A handful of Americans exist who have captured the hearts of different audiences with their natural talent and acting skills in the entertainment industry. Billy Zane, a renowned actor, voice actor, director, and producer, has a spot among this talented bunch. His career took off on the set of the science fiction movie known as Back to the Future and since then, he has remained relevant.
Billy Zane came to the limelight with his appearance in the thriller titled Dead Calm and has gone on to appear in other notable movies such as blockbusters Titanic, Cleopatra and I Woke Up Early the Day I Die. The entertainer has recorded several awards and nominations for his efforts, read on for full details.
His name is actually William George Zane Jr. but he chose Billy Zane as his professional name. He was born on the 24th day of February 1966 in Chicago Illinois. His parents – Thalia Zanetakos and William George Sr. both have their ancestry rooted in Greece, his dad came from Mani while his mom came from Chios. Their real surname was Zanetakos which was later modified to Zane. His parents were in the acting profession albeit in a small way. Billy was brought up alongside his sister Lisa Zane who earns a living working as an actress and a singer.
Although his early educational background is not known, he put in one year at The American School in Switzerland (TASIS). He passed through Francis W. Parker School where he graduated from and was also at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin where he studied at Harand Camp of the Theater Arts.
Billy’s love life has been an active one, his only delve into matrimony was with Lisa Collins in a marriage that lasted from 1989 to 1995 when they decided to call it quits. He got engaged to his Cleopatra co-star Leonor Varela but their engagement did not end up in marriage as it was cut short. Presently, he is the fiancé of Kelly Brook – an actress he met in Survival Island.
The actor/producer has done very well in his finances, he has amassed the commendable sum of $20 million as his estimated net worth. His wealth has been accruing over the years through his roles in several high budget films. He earned the tidy sum of $2 million on the set of the 1999 Cleopatra but his other earnings are not public knowledge.
What Has Billy Zane Been Doing Since Titanic & Back To The Future?
After his 1985 debut acting role on the set of Back to the Future, Billy was up for the reprisal of his role in the 1989 sequel titled Back to the Future Part II. Prominence located him when he starred in the thriller known as Dead Calm and he went ahead to appear in other movies prior to 1997 when he was cast in the role of the snooty rich guy misanthrope Caledon Hockley in the Titanic, a James Cameron’s movie which turned into a blockbuster. His role in Titanic earned him a Blockbuster Entertainment Award including two nominations, one for SAG Award and another for MTV Movie Award.
Since Titanic, Billy Zane has been making notable appearances in movies and commercials. In 1998, he was the star and producer of the movie titled I Woke Up Early the Day I Died. For his efforts, he swept up numerous awards at the B-Movie Film Festival. The next year, he starred in a television-movie centered on Cleopatra where he was cast in the role of Mark Anthony. Also, in 1999, Billy’s voice was heard in the role of John Rolfe in Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World, a Walt Disney production. He equally lent his voice was also in a single episode of The New Batman Adventures where he voiced Etrigan the Demon. The famed actor has also acted in Broadway where he played the role of Billy Flynn, a lawyer.
The TV series titled Charmed gave him a recurring role where he portrayed the character of Drake, an ex-demon who loved poetry. In 2002, his voice was in the video game popularly known as Kingdom Hearts where it was lent to the character of Ansem, his voice was also in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMix. Billy acted a gay role in the 2006 Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, an Arthur Allan Seidelman’s production where he was cast as a bitter gay dance instructor. Also in 2006, he made an appearance in Valley of the Wolves Iraq, a Turkish movie. In the movie, he played the character of the main antagonist William Marshall.
Billy was seen on the set of Samantha Who where he was cast as the ex-boyfriend of Christina Applegate, a role which was previously played by Timothy Olyphant. He is a star in Kill Hole – an action/thriller movie and functions as a principal at a movie and TV production and distribution company popularly known as RadioactiveGiant. The entertainer also featured in commercials for KFC restaurants in the first month of 2017.
The foregoing goes a long way to prove Billy Zane is still very much around.