Kevin Spacey - Rotten Tomatoes

Kevin Spacey

Highest Rated:   100% Baby Driver (2017)
Lowest Rated:   0% Father of Invention (2011)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   South Orange, New Jersey, USA
As enigmatic as he is talented, Kevin Spacey has always kept the details of his private life closely guarded. As he explained in a 1998 interview with the London Evening Standard, "the less you know about me, the easier it is to convince you that I am that character on screen. It allows an audience to come into a movie theatre and believe I am that person". There are, however, certain biographical facts to be had - for starters, Kevin Spacey Fowler was the youngest of three children born to Kathleen Ann (Knutson) and Thomas Geoffrey Fowler, in South Orange, New Jersey. His ancestry includes Swedish (from his maternal grandfather) and English. His mother was a personal secretary, his father a technical writer whose irregular job prospects led the family all over the country. The family eventually settled in southern California, where young Kevin developed into quite a little hellion - after he set his sister's tree house on fire, he was shipped off to the Northridge Military Academy, only to be thrown out a few months later for pinging a classmate on the head with a tire. Spacey then found his way to Chatsworth High School in the San Fernando Valley, where he managed to channel his dramatic tendencies into a successful amateur acting career. In his senior year, he played "Captain von Trapp" opposite classmate Mare Winningham's "Maria" in "The Sound of Music" (the pair later graduated as co-valedictorians). Spacey claims that his interest in acting - and his nearly encyclopedic accumulation of film knowledge - began at an early age, when he would sneak downstairs to watch the late late show on TV. Later, in high school, he and his friends cut class to catch revival films at the NuArt Theater. The adolescent Spacey worked up celebrity impersonations (James Stewart and Johnny Carson were two of his favorites) to try out on the amateur comedy club circuit. He briefly attended Los Angeles Valley College, then left (on the advice of another Chatsworth classmate, Val Kilmer) to join the drama program at Juilliard. After two years of training he was anxious to work, so he quit Juilliard sans diploma and signed up with the New York Shakespeare Festival. His first professional stage appearance was as a messenger in the 1981 production of "Henry VI". Festival head Joseph Papp ushered the young actor out into the "real world" of theater, and the next year Spacey made his Broadway debut in Henrik Ibsen's "Ghosts". He quickly proved himself as an energetic and versatile performer (at one point, he rotated through all the parts in David Rabe's "Hurlyburly"). In 1986, he had the chance to work with his idol and future mentor, Jack Lemmon, on a production of Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey Into Night". While his interest soon turned to film, Spacey would remain active in the theater community - in 1991, he won a Tony Award for his turn as "Uncle Louie" in Neil Simon's Broadway hit "Lost in Yonkers" and, in 1999, he returned to the boards for a revival of O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh". Spacey's film career began modestly, with a small part as a subway thief in Heartburn (1986). Deemed more of a "character actor" than a "leading man", he stayed on the periphery in his next few films, but attracted attention for his turn as beady-eyed villain "Mel Profitt" on the TV series Wiseguy (1987). Profitt was the first in a long line of dark, manipulative characters that would eventually make Kevin Spacey a household name: he went on to play a sinister office manager in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), a sadistic Hollywood exec in Swimming with Sharks (1994), and, most famously, creepy, smooth-talking eyewitness Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects (1995). The "Suspects" role earned Spacey an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and catapulted him into the limelight. That same year, he turned in another complex, eerie performance in David Fincher's thriller Se7en (1995) (Spacey refused billing on the film, fearing that it might compromise the ending if audiences were waiting for him to appear). By now, the scripts were pouring in. After appearing in Al Pacino's Looking for Richard (1996), Spacey made his own directorial debut with Albino Alligator (1996), a low-key but well received hostage drama. He then jumped back into acting, winning critical accolades for his turns as flashy detective Jack Vincennes in L.A. Confidential (1997) and genteel, closeted murder suspect Jim Williams in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997). In October 1999, just four days after the dark suburban satire American Beauty (1999) opened in US theaters, Spacey received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Little did organizers know that his role in Beauty would turn out to be his biggest success yet - as Lester Burnham, a middle-aged corporate cog on the brink of psychological meltdown, he tapped into a funny, savage character that captured audiences' imaginations and earned him a Best Actor Oscar. No longer relegated to offbeat supporting parts, Spacey seems poised to redefine himself as a Hollywood headliner. He says he's finished exploring the dark side - but, given his attraction to complex characters, that mischievous twinkle will never be too far from his eyes. In February 2003 Spacey made a major move back to the theatre. He was appointed Artistic Director of the new company set up to save the famous Old Vic theatre, The Old Vic Theatre Company. Although he did not undertake to stop appearing in movies altogether, he undertook to remain in this leading post for ten years, and to act in as well as to direct plays during that time. His first production, of which he was the director, was the September 2004 British premiere of the play Cloaca by Maria Goos (made into a film, Cloaca (2003)). Spacey made his UK Shakespearean debut in the title role in Richard II in 2005. In 2006 he got movie director Robert Altman to direct for the stage the little-known Arthur Miller play Resurrection Blues, but that was a dismal failure. However Spacey remained optimistic, and insisted that a few mistakes are part of the learning process. He starred thereafter with great success in Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten along with Colm Meaney and Eve Best, and in 2007 that show transferred to Broadway. In February 2008 Spacey put on a revival of the David Mamet 1988 play Speed-the-Plow in which he took one of the three roles, the others being taken by Jeff Goldblum and Laura Michelle Kelly. In 2013, Spacey took on the lead role in an original Netflix series, House of Cards (2013). Based upon a British show of the same name, House of Cards is an American political drama. The show's first season received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination to include outstanding lead actor in a drama series.

