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Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

William James "Willem" Dafoe is an American actor. He is known for his distinctive gravelly voice, and has received multiple accolades, including nominations for four Academy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards. He has frequently collaborated with filmmakers Paul Schrader, Abel Ferrara, Lars von Trier, Julian Schnabel, and Wes Anderson. Dafoe was an early member of experimental theater company The Wooster Group, where he acted in several productions. He made his film debut in Heaven's Gate (1980), but was fired during production. He had his first leading role in the outlaw biker film The Loveless (1982) and then played the main antagonist in Streets of Fire (1984) and To Live and Die in L.A. (1985). He received his first Academy Award nomination (as Best Supporting Actor) for his role as Sergeant Elias Gordon in Oliver Stone's war film Platoon (1986). In 1988, Dafoe played Jesus in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ and costarred in Mississippi Burning, both of which were controversial. After receiving his second Academy Award nomination (as Best Supporting Actor) for portraying Max Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire (2000), Dafoe portrayed the supervillain Norman Osborn / Green Goblin in the superhero film Spider-Man (2002) directed by Sam Raimi and then reprised the role as a cameo in its sequels Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man 3 (2007). He also portrayed the villains in Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) and XXX: State of the Union (2005), as well as Carson Clay in the film Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007). In 2009, he starred in the experimental film Antichrist, one of his three films with Lars von Trier. Dafoe then appeared in The Fault in Our Stars, John Wick, The Grand Budapest Hotel (all 2014), The Great Wall (2016), Murder on the Orient Express (2017), The Florida Project (2017) (for which he received his third Academy Award nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category), and The Lighthouse (2019), portraying Nuidis Vulko in the DC Extended Universe films Aquaman (2018) and Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021). Dafoe has portrayed several real-life figures, including T.S. Eliot in Tom & Viv (1994), Pier Paolo Pasolini in Pasolini (2014), Vincent van Gogh in At Eternity's Gate (2018) (for which he received an Academy Award for Best Actor nomination, his first in that category), and Leonhard Seppala in Togo (2019). Dafoe holds dual American and Italian citizenship.
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