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Home / News / The Industry / Willem Dafoe honored with Walk of Fame star

Willem Dafoe honored with Walk of Fame star

by City News Service
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A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled Monday honoring Willem Dafoe for a career in which he has appeared in more than 100 films and received four Oscar nominations.

“I can’t stop smiling. I feel like a real idiot,” Dafoe told the crowd as he accepted the honor. “But this is wonderful. … Needless to say when I was a kid growing up in Appleton, Wisconsin, I couldn’t envision this day of getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”

Dafoe said he looked over the list of names of people with stars on the famed walk, and he found one other person who lived in Appleton.

“His name was Erik Weisz. You know who that is? Maybe you know him better by the name Harry Houdini. So I’m in good company.”

“… When I think of the names (on the Walk of Fame), they’re people that I’ve watched all my life,” he said. “Some people I’ve worked with. Some people I don’t know, admittedly, and a lot of people I’ve admired. So it’s real humbling to be here and to be part of this.”

Patricia Arquette and Pedro Pascal were among those joining Dafoe at the ceremony at 6284 Hollywood Blvd., near Vine Street. Arquette starred with Dafoe and made her theatrical directing debut in “Gonzo Girl,” the drama that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 7 about an aspiring writer (Camila Morrone) who takes a job working as an assistant to a novelist with a wild reputation (Dafoe).

Dafoe and Pascal are filming the film noir thriller “Tropico,” Dafoe’s fifth project to be directed by his wife, Giada Colagrande.

The ceremony came one month after the Dec. 8 release of Dafoe’s latest film, the epic period science fantasy black comedy adventure film “Poor Things,” which on Sunday received the Golden Globe Award for best motion picture — musical or comedy.

The film’s distributor, Searchlight Pictures, funded the ceremony, Ana Martinez, the producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, told City News Service.

The star is the 2,768th since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the initial 1,558 stars.

Born William James Dafoe on July 22, 1955, in Appleton, Wisconsin, Dafoe acquired the nickname Willem, the Dutch version of the name William, while attending Appleton East High School, which he later took as his stage name because he had become more used to it than his birth name.

Dafoe studied drama at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, but left after 18 months to join the experimental theater company Theatre X in Milwaukee, before moving to New York City in 1976.

Dafoe was among the seven founders of The Wooster Group in 1980, the New York-based experimental theatre collective which remains in existence.

Dafoe made his film debut in the 1980 Western epic “Heaven’s Gate,” best remembered for its cost overruns and heavy financial losses.

Dafoe received best supporting actor Oscar nominations for “Platoon” in 1987, for “Shadow of the Vampire” in 2001 and “The Florida Project” in 2018. He received a best actor Oscar nomination in 2019 for his portrayal of Vincent Van Gogh in the biographical drama about the final years of painter’s life, “At Eternity’s Gate.”

Dafoe portrayed scientist Norman Osborn and the supervillain Green Goblin in “Spider-Man,” “Spider-Man 2,” “Spider-Man 3” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home .”

Dafoe’s other film credits include “The Lighthouse,” “John Wick,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Boondock Saints,” “Togo,” “The Legend of Ochi,” and “Pet Shop Days.” He will appear in “Beetlejuice 2” and “Nosferatu” set for release this year.

Dafoe and his wife also worked on the 2005 romantic drama “Before It Had A Name” they co-wrote and co-starred in, the 2010 film noir “A Woman,” the 2016 mystery “Padre,” and the 2012 documentary on the creation of the experimental opera based on the biography of the Serbian performance artist, “Bob Wilson’s Life & Death of Marina Abramovic.”

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