goodbye (1999) – Lyndon Chubbuck
  • The Prophecy 3: The Ascent (2000) – directed by Patrick Lussier
  • The Opportunist (2000) – directed by Myles Connell
  • Scotland, Pa. (2001) – directed by
  • Billy Morrissette
  • Joe Dirt (2001)* – directed by Dennie Gordon
  • America’s Sweethearts (2001)* – directed by Joe Roth
  • The Affair of the Necklace (2001) – directed by Charles Shyer
  • Popcorn Shrimp (2001) – director and writer only – short
  • Poolhall Junkies (2002) – directed by Mars Callahan
  • The Country Bears (2002) – directed by Peter Hastings
  • Engine Trouble (2002) – directed by Brad Barnes – short
  • Undertaking Betty (2002) – directed by Nick Hurran
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002) – directed by Steven Spielberg
  • Kangaroo Jack (2003) – directed by David McNally
  • Gigli (2003) – directed by Martin Brest
  • The Rundown (2003) – directed by Peter Berg
  • Man on Fire (2004) – directed by Tony Scott
  • Envy (2004) – directed by Barry Levinson
  • The Stepford Wives (2004)* – directed by Frank Oz
  • Caesar (2004) – directed by Uli Edel mini-series
  • Around the Bend (2004) – directed by Jordan Roberts
  • Wedding Crashers (2005)* – directed by David Dobkin
  • Romance & Cigarettes (2005) – directed by John Turturro
  • Domino (2005) – directed by Tony Scott
  • Click (2006) – directed by Frank Coraci
  • Fade to Black (2006) – directed by Oliver Parker
  • Man of the Year (2006) – directed by Barry Levinson
  • Hairspray (2007)* – directed by Adam Shankman
  • Balls of Fury (2007) – directed by Robert Ben Garant
  • Evil Calls: The Raven (2008) – directed by Richard Driscoll
  • $5 a Day (2008) – directed by Nigel Cole
  • The Maiden Heist (2009) – directed by Peter Hewitt
  • Kill the Irishman (2011) – directed by Jonathan Hensleigh
  • Dark Horse (2011) – directed by Todd Solondz
  • Life’s a Beach (2012) – directed by Tony Vitals
  • Seven Psychopaths (2012) – directed by Martin McDonagh
  • A Late Quartet (2012) – directed by Yaron Zilberman
  • Stand Up Guys (2012) – directed by Fisher Stevens
  • The Power of Few (2013) – directed by Leone Marucci
  • Gods Behaving Badly (2013) – directed by Marc Turtletaub
  • Turks & Caicos (2014) – directed by David Hare – TV movie
  • Jersey Boys (2014) – directed by Clint Eastwood
  • Peter Pan Live (2014) – directed by Rob Ashford & Glenn Weiss – TV movie
  • One More Time (2015) – directed by Robert Edwards
  • Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser (2015) – directed by Fred Wolf
  • The Family Fang (2015) – directed by Jason Bateman
  • Eddie the Eagle (2016)* – directed by Dexter Fletcher
  • The Jungle Book (2016)* – directed by Jon Favreau
  • Nine Lives (2016) – directed by Barry Sonnenfeld
  • Father Figures (2017) – directed by Lawrence Sher
  • Irreplaceable You (2018) – directed by Stephanie Laing
  • The Jesus Rolls (2019) – directed by and starring John Turturro
  • The War with Grandpa (2020) – directed by Tim Hill
  • Percy (2020) – directed by Clark Johnson
  • Wild Mountain Thyme (2020) – directed by John Patrick Shanley