Billy Zane Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (29)  | Personal Quotes (26)  | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Birth NameWilliam George Zane Jr.
Height 6' 0½" (1.84 m)

Mini Bio (1)

William George Zane, better known as Billy Zane, was born on February 24, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois, to Thalia (Colovos) and William Zane, both of Greek ancestry. His parents were amateur actors and managed a medical technical school. Billy has an older sister, actress and singer Lisa Zane. Billy was bitten by the acting bug early on. In his early teens, he attended Harand Camp of the Theater Arts in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. In 1982, he attended the American School in Switzerland. His high school days were spent at Francis Parker High School in Chicago, Illinois. Daryl Hannah and Jennifer Beals also attended Parker, prior to Billy's attendance.

Soon after graduating from high school, Billy decided to venture out to California to attempt acting for the first time. Within three weeks, he won his very first big screen role in Back to the Future (1985), playing the role of Match, one of Biff Tannen's thugs. He would later reprise that role for the sequel Back to the Future Part II (1989). Then after a small role in the science fiction horror film Critters (1986), he landed starring roles in several television films. Billy played villain Hughie Warriner in the Australian thriller film Dead Calm (1989), where he met his future wife, Lisa Collins.

He also co-starred in Memphis Belle (1990), a film version of a 1944 documentary about a World War II bomber. In 1991, he appeared as John Justice Wheeler on several episodes of David Lynch's television series Twin Peaks (1990). Billy starred as the eponymous superhero in The Phantom (1996) and as Caledon Hockley in the billion dollar grossing Titanic (1997). Then, he starred in the television movie Cleopatra (1999) where he met his soon-to-be fiance, actress Leonor Varela from whom he subsequently separated. In 2005, he had a recurring role as the poetry loving ex-demon Drake on the television series Charmed (1998).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: TrendEkiD@aol.com

Family (4)

Spouse Lisa Collins (2 April 1989 - 8 December 1995)  (divorced)
Children Zane, Ava Katherine
Zane, Gia
Parents Zane, Thalia
Zane Sr, William George
Relatives Lisa Zane (sibling)

Trade Mark (2)

Deep smooth baritone voice
Often plays sinister villains or anti-heroes

Trivia (29)

Younger brother of actress Lisa Zane.
Was engaged to Leonor Varela.
Attended the American School in Switzerland for his sophomore year of high school.
Attended Parker School in Chicago and Harand Camp of the Theater Arts in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin with Jeremy Piven.
Was originally cast as Johnny Castle in the romance drama Dirty Dancing (1987). During auditions, choreographer Emile Ardolino realized that Zane could not dance, so the role went to Patrick Swayze.
Is an avid swimmer and started shaving his head in 1997 for hydrodynamics.
Is the voice of Broderick "Brodi" Ford in the EA Sports Big game SSX Tricky (2001) (for PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox).
All of his grandparents were Greek. His family's surname was originally "Zanetakos".
Added more muscle to his already buff physique in order to effectively play Marc Antony in the television movie Cleopatra (1999).
Has played complete opposite sides of the typical "marooned love triangle". In Dead Calm (1989), he played the handsome and mysterious stranger who gets marooned with Sam Neill (the husband) and Nicole Kidman (wife). In Survival Island (2005), he played the jealous husband, in opposition to Kelly Brook (wife) and Juan Pablo Di Pace (handsome outsider).
Engaged to English actress Kelly Brook, having been in a relationship with her since July 2004 (April 2005-August 2008).
Has pumped iron for over a year to play the title role in The Phantom (1996).
Has filmed movies in over 19 countries, including Australia five times.
His voice was used as a sample on Marilyn Manson's Mechanical Animals Tour as the intro for the song "Rock Is Dead". He can be heard on the live album "The Last Tour on Earth" saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, from the dread capital of the world, Hollywood, California, Omega and the Mechanical Animals.".
Is perhaps best known to younger audiences as the voice of Ansem (Xehanort) in Kingdom Hearts (2002).
Remains good friends with his Titanic (1997) co-stars Edward Fletcher, Frances Fisher, Jonathan Hyde and Rochelle Rose.
Member of the jury at the Beverly Hills Film Festival along with James Russo, Martiros Vartanov, Corbin Bernsen, Robert Davi, Elisa Donovan (2009).
Billy and Colombian born girlfriend, Candice Neill, welcomed a baby girl (Eva Katerina) in spring 2011.
Attended the 51st Annual Cannes Film Festival in France. [May 1998]
Attended the 56th Annual Cannes Film Festival in France. [May 2003]
Attended the 58th Annual Cannes Film Festival in France. [May 2005]
Attended the 59th Annual Cannes Film Festival in France. [May 2006]
Attended the 60th Annual Cannes Film Festival in France. [May 2007]
Attended the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival in France. [May 2008]
Attended the 63rd Annual Cannes Film Festival in France. [May 2010]
Attended the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival in Canada. [September 2004]
Received an honorary degree from Lium University in Bellinzona, Switzerland. [November 2010]
His parents, William George Sr. and Thalia Zane, managed a medical technical school.
Was considered for the role of Vincent Mancini in The Godfather: Part III (1990).

