Jul. 22nd, 1955
Appleton, Wisconsin, USA
5' 9 1/2"
Willem Dafoe's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
In 1979, Willem Dafoe was given a small role in Michael Cimino (I)'s Heaven's Gate (1980) from which he was fired. His first feature role came shortly after in Kathryn Bigelow's The Loveless (1982). From there, he went on to perform in over 60 films - in Hollywood (Spider-Man (2002), The English Patient (1996), Finding Nemo (2003), Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), Clear and Present Danger (1994), White Sands (1992), Mississippi Burning (1988)_ , Streets of Fire (1984) and in independent cinema in the U.S. (The Clearing (2004), Animal Factory (2000), Basquiat (1996), The Boondock Saints (1999), American Psycho (2000)) and abroad (Lars von Trier's Manderlay (2005), Ho Yim's Pavilion of Women (2001), 'Yurek Bogayevicz''s Edges of the Lord (2001), Wenders' "Far Away So Close" and Brian Gilbert's "Tom & Viv").
He has chosen projects for diversity of roles and opportunities to work with strong directors. He has worked in the films of Wes Anderson (I) (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)), Martin Scorsese (The Aviator (2004), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)), Paul Schrader (I) (Auto Focus (2002), Affliction (1997), Light Sleeper (1992)), David Cronenberg (eXistenZ (1999)), Abel Ferrara (New Rose Hotel (1998)), David Lynch (I) (Wild at Heart (1990)), William Friedkin (I) (To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)) and Oliver Stone (I) (Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Platoon (1986)).
He was nominated twice for the Academy Award (Platoon (1986) and Shadow of the Vampire (2000)) and once for the Golden Globe. Among other nominations and awards, he received an LA Film Critics Award and an Independent Spirit Award.
Recent projects include Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007), Spike Lee's Inside Man (2006), Paul Weitz's American Dreamz (2006) and Giada Colagrande's Before It Had a Name (2005)" (which was co-written by Mr. Dafoe) and the Nobuhiro Suwa segment of Paris, je t'aime (2006).
Other upcoming films include Fireflies in the Garden (2008) starring opposite Julia Roberts (I), Henry Miller (I)'s Anamorph (2007), Paul Schrader (I)'s The Walker (2007) and Adam Resurrected (2008), Abel Ferrara's Go Go Tales (2007) and the Lions Gate release Daybreakers (2009).
Dafoe is one of the founding members of "The Wooster Group", the New York based experimental theatre collective. He has created and performed in the group's work since 1977, both in the U.S. and internationally.
- He attended Einstein Junior High School in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he was known as "Billy."
- Practices Yoga regularly.
- Provided his voice on 'Lou Reed' (qv)'s 2003 album "The Raven". On it, he performs a re-written and reworked, spoken-word version of 'Edgar Allan Poe' (qv)'s poetry.
- His high school nickname, Willem, stuck with him.
- Was listed as a potential nominee on the 2006 Razzie Award nominating ballot. He was listed as a suggestion in the Worst Supporting Actor category for his performance in the film _xXx: State of the Union (2005)_ (qv) However, he failed to receive a nomination. (Had he gotten the nomination, it would have been his third overall. He was previously nominated for Worst Supporting Actor at the 1998 Razzie Awards for his role in _Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)_ (qv), and for Worst Actor at the 1994 Razzie Awards for his performance in _Body of Evidence (1993)_ (qv).)
- Was offered the role of Senator Roark in _Sin City (2005)_ (qv).
- Brother, Donald Dafoe, is an accomplished transplant surgeon.
- Member of Jury for 2007 Berlin International Film Festival.