Kevin Spacey, who got his start as a subway thief in Mike Nichols’ “Heartburn,” began his training at Juilliard at 19. He went on to star in the PBS "American Playhouse" production of Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey Into Night" with Jack Lemmon, and he played a young reporter in the NBC miniseries "The Murder of Mary Phagan," again with Lemmon, in 1988. He also played a stand-up comedian who doesn't think he's funny anymore in the feature film "Rocket Gibraltar."
In the late ‘80s, Spacey was probably best known to TV audiences for his role on the CBS crime series "Wiseguy," on which he played multimillionaire megalomaniac Mel Profitt, an arch villain who consults his own toes when he needs advice, wriggling them and chanting with maniacal glee: "Only the toes knows."
Spacey came into his own in the 1990s as fallen TV evangelist Jim Bakker in NBC’s “Fall From Grace.” He also starred in a series of popular films including “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “Outbreak” and “L.A. Confidential” and tried his hand at directing with the 1996 drama “Albino Alligator.”
In 1995, he won his first Oscar for his role as a con man under questioning by the police in “The Usual Suspects.” His dark turn as Lester Burnham in 1999's “American Beauty” earned him his second.
In the last decade, his films have ranged from serious efforts such as “Pay It Forward” and “Shipping News” to comic book favorites and comedies including “Superman Returns” and “Fred Claus.” Spacey also received his first Emmy nomination in 2008 as Ron Klain in “Recount,” a film about the voting controversy after the 2000 presidential election.
The actor has a long history in the theater as well, having launched his Broadway career at 21 starring opposite Liv Ullmann in Henrik Ibsen's "Ghosts." Other plays include a New York Shakespeare Company production of "Henry IV, Part I," David Rabe's "Hurlyburly" and Chekhov's "The Seagull." His portrayal of Uncle Louie in Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers” landed him a featured actor Tony Award in 1991. He also received a nomination for his role in “The Iceman Cometh” revival in 1999.
Spacey raised eyebrows in 2003 when he announced that he was moving to London to revive the Old Vic, one of the city's oldest theaters, with a repertory ensemble that would mount four plays a year, at least two of them starring himself. The first season started roughly, but the public responded to the novelty of a Hollywood actor taking on responsibility for preserving a much-loved British theatrical institution, a theater whose lineage goes back to before Victoria was queen. And as the season wore on, the house receipts grew. In 2008, the Evening Standard Theatre Awards honored Spacey “for bringing new life to the Old Vic.”
|1995||Best Supporting Actor||The Usual Suspects||Win|
|1999||Best Actor||American Beauty||Win|