Nicholas Cage

Sgt. John McLoughlin, World Trade Center

Nicolas Cage (born Nicolas Kim Coppola on January 7, 1964 and often called Nic Cage) is an Academy Awardwinning American actor, director and producer.

Nicolas Cage was born in Long Beach, California (where he spent parts of his youth, along with San Francisco). He is of Italian descent on his father’s side, and English and German descent on that of his mother. His parents are August Floyd Coppola, a comparative literature professor and brother of influential director Francis Ford Coppola, and Joy Vogelsang, a choreographer and dancer who suffered chronic severe depression. Cage’s mother’s frequent hospitalization kept her away from the family for long periods of time, and his parents eventually divorced.

Cage, who went to the same high school as fellow entertainers Albert Brooks, Angelina Jolie, Lenny Kravitz, Rob Reiner, and David Schwimmer, aspired to act from an early age. The assumed surname is inspired by Marvel Comics character Luke Cage, a streetwise AfricanAmerican superhero. Since his feature film debut in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, in which he had a minute role opposite Sean Penn, Cage has insisted on appearing in a wide range of films, both mainstream and offbeat.

Cage has twice been nominated for an Academy Award and won once, for his performance as a suicidal alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas. Both Adaptation. and Leaving Las Vegas are examples of offbeat, lowbudget films to which Cage has lent his Alist superstar clout. Despite these successes, most of his lowerprofile films have performed poorly at the box office compared with his more mainstream, actionfilled efforts. In 2005, for example, audiences ignored two offbeat, nonmainstream films he headlined, Lord of War and The Weather Man. Despite good reviews for his acting and nationwide releases for both films, neither found a significant audience.

Most of his financial successes have come from his forays in the actionadventure genre. In his highest grossing film to date, National Treasure, he played a neurotic historian who goes on a dangerous adventure to find treasure hidden by the Founding Fathers of the United States. Other action hits in which Cage has starred include The Rock, in which he played a young FBI chemical weapons expert who infiltrates Alcatraz Island in hopes of neutralizing a terrorist threat, and World Trade Center, director Oliver Stone’s controversial film regarding the tragic events of September 11th, 2001.

In recent years, Cage has experimented with other filmrelated fields besides acting. He made his directorial debut with Sonny, a lowbudget drama starring James Franco as a male prostitute whose mother (Brenda Blethyn) serves as his pimp. Cage had a small role in the grim film, which received poor reviews and a short run in a limited number of theatres. Cage’s producing career has seen more success. Shadow of the Vampire, the first film produced by Saturn Films, the company he founded with partner Norm Golightly, was nominated for an Academy Award. His first two wives, Patricia Arquette and Lisa Marie Presley (daughter of Elvis Presley, of whom Cage is a fan and based his performance in Wild at Heart on), were also members of the entertainment industry. He proposed to Patricia Arquette on the day he met her in the early 80’s. Salinger. When he started moving through the list of demands, Arquette became scared and avoided him. However they met again many years later and went on to marry.

His third (and current) wife, KoreanAmerican Alice Kim, is a former sushi waitress. Cage is friends with many people in the entertainment industry, including Jim Carrey (whom he met on the set of Peggy Sue Got Married) and late musician Johnny Ramone. Cage has two children: Weston (born December 26, 1990), with his thengirlfriend, actressmodel Christina Fulton; and KalEl (born October 3, 2005), with Kim. The name of his second child is also the birth name of Superman in the DC Comics universe. Cage is a longterm fan of comics and considers them to be the modern equivalent of mythology. He was once attached to play Superman in a film to be directed by Tim Burton, but the project died due to budget and screenplay concerns, and has a tattoo of Ghost Rider on his body (which, in an ironic twist, had to be covered with makeup when he played the character in a bigbudget film adaptation).

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