Christopher Walken - Updated Apr 2024

Updated On February 15, 2024
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Christopher Walken

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Christopher Walken is a veteran actor from the United States. Christopher Walken is known for intense, eccentric performances in a wide variety of roles that won him enduring popularity and critical respect.

Early Life

Christopher Walken was born on the 31st of March 1943, in Astoria, New York City, the United States of America. According to his date of birth, he is 80 years old and holds American nationality. His birth name is Ronald Walker. He has his belief in Christianity and has the birth sign of Aries. He belongs to the German-American ethnicity.

Coming toward his parents, he is Paul Walken (father) and Rosalie Russell (mother). He was named after actor Ronald Colman. Moreover, he grew up with his two brothers whose names are Kenneth and Glenn.

Christopher Walken

Caption: Christopher Walken with his family (Source: Nsemwokrom.com)

Education

Talking about his academic career, he might have completed his early high school education at a local private high school. During his teenage years, he worked as a lion tamer in a circus.

He later attended Hofstra University but left after one year, having gotten the role of Clayton Dutch Miller in an off-Broadway revival of Best Foot Forward alongside Liza Minnelli. Initially, Walken began training as a dancer at the Washington Dance Studio before moving on to dramatic stage roles and then film.

Professional Career

From an early age, Christopher Walken started working as an actor. During the early 1950s, he and his brothers worked as child actors. When he was just three years old, he appeared as a dancer on the stage.

From 1953-1965, he was regularly cast in television productions and soap operas like “The Wonderful John Acton,” “The Guiding Light,” and “Naked City” among others. Later, he portrayed  the role of King Philip of France at the Broadway premiere of “The Lion in Winter.”

In around the year 1964, he changed his name from Ronald to Christopher after a friend suggested that it suited him better. He made his feature film debut with a minor role in the 1971 movie, “The Anderson Tapes.” Later, in 1976, he appeared in Paul Mazursky’s autobiographical “Next Stop, Greenwich Village” and the horror film The Sentinel (1977).

Christopher Walken

Caption: Christopher Walken plays the role of Nick in the 1978 film, The Deer Hunter (Source: IMDb)

In 1977, his breakthrough role came with Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall.”For the movie, he played the borderline-crazy brother of Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). For his role as Nick in Michael Cimino’s 1978 film “The Deer Hunter” he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Afterward, he appeared in Cimino’s other film “Heaven’s Gate” (1980). He played a mercenary in the film, “The Dogs of War”(1980). And, he also performed a song-and-dance number in the musical series “Pennies from Heaven” (1981).

Afterward, he went on to appear in a tremendous number of other films, among them the sci-fi thriller “The Dead Zone” (1983), the James Bond movie “A View to a Kill” (1985), Robert Redford’s “The Milagro Beanfield War” (1988), the film version of the Neil Simon play “Biloxi Blues” (1988), and the crime thriller “King of New York” (1990).

He was also nominated for an Emmy Award for his portrayal of a widower who sends for a mail-order bride in the television movie “Sarah, Plain, and Tall” (1991).

Other movies works

His other notable roles include Max Shreck in Tim Burton’s “Batman Returns” (1992), a gangster in Tony Scott’s “True Romance” (1993), Captain Koons in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” (1994), and Mr. Smith in the thriller “Nick of Time” (1995). Following it, he appeared in the crime adventure “The Funeral” (1996) and played a Hessian horseman in Burton’s “Sleepy Hollow” (1999).

After this, he won new fans with a remarkable dancing sequence in the video—directed by Spike Jonze—for British hip-hop DJ Fatboy Slim’s song “Weapon of Choice.” Later, he made his directorial and screenwriting  debut with the 2001 short film, “Popcorn Shrimp.”

He earned the nomination for an Oscar for his role as the larcenous father of virtuoso imposter Frank Abagnale, Jr. (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), in “Catch Me If You Can” (2002).

His later movie appearances included “Wedding Crashers” (2005) and the 2007 remake of the musical “Hairspray”—in which he played Wilbur Turnblad opposite John Travolta—as well as “Stand Up Guys” (2012), “Seven Psychopaths” (2012), and “Jersey Boys” (2014).

Recent Career

He played the role of Captain Hook in the 2014 TV movie “Peter Pan Live!” and lent his voice to King Louie in the Disney film “The Jungle Book” (2016). His recent movie appearances are “Father Figures” (2017), “Irreplaceable You” (2018), “The War with Grandpa” (2020), and “Percy” (2020). Later, he appeared in the sci-fi TV series “Severance” in the supporting role of Burt Goodman.

Awards

Christopher Walken

Caption: Christopher Walken winning the 1979 Academy Award (Source: IMDb)

As of now, this veteran actor has won 24 awards with 49 nominations. He has earned one Academy Award (1979), one British Academy Film Award (2003), a Screen Actors Guild Award (2003), the AARP Movies for Grownups Award (2008), an American Comedy Award (2001), a Hollywood Film Award (2007), and many others.

Christopher Walken – Net Worth 2024

Working for more than half a decade, this actor has collected a huge sum of money in his profession. As of 2024, his net worth is estimated at around $50 million while his salary and income are still unknown. Mainly, he makes money through his acting career.

Relationship Status

Christopher Walken

Caption: Christopher Walken with his wife (Source: The US Sun)

Coming toward his personal life, Christopher married Georgianne Thon in January 1969. Professionally, his wife is a former casting director. Moreover, the couple first met each other in 1963 during a tour of West Side Story. The couple does not have any children. In an interview, Walken stated that not having children is one of the reasons he has had such a prolific career.

Body Measurements

This veteran actor stands 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs around 75 kg. Moreover, he has light brown/grey hair with brown hair color, and his body measurement measures 44-14-32 inches. Similarly, the actor wears a shoe size of 10 US.

Christopher Walken – Social Media

This American actor does not seem active on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. In addition, the actor likes to live a private life and avoid social media.