Date of Birth: July 22nd 1955
In 1979, Willem Dafoe was given a small role in Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate, from which he was fired. His first feature role came shortly after in Kathryn Bigelow's The Loveless. From there, he went on to perform in more than 50 films-in Hollywood (Spider-Man trilogy, The English Patient, Finding Nemo, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Clear and Present Danger, White Sands, Mississippi Burning, Streets of Fire); in independent cinema in the U.S. (The Clearing, Animal Factory, Basquiat, The Boondock Saints, American Psycho); and abroad (Lars von Trier's Manderlay, Yim Ho's Pavilion of Women, Yurek Bogayevicz's Edges of the Lord, Wim Wenders' Faraway, So Close! and Brian Gilbert's Tom & Viv).
He has chosen projects for diversity of roles and opportunities to work with strong directors. He has worked in the films of Wes Anderson (The Life Aquatic), Martin Scorsese (The Aviator, The Last Temptation of Christ), Paul Schrader (Auto Focus, Affliction, Light Sleeper), David Cronenberg (eXistenZ), Abel Ferrara (New Rose Hotel), David Lynch (Wild at Heart), William Friedkin (To Live and Die in L.A.), and Oliver Stone (Born on the Fourth of July, Platoon).
He was nominated twice for an Academy Award (Platoon, Shadow of the Vampire) and once for a Golden Globe. Among other nominations and awards, he received a Los Angeles Film Critics Award and an Independent Spirit Award.