From his latest role as flamboyantly dressed horse trainer Lucien Lauren in Secretariat to his big screen debut as a blind man in Places in the Heart, John Malkovich has had quite an interesting, varied career. Here's a look at 20 of his very best...
Places in the Heart (1984)
Already an accomplished stage actor at 31, Malkovich's first foray into film was playing a blind lodger, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor...
The Killing Fields (1984)
It was a small part in a big film, but Malkovich's role as photojournalist Al Rockoff - covering the Khmer Rouge's takeover of Cambodia in the 1970s - is a critical piece of the main plot. That story details the friendship between Cambodian Dith Pran and American Sydney Schanberg. Malkovich wasn't nominated, but the film itself received 7 Academy Award nominations, and won 3.
Making Mr. Right (1987)
A man of many genres, guises and hairpieces, Malkovich took a turn for the quirky and unconventional in this sci-fi comedy about a scientist who creates an android that looks just like him, and falls for an earth woman named Frankie (Ann Magnuson). Malkovich gets to stretch his comedic chops in the roles of both the doctor, Jeff Peters, and his creation, Ulysses.
Empire of the Sun (1987)
Malkovich takes on another strong supporting role as Basie, a friend and mentor to Christian Bale's stranded youth, Jamie Graham, in WWII-era Japan. Amidst some extraordinary filmmaking a la Steven Spielberg, Malkovich settles into the scenery and gives the kid his nickname "Jim."
Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
Nominated for Best Picture that year is this adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' classic 18th century tale of seduction, betrayal and revenge with Malkovich playing the cunning Vicomte de Valmont against Glenn Close's scheming Marquise de Merteuil.
The Sheltering Sky (1990)
Bernardo Bertolucci. Debra Winger. John Malkovich. Hopefully, that's enough to entice you to this marital drama set in the African desert. Critics were divided about the film, but no one seemed mixed on another strong turn from the actor, here cast as a husband in deep flux.
Of Mice and Men (1992)
"Tell me about the rabbits, George." Malkovich plays a convincing, disabled Lennie to Gary Sinise's George in this filmed version of John Steinbecks's classic novel of the same name.
In the Line of Fire (1993)
The second Oscar nomination for Malkovich was for Best Supporting Actor playing a former CIA assassin who is set on killing the president...unless secret service agent Clint Eastwood can stop him.
Mary Reilly (1996)
Taking on double duty, Malkovich plays both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in this take on the classic story told from his housekeeper's point of view, played by Julia Roberts.
Con Air (1997)
Donning an orange jump suit and a menacing stare, Malkovich embodied the role of an evil criminal named Cyrus 'The Virus' Grissom in this Jerry Bruckheimer action ensemble about a group of criminals who hijack a prisoner transport plane.
From crazed criminal to crazed Russian mobster, Malkovich is equally adept at bringing the menace. Here, his Teddy KGB runs an underground poker room that ensnares young upstarts Matt Damon and Edward Norton.
Being John Malkovich (1999)
Perhaps one of his best known roles is playing himself -- or at least a version of himself in this odd, unique tale of a puppeteer who discovers a portal that leads into the head and body of John Malkovich. Confusing? Sure. Entertaining? Most definitely.
Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
Willem Dafoe, as Count Orlock, is a sight to behold in this crazy flick about a crew filming a special version of Dracula. Just as good, if not quite as kooky, is Malkovich as director F.W. Murnau, who gets what he bargained for and more in the making of Nosferatu.
Color Me Kubrick (2005)
We're not sure who exactly would mistake John Malkovich's Alan Conway for legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, but any chance to watch Malkovich chew the scenery works for us. The film doesn't quite live up to the actor's performance, but that performance is worth the admission.
The actor/artist here gets a chance to play the real artist Gustav Klimt, adding his unique verve to the role of a man whose erotic art caused quite a stir at the turn of the 20th century.
The Great Buck Howard (2008)
Produced by Tom Hanks and co-starring his son Colin, The Great Buck Howard finds the awesome John Malkovich at the peak of his powers as a down-on-his-luck magician and cult figure...who's about to pull off a nifty trick.
Re-teaming with Eastwood once again, this time with Clint behind the camera, Malkovich takes on the role of a minister who helps a mother who has lost her son and is very critical of a 1920's corrupt L.A. police department.
Burn After Reading (2008)
This dark comedy from the Coen Brothers has Malkovich as a recently fired CIA agent who gets tangled up in a bizarre blackmail scheme hatched by a couple of low level fitness center employees.
In the action/comedy Red, Malkovich plays a former CIA agent who has been put out to pasture until Bruce Willis comes calling with plans of getting the old gang of agents back together for one last explosive job.
Which John Malkovich movies are your favorites? Leave a comment and let us know!