Billy Zane

Billy Zane Headshot

Actor • Director

Birth Date: February 24, 1966

Age: 58 years old

Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois

Mainly a B-movie actor, Billy Zane enjoyed a few brief moments in the sun most impressively for his supporting role as the villain Caledon Hockley in the historic blockbuster, "Titanic" (1997). The intense actor began his career playing an assortment of villains and oddballs in occasionally notable films like "Dead Calm" (1989) and "Orlando" (1993), but following a run of supporting roles in big budget Hollywood films and a not-so-well-received starring turn as "The Phantom" (1996), he took up residence in the realm of macho low-budget action films and sci-fi thrillers. A prolific working actor to say the least, Zane churned out numerous B-movies and cable telepics yearly, occasionally turning heads in acclaimed independent dramas like "The Believer" (2001) and John Sayles' "Silver City" (2004), though his curious movie choices made it difficult for him to rise to the status of a solid Hollywood supporting player, for which he unquestionably had the looks and talent.

Zane was born to Greek-American parents on Feb. 28, 1966, in Chicago Illinois. He became interested in acting when he was a child, making short films on a Super-8 camera and appearing in school musical productions. After enjoying a school year abroad in Switzerland and finishing up high school in Chicago, Zane moved to Los Angeles to break into acting. His first year in Hollywood he had the good fortune of landing bit parts in the classic "Back to the Future" (1985), "Critters" (1986) and the TV-movie "Brotherhood of Justice" (ABC, 1986). Zane's breakthrough came as a result of his chilling performance as a psycho who terrorizes a couple aboard their yacht in Philip Noyce's taut thriller, "Dead Calm" (1989). As a bonus, he met his wife Lisa Collins on the set, though her screen time was eventually cut. Zane followed up with an equally creepy performance as a serial killer in "The Case of the Hillside Stranglers" (NBC, 1989) and reprised his role as a high school thug in "Back to the Future II" (1989).

Zane appeared in the cast of the earnest WWII film "Memphis Belle" (1990) as a less-than-honest medical officer before becoming a victim himself in the low budget sci-fi video, "Megaville" (1990). His supporting role - alongside his sister Lisa Zane - in "Femme Fatale" (1991) garnered little attention, but the actor's stock rose with his recurring role as cool, enigmatic John Justice Wheeler, who sweeps Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) off her feet on David Lynch's off-kilter TV series, "Twin Peaks" (ABC, 1990-91). In 1993, Zane co-starred opposite Tilda Swinton as the lover of the gender-bending "Orlando" (1993) in Sally Potter's moderate art house success. He also appeared in mainstream theaters as co-star of the actioner "Sniper" and in Mario Van Peebles' Western "Posse."

In another Western, Zane had a supporting role as a traveling entertainer in the box office hit, "Tombstone" (1993) before snaring a starring role as a mysterious gardener in "Lake Consequence" (Showtime, 1993) and as an avenging cop in "Flashfire" (HBO, 1994). From a supporting role in the mainstream romantic comedy "Only You" (1994), he turned around to star in low budgeters "Silence of the Hams" (1994) and "Tales From the Crypt Presents Demon Knight" (1995). Returning to cable television, Zane was seen as an ex-con in "The Set-Up" (Showtime, 1995) followed by a co-starring role as a heroic environmentalist opposite Robert Downey, Jr. in the eco-thriller "Danger Zone" (1996). Zane's leading role in Simon Wincer's big budget adaptation of the comic, "The Phantom" (1996) was unfortunately a miss with audiences despite a large marketing campaign, but he received the most press he had up to that point in his portrayal of the purple bodysuit-sporting crime fighter operating from the fictional African country of Bengalla. Unfortunately, even fan-boy interest could not save the film - due in large part to it being a dated story with little following in the modern day comic book world.

