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William George "Billy" Zane, Jr. (born February 24, 1966) is an American actor, producer and director. He is probably best known for his roles as Caledon Hockley in Titanic, The Phantom from The Phantom, John Wheeler in Twin Peaks and Mr. E in CQ.

Early life

Zane was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Thalia and William George Zane, Sr., both of whom were amateur actors and founders of a school for medical technicians.[1][2] Both of his parents are of Greek descent (Chios), and his family's original surname, "Zanetakos", was anglicized to "Zane" by his parents, who also raised him Greek Orthodox.[3][4][5][6] He has an older sister, Lisa Zane, who is an actress.

After completing a year abroad at the independent American School in Switzerland, Zane graduated from the progressive, private Francis W. Parker School and attended Harand Camp of the Theater Arts, located in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Zane's first two screen roles were in the science fiction fllms Back to the Future in 1985 and Critters in 1986. Zane also appeared in an episode of Matlock entitled "The Nurse". In 1989 he reprised his henchman role in Back to the Future II. Earlier that same year, Zane gained international recognition with the role of villain Hughie Warriner in the thriller Dead Calm, alongside Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill. He also starred in the NBC film, The Case of the Hillside Stranglers (1989).

Zane's first starring role was in a 1990 independent film, the low budget science fiction thriller Megaville. In 1990, he also co-starred in the film Memphis Belle, a film version of a 1944 documentary about a World War II bomber plane, as the bombardier. Zane also forayed into television work, and in 1991 he appeared as John Justice Wheeler in several episodes of David Lynch's hit TV-show Twin Peaks. In 1993, he played the Shakespearean actor "Mr. Fabian" in Tombstone, and took a starring role in Sniper. He also starred in a couple of Tales from the Crypt productions, including Tales From the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, where he plays a henchman of Satan called The Collector, and the episode "Well-Cooked Hams", where he plays a poorly skilled magician who kills to steal good tricks from other magicians.

In 1996, Zane played the eponymous classic comic book hero in the big budget action film The Phantom, based on Lee Falk's comic. The Phantom being his favorite comic, Zane pumped iron for over a year and a half to fill the character's tight spandex costume properly, and studied samples of the comic carefully in his attempt to copy the character's body language.

Although The Phantom was not a box office success, Zane achieved success shortly after by playing the millionaire misanthrope Caledon Hockley in James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster Titanic, which to this date remains his best known characterization. This role as Kate Winslet's fiancé earned him an MTV Movie Award nomination for "Best Villain" and a Blockbuster Entertainment Award. He was also nominated for a SAG award.

In 1998, he starred in and produced I Woke Up Early the Day I Died, a silent film based on Ed Wood's last script, intended as a parody on bad filmmaking. He won several awards at the B-Movie Film Festival, including Best Movie and Best Actor, for this work. The year after, he starred opposite Timothy Dalton, Bruce Payne, Sean Pertwee and Leonor Varela (who became his fiance after shooting ended) in a TV-movie about Cleopatra. Zane played the part of Mark Antony.

He lent his voice to John Rolfe in Disney's Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World that same year.

Zane appeared in Marilyn Manson's music video for his single "The Dope Show".

Zane was instrumental in getting the critically acclaimed film The Believer made, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2001.[7] In it, he portrayed neo-Nazi Curtis Zampf, and starred opposite Ryan Gosling. The same year, he also had a cameo as himself in the popular comedy Zoolander.

Zane keeps busy in other parts of the entertainment industry as well. He is a singer and can occasionally be seen in various Broadway shows, like Chicago, where he played lawyer Billy Flynn.

He voiced Etrigan the Demon in an episode of The New Batman Adventures. Zane also had a recurring role in the television series Charmed in which he played poetry loving ex-demon Drake. Another rather notable role was that of voicing the villainous Xehanort's Heartless, "Ansem" in the Square Enix-Disney video game Kingdom Hearts. Archive sound of his recordings were later used for the sequel, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, but he would be replaced by Richard Epcar in all subsequent releases in the series.

Zane appeared in the 2006 Turkish film, Valley of the Wolves Iraq, (Kurtlar Vadisi: Irak in Turkish), part of the Kurtlar Vadisi franchise. The film tells the story of the U.S. Army run amok in Iraq, eventually brought into check by a brave Turkish hero. Zane plays Sam William Marshall, a cruel U.S. soldier who is the main antagonist in the film. The movie is the most expensive Turkish film ever made and obtained one of the highest box office returns in the history of the Turkish cinema. Zane's participation in the film, which some consider to be an anti-American propaganda film, and whose representation of fictional American atrocities many Turks believe to be true, has drawn criticism.[8][9]
Zane at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

Zane made his directing debut with Big Kiss, a light-hearted romantic comedy about two journalists, who follow Billy Zane's advice, involved in a diamond caper in which he also starred. Although released in Sweden in 2004, the date of a wider distribution remains uncertain. In January 2006, he made his debut on the London stage in Arthur Allan Seidelman's production of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks by Richard Alfieri, a two-hander in which he co-starred with Claire Bloom.

