Willem Dafoe is a legendary American actor who portrays the ‘bad guy’ roles in his films. He is well-known for his role in the Marvel film Spider-Man 1, 2 & 3 which earned him a nomination for Best Villain in the 2002 MTV Movie Awards. He has received several awards due to his professional way of interpreting his characters in movies. Read on to find out more about this thespian, including his net worth.

Biography

Willem Dafoe was born William James Dafoe in Appleton, Wisconsin on July 22, 1955 as the youngest of seven children born to Dr. William Alfred Dafoe, his father who was a surgeon and his mother, Muriel Isabel Sprissler who was a nurse. He was raised by his elder sisters and hardly ever saw his parents while growing up because they were both engrossed in their jobs and had less time for him. He has a mixed ancestry – partly Scottish, English, Northern Irish, German and French but his nationality is American and Italian. Willem’s height is about 5ft 10in and he weighs 78kg.

He attended Appleton East High School and that was where he was given the nickname Willem, which is a coinage from his birth name, William. However, Willem also happens to be the Dutch rendition of the name William. He was expelled from high school for making a pornographic video and so he rounded off his studies at another school – Lawrence University – to get his diploma.

Read Also: Pierce Brosnan Wife, Son, Daughter, Family, Height, Age, Net Worth

After high school, Willem proceeded to the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee where he was supposed to study drama but didn’t complete the programme. He dropped out of college to join Theatre X – an experimental theatre company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin because according to him, the school’s theatre department was boring. He soon left Theatre X and moved to New York to join the theatre troupe, The Performance Group under the mentorship of the director, Richard Schechner. He would go on to co-found the theatre group called, The Wooster Group, along with some other members of the Performance Group.

Willem Dafoe’s Career

Willem started his professional acting career in 1981 with a small role in the 1981 film, Heavens’ Gate even though his part was eventually removed during the editing but it served as a launchpad to a career that has seen him feature in over a hundred films, besides TV shows. He described the feeling as that of disappointment but he moved on and starred in Loveless (1982). By the time he had featured in Streets of Fire (1984) and To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), Willem realised he had gained an unwanted reputation for playing the villain in movies. His portrayal of Sergeant Gordon Elias, a good cop, in Oliver Stone’s 1986 film Platoon earned him his first Oscar nomination and his fate as one of Hollywoods finest actors was sealed from then on.


Willem Dafoe

Willem has starred in countless other films including Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (1987), Off Limits (1988), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Wild at Heart (1990), The English Patient (1996), Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), Shadow of the Vampire (2000), Spider-Man (2002), Auto Focus (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2003), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), XXX: State of the Union (2005), Mr. Bean’s Holiday (2007), Spider Man 3 (2007), Antichrist (2009), The Hunter (2011), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), The Florida Project (2017), among so many others.

Awards and Nominations

When you are good at whatever endeavour it is you set your heart on, it is only natural that you are recognized, celebrated and rewarded for your part. Willem has gotten his own fair share of recognition, having been in the entertainment industry for almost four decades, delivering class performance after class performance and still rearing to conquer more territories. His awards cabinet must have been rebuilt so many times. As at the time of writing this piece, Willem has been nominated for film awards a total of 127 times and out of that number, he has gone home with the plaque an astonishing 61 one times. Let’s have a peek into his past awards and nominations.

Nominations

His role in the 1986 blockbuster ‘Platoon’ earned him two nominations including an Oscar nomination.

  • Best Supporting Actor -Academy Award (Oscars)
  • Best Male Lead – Independent Spirit Award

‘Wild At Heart’ – 1990

  • Best Supporting Male  – Independent Spirit Award

Shadow Of The Vampire – 2000

  • Best Supporting Actor – Academy Award (Oscars)
  • Best Supporting Actor – Chicago Film Critics Association Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award
  • Best Supporting Actor (Motion Picture) – Golden Globe Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – New York Film Critics Circle Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – Online Film Critics Society Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – San Diego Film Critics Society Award
  • Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role – Screen Actors Guild Award

Spider-Man – 2001

  • Best Villain – MTV Movie Award

Auto Focus – 2002

  • Best Supporting Actor – Chicago Film Critics Association Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – New York Film Critics Circle Award

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou – 2004

  • Best Ensemble Cast – Boston Society of Film Critics Award
  • Best Acting Ensemble – Critics’ Choice Movie Award

Antichrist – 2009

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role – Robert Award

The Hunter – 2011

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role – AACTA Award

The Florida Project – 2017

  • Best Supporting Actor – Academy Award (Oscars) – Pending
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role – BAFTA Award
  •  Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role- Screen Actors Guild Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – Critics’ Choice Movie Award
  • Best Supporting Actor (Motion Picture) – Golden Globe Award
  • Best Supporting Actor (Motion Picture) – Satellite Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award
  • Best Actor – Gotham Independent Film Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award

Awards

Light Sleeper – 1992

  • Best Foreign Actor – Sant Jordi Award

Shadow Of The Vampire – 2000

  • Best Actor – Fantasporto’s International Fantasy Film Award
  • Outstanding Creative Performance – Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival’s President Award
  • Best Supporting Male – Independent Spirit Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award
  • Best Supporting Actor (Motion Picture Comedy or Musical) – Satellite Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – Saturn Award
  • Best Actor – Sitges Film Festival’s Gran Angular Award

Spider-Man – 2001

  • Best Supporting Actor – New York Film Critics Online Award

Antichrist – 2009

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role – Bodil Award

The Florida Project – 2017

  • Best Supporting Actor – Atlanta Film Critics Circle Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – Boston Society of Film Critics Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – Chicago Film Critics Association Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – Detroit Film Critics Society Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – IndieWire Critics Poll
  • Best Supporting Actor – Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – National Board of Review Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – New York Film Critics Circle Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – New York Film Critics Online
  • Best Supporting Actor – National Society of Film Critics Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – Seattle Film Critics Society Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – Toronto Film Critics Association Award
  • Best Supporting Actor – Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award

Net Worth – What is Willem Dafoe Worth?

The legendary actor’s annual earning  – income and salary – is not exactly known, but his net worth is estimated to lie between $25 – $30 million.

Is Willem Dafoe Gay or Straight

Willem’s sexual orientation has been a conflicting discussion all the while. While many hold on to the fact that he is married to a woman and has been blessed with a son as evidence to his ‘straightness’, others think he is gay and his marriage is a cover-up or at most, he must be bisexual. A few others boldly say he is an openly gay man. We cannot argue with anyone’s point of view but we can say that Willem Dafoe has been married to Giada Colagrande, a filmmaker, actress and screenwriter since 2005.

Before his marriage to the Italian actress, Willem Dafoe was in a relationship with Elizabeth LeCompte, director of The Wooster Group for 27 years. They had his only child yet – Jack Dafoe (b. 1982) – together. According to Willem, Elizabeth did not like the idea of marriage because to her it represented ownership so they never got married until they went their separate ways.

SHARE