The disappointment of his first big Hollywood film was short-lived once he signed on for his next picture, though he could never have imagined the level of success and adulation the film and cast would experience when he first began production in Mexico in 1996. Although thought by industry insiders to be the biggest gamble in film history with the biggest budget, James Cameron's "Titanic" (1997) quickly became a phenomenon - and for more than a decade, the highest grossing film of all time. The actor cemented his reputation for villainous characters with his role as Caledon Hockley, the wealthy, caddish fiancé of hesitant young society woman, Rose (Kate Winslet) - both of whom book passage on the doomed luxury liner. However, instead of playing his role of the spoiled son of privilege for straight evil, Zane embellished the character with touches of charm and humanity which resonated far more with audiences than if Hockley had been completely unsympathetic. Hockley does care for Rose and his pain is evident as he watches her fall in love with "gutter rat," Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio). Though the arduous and dangerous shoot led by the tempestuous Cameron - which including filming the famed sinking on a close-to-scale version of a ship while lowering it into various water tanks - was a trying time for the actor, there was no doubt upon the film's release and the hysteria surrounding it that Zane - along with Cameron, Winslet and DiCaprio - were cemented forever by association with a once-in-a-lifetime cinematic milestone. However, unlike DiCaprio, Zane's association with the year's Oscar-winning Best Picture did not rocket him to superstar status, and his next project was starring in and co-producing an unproduced script by late B-movie icon Ed Wood, "I Woke Up Early the Day I Died" (1998). He followed up his performance as a cross-dressing asylum inmate with John Landis' little-seen dark comedy "Susan's Plan" (1998) and made an unlikely segue over to Disney to voice "Pocahontas II: Journey to the New World" (1998). Darkly handsome and strapping, Zane was well-cast as Marc Anthony in the ABC miniseries "Cleopatra" (1999) which led to a string of television movies, including a miniseries adaptation of Dean Koontz's "Sole Survivor" (Fox, 2000) in which Zane essayed a sympathetic role as a newspaper reporter investigating the mysterious death of his wife and daughter in a plane crash. He turned around to give a strong performance in "The Believer" (2001), a well-received indie drama about young neo-Nazis, and proved himself a strong leading man in the old-Hollywood style adventure "The Diamond of Jeru" (2001) for the USA Network.

A string of low budget pictures and a guest stint on "Boston Public" (Fox, 2000-04) followed, with Zane returning to the producer's chair for the Beat Generation-set "Starving, Hysterical, Naked" (2003). He remained in the low-budget/direct-to-video thriller realm until 200 when John Sayles cast him in his political satire, "Silver City" (2004) in a refreshingly accessible role as a land developer in cahoots with local crooked politicians. Zane next teamed with Michael Madsen in two features: the WWII heist "The Last Drop" (2005) and the multiple Golden Raspberry Award-nominated adaptation of the video game "BloodRayne" (2006). More preposterous B-movies followed, but at least the actor took a break from macho actioners and sci-fi to produce "Fishtale" (2007), in which he starred as a widower who falls in love with a mermaid, played by his then-fiancée Kelly Brook. He was back to gun-slinging until taking a break from violence with his role as an average suburban workaholic whose fiancée (Amy Smart) dreams of a professional dance career in "Love 'n Dancing" (2009).

Zane remained rooted in more realistic fare with his portrayal of the manager of an up-and-coming pop singer (Ciara) in "Mama I Want to Sing" (2009) and the family adventure film "The Gold Retrievers" (2009). However Zane returned to cheapie thrillers with "Magic Man" and "Surviving Evil" that same year. Like many of his fellow big screen actors dying for quality parts, Zane shifted his focus to the small screen, appearing as Cliff Huddle, the pathological narcissist known as the "Prince of Darkness" who serves as managing partner at the Sterling law firm filled with equally gorgeous young attorneys on ABC's drama series, "The Deep End" (2010).

Credits

Centurion: The Dancing Stallion

Actor
Jeffrey Hall
Movie
2023

Prophets of Change

Narrator
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2023

The OathStream

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King Aaron
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2023
30%

Hollywood Signs

Self
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2022

Titanic Secrets

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Narrator
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2022

Trouble Sleeping

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Charles
Movie
2022

MacGruberStream

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Enos Queeth
Series
2021
85%

True StoryStream

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Ari
Miniseries
2021
57%

Stallone: Frank, That IsStream

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Movie
2021
60%

The Believer

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Dr. Benedict
Movie
2021

Iké Boys

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Newt Grafstrom
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2021

Final Kill

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Carl Riser
Movie
2020

Ghosts of War

Actor
Actor
Movie
2020

Ghosts of War

Executive Producer
Movie
2020

Guest House

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Douglas Masters
Movie
2020

Battle of the Bulge: Winter War

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General Omar Bradly
Movie
2020

