Christian Michael Leonard Slater born August 18, 1969 is an American actor and voice over artist. He made his film debut with a small role in The Postman Always Rings Twice before playing a leading role in the 1985 film The Legend of Billie Jean. He then played a monk's apprentice alongside Sean Connery in The Name of the Rose before gaining much recognition for his role in the cult film Heathers which is considered his breakthrough.
In the 1990s Slater featured in many big budget films including Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Broken Arrow and Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles. Since 2000 Slater has combined work in the film business with television, including appearances in The West Wing and Alias.
Slater was married to Ryan Haddon in 2000 before separating in 2005, they had two children together. Slater has also had widely publicised brushes with the law, including being sentenced to three months in jail for assault in 1997.
* 1 Early life
* 2 Early career
* 3 Box office success
* 4 Since 2000
* 5 Personal life
o 5.1 Charity work
* 6 Awards
* 7 Filmography
o 7.1 Television
* 8 References
* 9 External links
Slater was born in New York City. The son of Mary Jo Slater (née Lawton), an acting agent turned casting executive and producer, and Michael Hawkins (né Thomas Knight Slater), an actor who is also known as Michael Gainsborough. Slater has a maternal half-brother, Ryan Slater, who is also an actor. Slater attended the Dalton School, the Professional Children's School and the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.
Following a run on the ABC soap opera Ryan's Hope, Slater made his Broadway debut as the lisping Winthrop Paroo opposite Dick Van Dyke in the 1980 revival of The Music Man.Additional Broadway credits include Copperfield, Merlin, Macbeth, Side Man, and The Glass Menagerie. In addition he has performed in London's West End in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Swimming With Sharks.
Slater made his big screen debut in 1985's The Legend of Billie Jean playing Billie Jean’s brother Binx. His first significant role came in The Name of the Rose in 1986 alongside Sean Connery. Slater played Connery's apprentice monk while they investigated a series of murders at a Benedictine abbey. Slater followed this by playing Junior Tucker in Francis Ford Coppola's Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), Gleaming the Cube (1989) and Beyond the Stars (1989).
Slaters career improved when he played the dark character J.D. in the 1989 film Heathers alongside Winona Ryder. Heathers was billed as the teen film of the late '80s, and Slater's performance drew comparison with a young Jack Nicholson. After Heathers, Slater had offers to play more troubled youths, including as a rebellious teen in Pump Up the Volume (1990) and a wild gunman in Young Guns II (1990), in which Slater acted alongside Emilio Estevez and Kiefer Sutherland.
Box office success
In 1991 Slater was cast as Will Scarlett in the Hollywood big budget remake of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves alongside Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman and Alan Rickman. The film was a commercial success, taking US$390 million worldwide. With Slater being a big Star Trek fan, he accepted a minor role in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, shortly after playing Charlie Luciano in the crime drama Mobsters.
In 1993, Slater tried to expand his film genre, playing opposite Marisa Tomei in Untamed Heart and playing Clarence Worley in True Romance, which was written by Quentin Tarantino. In review of True Romance Roger Ebert awarded the movie 3 stars out of 5 and commented, 'the energy and style of the movie are exhilarating. Christian Slater has the kind of cocky recklessness the movie needs.'
The part as the interviewer in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) came about after his friend River Phoenix, who originally had the role, died. Slater subsequently donated his earnings from the film to Phoenix's favorite charities. Slater played Riley Hale in the big budget John Woo film Broken Arrow (1996), which also starred John Travolta, before appearing in the big budget flop Hard Rain.
Since 2000 Slater has mixed TV work with film, appearing in the successful The West Wing and Alias TV productions, but also being part of Hollywood films including Bobby and 3000 Miles to Graceland. He has also worked as a voice over artist in productions, including the character of 'Pips' in the successful Australian animated film FernGully: The Last Rainforest, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and TV documentaries including Prehistoric Planet and Dinosaur Planet. Slater also voiced the character John Watson a.k.a. "Wonko the Sane" in BBC Radio 4's production of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Slater has signed on to join The Forgotten, ABC's new crime drama from producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The show premiered on Tuesday, September 22 (leading out of the Dancing with the Stars results show). The Forgotten revolves around the Forgotten Network, a team of amateur sleuths who work on cases involving unidentified victims.
He is set to star in the action films Soldiers of Fortune, with Sean Bean, and The River Sorrow, with Ray Liotta. Both films co-star Slater with Ving Rhames.