Kevin Spacey is an American actor, producer, and singer.
His full name is Kevin Spacey Fowler.
He was born on July 26, 1959, in South Orange, New Jersey.
His father, Thomas Geoffrey Fowler, was a technical writer and data consultant while his mother, Kathleen Ann (née Knutson), was a personal secretary.
He has an older brother, Randy Fowler, who is a limo driver and Rod Stewart impersonator in Boise, Idaho, and a sister, Julie Ann Fowler Keir, an office worker.
His ancestry includes Swedish (from his maternal grandfather) English and Welsh.
When Spacey was a young boy, his family moved frequently, ultimately settling in southern California.
In high school he began taking drama classes and subsequently appeared in numerous school productions.
He briefly attended Los Angeles Valley College, then left (on the advice of another Chatsworth classmate, Val Kilmer) to join the drama program at Juilliard.
After two years of training he was anxious to work, so he quit Juilliard sans diploma and signed up with the New York Shakespeare Festival.
Spacey’s first professional stage appearance was as a spear carrier in a New York Shakespeare Festival performance of Henry VI, Part 1 in 1981.
In 1982 he appeared in his first Broadway production, Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts.
He quickly proved himself as an energetic and versatile performer (at one point, he rotated through all the parts in David Rabe’s “Hurlyburly”).
In 1986, he had the chance to work with his idol and future mentor, Jack Lemmon, on a production of Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”
Although his interest soon turned to film, Spacey remained actively involved in the live theater community. In 1991, he won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Uncle Louie in Neil Simon’s Broadway hit Lost in Yonkers.
Spacey’s film career began modestly, with a small part as a subway thief in Heartburn (1986).
Deemed more of a “character actor” than a “leading man”, he stayed on the periphery in his next few films, but attracted attention for his turn as beady-eyed villain “Mel Profitt” on the TV series Wiseguy (1987).
He quickly developed a reputation as a character actor, and was cast in bigger roles, including the malevolent office manager in the ensemble film Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), one-half of a bickering Connecticut couple in the dark comedy film The Ref (1994), and a malicious Hollywood studio boss in the satire Swimming with Sharks (1994), gaining him positive notices by critics.
His performance as the enigmatic criminal Verbal Kint in 1995’s The Usual Suspects won him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Also in 1995 he turned in another complex, eerie performance in David Fincher’s thriller Se7en. Spacey refused billing on the film, fearing that it might compromise the ending if audiences were waiting for him to appear.
Than he appeared in Al Pacino’s Looking for Richard (1996), and made his own directorial debut with Albino Alligator (1996), a low-key but well received hostage drama.
He then jumped back into acting, winning critical accolades for his turns as flashy detective Jack Vincennes in L.A. Confidential (1997) and genteel, closeted murder suspect Jim Williams in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997).
Spacey returned to the stage in 1998 and received the Evening Standard, London Theatre Critics’ Circle, and Laurence Olivier best actor awards for his portrayal of Hickey in O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh.
In 1998 he also voiced Hopper in the animated film A Bug’s Life.
Spacey won universal praise and an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as a depressed suburban father who re-evaluates his life in 1999’s American Beauty.
He played a physically and emotionally scarred grade school teacher in Pay It Forward (2000), a patient in a mental institution who may or may not be an alien in K-Pax (2001), and a newspaper reporter in The Shipping News (2001).
In 2003 Spacey was appointed artistic director of the Old Vic in London. He was the first American to serve as director of that British theatre company.
In 2004 Spacey directed and starred in the film Beyond the Sea, a biopic about pop music legend Bobby Darin. Spacey provided his own vocals on the Beyond the Sea soundtrack and appeared in several tribute concerts around the time of the film’s release.
In 2006, Spacey played Lex Luthor in the Bryan Singer superhero film Superman Returns. He was to return for its 2009 sequel, but the series was instead rebooted with 2013 film Man of Steel.
Spacey also appeared in the thriller Edison, which received a direct-to-video release in 2006.
In 2008 he portrayed Mickey Rosa, an MIT professor who teaches his students to count cards, in the thriller 21.
After playing a political operative in the HBO television movie Recount (2008), a drama set in the aftermath of the 2000 U.S. presidential election, Spacey appeared in the feature film The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009), a comedy about U.S. soldiers trained to use psychic powers.
In 2010 he appeared in two films: the action thriller comedy Casino Jack and the comedy-drama Father of Invention.
Than spacey took on the role of a sadistic office supervisor in the black comedy Horrible Bosses (2011) and its 2014 sequel.
He appeared as an investment bank executive in the drama Margin Call (2011), which was set during the 2008 financial crisis.
Spacey was the first Hollywood star to be cast as a lead actor in a fully Chinese-financed film: Dayyan Eng’s Inseparable (2011).
From 2013 to 2017, Spacey played Frank Underwood in the Netflix political drama series House of Cards. For his role as Underwood, he has won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama and two consecutive Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.
Spacey was named an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2010 and an honorary Knight Commander (KBE) in 2015.
In 2015 Spacey also received a special Olivier Award and later that year stepped down as artistic director at the Old Vic.
Spacey portrayed Richard Nixon in Elvis & Nixon, a 2016 comedy-drama about the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s meeting with Nixon in 1970.
In 2017, he played a memorable role as a villain in the action thriller Baby Driver (2017).
Kevin Spacey has an estimated net worth of $100 million.
In 2017, after being accused of attempted sexual assault of a 14-year-old male actor in 1986, Spacey issued an apology and was promptly criticized for using the situation to come out as gay. As additional allegations of sexual misconduct emerged, Spacey’s spokesperson announced that the actor was seeking evaluation and treatment.
In February 2001 he appears twice in Total Film’s (U.K) ’10 Greatest Villains of All Time’ poll. His “John Doe”, from Se7en (1995), reached #10, while his character in The Usual Suspects (1995) was voted #5.
Spacey has twice shaved his head completely bald to play the villain in movies. He did it to play “John Doe” in Se7en (1995) and “Lex Luthor” in Superman Returns (2006).
In 1999, Spacey was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He was nominated for the 2016 New Jersey Hall of Fame in the Performance Arts category.
Spacey’s political views have been described as left-leaning and mirroring some of those possessed by his fictional character in House of Cards.