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
100% Baby Driver
  • Doc
2017
11% Nine Lives
  • Tom Brand
$19.7M 2016
76% Elvis & Nixon
  • Richard Nixon
$0.8M 2016
25% Rebel in the Rye
  • Whit Burnett
2016
No Score Yet Unity
  • Actor
2015
34% Horrible Bosses 2
  • Dave Harken
$40.0M 2014
50% NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage
  • Executive Producer
  • Richard, Duke of Gloucester
$0.1M 2014
No Score Yet The Gift
  • Producer
2014
93% Captain Phillips
  • Executive Producer
$107.2M 2013
No Score Yet The Day Kennedy Died
  • Actor
2013
57% Safe
  • Executive Producer
$17.2M 2012
87% Shakespeare High
  • Executive Producer
2012
88% Margin Call
  • Sam Rogers
$0.7M 2011
0% Father of Invention
  • Producer
2011
68% Horrible Bosses
  • Dave Harken
$117.0M 2011
No Score Yet Inseparable
  • Chuck
2011
No Score Yet Megamall
  • Actor
2011
38% Casino Jack
  • Jack Abramoff
$1.1M 2010
96% The Social Network
  • Executive Producer
$96.5M 2010
52% The Men Who Stare at Goats
  • Larry Hooper
$32.5M 2009
29% Shrink
  • Henry Carter
$0.1M 2009
89% Moon
  • Gerty
$4.8M 2009
84% Telstar (Telstar: The Joe Meek Story)
  • Major Banks
2009
No Score Yet The Good Student
  • Executive Producer
2008
32% Fanboys
  • Producer
$0.8M 2008
76% Recount
  • Ron Klain
2008
36% 21
  • Producer
  • Prof. Micky Rosa
$81.2M 2008
No Score Yet Columbus Day
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
2008
46% The Sasquatch Gang
  • Producer
2007
21% Fred Claus
  • Clyde
$72.0M 2007
No Score Yet Bernard and Doris
  • Executive Producer
2007
No Score Yet Machine Child
  • Actor
2007
0% Edison (Edison Force)
  • Wallace
2006
54% Mini's First Time
  • Producer
$0.1M 2006
76% Superman Returns
  • Lex Luthor
$200.2M 2006
No Score Yet Look Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman
  • Narrator
2006
42% Beyond the Sea
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Bobby Darin
$6.2M 2004
34% The United States of Leland
  • Albert T. Fitzgerald
  • Producer
$0.3M 2004
19% The Life of David Gale
  • David Gale
$19.6M 2003
54% Austin Powers in Goldmember
  • Dr. Evil in Movie
$213.1M 2002
No Score Yet Uncle Frank
  • Executive Producer
2002
No Score Yet Come Together: A Night for John Lennon's Words and Music
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet Fighting for Freedom: Revolution & Civil War
  • Narrator
2002
55% The Shipping News
  • Quoyle
$11.5M 2001
41% K-PAX
  • Prot
$50.1M 2001
40% Pay It Forward
  • Eugene Simonet
$32.9M 2000
No Score Yet Interstate 84
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
2000
74% The Big Kahuna
  • Larry Mann
  • Producer
2000
14% Ordinary Decent Criminal
  • Michael Lynch
2000
No Score Yet Forever Hollywood
  • Actor
2000
88% American Beauty
  • Lester Burnham
1999
60% Hurlyburly
  • Mickey
1998
92% A Bug's Life
  • Hopper
1998
75% The Negotiator
  • Chris Sabian
1998
No Score Yet It's Tough to Be a Bug
  • Actor
1998
48% Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
  • Jim Williams
1997
99% L.A. Confidential
  • Jack Vincennes
1997
81% Looking for Richard
  • Buckingham
1996
44% Albino Alligator
  • Director
1996
67% A Time to Kill
  • Rufus Buckley
1996
80% Seven (Se7en)
  • John Doe
1995
88% The Usual Suspects
  • Roger `Verbal' Kint
1995
80% Swimming with Sharks
  • Producer
  • Buddy Ackerman
1995
59% Outbreak
  • Casey Schuler
1995
No Score Yet Doomsday Gun
  • Price
1994
71% The Ref
  • Lloyd
1994
62% Iron Will
  • Harry Kingsley
1994
27% Consenting Adults
  • Eddy Otis
1992
94% Glengarry Glen Ross
  • John Williamson
1992
No Score Yet Darrow
  • Clarence Darrow
1991
No Score Yet When You Remember Me
  • Wade
1990
60% Henry & June
  • Osborn
1990
No Score Yet A Show of Force
  • Frank Curtin
1990
No Score Yet Fall from Grace
  • Jim Bakker
1990
56% Dad
  • Mario
1989
18% See No Evil, Hear No Evil
  • Kirgo
1989
84% Working Girl
  • Bob Speck
1988
No Score Yet Rocket Gibraltar
  • Dwayne Hanson
1988
No Score Yet The Murder of Mary Phagan
  • Wes Brent
1988
No Score Yet Long Day's Journey into Night
  • Jamie Tyrone
1987
47% Heartburn
  • Subway Thief
1986