CurfewStream

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Joker Jones
Series
2019
88%

Cliffs of Freedom

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Christo
Movie
2019

The Great War

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Colonel Jack Morrison
Movie
2019

Stai Sereno

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Giorgio
Movie
2019

DeceptionStream

Guest Star
Switch
Series
2018
64%

SamsonStream

Actor
King Balek
Movie
2018
25%

Wunderland

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General Omar Bradly
Movie
2018

Lucid

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Elliot
Movie
2018

Sniper: Ultimate Kill

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Richard Miller
Movie
2017

Blue World Order

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Master Crane
Movie
2017

GuiltStream

Actor
Stan Gutterie
Series
2016
67%

DC's Legends of TomorrowStream

Guest Star
P.T. Barnum
Series
2016
89%

Zoolander No. 2

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Himself
Movie
2016

Zoolander No. 2

Self
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2016

Dead Rising: Endgame

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Rand
Movie
2016

Sniper: Ghost Shooter

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Richard Miller
Movie
2016

Beyond the Game

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2016

Swing State

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Governor Richard Sollow
Movie
2016

White Island

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Movie
2016

The Adventure Club

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Langley
Movie
2016

Mad DogsStream

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Milo
Series
2015
67%

Mad DogsStream

Guest Star
Milo
Series
2015
67%

Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard

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Seiler
Movie
2015

West of Redemption

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Hank Keller
Movie
2015

Naufrage suspect

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Show
2014

Hollywood Today Live

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2014

The Ganzfeld Haunting

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Father
Movie
2014

Ghost of Goodnight Lane

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Alan
Movie
2014

Mining for Ruby

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Professor Sam Goodwell
Movie
2014

A Winter Rose

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Preston Holdsworth
Movie
2014

Barabba

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Barabba
Show
2013

Barabbas

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Barabbas
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2013

The Employer

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Alan
Movie
2013

Blood of Redemption

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Quinn
Movie
2013

Scorned

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Kevin
Movie
2013

Two Jacks

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Max Faraday
Movie
2012

Barabbas

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Barabbas
Movie
2012

The Kill Hole

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Marshall
Movie
2012

The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption

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Talus
Movie
2012

Leprechaun's Revenge

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Sheriff Conor O'Hara
Movie
2012

Hannah's Law

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Lockwood
Movie
2012

Electrick Children

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Paul
Movie
2012

The Mule

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Aaron
Movie
2012

A Green Story

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Greg Hutchins
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2012

Guido

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2011

Lovemakers

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Jake's agent
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2011

Black Gold

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2011

The Roommate

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Professor Roberts
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2011

Sniper: Reloaded

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Richard Miller
Movie
2011

Mercenaries

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Col. Torida
Movie
2011

Flutter

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Edwin the Dentist
Movie
2011

Mysteria

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Producer
Movie
2011

The Deep End

Actor
Cliff Huddle
Show
2010

Mama, I Want to Sing

Actor
Amara's Manager
Movie
2010

Enemies Among Us

Actor
Graham
Movie
2010

The Confidant

Actor
Monty
Movie
2010

Attack on Darfur

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Bob Jones
Movie
2010

Lopez Tonight

Guest
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2009

CommunityStream

Guest Star
Honda Boss
Series
2009
88%

Blue Seduction

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Mikey Taylor
Movie
2009

The Gold Retrievers

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Hector
Movie
2009

Surviving Evil

Actor
Sebastian 'Seb' Beazley
Movie
2009

Magic Man

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Darius
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2009

Evil - In the Time of Heroes

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Prophitis - Messenger
Movie
2009

The Hessen Affair

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Jack Durant
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2009

Love N' Dancing

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Kent Krandel
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2008

Perfect Hideout

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Victor
Movie
2008

The Man Who Came Back

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Ezra
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2008

Samantha Who?Stream

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Funk
Series
2007
77%

Memory

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Taylor Briggs
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2007

Fishtales

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Dr. Thomas Bradley
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2007

The Mad

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Jason Hunt
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2007

Alien Agent

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Tom/Saylon
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2007

PsychStream

Guest Star
Series
2006
89%

Three

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Jack
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2006

Valley of the Wolves: Iraq

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Sam William Marshall
Movie
2006

Robot ChickenStream

Voice
Commander Edwards / King Ding Dong
Series
2005

BloodRayne

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Elrich
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2005

