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Kevin Spacey is a rarity. Sure, he’s an enormous talent, one of the leading actors of his generation, and a portrayer of some of film’s best villains in recent years, but to the press, he’s “enigmatic” and “mysterious,” one who refuses to discuss his private life in order not to distract audiences from his screen characters. He even had his name removed from the opening credits of “Se7en” to later catch audiences off guard.
Born Kevin Spacey Fowler in New Jersey in 1959, little Kevin was a bit of a troublemaker – he burnt down his sister’s tree house and a stint in military school proved short lived due to Kevin’s antics. He spent his formative years in southern California and graduated from Chatsworth High School with classmate Val Kilmer. During this time, he used Spacey (his mother’s maiden name) as his own last name. And it was Val Kilmer who suggested the acting school Julliard in New York, where he studied from 1979 to 1981.
Even in stage plays in high school, Kevin found the theatre to be his home. Following acting school, Kevin worked in the New York theatre scene and gradually found his way to television and film. His first movie role is in the 1986 film “Heartburn,” in which he’s credited as Subway Thief. He’s part of the impressive “Working Girl” cast which included Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver, and Alec Baldwin. Also in 1988, Kevin gained greater recognition for his role as criminal mastermind Mel Profitt in the series “Wiseguy,” one of the first of the villainous parts he would undertake. In 1992, he’s cold Mr. Williamson, the office manager in “Glengarry Glen Ross,” and a Christmas hostage in “The Ref.” 1995 – a breakout year if there ever was one – proved Spacey had major talent: he won a Supporting Actor Oscar in Bryan Singer’s “The Usual Suspects,” with whom he would later collaborate with on “Superman Returns.” Following 1995, Kevin was everywhere and usually dominating the screen at the same time. Another Oscar came his way for “American Beauty” in 1999.In 2004, Kevin began work as director of the Old Vic Theatre Company in London for a 10-year commitment. He also directed his personal project “Beyond the Sea,” the story of Bobby Darin in 2004. He continues to work on both sides of the Atlantic and maintain secrecy on his private life. While he claims theatre is his true love, it may be the characters he plays that he loves the most.
Kevin on the Web
All things Kevin Spacey right here.
TV Guide: Kevin Spacey
Photos, bio and news of Kevin.
Kevin’s Wikipedia page with information on his early career.
Driving Mr. Spacey!
Massive, interesting fan site that covers all the bases.
Dark Horizons Interview
Kevin on “Superman Returns” and running the Old Vic theatre in London.
Guardian Unlimited Interview
Lengthy 2005 interview with Kevin on his career.
Kevin talks about making his pet project “Beyond the Sea.”
Cranky Critic Interview
Kevin on the influence of teachers in his life.
Kevin on the Screen
He’s Subway Thief in “Heartburn,” his first screen appearance in 1986. He worked television for the next few years, appearing as Mel Profitt for eight episodes of “Wiseguy.” That same year, he’s Bob Speck in Mike Nichols’ “Working Girl,” the title character in “Dad”, John Williamson in “Glengarry Glen Ross,” and the reporter in Disney’s “Iron Will.” His role as the producer in “Swimming with Sharks” led to an incredible streak for Kevin Spacey: the Oscar winning role in “The Usual Suspects,” “Outbreak,” “Se7en,” “A Time to Kill,” “L.A. Confidential,” and the Clint Eastwood film “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” He’s the title character in “The Negotiator,” and a year later would claim a second Oscar in perhaps his most well known role, Lester Burnham in “American Beauty.” His more recent roles include Larry Mann in “The Big Kahuna,” Eugene Simonet in “Pay It Forward,” Prox in “K-Pax,” and David Gale in “The Life of David Gale.” He’s also writer-producer-actor-director in “Beyond the Sea” and Lex Luthor for Bryan Singer in “Superman Returns.”
In addition to his theatre work in London at the Old Vic, he’s in the comedy “Fred Claus” with Paul Giamatti and Vince Vaughn. He’ll be in the biopic “Telstar” in 2008, the true story “21” in which he also produces, and the TV movie “Recount” based on the 2000 presidential election debacle in Florida.
“If I'm sick of me, I can only imagine how other people feel.”
On his end:
“One day I'll fall over on the stage. That's how I'll go.”
On his private life:
“I find it sad that by not talking about who I sleep with, that makes me mysterious. There was a time when I would have been called a gentleman.”