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Charlie Rose
2013
  • Guest
  • 2016
No Score Yet Meet the Press
1947
  • Guest
  • 2016
No Score Yet Race for the White House
2016
  • Narrator
  • Executive Producer
  • 2016
91% The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
2015
  • Guest
  • 2016
  • 2015
No Score Yet The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
2014
  • Guest
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
84% House of Cards
2013-2016
  • Francis Underwood Frank Underwood Rep. Francis Underwood
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
No Score Yet Late Show With David Letterman
1993-2015
  • Guest
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
No Score Yet Jimmy Kimmel Live
2003
  • Guest
  • 2015
  • 2011
No Score Yet Sunday Morning
2011
  • Appearing
  • 2014
No Score Yet Colbert Report
2005-2014
  • Guest
  • 2013
No Score Yet American Masters
2001
  • Appearing
  • Voice
  • 2012
  • 2003
No Score Yet Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
2009-2014
  • Guest
  • 2011
No Score Yet Conan
2010
  • Guest
  • 2010
No Score Yet The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
1999-2015
  • Guest
  • 2006
  • 2004
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Guest
  • Performer
  • 2006
  • 1997
No Score Yet The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
1992-2014
  • Guest
  • 2002
  • 2001
  • 2000
No Score Yet American Experience
1988
  • Narrator
  • 2001
No Score Yet 60 Minutes
2008
  • Guest
  • 2000
No Score Yet House of Cards
  • Rep. Frank Underwood
  • Executive Producer

Quotes from Kevin Spacey's Characters