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John Malkovich Station (born December 9, 1953) is an Americanmarker actor, producer and director. Over the last 25 years, Malkovich has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures. Arguably, his particularly distinctive voice marks him out even more than his face: "a reedy, faintly orgasmic drawl" according to the Guardian, which adds that "Perhaps not since Cary Grant has an actor been so vocally distinctive". His film credits include Death of a Salesman, Dangerous Liaisons, In the Line of Fire, Con Air, The Man in the Iron Mask, Of Mice And Men, Rounders, Changeling, Eragon, Being John Malkovich, and Burn After Reading.

Early life

Malkovich was born in Christopher, Illinoismarker, and is of Croatian, Scottish and German ancestry. He grew up in Benton, Illinoismarker, in a large house on North Main Street. His father, Daniel Malkovich, was a state conservation director and publisher of Outdoor Illinois, a conservation magazine. His mother, Joe Ann, owned the Benton Evening News (a local newspaper in Benton, Il.), as well as Outdoor Illinois. Because of his father's work, the Malkovich family is widely acknowledged as one of the founding families of the environmental movement in Illinois. Malkovich was a popular student, and was both an actor and athlete at Benton High School. He appeared in plays and the musical, Carousel. He was also a member of a folk/rock musical trio, and was an organizer and member of a local summer theater project in 1972, where he starred in Jean-Claude Van Itallie's America Hurrah. Upon graduation from high school, he entered Eastern Illinois Universitymarker, and then transferred to Illinois State Universitymarker, where he majored in theatre.


In 1976, Malkovich, along with Joan Allen, Gary Sinise, and Glenne Headly, became a charter member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Companymarker in Chicagomarker. He moved to New York Citymarker in 1980 to appear in a Steppenwolf production of the Sam Shepard play True West, for which he won an Obie Award. Malkovich then directed a Steppenwolf co-production, the 1984 revival of Lanford Wilson's Balm in Gilead, for which he received a second Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award. His Broadwaymarker debut was that year as Biff in Death of a Salesman, alongside Dustin Hoffman as Willy. Malkovich won an Emmy Award for this role when the play was adapted for television by CBS in 1985.

One of the actor's first forays into film was as an extra alongside Allen, Terry Kinney, George Wendt, and Laurie Metcalf in Robert Altman's 1978 film A Wedding. He made his feature film debut in 1984, as Sally Field's blind boarder Mr. Will in Places in the Heart. For his portrayal of Mr. Will, Malkovich received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He also portrayed Al Rockoff in The Killing Fields. He continued to have steady work in films like Empire of the Sun, directed by Steven Spielberg, and the 1987 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie, with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. A few years later, Malkovich became a star when he portrayed the sinister and sensual Valmont in the 1988 film Dangerous Liaisons. He later reprised this role for the music video of Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox.

Malkovich starred in the 1992 film adaptation of John Steinbeck's award-winning novella Of Mice and Men as Lennie alongside Gary Sinise as George. In 1994, he was nominated for another Oscar, in the same category, for In the Line of Fire. Though he played the title role in the Charlie Kaufman-penned Being John Malkovich, he played a slight variation of himself, as indicated by the character's middle name of "Horatio". Malkovich has a cameo in the movie Adaptation.—also written by Kaufman—appearing as himself during the filming of Being John Malkovich. The Dancer Upstairs, Malkovich's directorial film debut, was released in 2002. Recent film roles include The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Beowulf, Burn After Reading and Changeling.

Malkovich has hosted three episodes of the NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live. The first occasion was in January 1989 with musical guest Anita Baker; the second in October 1993 with musical guest Billy Joel (and special appearance by former cast member Jan Hooks); and the third was in December 2008 with musical guest T.I. with Swizz Beatz (and special appearances by Justin Timberlake, Molly Sims, and Jamie-Lynn Sigler).

In an 2008 interview on College Hour, Malkovich revealed that he has been discussing making a motion picture adaptation of the Arnon Grünberg novel The History of My Baldness.

November 2009, stars in new Nespresso commercial with George Clooney.

Personal life and political views

Malkovich was married to Glenne Headly from 1982 to 1988. They divorced after Malkovich became involved with Michelle Pfeiffer, his co-star in Dangerous Liaisons. He later met his long-term partner Nicoletta Peyran on the set of The Sheltering Sky where she was the second assistant director, in 1989. They have two children; Amandine (born 1990) and Loewy (born 1992).

Malkovich is a political conservative but, contrary to journalistic myth, is not a supporter of the death penalty.

