Born into Hollywood royalty, Nicolas Kim Coppola proved himself as an actor and third-generation Oscar winner even without using his last name. Among the famous faces on his family tree are his grandfather Carmine Coppola (composer), uncle Francis Ford Coppola (director), and cousins Sofia Coppola (writer-director) and Jason Schwartzman (actor). The California native dropped the name Coppola after his first role in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” opting for Cage instead, an homage to the comic book character Luke Cage.
As an up-and-coming actor in the 1980s, he landed his first starring role as Holly-weird party boy Randy in “Valley Girl.” A genre jumper from the start, he honed his acting skills with screwball comedies such as “Raising Arizona” and love stories such as “Moonstruck.”
In the ’90s, Cage proved his popcorn appeal with “Face/Off” and “Con Air” while garnishing critical acclaim for “Honeymoon in Vegas” and “Leaving Las Vegas,” the latter earning him a best actor Oscar. The gritty film, about an alcoholic trying to drink himself to death in Sin City, led to weighty roles in “Adaptation” and “The Weather Man.”
An avid comic book fan (he named his youngest son Kal-el after Superman), Cage has skewed his more recent work toward fantasy and science fiction (“Ghost Rider,” “Knowing”), returning to independent film every so often with movies such as “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.”
|1995||Best Actor||Leaving Las Vegas||Win|