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 Minelli (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 wow 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.
Caption TK
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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