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Nicolas Kim Cage (Coppola)

Also Known As: "Nicolas Cage"
Birthplace: Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Auge Coppola; Private and Private
Husband of Private and Private
Ex-husband of Patricia Arquette and Lisa Marie Presley
Ex-partner of Private and Private
Father of Private; Private; Private and Private
Brother of Private; Private; Private and Private

Occupation: Actor-Performer, Producer, Actor, producer, director, filmmaker
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Nicolas Cage

Born Nicolas Kim Coppola, he changed his name early in his career to Nicholas Cage to avoid the appearance of nepotism as the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola. A peripheral member of the early Eighties' Brat Pack, he has become one of the most expressive and sought-after actors of his generation, an Oscar-winner and a major box-office draw. Cage has appeared in over 60 films including The Rock, Face/Off , Gone In 60 Seconds, National Treasure 1 & 2, Ghost Rider, and Kick-Ass. He can be seen next in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice directed by Jon Turteltaub which will be released on July 16th, 2010.

Cage was raised by his father, August, a literature professor at Cal State Long Beach, and his mother, Joy, a modern dancer and choreographer who was hospitalized for severe depression, which kept her away from the family for long intervals. Because of his family’s deep show business roots – Uncle Francis was an Oscar-winning director and grandfather Carmine was an Oscar-winning composer – Cage became interested in becoming an actor at a young age. When he was 12, his parents divorced, leaving him to be raised by his father because his mother was considered unfit to retain custody. He later moved to San Francisco, where he performed in a production of “Golden Boy” at the American Conservatory Theatre. After moving back to Los Angeles, Cage made his onscreen debut on “The Best of Times” (ABC, 1981), a variety series that observed teenage life through songs, dance and skits. Cage then dropped out of Beverly Hills High School during his senior year to concentrate on acting fulltime. Making his feature debut, he made a brief appearance in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982) before being cast by his uncle in S.E. Hinton’s “Rumble Fish” (1983).

Because he was billed early in his career as Nicolas Coppola, he had difficulty landing parts. When he did land parts, Cage heard cries of nepotism from his fellow cast mates. Instead of enduring the criticism, he simply changed his name – which was inspired by the Marvel Comics character Luke Cage – and immediately began to get cast with greater ease. Credited as Nicolas Cage for the first time, he channeled his frustrations in his initial leading role in "Valley Girl" (1983), playing a Hollywood punk who tries to win the heart of a sweet-natured Valley girl (Deborah Foreman). He made his first serious dramatic waves with a supporting role in the period romantic drama “Racing With the Moon” (1984), then played the sensitive, strong and fiercely loyal friend of a mentally-scarred Vietnam veteran (Matthew Modine) in Alan Parker's "Birdy" (1984). Due to his performance in “Valley Girl,” Uncle Francis was more than happy to cast him in a small role in “The Cotton Club” (1984), a film that greatly frustrated Cage to the point of trashing a trailer, thanks to Coppola keeping him on set for months after his initial three days of work; the director wanted him to hang around in case he had an idea that involved Cage’s character.

Despite the damage he caused on set, Cage was cast again by Coppola in the nostalgic look back at the 1960s, "Peggy Sue Got Married" (1986). Criticized at the time for his over-the-top acting choices, Cage was nonetheless on the verge of making his big breakthrough. Because of his performance in “Peggy Sue,” Cher – who likened his strange, but compelling performance to watching a two-hour car crash – proposed him for the role of Ronny in "Moonstruck" (1987), a young bakery operator who falls head-over-heels for a widowed bookkeeper (Cher). Though the film’s star, Cher, received the lion’s share of praise – and an Oscar to boot – Cage managed to more than hold his own in an off-beat performance that marked his true emergence into the public consciousness. He next earned legions of independent film fans with a wild, borderline over-the-top performance in Joel and Ethan Coen’s screwball comedy, "Raising Arizona" (1987). Cage played H.I. McDonnough, an unsuccessful petty thief who marries his arresting officer (Holly Hunter), only to learn that the couple cannot conceive. When they hatch and execute a plan to steal a baby from a wealthy Arizonan business owner (Trey Wilson), all hell breaks loose, including the unleashing of a motorcycle-riding bounty hunter (Randall 'Tex' Cobb) who acts like the spawn of Satan himself.

Cage has been featured in numerous "bad boy" roles, and has won numerous awards, beginning in 1989 with his Independent Spirit Award and an Academy Award for Best Actor for his lead role in Leaving Las Vegas. He was also nominated for his portrayal of real-life screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and Kaufman's fictional twin Donald in Adaptation. Despite these successes, most of his lower-profile films have performed poorly at the box office compared to his mainstream action/adventure roles. The suspense thriller 8mm (1999) was not a box office success, but is now considered a cult film. He took the lead role in the 2001 film Captain Corelli's Mandolin and learned to play the mandolin from scratch for the part. In 2005, two offbeat films he headlined, Lord of War and The Weather Man, failed to find a significant audience despite nationwide releases and good reviews for his acting in those roles. Poor reviews for The Wicker Man resulted in low box office sales. The much criticized Ghost Rider (2007), based on the Marvel Comics character, fared better, earning more than $45 million (the top earner) during its opening weekend and over $208 million worldwide through the weekend ending on March 25, 2007. Also in 2007, he starred in Next, which shares the concept of a glimpse into an alternate timeline with The Family Man (2000).

Most of Cage's movies that have achieved financial success were in the action/adventure genre. In his second-highest grossing film to date, National Treasure, he plays an eccentric historian who goes on a dangerous adventure to find treasure hidden by the Founding Fathers of the United States. Other action hits include The Rock, in which Cage plays a young FBI chemical weapons expert who infiltrates Alcatraz Island in hopes of neutralizing a terrorist threat, Face/Off, a John Woo film where he plays both a hero and a villain, and World Trade Center, director Oliver Stone's film regarding the September 11, 2001 attacks. He had a small but notable role as the Chinese criminal mastermind Dr. Fu Manchu in Rob Zombie's fake trailer Werewolf Women of the S.S. from the B-movie double feature Grindhouse.

In early December 2006, Cage announced at the Bahamas International Film Festival that he planned to curtail his future acting endeavors in order to pursue other interests.

It has been noted that Cage is a huge comic book collector and fan. So deep is his passion for comics that he has created his own series, with his son Weston, called Voodoo Child, which is published by Virgin Comics.

Cage's relationship with Kristina Fulton, a model, lasted several years, producing a son, Weston Coppola Cage, born in 1992. Cage has been married three times: The first to actress Patricia Arquette in 1995; the second was a short-lived marriage to Lisa-Marie Presley, the only daughter of the late King of Rock and Roll, in August 2002- and most recently, he wed his girlfriend, 20-year-old former waitress Alice Kim, at a private ranch in Northern California in August 2004. The couple announced the birth of a son, Kal-el Coppola Cage, on October 3, 2005.

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Nicolas Cage's Timeline

January 7, 1964
Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California, United States