Christopher Walken. Date unknown.
 
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Christopher Walken
Forecourt Ceremony held on Friday, October 8, 2004
 
Born: Ronald Walken, March 31, 1943, in Astoria, New York
Age at the time of the ceremony: 61
 
Christopher Walken shot to prominence in the late 1970s, and has since become something of a perfect ulitity man: he gets it done. Very often assuming the bad guy roles in various crime movies, Walken is an accomplished dancer, and has appeared in waaaaay more light-hearted fare.

Born to Scottish / German immagrant parents, "Ronnie" and his brothers Kenneth and Glenn, were encouraged into showbiz by their mother Rosalie. By the age of ten, "Ronnie" got his first role in an unsold television pilot, the sitcom The Wonderful John Acton, aired over NBC in July 1953. Walken played Harry Jolcombe's son Kevin.

At 15, he discovered and became a devotee of Elvis Presley. This new aesthetic found Walken working as a lion tamer while still in high school. After attending Hofstra for a year, he dropped out in order to play in an Off-Broadway revival of the musical Best Foot Forward with Liza Minnelli (and brother Glenn) for 224 performances, from April to October 1963. Many Off-Broadway performances followed. He changed his name to Christopher in 1964.

Walken attracted much notice for originating the role of Prince Phillip of France in the original Broadway production of The Lion in Winter, with Robert Preston as Henry II, from March to May 1966. While appearing on New York produced television shows, Walken joined the cast of Robert Frank's underground film with Allen Ginsberg Me and My Brother (released in February 1969). Walken played a young Navy man on an episode of Hawaii Five-0, aired over CBS in January 1970.

Director Sidney Lumet gave Walken a small role in The Anderson Tapes (released in June 1971) with Sean Connery; then Walken was tapped to play the lead in the film version of a play he had appeared in in 1970 called The Mind Snatchers AKA The Happiness Cage (released in 1972).

Walken's New York cred came in handy on Paul Mazursky's memory film Next Stop, Greenwich Village (released in February 1976) with Lenny Baker. After the questionable delights of working on The Sentinel (released in January 1977), Walken got a big break playing Diane Keaton's nutzo brother in Annie Hall (released in April 1977) with Woody Allen.

But Walken really landed big with his performance as Nick in The Deer Hunter (released in December 1978) with Robert De Niro. The very popular and powerful film made Walken a star. Hitching his wagon to director Michael Cimino, Walken was given second-billing in Heaven's Gate (released in November 1980) with Kris Kristofferson. He got his name above the title in The Dogs of War (released in December 1980) with Tom Berenger.

Walken literally wowed people with his dancing in the noir musical Pennies from Heaven (released in December 1981) with Steve Martin, then went off into sci-fi territory again in Brainstorm (released in September 1983) with Natalie Wood. He got top-billing for The Dead Zone (released in October 1983) with Brooke Adams, and was given the distinction of playing the bad-guy-who-wants-to-rule-the-world in the James Bond movie A View to a Kill (which played the Chinese in May 1985) with Roger Moore.

More sobering film roles were waiting however: the heavy crime movie At Close Range (which played the Chinese in April 1986) with Sean Penn; The Milagro Beanfield War (released in March 1988) with Rubén Blades; and Biloxi Blues (released in March 1988) with Matthew Broderick.

King of New York (released in September 1990) with Larry Fishburne, was directed by New York provocateur Abel Ferrara, while McBain (released in September 1991) with Maria Conchita Alonso, was more like movie cannon foddler.

A number of supporting roles in crime films helped him along. He played Max Shreck in Batman Returns (which played the Chinese in June 1992) with Michael Keaton; he played a Mafia Don in True Romance (played the Chinese in September 1993) with Christian Slater. After this, wunderkind Quentin Tarantino cast Walken as a wacko soldier in Pulp Fiction (played the Chinese in October 1994 with John Travolta).

The independent sector beckoned. Walken again headlined as a melevolent Angel Gabriel in The Prophecy (released in September 1995) with Elias Koteas, then did Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (released in December 1995) with Andy Garcia, and was a reporter of sorts in Basquiat (released in August 1996) with Jeffrey Wright in the title role.

Walken has always done crime films, like Last Man Standing (released in September 1996) with Bruce Willis, and Suicide Kings (released in April 1998) with Denis Leary, but he also likes doing other projects like Mousehunt (released in December 1997) with Nathan Lane, and Blast from the Past (released in February 1999) with Bredan Fraiser. He played the Headless Horseman in Sleepy Hollow (which played the Chinese in November 1999) with Johnny Depp, and did a picture that seems to have only shown at the Sundance Film Festival, Scotland, Pa. (released in January 2001) with James LeGros, and played an occultist in The Affair of the Necklace (released in December 2001) with Hilary Swank.

Undertaking Betty (released in October 2002) with Brenda Blethyn, was a rare trip into English comedy, while in Catch Me if You Can (released in December 2002), he played Leonardo DiCaprio's father. Returning to more conventional theatricalisms, Walken played Marcus Portius Cato in Caesar, aired over TNT in June 2003, with Jeremy Sisto in the title role. He played a detective in one of the key bombs of the 2000s: Gigli (released in August 2003) with Ben Affleck.

Man on Fire (released in April 2004) with Denzel Washington, has him running a security firm, while in The Stepford Wives (released in June 2004) with Nicole Kidman, he plays the Big Heavy. Walken has done a number of films where he is the older man trying to foil the plans of the young folks. For instance: Wedding Crashers (released in July 2005) with Owen Wilson, Click (released in June 2006) with Adam Sandler, and Man of the Year (released in October 2006) with Robin Williams.

In Hairspray (released in July, 2007), Walken played husband to John Travolta (in drag). Switching gears, he played a classical cellist in A Late Quartet (released in September 2012) with Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Switching gears once more, he played Zeus in Gods Behaving Badly (released in November 2013) with Alicia Silverstone.

He played shady Mafia loanshark Angelo DeCarlo in Jersey Boys (released in June 2014) with John Lloyd Young, then played Captain Hook in Peter Pan Live!, aired over NBC in December 2014, with Allison Williams in the title role.

In indieland, Walken played Jason Bateman's dad in Bateman's directing debut, The Family Fang (released in May 2016). In mega movieland, Walken did the voice for King Louie in The Jungle Book (which played the Chinese in April 2016) with Bill Murray, and in comedyland, Walken played a veteranaian who is one of the Father Figures (released in December 2017) with Owen Wilson. He has a role in the bowling comedy The Jesus Rolls (released in October 2019) with John Turturro. He plays one of Robert De Niro's pals in The War with Grandpa with Uma Thurman (released in October 2020). Walken plays a Canadian farmer up against agribusiness in Percy with Christina Ricci (released in October 2020), and plays another old gyser in Wild Mountain Thyme with Emily Blunt (released in December 2020).
 
 
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Christopher Walken Forecourt block. Executed by unknown, Friday, October 8, 2004. 48 x 38 inches.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Christopher Walken Forecourt ceremony, Friday, October 8, 2004. Christopher Walken poses with unknown cement technician after signing his name in the cement.
 
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