|Full Name||Nicolas Kim Coppola|
|Birthday||January 7, 1964|
Nicolas Cage is one of Hollywood‘s most prolific, dynamic, and talented actors. With a career spanning over four decades and 100+ films, he has delivered some of cinema‘s most memorable performances. Known for his intense on-screen presence and chameleonic ability to transform into any role, Cage brings passion and commitment to every character he plays. Let‘s take a closer look at the career and achievements of this remarkable actor.
Origins and Upbringing
Born Nicolas Kim Coppola on January 7, 1964 in Long Beach, California, Cage is the son of comparative literature professor August Coppola and dancer/choreographer Joy Vogelsang. He is part of the famous Coppola film family that includes his uncle, director Francis Ford Coppola, and cousins Sofia Coppola and Jason Schwartzman.
Wanting to establish his own identity, young Nicolas changed his last name from Coppola to Cage, inspired by Marvel comic book hero Luke Cage. This was an important declaration of independence from his famous filmmaking relatives.
Rising to Fame in the 1980s
Cage got his start with minor TV and film roles in the early 1980s before landing his big break in the 1983 comedy film Valley Girl starring Deborah Foreman. His performance as the punk rocker Randy garnered positive reviews and put him on the map in Hollywood.
More starring roles followed in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Raising Arizona (1987), and the romantic comedy Moonstruck (1987) opposite Cher. For his portrayal of a baker who falls in love with a widowed Italian-American accountant named Loretta in Moonstruck, Cage won the Academy Award for Best Actor. This cemented his status as a serious dramatic actor.
Blockbuster Success in the 1990s
The 1990s proved to be a hugely successful decade for Cage. He starred in a string of box office hits including Wild at Heart (1990) with Laura Dern, Honeymoon in Vegas (1992) co-starring Sarah Jessica Parker, and the Coen Brothers cult classic comedy Raising Arizona (1995) with Holly Hunter.
Cage won his second Academy Award for his searing performance as a suicidal alcoholic writer in the 1995 drama Leaving Las Vegas opposite Elisabeth Shue. During this time, he also ventured into big budget action movies like Michael Bay‘s The Rock (1996), John Woo‘s Face/Off (1997) with John Travolta, and Con Air (1997) – cementing his reputation as a versatile leading man.
With his gripping portrayals of complex protagonists and ability to draw audiences, Cage became one of Hollywood‘s highest-paid and most in-demand actors.
Nicolas Cage Career Timeline
- 1982: Makes his acting debut in Fast Times at Ridgemont High
- 1983: First lead role in Valley Girl
- 1987: Wins Best Actor award at Cannes Film Festival for Moonstruck
- 1995: Wins Best Actor Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas
- 1996: Stars in action blockbuster The Rock
- 2000: Plays romantic lead in Captain Corelli‘s Mandolin
- 2004: Leads cast of National Treasure
- 2013: Voices caveman in animated film The Croods
- 2021: Plays himself in meta comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
2000s – Exploring Diverse Roles
In the 2000s, Cage displayed his impressive range with roles in films spanning different genres. He played the romantic lead opposite Penelope Cruz in the 2000 war drama Captain Corelli‘s Mandolin. Cage took on the starring role in the 2005 political thriller Lord of War, holding his own against other cast members like Ethan Hawke and Jared Leto.
Cage also appeared in the hit Disney animated film The Croods in 2013, voicing the caveman patriarch Grug alongside Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds. Some other notable credits from this decade include the mystery adventure thriller National Treasure (2004) and its sequel National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007).
More recently, Cage has continued his streak of eclectic film choices. In 2021, he did something no actor has done before – he starred in the wild meta black comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, playing a fictionalized version of himself.
He also starred as a truffle hunter in Michael Sarnoski‘s 2021 indie movie Pig, garnering praise from critics for his moving performance as a man seeking redemption. Upcoming projects for Cage include the comedy Dream Scenario and atmospheric thriller Longlegs.
Now entering his late 50s, this ever-exciting actor shows no signs of slowing down – clearly still hungry to take on stimulating roles that allow him to push his talents as a performer.
Accolades and Achievements
With a career spanning over 100 films, Nicolas Cage has received numerous accolades honoring his superb acting skills. His extensive list of awards includes:
- Academy Award for Best Actor for Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
- Golden Globe for Best Actor for Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
- Screen Actors Guild Award (1995)
- Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor for Wild at Heart (1990)
- MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo for Face/Off (1997)
He also has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for both film and television. In total, Cage‘s films have grossed over $4.7 billion worldwide.
Cage has been married five times. His first wife was actress Patricia Arquette, whom he married in 1995 but divorced in 2001. He then married Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis‘s daughter, in 2002 but filed for divorce three months later.