Zane has lined up several projects, including horror-comedy The Mad, ; 4Chosen (together with Laurence Fishburne); Alien Agent; Don Juan; and his second directorial effort, Uptown, about a man who starts a theater company for the mentally ill. Memory, a psychological thriller where Zane stars opposite Ann-Margret and Dennis Hopper, was released in 2007. Zane is also set to star in a biopic on singer Mario Lanza, and opposite his fiancee Kelly Brook in family-comedy Fishtales.[10] In 2007, he signed on to star in World War II drama The Hessen Affair, to be directed by Paul Breuls.[11]

He took over Timothy Olyphant's role as Christina Applegate's ex-boyfriend on Samantha Who?; Olyphant had to depart because of scheduling conflicts with his role in Damages. The show, however, was not renewed for the 2009-2010 season.[12]

It has been reported that Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu is to star in her first Hollywood film and that Zane will be her leading man.[13]

It has been also reported that Billy Zane is attached to an unknown Christopher Nolan film.[14]

Billy Zane is a principal at RadioactiveGiant, a film and television production and distribution company.[15] [16]
Personal life

Zane married actress Lisa Collins in 1989. The couple divorced in 1995. He was also engaged for a time to Chilean actress Leonor Varela, his costar in the 1999 television film Cleopatra. Zane was engaged to marry British model turned actress Kelly Brook, whom he met when starring with her in the movie Survival Island, also known as Three.[17] They split in April 2008, got back together again shortly thereafter, then ended the relationship in August 2008. He has been dating Colombian/Irish model Candice Neill since March, 2010. Their daughter Eva Katerina was born February 20, 2011.[18]

Zane's leisure interests include riding, painting, swimming, photography, frisbees, taking nature walks, cycling, and collecting cars. He has named Sean Connery, Gene Kelly, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin as his movie heroes.

In 1999, Zane participated in the first Gumball 3000 rally, driving a 1964 Aston Martin DB5. He was featured in the music video of Staind's "Epiphany". Zane executive-produced a CD by bluesman Tim O'Connor that includes three songs from Dead Calm, in which Zane had one of the lead roles.[19]

On March 23, 2010, the IRS filed a $116,578 lien[20] against Zane with the Los Angeles County Recorder of Deeds. He has not publicly commented on his tax situation.

In November 2010, he was awarded an honorary degree honoris causa from Lium University Bellinzona, Switzerland, for his contribution to cinematography. He is the chairman of the Francesco Fucilla Film production company 21st Century Filmworks.
As actor

Back to the Future (1985) .... Match
Critters (1986) .... Steve Elliot
Going Overboard (1989) .... King Neptune
Dead Calm (1989) .... Hughie Warriner
Back to the Future Part II (1989) .... Match
Megaville (1990) .... Palinov/Jensen
Memphis Belle (1990) .... Lt. Val Kozlowski
Miliardi (1991) .... Maurizio Ferretti
Femme Fatale (1991) .... Elijah
Blood and Concrete (1991) .... Joey Turks
Lake Consequence (1992) .... Billy
Orlando (1992) .... Shelmerdine
Flashfire (1993) .... Jack Flinder
Betrayal of the Dove (1993) .... Dr. Jesse Peter
Sniper (1993) .... Richard Miller
Posse (1993) .... Colonel Graham
Poetic Justice (1993) .... Brad
Tombstone (1993) .... Mr. Fabian
Reflections on a Crime (1994) .... Colin
The Silence of the Hams (1994) .... Joe Dee Foster
Only You (1994) .... Harry, The False Damon Bradley
The Set-Up (1995) .... Charles Thorpe
Demon Knight (1995) .... The Collector
The Phantom (1996) .... The Phantom/Kit Walker
Head Above Water (1996) .... Kent
Danger Zone (1997) .... Rick Morgan
This World, Then the Fireworks (1997) .... Marty Lakewood
Titanic (1997) .... Caledon N. "Cal" Hockley
I Woke Up Early the Day I Died (1998) .... The Thief
Susan's Plan (1998) .... Sam Myers
Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998) .... John Rolfe (voice)
Taxman (1999) .... George Putter
Zoolander (2001) ....Himself (uncredited)
The Believer (2001) .... Curtis Zampf
CQ (2001) .... Mr. E
Morgan's Ferry (2001) .... Sam
Landspeed (2002) .... Michael Sanger
Claim (2002) .... Roberto Bealing
Silent Warnings (2003) .... Sheriff Bill Willingham
Starving Hysterical Naked (2003)
Imaginary Grace (2003) .... Nero
Vlad (2003) .... Adrian
The Kiss (2003) .... Alan Roberts/young Philip Naudet
Dead Fish (2004) .... Virgil
Big Kiss (2004) .... Billy
Silver City (2004) .... Chandler Tyson
The Last Drop (2005) .... Oates
The Pleasure Drivers (2005) .... Marvin
BloodRayne (2006) .... Elrich
Survival Island (also known as Three) (2006) .... Jack
Valley of the Wolves: Iraq (2006) .... Sam William Marshall
Memory (2006) .... Taylor Briggs
The Mad (2007) .... Jason Hunt
Fishtales (2007) .... Professor Thomas Bradley
Alien Agent (2007) .... Tom / Saylon
Perfect Hideout (2008) .... Victor
The Man Who Came Back (2008) .... Ezra
Love N' Dancing (2009) .... Kent Krandel
The Hessen Affair (2009) .... Jack Durant
Surviving Evil (2009) .... Sebastian 'Seb' Beazley
Magic Man (2009) .... Darius
The Gold Retrievers (2009) .... Hector
Evil – In the Time of Heroes (2009) .... The Prophet
Darfur (2009) .... Bob Smith
Mama, I Want to Sing! (2011) .... Amara's Manager
The Confidant (2010) .... Monty
Flutter (2010) .... Edwin
Chimera (TBA)[21]
Enemies Among Us (2010) .... Graham
Mad Zombies (2010)
Mercenaries (2011) .... Colonel Torida
The Roommate (2011) .... Professor Roberts
Sniper: Reloaded (2011) .... Richard Miller
Two Jacks (2011) .... Max Faraday
Dark Star Hollow (2011) .... The Devil

