Kevin Kline in 1989, holding his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in A Fish Called Wanda
(October 24, 1947-) is an Academy Award
-winning and Tony award-winning American actor who has appeared in over 50 different movies during his career, and has also appeared on television and on the Broadway stage. His acting career began in 1972 as a member of The Acting Company, a touring theater company based out of New York City. Four years later, he left The Acting Company and began performing on Broadway. He went on to win Tony awards for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for the 1978 production of On the Twentieth Century
, and for Best Actor in a Musical for the 1981 revival of The Pirates of Penzance
Kline began doing movies in 1982, beginning with Sophie's Choice
, in which he co-starred with Meryl Streep
. During the 1980s and 1990s, Kline made several films with director Lawrence Kasdan
, including The Big Chill
, I Love You To Death
, Grand Canyon
, and French Kiss
. He would also go on to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the 1988 comedy A Fish Called Wanda
. In Hollywood, Kline has developed a reputation for being extremely selective about the parts he plays, leading to his earning the nickname "Kevin Decline". Film critic Roger Ebert
coined the "Kevin Kline Mustache Principle", given Kline's tendency in the 80s and 90s to wear a mustache while doing comic roles and to be clean-shaven for dramatic roles.
Since 1989, Kline has been married to actress Phoebe Cates (Fast Times at Ridgemont High
) and has two children with her.
This actor provides examples of the following tropes:
- Acting for Two: Does this occasionally, at least in Dave, Fierce Creatures, and Wild Wild West.
- Adorkable: His characters in Dave and In & Out.
- Celebrity Voice Actor: Kline is the voice of Captain Phoebus in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, of Tulio in Dreamworks's The Road to El Dorado, of Andre in The Tale of Despereaux, and of landlord Mr. Fischoeder on the TV series Bob's Burgers.
- Fake Nationality: The American Kline plays South African Donald Woods in Cry Freedom.
- Hey, It's That Guy! / Hey, It's That Voice!: Kline was never a huge movie star, so his work in smaller and supporting roles tend to evoke this response with younger viewers.
- Irishman And A Jew: Kline's parents. His father is Ashkenazi Jewish whose family immigrated from Germany, while his mother is a devout Roman Catholic whose parents immigrated from Ireland.
- Large Ham: Especially in A Fish Called Wanda and Wild Wild West.
- Money, Dear Boy: Kline on his early career:
Kline: I think every American actor wants to be a movie star. But I never wanted to do stupid movies, I wanted to do films. I vowed I would never do a commercial, or a soap opera - both of which I did as soon as I left the Acting Company and was starving.
- Raised Catholic: Kline's father is Jewish and his mother is Roman Catholic. He was raised in his mother's faith.