Personal Quotes (26)

[what he thinks the best age is] I'm enjoying 40. Old enough to know better, young enough not to care.
My best evenings are at home with my lady.
I paint abstract expressions.
With me, it's always about first impressions. I trust my instincts. I love to prepare if it's something that requires training. But I don't like to prepare the psychology too much.
Every day is a surprise. There are confirmations of an interconnectivity and synchronicity which inspire, titillate and confirm the inherent comedy of the universe.
[on James Cameron] I had not met Jim before auditioning for Titanic (1997) and I found him thoroughly charming and a genuine wit. My impression of him revolves around his sense of humor, which he never gets any credit for. I don't think you take on incredible risks without a great sense of humor, and Titanic was the biggest film that anyone had ever worked on.
[on Back to the Future (1985)] That was my first gig. I had the rare and beautiful pleasure of being in town only two weeks before landing that film, which set the tone for at least the first half of my career. [laughs] I had auditioned for Biff, and everyone they liked as a runner-up became [his goon squad].
[on Dead Calm (1989) being his breakout role] Absolutely. I had everything to prove and nothing to lose. It's a dangerous combination for a 21-year-old actor. I remember once the film was in the can thinking, "If this plane from Australia goes down, I'll at least have that [performance]." I was satisfied and able to demonstrate my abilities as an actor, you know? After working with those guys, I had made a mark and I was content with that, honestly.
[on what caused his career to decline] One word: alimony. I was married at 21 for eight years with no children to a lovely girl, Lisa Collins, and we're still friends, but L.A. law had gouged my assets and required exorbitant ransom for the better part of five years, and I chose ultimate freedom, and was happy to do anything to pay off a ridiculous monthly alimony. Dude, it was heinous for a young man, and this was happening right in the middle of Titanic (1997). From that point on, if you see a nose dip, I was basically doing anything that paid to pay that off so it didn't get extended, because then there's a penalty.
[on Twin Peaks (1990)] Twin Peaks was awesome. It was an incredible gift playing that role and supposedly getting to deflower Audrey Horne [played by Sherilyn Fenn] on your private jet while saving an endangered species. I was like "Did I win the lottery?".
I'm a fixer. I like solutions. Life is a whiteboard, basically.
[on Zoolander (2001)] I swear I get more love for five minutes of playing myself in that than 30 years of character work! [laughs] I was living in New York at the time, and I'd see Ben out and about quite a bit, and he called and asked if I'd do a cameo. When I was there, it suddenly evolved and all that came out of improv. I love that I was the only one in Derek's corner. But we did so many different versions of that scene. "Stuff it, Zane!" "Put a cork in it, Zane!" "Save it, Zane!". The fact that he kept saying my name... "Billy Zane's a cool dude!". He just kept hitting it and I was very embarrassed on the day, but have come to be so grateful because I'm constantly met with strangers who claim, "Billy Zane is a cool dude." I just hope to live up to it. Or I hear "Save it, Zane!". It's certainly better than "You're the asshole from Titanic (1997)!". I'm like "Come on! I wasn't the iceberg! I didn't kill 2,000 people!".
Working with Leo [Titanic (1997) co-star Leonardo DiCaprio] was like having a little brother on the set. It got pretty silly. We were into hallway bowling.
[on The Phantom (1996)] That film was ahead of its time, in a weird way. If it came out any later, in the glut of superhero-dom, it would've been squeezed into the same sociopathic, postmodern, all-too-slick, forgettable fare that's out there. What fans seem to like about that movie is it has a very sweet, heroic heart. And it was Catherine Zeta-Jones's first American film.
When I had my first child I sold my motorcycle. I realised the amount of heavy lifting, literally, that you do with kids and thought I'd need both legs and both arms.
My character in Curfew (2019) drives a 1970s camper van that's been transformed into a tiki bar filled with drugs and cocktails. He was the most fun to play, part John Wayne, part Bill Murray, a bit of Hunter S. Thompson. Sort of myself but heightened... and on acid.
I never mind when people yell: "Listen to your friend Billy Zane, he's a cool dude" at me. It's a hell of a quote (from Zoolander (2001)) and complimentary. Plus, it tempers all the Titanic (1997) responses where they yell: "You're the asshole, I hate you."
Playing Marlon Brando [in Waltzing with Brando] is an idea that's been around a long time. The other person people always suggest is Lex Luthor.
If I was giving advice, I'd say there are no problems, only solutions. That, or dress for success.
Playing villains has been a lot of fun and very lucrative, but I really want to make the white-hat hero more attractive to young audiences. I think the post-modern anti-hero has contributed to a lack of moral high ground in our culture.
My worst habit is social smoking. I can put the cigarette down for months, but then I give in. I'm a bit of a pushover.
If I could go back to one era, it would be New York in 1999, because it was a period of great hope and promise. There was a booming economy and a lot of optimism in the air. It was a good time.
Fashion is important. I always say, pull from the canon of classic cinema and the archetypes that resonate with you and then put a modern twist on it. Throw a little street on top of a classic look: Cary Grant's suit from Bringing Up Baby (1938) but with some vintage Jordan high-tops.
The best advice I was ever given was: "Be of service." There's a word from my Greek ancestors, philotimo, which essentially means focus on the benefit of others and the tide will lift you.
I paint as well as act. My art is similar in style to my acting - improvisational. I often paint on set and then feverishly try and scrape buckets of paint off my fingers before filming.
When I was a teenager I had a complete infatuation with Nastassja Kinski. Then I got to work with her. I felt like Aladdin with the magic lamp - how many more of these wishes have I got? Because you don't want to waste them.

Salary (1)

Cleopatra (1999) $2,000,000

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro Pro Name Page Link

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed