On this March 31, 67 years ago, Ronald Walken was born in Astoria, Queens. Of course, we all know him better as Christopher Walken. The revered actor has appeared in over 100 projects, with a career spanning an impressive 57 years, his unique style and elocution making him an unforgettable inclusion to the cinematic map.
In honor of his birthday, I thought it would be fun to think back over his 50+ years of work, and chat about the performances that stick with us -- our favorite moments of wacky Walken, serious Walken, scary Walken, and definitely dancing Walken. With the woes of typecasting, it might be harder to remember these days, but the man has got range. He's tugged at our hearts playing Nick in The Deer Hunter, danced a good jig as Russel doing The Hustle in Roseland, faced James Bond in A View to a Kill, dedicated himself to a watch in Pulp Fiction, and even made life in a bomb shelter seem downright tempting in Blast from the Past.
Personally, my favorite Walken role was his on-stage performance as Coriolanus; seeing his charisma ooze life is just about the best thing I've ever had the fortune to witness. On the screen, however, I'd have to go with The Dead Zone, the film that started my Walken obsession, from the moments when he grasps a hand and sees the flames (Your daughter is screaming!), to greeting a political door-to-door dude with absolute unimpressed face (until Sarah walks up).
What about you? Is it one of the above? Gabriel in The Prophecy? Frank Abagnale in Catch Me If You Can? Or one of his many SNL stints, from cowbells and continentals to Ed Glosser, Trivial Psychic? Weigh in below.