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Summary Article: Dafoe, Willem
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US actor. He is known for his characterizations of disturbed, tightly sprung eccentrics, but has acted in a wide range of roles, from the title role in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) to the evil Green Goblin in the Spider-Man films (2002, 2004, 2007). He has also frequently appeared in war films, such as Platoon (1986), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Clear and Present Danger (1994), and The English Patient (1996).

His breakthrough role was in Oliver Stone's Vietnam War film Platoon. Other roles include an idealistic FBI agent in the racial conflict drama Mississippi Burning (1988), a psychopathic ex-marine in David Lynch's Wild at Heart (1990), the poet T S Eliot in Tom & Viv (1994), a villainous gas station attendant in eXistenZ (1999), and a sinister actor in Shadow of the Vampire (2000).

He was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, one of seven children. After studying theatre at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, he worked in experimental theatre, including in the avant-garde troupe the Wooster Group. Early films include The Hunger (1983) and To Live and Die in LA (1985). Other films include the thrillers Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) and American Psycho (2000), as well as Wes Anderson's quirky comedy The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004). He had voice roles in the children's films Finding Nemo (2003) and Fantastic Mr Fox (2009).

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