Kevin Spacey is often spoken of today as his character Frank Underwood in the TV show House of Cards, but the actor has a long history of dodgy characters and remarkable acting. He wears many hats in real life too, as an actor, film director, writer, producer, and comedian. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Kevin Spacey:
1. As a kid, Kevin was a bit of a troublemaker. After he burned his sister’s tree house down, his parents sent him to Northridge Military Academy to straighten up. He was later expelled for hitting a classmate with a tire, and ended up graduating as a co-valedictorian from Chatsworth High School, in California, in 1977.
2. Spacey is actually his middle name; his full name is Kevin Spacey Fowler.
3. The first performance Kevin ever played in was The Sound of Music. He played the role of Captain Von Trapp in his senior year of high school.
4. He first earned international fame in the 90’s with his memorable lead performances in The Usual Suspects and Se7en.
5. Kevin has never been married and has no children.
6. In 2006, Kevin confessed that he’d really like to become a British citizen. Just four years later, Prince Charles named him an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his acting work.
7. He has been good friends with Bill Clinton since before Clinton’s presidency. Kevin describes Clinton as “one of the shining lights” of the political process. He even made a cameo appearance in the satire film President Clinton: Final Days.
8. In 2010, Kevin set up the Kevin Spacey Foundation in the UK. It came to the US in 2013. The foundation’s goal is to help budding actors succeed through scholarships, workshops and education.
9. Kevin’s brother Randy lives in Idaho and makes a living off being a Rod Steward impersonator.
10. Kevin was in the legendary selfie at the 2014 Academy Awards.
11. Kevin has always admired Woody Allen. After House of Cards was released, he sent Woody a note and a gift subscription to Netflix, telling him to check out his work. Woody Allen wrote back and said he’d absolutely consider Kevin to play a role in one of his films.
12. As of 2015, Kevin has acted in 55 films, 14 TV shows, and two video games. His latest role is Richard Nixon in Elvis & Nixon, due out next year.