The Last Drop

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Flt. Lt. Robert Oates
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2005

The Pleasure Drivers

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Marvin
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2005

Next Action Star

Self
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2004

Dead Fish

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Virgil
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2004

Silver City

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Chandler Tyson
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2004

Bet Your Life

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Joseph
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2004

Silent Warnings

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2003

The Kiss

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Alan Roberts/Young Philip Naudet
Movie
2003

Vlad

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Adrian
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2003

Claim

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Roberto Bealing
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2002

Landspeed

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Michael Sanger
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2002

The Believer

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Curtis Zampf
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2001

Invincible

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Os
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2001

Louis L'Amour's The Diamond of Jeru

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Mike Kardec
Movie
2001

CQ

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Mr. E
Movie
2001

Boston Public

Guest Star
Series
2000

Dean Koontz's Sole Survivor

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2000

Hendrix

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Michael Jeffrey
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2000

CleopatraStream

Actor
Miniseries
1999

Love and Debt

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George Putter
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1999

Morgan's Ferry

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Sam
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1999

The Ghoul

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1998

CharmedStream

Guest Star
Series
1998

Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World

Voice
John Rolfe
Movie
1998

I Woke Up Early the Day I Died

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The Thief
Movie
1998

I Woke Up Early the Day I Died

Producer
Movie
1998

Susan's Plan

Actor
Sam Myers
Movie
1998

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

TitanicStream

Actor
Caledon 'Cal' Hockley
Movie
1997
88%

This World, Then the Fireworks

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Marty Lakewood
Movie
1997

Killing Season

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Rick Morgan
Movie
1996

The PhantomStream

Actor
The Phantom/Kit Walker
Movie
1996
44%

Danger Zone

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Rick Morgan
Movie
1996

Head Above Water

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Kent
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1996

Zona de Peligro

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1996

Reflections on a Crime

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Colin
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1995

Tales From the Crypt Presents Demon Knight

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The Collector
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1995

The Set Up

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Charles Thorpe
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1995

Dalila Agente Especial

Actor
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1994

Un Soltero en Apuros

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1994

Bajo Fuego

Actor
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1994

Running Delilah

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Paul
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1994

Flashfire

Actor
Jack Flinder
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1994

The Silence of the Hams

Actor
Joe Dee Foster
Movie
1994

Only YouStream

Actor
The False Damon Bradley
Movie
1994
53%

El Caballero de los Demonios

Actor
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1994

Sniper

Actor
Richard Miller
Movie
1993

PosseStream

Actor
Colonel Graham
Movie
1993
33%

Poetic JusticeStream

Actor
Brad
Movie
1993
34%

TombstoneStream

Actor
Mr. Fabian
Movie
1993
72%

Lake Consequence

Actor
Billy
Movie
1993

Orlando

Actor
Shelmerdine
Movie
1992

Betrayal of the Dove

Actor
Dr. Jesse Peter
Movie
1992

Femme fatale

Actor
Movie
1991

Miliardi

Actor
Maurizio Ferretti
Movie
1991

Blood & Concrete: A Love Story

Actor
Joey Turks
Movie
1991

Femme Fatale

Actor
Elijah
Movie
1991

Fatal Woman

Actor
Elijah
Movie
1991

Millions

Actor
Maurizio Ferretti
Movie
1991

Twin PeaksStream

Guest Star
John Justice Wheeler
Series
1990
77%

Megaville

Actor
Palinov/Jensen
Movie
1990

Memphis BelleStream

Actor
Lt. Val "Valentine" Kozlowski
Movie
1990
68%

Tales From the Crypt

Actor
Series
1989
82%

Terreur sur la ville

Actor
Movie
1989

Dead CalmStream

Actor
Hughie Warriner
Movie
1989
83%

Back to the Future Part IIStream

Actor
Match
Movie
1989
63%

Babes Ahoy

Actor
King Neptune
Movie
1989

The Hillside Stranglers

Actor
Kenneth Bianchi
Movie
1989

Les Étrangleurs des collines

Actor
Movie
1989

MatlockStream

Guest Star
Series
1986

Critters

Actor
Steve Elliot
Movie
1986

Back to the FutureStream

Actor
Match
Movie
1985
93%

Murder, She WroteStream

Guest Star
Tony Gambini
Series
1984

Good Morning America

Guest
News
1975

Today

Guest
News
1952

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