Mostly Credited As: John Malkovich
Birth Name: John Gavin Malkovich
Date Of Birth: December 09, 1953 (Age 60)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Christopher, Illinois
Height: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
Intense, serious actor and unlikely leading man who came to Hollywood from an exceptional career in the theater. Malkovich was one of the original founders of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater Company, where he directed and performed in some of America's most vital noncommercial stage productions. He made a couple of TV movies in the early 1980s, but continued to concentrate on stage work. His first film role, that of an American photographer in The Killing Fields (1984), showed Malkovich to be just as effective before the camera as he was behind the footlights. He snagged his first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor playing Sally Field's blind, cantankerous boarder in Places in the Heart (1984). Though he has tried his hand at comedy (Making Mr. Right 1987), Malkovich excels at limning aloof, amoral, generally unsympathetic characters such as the black marketeer in Empire of the Sun (1987), the Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons (1988), the bored intellectual in The Sheltering Sky (1990), and the desperate, materialistic yuppie in The Object of Beauty (1991). His other films include Eleni (1985), The Glass Menagerie (1987), Miles From Home (1988), and Queens Logic (1991). In 1992 he played the brutish, simpleminded Lennie in Of Mice and Men directed by and costarring Steppenwolf colleague Gary Sinise, and appeared to thoroughly enjoy himself in a supporting role as a badgering prosecutor in the muddled thriller Jennifer 8 that same year. Following that, he earned an Oscar nomination in the plum role of a wily would-be assassin opposite Clint Eastwood in In the Line of Fire (1993), his biggest hit in years. He then played Kurtz in Nicolas Roeg's TV production Heart of Darkness (1994).
Copyright © 1994 Leonard Maltin