Nicholas Cage at the 66th Venice Film Festival, Venice Italy, September 4, 2009. Photo by Nicholas Genin.
Nicolas Cage on Wikipedia
Nicolas Cage on the Internet Movie Database
Nicolas Cage
Footprinting Ceremony held on Tuesday, August 14, 2001
Born: Nicolas Kim Coppola, January 7, 1964, in Long Beach, California
Age at the time of the ceremony: 37

Nicolas Cage has, since the mid 1980s, been one of the most unique leading men in the movies. Born in Long Beach, California, to Francis Ford Coppola’s literature professor brother August, and his wife, dancer Joy Vogelsang, Nicolas Coppola attended Beverly Hills High School, and began acting while attending UCLA. Seeing the James Dean films East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause changed his life — “This is what I want to do.”

Not wanting to be known around Hollywood as Francis Coppola’s nephew, he changed his last name to Cage — inspired by the comic book character Luke Cage. Despite this, Francis Coppola cast him in Rumble Fish (released in October, 1983, The Cotton Club (released in December, 1984), and Peggy Sue Got Married (released in October, 1986).

Cage did not unleash his persona on the world immediately, but by degrees. Once graduating to leads in ensemble films such as the odd comedy Raising Arizona, (released in April, 1987), and director Norman Jewison’s Moonstruck (released in December, 1987), director David Lynch cast him in the decidedly strange Wild at Heart (released in August, 1990, where Cage’s laconic, sleepy-eyed taste for the bizarre was placed center stage.

Other directors suddenly wanted what Cage could bring to their films, as both men and women seemed to appreciate Cage’s looks and attitudes. Cage began to be among the first performers to straddle the worlds of “indie” films and Hollywood blockbusters. He played semi-romantic leads in Guarding Tess with Shirley MacLaine (released in March, 1994) and the lottery-winning fantasy It Should Happen to You opposite Bridget Fonda (released in July, 1994).

Cage accepted the role of an alcoholic writer wasting away in Mike Figgis’ low-budget downer Leaving Las Vegas, (released in December, 1995). By the time he won Best Actor for the film at the 1996 Academy Award Ceremony in March of 1996, he had already switched over into Michael Bay-Land, headlining with Sean Connery in the action/prison movie The Rock (released in June, 1996). Followed by Con Air (released in June, 1997.

Cage’s track record as an action star might be considered sketchy by some, but the actor’s choice of roles more reflects the types of films being offered to him: Action, Rom-Rom, or Space Oddity.

How else can you explain his being in City of Angels (released in April, 1998), the surypy America remake of the German film Wings of Desire (released in May, 1987), and then go and get cast as the lead in director Martin Scorsese's oddly comic and hard-hitting film about New York City Paramedics, Bringing Out the Dead (which played the Chinese in October, 1999) ?

The whipsawing between big, dumb films and smaller, more nuanced films continues: Gone in 60 Seconds (released in June, 2000), vs. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (released in August, 2001 (the film being promoted when Cage had his Forecourt ceremony at the Chinese on August 14, 2001). His dual role in Adaptation (released in February, 2002 and the lead in the first National Treasure film (released in November, 2004).

Cage seems to find the changes of tone in the films to be an inspiration, as he plays a heroic police officer in Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center (released in August, in 2006), to an odd father to a child super-hero in Kick-Ass (released in April 2010), Cage’s appearances on screen are difficult to classify in any usual manner.
Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Nicholas Cage Forecourt block. Executed August 14, 2001. 49 x 43 inches.
Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Nicholas Cage Forecourt ceremony, August 14, 2001.
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