1. Nicolas Kim Coppola , known professionally as Nicolas Cage, is an American actor and producer.
2. He has performed in leading roles in a variety of films, ranging from romantic comedies and dramas to science fiction and action films.
3. In the early years of his career, Cage starred in films such as Valley Girl .
4. Cage received an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance as an alcoholic Hollywood writer in Leaving Las Vegas .
5. He earned his second Academy Award nomination for his performance as Charlie and Donald Kaufman in Adaptation .
6. In 2002, he directed the film Sonny, for which he was nominated for Grand Special Prize at Deauville Film Festival.
7. Cage owns the production company Saturn Films and has produced films such as Shadow of the Vampire .
8. Through his performances in The Weather Man he earned critical acclaim.
9. Cage has been strongly criticized in recent years for his choice of roles, some of which have been universally panned. However, he recently starred in The Croods and Joe, both of which were warmly received by critics.
10. Cage was born in Long Beach, California, to August Coppola, a professor of literature, and Joy , a dancer and choreographer.
11. He attended Beverly Hills High School, which is known for its many alumni who became entertainers.
12. He aspired to act from an early age and also attended UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.
13. His first non-cinematic acting experience was in a school production of Golden Boy. He cites James Dean as the key inspiration for his career, saying: “I started acting because I wanted to be James Dean.
14. I saw him in Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden.
15. Nothing affected me – no rock song, no classical music – the way Dean affected me in Eden.
16. To avoid the appearance of nepotism as the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola, he changed his name early in his career to Nicolas Cage, inspired in part by the Marvel Comics superhero Luke Cage.
17. Since his film debut with a minor role in Fast Times at Ridgemont High , opposite Sean Penn, Cage has appeared in a wide range of films, both mainstream and offbeat.
18. Other Cage roles included appearances in the acclaimed 1987 romantic-comedy film Moonstruck, also starring Cher;
19. Cage has been nominated twice for an Academy Award, winning once for his performance as a suicidal alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas. Despite these successes, most of his lower-profile films have performed poorly at the box office compared to his mainstream action/adventure roles.