In 2004, Cage married restaurant manager Alice Kim. They had a son named Kal-El (named after Superman‘s Kryptonian birth name) before divorcing in 2016. He is currently married to Riko Shibata, whom he wed in 2021, and they had a son that same year.
Outside of acting, Cage acquired European castles and exotic animals during a lavish spending spree at one point in the 2000s. He also purchased an illegally excavated dinosaur skull, which he later returned to Mongolian authorities.
Why We Love Nicolas Cage
There are so many reasons why Nicolas Cage has amassed a legion of devoted fans over his long, storied career. Here are just a few of the qualities that make him so beloved:
1. His electrifying, one-of-a-kind screen presence
With his piercing wild eyes, dynamic physicality, and immediately recognizable voice, Cage grabs the audience‘s attention in any role. He has an eccentric intensity and magnetism that makes his characters leap off the screen.
2. Total commitment to his craft and characters
Cage is renowned for his relentless commitment to fully immersing himself in whatever role he is playing. He has transformed himself dramatically for films, taking on new accents, extreme weight losses, and rigorous training regimens. This total dedication comes through in his captivating performances.
3. Fearless, risk-taking approach to acting
Cage constantly challenges himself by taking on provocative, complex roles most actors would shy away from. He is willing to look foolish or ugly or even psychotic if it serves the character. This raw, unpredictable quality makes his performances crackle with electricity.
4. Offbeat, quirky charisma
Even in more subdued roles, Cage injects his characters with an incredibly unique charisma and eccentric charm. His unusual acting choices, mannerisms, and line deliveries make him an endlessly watchable performer.
5. Striking emotional range and vulnerability
Comedy, tragedy, intensity – Cage can do it all. He has showcased incredible emotional range in both mainstream studio films and independent movies. His vulnerability and sensitivity shine through.
The Legacy of Nicolas Cage
As someone who has been acting since he was just 15 years old, Nicolas Cage has dedicated most of his life to his craft. Although sometimes criticized for taking too many roles, one cannot deny his blazing passion for performance.
With his daring choices, memorable screen presence, and willingness to lay himself emotionally bare, Cage has carved out a unique place in cinema history. He has brought to life some of film‘s most beloved antiheroes, outsiders, and iconoclasts.
Above all, Cage is an actor who pours his heart and soul into each performance – someone who isn‘t afraid to take risks and explore the full spectrum of human emotion on screen. That raw, mercurial quality will forever cement his status as one of Hollywood‘s most compelling and unpredictable actors to watch.
5 Fascinating Facts about Nicolas Cage
- Cage is obsessed with Elvis Presley. He married Lisa Marie Presley in 2002, owns one of Elvis‘ cars, and purchased a pyramid tomb to be buried in.
- He is such a big Superman fan that he named his son Kal-El, Superman‘s original Kryptonian name.
- Cage once ate a live cockroach for a scene in the film Vampire‘s Kiss – his dedication to realism knows no bounds!
- He has trained in diverse martial arts like Wing Chun and Brazilian jiu-jitsu for his action movie roles.
- In 2017, Kazakhstan made Cage an honorary citizen as a thank you for his role in Lord of War which shed light on arms trafficking.
Frequently Asked Questions about Nicolas Cage
When is Nicolas Cage‘s birthday?
Nicolas Cage was born on January 7, 1964. He is currently 59 years old.
What is Nicolas Cage‘s real name at birth?
Nicolas Cage‘s real name at birth was Nicolas Kim Coppola. He changed it early in his career to avoid the appearance of nepotism, as he is part of the famous Coppola filmmaking family.
What was the first movie Nicolas Cage starred in?
Nicolas Cage made his film debut in a minor role in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). His first starring role was in the romantic comedy Valley Girl (1983).
How many times has Nicolas Cage been married?
Nicolas Cage has been married a total of 5 times. His wives were Patricia Arquette, Lisa Marie Presley, Alice Kim, and currently Riko Shibata.
What is Nicolas Cage‘s net worth?
While he earned $40 million for some films in the 1990s at the peak of his career, Nicolas Cage‘s net worth today is estimated to be around $25 million.
How many Academy Awards has Nicolas Cage won?
Nicolas Cage has won 1 Oscar – the Academy Award for Best Actor which he won for Leaving Las Vegas in 1995. He has been nominated for a total of 2 Oscars over his career.
Is Nicolas Cage related to director Francis Ford Coppola?
Yes, Nicolas Cage is Francis Ford Coppola‘s nephew. His father August Coppola is Francis‘s brother. This makes Cage cousins with Sofia Coppola and Jason Schwartzman.