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Exclusive Portrait, Audio: Kevin Spacey, Recipient of Gene Siskel Center Renaissance Award

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CHICAGO – There is no better “renaissance man” as an actor and performer than Oscar Winner Kevin Spacey. He was the recipient the Gene Siskel Center “Renaissance Award” on May 13th, 2017. As a triple threat performer – actor, impressionist and singer – he has been an exceptional representative both in his many roles and as an advocate for actors everywhere.

Each year, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago celebrates the art of film by honoring a filmmaker who advances that art form. Kevin Spacey joined past Renaissance Award honorees, including some of the most respected actors and directors working in the film industry today, such as William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman, Michael Mann, Nicole Kidman, George Lucas, Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson.

Kevin Spacey, Recipient of the Gene Siskel Center Renaissance Award
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

The Renaissance Award recipient was born Kevin Spacey Fowler in New Jersey, and moved to Southern California as a child. He began his journey at Chatsworth High School, where he co-starred with fellow student Mare Winningham in “The Sound of Music.” He moved to New York City to attend the Julliard School, and performed as a stand-up comic and impressionist while studying acting. He began his professional career on the stage, breaking out in 1986 when performed alongside Jack Lemmon in a Broadway production of “Long Day’s Journey into Night.”

Spacey’s film career was launched with high-profile character roles in “Glengarry Glen Ross” (1992), “The Ref” and “Swimming with Sharks” (both 1994). He won his first Oscar as Best Supporting Actor in the classic “The Usual Suspects” (1995), portraying Verbal Kint. In 1999, Spacey won the Best Actor Oscar for “American Beauty,” and followed that up with notable roles in “Pay It Forward” (2000), “K-Pax” (2001), “Beyond the Sea” (2004) and “Superman Returns” (2006). Recently, he has caused a sensation as Frank Underwood in the Netflix series “House of Cards,” and was memorable as the title character in the comedy “Horrible Bosses” (2011). His stage work continued through it all, and in 2013 he became artistic director of the “Old Vic,” one of Britain’s oldest theater companies, moving to London to facilitate the programming.

Photographer Joe Arce and Editorial Coordinator Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com were on the Red Carpet at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago, where Kevin Spacey walked with actor Jeremy Piven, the evening’s moderator for the Gene Siskel Center Renaissance Award event. Besides the Exclusive Portrait by Joe Arce, click on the soundbar below to hear Kevin Spacey answer a couple questions from Patrick McDonald – which includes one of his impeccable impressions.

The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute is located at 164 North State Street in Chicago. For programming and more information, click here.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Writer, Editorial Coordinator

© 2017 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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