William James "Willem" Dafoe (born July 22, 1955) is an American actor with Italian citizenship. A highly prolific character actor, Dafoe has received multiple awards and nominations, including three Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nominations. Dafoe has frequently collaborated with filmmakers Paul Schrader, Abel Ferrara, Lars von Trier, and Wes Anderson.
Dafoe is a founding member of experimental theater company The Wooster Group, where he acted in several productions. Dafoe made his film debut in Heaven's Gate in 1980, but was fired during production. Dafoe 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). Dafoe received his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role as Sergeant Elias in Oliver Stone's war film Platoon (1986). In 1988, Dafoe played Jesus in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ and starred with Gene Hackman in Mississippi Burning, both of which were controversial. Following small roles in Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Wild at Heart (1990), Dafoe began a six-film collaboration with director Paul Schrader with the drama Light Sleeper (1992). Dafoe starred with Madonna in the critically reviled erotic thriller Body of Evidence in 1993 and then co-starred in Clear and Present Danger (1994), The English Patient (1996), Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), and The Boondock Saints (1999).
After receiving his second Best Supporting Actor nomination for portraying Max Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire (2000), Dafoe played Norman Osborn in the superhero film Spider-Man (2002) and played the villains in both Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) and XXX: State of the Union (2005). 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, and The Florida Project (both 2017), for which he received his third Best Supporting Actor nomination. Dafoe has also had voice-over roles in Finding Nemo (2003) and its sequel Finding Dory (2016), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), John Carter (2012), and Death Note (2017), as well as the video games Spider-Man (2002), Finding Nemo (2003), James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (2003), and Beyond: Two Souls (2013).
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