Actor William Hootkins, who worked with Malkovich in BBC Television's Rocket to the Moon, stated, "In fact, he's so right-wing you have to wonder if he's kidding."

In a 2002 appearance at the Cambridge Union Societymarker, when asked whom he would most like to "fight to the death," Malkovich replied that he would "rather just shoot" journalist Robert Fisk and British MP George Galloway. Fisk reacted with outrage. When interviewed by The Observer, Malkovich elaborated on his comments: "I hate somebody who is supposed to be a Middle Eastern expert who thinks Jesus was born in Jerusalemmarker. I hate what I consider his vile anti-semitism. This being said, I apologize to both Fisk and Galloway; they seem like good men but if they make such a heinous mistake again, I will not hesitate to murder them brutally by way of the gallows." Malkovich later added: "I'm a Christopher Hitchens fan myself, but no one has thinner skins than journalists, in my experience, and I come from a family of them... They can dish it out but they can't take it. But the reason I don't like the topic, why I don't really say anything about a whiner like Fisk, is it gives them more oxygen."

Malkovich is fluent in French and for nearly 10 years, lived and worked in a theatre in southern Francemarker. He and his family left France in a dispute over taxes in 2003, and since then he has also lived in Cambridge, Massachusettsmarker. In a 2008 interview on The Late Show With David Letterman, Malkovich said he had just spent five weeks that summer living in France.

In April 2005, while speaking at Illinois State, Malkovich was awarded his bachelor's degree in theatre. When attending the university as a student in the 1970s, he failed to take his last remaining graduation requirement, a test on the Constitution of the United States; this requirement was waived for Malkovich.

Malkovich lost money to Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme when it collapsed in 2008.



Year Film Role Notes
1984 Places in the Heart Mr. Will Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
The Killing Fields Al Rockoff
True West Lee
1985 Death of a Salesman Biff Loman (Made for Television)
Eleni Nick Gage
1986 Rocket to the Moon Ben Stark (Made for Television)
1987 The Glass Menagerie Tom Wingfield
Making Mr. Right Dr. Jeff Peters/Ulysses
Empire of the Sun Basie
1988 Miles from Home Barry Maxwell
Dangerous Liaisons Vicomte Sébastien de Valmont
1990 The Sheltering Sky Port Moresby
1991 Old Times Deeley (Made for Television)
The Object of Beauty Jake
Queens Logic Elliot
1992 Shadows and Fog Clown
Of Mice and Men Lennie Small
Jennifer Eight Agent St. Anne
1993 In the Line of Fire Mitch Leary Academy Award nomination
Alive Old Carlitos
1994 Heart of Darkness Kurtz (Made for Television)
1995 O Convento Michael
Beyond the Clouds The director
1996 Mary Reilly Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Edward Hyde
The Portrait of a Lady Gilbert Osmond
The Ogre Abel Tiffauges
1997 Con Air Cyrus 'The Virus' Grissom
1998 The Man in the Iron Mask Athos
Rounders Teddy KGB
1999 Being John Malkovich John Horatio Malkovich
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc Charles VII
2000 Shadow of the Vampire F.W. Murnau
Les Misérables (miniseries) Javert
2001 Knockaround Guys Teddy Deserve
I'm Going Home John Crawford, film director
Les âmes fortes Monsieur Numance
2002 The Dancer Upstairs Abimael Guzman Also director
Napoleon (mini \TVseries) Charles Talleyrand
Ripley's Game Tom Ripley
2003 Johnny English Pascal Sauvage
Um Filme Falado Captain John Walesa
Adaptation. Himself
2004 The Libertine Charles II
2005 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Humma Kavula
Colour Me Kubrick Alan Conway
2006 Art School Confidential Professor Sandiford
Eragon Galbatorix
Klimt Gustav Klimt
The Call Priest short film
2007 Drunkboat Mort
In Transit Pavlov
Beowulf Unferth
Polis is This: Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place Himself Independent Documentary
2008 The Mutant Chronicles Constantine Independent film
Gardens of the Night Michael
Burn After Reading Osborne Cox
Changeling Reverend Briegleb
The Great Buck Howard Buck Howard
Disgrace David Lurie
Afterwards Dr. Joseph Kay
2010 Jonah Hex Quentin Turnbull
Secretariat Lucien Laurin


  • Johnny Loves Bobby (1989)
  • Strap-Hanging (1999)
  • The Dancer Upstairs (2002)
  • Blazing Satchels (2008)




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