Television films

Brotherhood of Justice (1986) .... Les
Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8 (1987) .... Police Officer
Police Story: Monster Manor (1988) .... Officer Don Varney
The Case of the Hillside Stranglers (1989) .... Kenneth Bianchi
Lake Consequence (1993) .... Billy
Orlando (1993)....Shelmerdine
Running Delilah (1994) .... Paul
Cleopatra (1999) .... Marc Antony
Hendrix (2000) .... Michael Jeffrey
Sole Survivor (2000) .... Joe Carpenter
Invincible (2001) .... Os
The Diamond of Jeru (2001) .... Mike Kardec
Bet Your Life (2004) .... Joseph
Blue Seduction (2009) .... Mikey Taylor
Journey to Promethea (2010) .... King Laypach

Television series

Heart of the City (1986) .... Tobin
Matlock (1987) .... Eric Dawson
21 Jump Street (1987) .... Matthew Goldblatt
Crime Story (1988) .... Frankie 'The Duke' Farantino
Murder, She Wrote: A Very Good Year for Murder (1988) .... Tony Gambini
Twin Peaks (1991) .... John Justice Wheeler
Tales From the Crypt: Well-Cooked Ham (1993) ... Miles
The New Batman Adventures (1998) .... Etrigan the Demon
Boston Public (2001) .... Matthew Baskin
Charmed (2005) .... Drake
Samantha Who? (2009) .... Winston Funk[22]
The Deep End (2010) .... Cliff Huddle

Video games

SSX Tricky (2001) .... Brodi (voice only)
Kingdom Hearts (2002) .... Ansem, Seeker of Darkness
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (2004) .... Ansem, Seeker of Darkness

Music videos

Epiphany-Staind (2006) ....male actor

As director

Charmed (2005)

As producer

Fishtales (2007) (Co-producer)


^ "The Brigadoon of Film Fests", Travel Lady
^ Billy Zane
^ Dinges, Barnaby (1990-03-18). "Lisa Zane looks soberly at `Influence' Chicago actress has bold words about role and co-star Rob Lowe". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
^ Billy Zane Interview"BloodRayne"Movie: Tim Nasson
^ . http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20050426/ai_n14612105.[dead link]
^ billy zane
^ IMDb: Sundance Film Festival: 2001
^ (German) Letsch, 2006: "ein extraordinärer Film, der Geschichte machen wird."
^ US Hollywood "Stars" Zane and Busey Spreading America-Hate Worldwide Feb '06
^ "Smooth operator". The Times (London). November 18, 2006. Retrieved April 26, 2010.[dead link]
^ Billy Zane Has The Hessen Affair - Movie News - Latest Movie Reviews and trailers
^ "Sam Who" Recast Scoop: Zane In, Olyphant Out Entertainment Weekly, December 19, 2008
^ Punn, Goher (27 January 2009). "Bipasha Basu to play the lead with Hollywood star Billy Zane". Radio Sargam. Retrieved 27 January 2009.
^ Superman or Batman – Billy Zane chatting to Christopher Nolan?
^ Lead 411 Business Directory
^ Ecofabulous - Interview with Billy Zane
^ Smart, Gordon (April 23, 2008). "Great news lads Kelly bins Billy". The Sun (London).
^ http://www.gloria.com.hr/intervju/showpage.php?id=10424
^ "Billy Zane's Parents Accused Of Cheating Students After They Closed Down Medical School". All Headline News.
^ "'Titanic' actor Billy Zane drowning in debt". Detroit News.
^ "Bipasha Basu's Love Making Scene in Hollywood". Desi Hits.
^ Ausiello, Michael. "'Sam Who' Recast Scoop: Zane in, Olyphant out!". Entertainment Weekly.

External links

Billy Zane at the Internet Movie Database
Billy Zane at the TCM Movie Database
Billy Zane at AllRovi
The Billy Zane Museum (archived)
Exclusive Billy Zane Interview at TrulyHollywood.com


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