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Film Actor Christopher Walken often plays the bad guy, but he has also proved himself in comic roles and has been a repeat guest on Saturday Night Live.
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Actor Christopher Walken was born in Queens, New York, in 1943. Walken began working in the theater in his late teens, and by the early 1970s, he had begun working in film. His breakthrough role came with Woody Allen's Annie Hall (1977), and he went on to win an Academy Award for his role in 1978's The Deerhunter. In 1991, he gained his first Emmy Award nomination for his work on Sarah, Plain and Tall. Known to work constantly,
"I think my rhythm is a bit like someone whose first language isn't English. I could get away with being a German commandant and not really have to do a lot of accent, because I already sound like I don't speak English that well."
"I hardly ever like to sit at home. I don't have any children, I don't have any hobbies, I don't like to travel."
"Movie scripts are usually pretty loose—things change a lot. But not with Quentin [Tarantino]. His scripts are absolutely huge. All dialogue. It's all written down. You just learn the lines. It's more like a play."
Walken takes on all sorts of films.
Ronald Walken, better known by the pseudonym Christopher Walken, was born on March 31, 1943, in Queens, New York. A performer since the age of 3, Walken started out as a dancer, taking lessons as a child. "It was very typical for people—and I mean working-class people—to send their kids to dancing school. You'd learn ballet, tap, acrobatics, usually you'd even learn to sing a song," he later explained to Interview magazine.
The son of a baker, Walken would often leave his neighborhood in Queens and head to Manhattan with his brothers. There they would hang out at Rockefeller Center in Midtown where many of the television shows were shot. Sometimes they landed work as extras to make some pocket money. "They used a lot of kids more or less as furniture," Walken later told Entertainment Weekly. At the age of 10, he got a chance to work with comedian Jerry Lewis as an extra in a television skit.
Christopher Walken attended the famed Professional Children's School, which was for young people involved in the performing arts. Around the age of 18, he started working in the theater. Walken first landed roles in musicals because his earlier studies. During a tour of West Side Story, he met actress Georgianne Thon, who later became his wife. Early in his career, he changed his first name from Ronny to Christopher while performing in a nightclub act. "A lady in the act said she wanted me to be called Christopher, and I said, 'Fine.' ...Now I wish I'd picked a shorter name because when I see my name in print, it looks like a freight train," he told the Hollywood Reporter.
After appearing in the chorus in Baker Street in 1965, Walken was asked to try out for a dramatic part. He played King Philip of France in the original production of James Goldman's historical drama, The Lion in Winter, with Rosemary Harris and Robert Preston in 1966. That same year, Walken had a small role in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams's The Rose Tattoo. He then appeared in Peter Ustinov's The Unknown Soldier and His Wife in 1967.
By the early 1970s, Walken had begun working in film. He had a supporting part in 1971's The Anderson Tapes with Sean Connery and Dyan Cannon. His breakthrough role came six years later with his memorable turn in Woody Allen's Annie Hall (1977). In the comedic film, he played Duane, the offbeat, neurotic brother of the title character played by Diane Keaton.
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