Kevin Delaney Kline (born October 24, 1947 in St. Louis, Missouri) 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, Silverado, 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 comedic roles and to be clean-shaven for dramatic roles.
Works with pages on TV Tropes include:
- Sophie's Choice (1982)
- The Big Chill (1983)
- The Pirates of Penzance (1983)
- Silverado (1985)
- Cry Freedom (1987)
- A Fish Called Wanda (1988) (Oscar Winner - Best Supporting Actor)
- I Love You to Death (1990)
- Grand Canyon (1991)
- Soapdish (1991)
- Chaplin (1992)
- Dave (1993)
- French Kiss (1995)
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) (voice)
- Fierce Creatures (1997)
- The Ice Storm (1997)
- In & Out (1997)
- A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999)
- Wild Wild West (1999)
- The Road to El Dorado (2000) (voice)
- The Emperor's Club (2002)
- Orange County (2002) (uncredited)
- As You Like It (2006)
- The Pink Panther (2006)
- A Prairie Home Companion (2006)
- Definitely, Maybe (2008)
- The Tale of Despereaux (2008) (voice)
- The Conspirator (2010)
- The Extra Man (2010)
- Stake Land (2010)
- Bob's Burgers (2011 - present) (voice)
- No Strings Attached (2011)
- Last Vegas (2013)
- My Old Lady (2014)
- Ricki and the Flash (2015)
- Dean (2016)
- Beauty and the Beast (2017)
- Here Today (2021)
This actor's work provides examples of the following tropes:
- Acting for Two: Has done this in the movies Dave, Fierce Creatures, and Wild Wild West.
- Celebrity Voice Actor: Kline has provided 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 eccentric landlord Calvin Fischoeder on the TV series Bob's Burgers.
- Comedy Ghetto: A notable aversion, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his extremely silly performance in A Fish Called Wanda.
- 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.