Why was Billy Zane Famous?
Billy Zane first hit our screens as the be-quiffed, non-speaking teenager Match in 80s cult movie Back to the Future and whose main job was to stand behind bully Biff Tannen looking menacing (or as menacing as it is possible to be with those sultry dark eyes).
Zane had in fact auditioned for the role of Biff himself, only to lose out to Thomas F. Wilson whose team of teenage henchmen was entirely cast from actors who failed to win the chance to play Biff.
Four years later, he filled the role again for the much acclaimed sequel (not surprisingly named Back to the Future Part II). A native of Chicago, Illinois, and of Greek heritage, the late 80s and early 90s were a successful time in Zane’s life with the actor also appearing in Critters and Dead Calm where he began to carve out a niche as something of a ‘baddie’.
It was Zane’s evil-looking brooding that eventually saw him cast as the eyebrow raising millionaire villain in what was undoubtedly the soppiest film of all time, Titanic … although it could well be argued that Celine Dion was the real villain of the film.
Nevertheless, Zane earned an MTV Movie Award nomination for ‘Best Villain’ with Dion nowhere to be seen.
Unfortunately for Big Billy, Titanic proved to be the zenith (or perhaps ‘zaneith’) of his career, which then diversified into playing other naughty people, including neo-Nazis and lawyers.
He is now best known as one of the many men who go to go out with Kelly Brook.
Where is Billy Zane now?
Nowadays, Zane seems to be most regularly seen looking smug in pictures with his jaw-droppingly attractive fiancé and mother to his two daughters, the smoky-eyed model Candice Neil. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t?
In 2013, after spending the best part of a decade appearing in an almost endless litany of mostly awful films, Zane announced that he was going to be spending more time in the land of his ancestors – Greece.
Instead of dusting off his acting boots to grapple with the role of Zeus, Archimedes or Nikos Dabizas, Zane stated that he was in fact going to enter the olive oil business, following Leonardo Di Caprio’s successful move into chicken farming.
Showing his good side (the project will be slightly philanthropic, donating a certain amount of profits to Greek charities), Zane is to import Greek olive oil (Iliadi olive oil, to be precise) from the town of Mani to the United States as well as potentially Brazil and China. He will act in partnership with Agrovim: the largest producer and exporter of Greek olive oil.
In an interview with Greek Reporter, Zane said that he was intending to challenge Italian olive oil giant Coppola, engaging in what you might call a ‘titanic’ struggle. It is unclear at this point what role Zane plays in this metaphor but it is hoped he will be cast as the iceberg upon which HMS Coppola will flounder.
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You might also be interested in other’s in our “What Ever Happened To” series, like “What Ever Happened To Alyssa Milano“.