One of Hollywood’s most versatile actors, Kevin Kline has seen his career toggle from drama to comedy and stage to screen.
Kline is one of the few actors to win an Academy Award for supporting actor in a comedy (as opposed to a drama), for his portrayal of the hapless “weapons man” Otto West in “A Fish Called Wanda” (1988).
As a boy, Kline grew up in a theatrical household. His father was a former opera singer who owned a toy and record store. Beginning his career as an aspiring classical pianist, Kline attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., before switching to theater after joining an on-campus theater group.
In 1970, Kline received a scholarship to become one of John Houseman’s students at the Julliard School. Kline and actors including Patti LuPone and David Ogden Stiers formed the prestigious City Center Acting Company under Houseman, and the troupe traveled across the U.S., performing in such productions as “Three Sisters,” “Measure for Measure” and “The Robber Bridegroom.”
Kline won a Tony Award for his role in Harold Prince’s “On the Twentieth Century” (1978) and took home a second Tony for his role as the Pirate King in 1981’s “The Pirates of Penzance,” which he performed in the New York Shakespeare Festival.
In 1982, Kline transitioned to Hollywood and was revered for his role as the maddened Nathan in “Sophie’s Choice” (1982), playing opposite Meryl Streep, and was nominated for a Golden Globe and BAFTA award for his performance. He went on in a variety of films, including Lawrence Kasdan’s “The Big Chill” (1983) and “Silverado” (1985), “The Ice Storm” (1997) and “In & Out” (1997) among others.
“He’s the only guy I know who can go from Jerry Lewis to Shakespeare,” said his “In & Out” director Frank Oz in The Times in 1997.
Kline is married to actress Phoebe Cates. They have two children.
|1988||Best Supporting Actor||A Fish Called Wanda||Win|