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General information  

  • Real name : William George Zane Jr.
  • Place of birth : Chicago
  • Date of birth : 24/02/1966

Alias  

  • nome completo William George Zane Jr.
  • Zane Billy

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Billy Zane (1966)

William George Zane Jr.

Type :  

  Summary  

William George "Billy" Zane, Jr. 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.

  Biography  

 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. Both of his parents are of Greek descent (Chios on his mother's side and Mani on his father's side), and his family's original surname, "Zanetakos", was anglicized to "Zane" by his parents, who also raised him Greek Orthodox. He has an older sister, Lisa Zane, who is an actress.

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

 career
 1980s
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 .

 1990s
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.

Zane played the millionaire misanthrope Caledon Hockley in James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster Titanic. 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 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.

 2000s
Zane was instrumental in getting the critically acclaimed film The Believer made, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2001. 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 comedy Zoolander.

Zane appeared on Broadway in 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.

Zane appeared in the 2006 Turkish film, Valley of the Wolves Iraq, , 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.


Zane made his directing debut with Big Kiss, a light-hearted romantic comedy about two journalists involved in a diamond caper in which he also starred. 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.

He took over Timothy Olyphant's role as Christina Applegate's ex-boyfriend on Samantha Who?. The show, however, was not renewed for the 2009–2010 season.

Zane is a principal at RadioactiveGiant, a film and television production and distribution company.

 personal life
Zane was married to actress Lisa Collins from 1989, until the couple divorced in 1995. He also was 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. They split in April 2008, got back together again shortly thereafter, then ended the relationship in August 2008. He has been dating Croatian model, Jasmina Hdagha, since March, 2010; their daughter, Eva Katerina, was born February 20, 2011.

Zane participated in the first Gumball 3000 rally in 1999, 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.

On March 23, 2010, the IRS filed a $116,578 lien 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.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Billy Zane", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.