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Nicolas Cage at 60: His five marriages, 2011 arrest, career comeback & more

The Hollywood star has acquired a cult following with his performances in action-packed blockbusters and Indie flicks 

Nicolas Cage wearing a red suit at The Red Sea International Film Festival 2023© Getty
Megan Bull
TV Writer
January 7, 2024
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Happy birthday Nicolas Cage! One of Hollywood's most mercurial and meme-worthy actors, the Academy Award winner has acquired a cult following, thanks to his eclectic and frankly bizarre film roles. 

Revered for his critically acclaimed performances in Leaving Las Vegas (1996), The Rock (1996) and Face/Off (1997); Nicolas has also tangoed with Hollywood heavyweights in big-budget blockbusters and direct-to-video flops. 

To mark Nicolas' 60th birthday, we're taking a look at his colourful life and career – from his five marriages and a quest to find the Holy Grail to his 2011 arrest and unprecedented career comeback...

Film dynasty family 

The son of August Coppola, an American academic, author and film executive, and Joy Vogelsang, a dancer and choreographer; Nicolas hails from one of Hollywood's most prestigious acting dynasties. 

Nicolas with his uncle Francis Ford Coppola and cousin Sofia Coppola© Getty
Nicolas with his uncle Francis Ford Coppola and cousin Sofia Coppola

On his father's side, Nicolas is the nephew of The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire. Directors Roman Coppola and Sofia Coppola, film producer Gian-Carlo Coppola, and actors Robert and Jason Schwartzman are among his cousins. 

Rise to stardom

Nicolas' acting debut came in 1981 when he was cast in a television pilot for The Best of Times. Unfortunately, the show was never picked up by ABC. His film debut followed shortly after, with the aspiring actor scoring a minor role in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). 

Nicolas Cage in The Best of Times© Getty
Nicolas in The Best of Times

By 1983, Nicolas had been cast as Randy in the American teen comedy, Valley Girl – a role which would catapult him into the spotlight. On course to become one of Hollywood's biggest and brightest stars, he followed up with appearances in Rumble Fish (1983), Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Raising Arizona (1987), Moonstruck (1987), Honeymoon in Vegas (1992) and It Could Happen to You (1994). 

Nicolas Cage and co-star Sean Connery in The Rock© Getty
Nicolas and co-star Sean Connery in The Rock

Turning his attention to action movies, by the late 90s, Nicolas was dominating the genre, with celebrated performances in The Rock (1996), Face/Off (1997) and Con Air (1997). In one of Nicolas' best-loved roles, he was cast as treasure hunter, Benjamin Franklin Gates, in Disney's National Treasure (2004). 

Earning $11 million on its opening day in the US, the film eventually grossed $347 million worldwide, making it a box office success. Signing on to the sequel, in 2007, Nicolas reprised his role as Benjamin in National Treasure: Book of Secrets

MORE: Brad Pitt at 60: his two divorces, FBI review, cognitive disorder, getting sober and new love

READ: I'm a TV & film writer – and these are my must-watch movies for 2024

Five marriages 

Nicolas has been married five times. In April 1995, the A-lister tied the knot with actress, Patricia Arquette, whom he'd met at Canter's Deli in Los Angeles in the late '80s. Nicolas was instantly smitten and asked Patricia to come up with a "quest" that he could complete so she'd marry him.

Nicolas and his first wife, actress Patricia Arquette at the Academy Awards© Getty
Nicolas and his first wife, actress Patricia Arquette

"I wrote all these things that I thought were impossible: Getting J.D. Salinger's autograph, a Hill tribe wedding costume, steal me a Bob's Big Boy statue, all of these things," Patricia recalled in a 2018 appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. To Patricia's surprise, Nicolas managed to complete the list, but she still wasn't ready to marry him. 

After dating and splitting up, Patricia called Nicolas and told him she was ready to get married in 1995, which is exactly what they did. Unfortunately, their romance was short-lived and after separating, their divorce was finalized in 2001. 

By 2002, Nicolas had found love again, this time with Elvis and Priscilla Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie. The couple had initially crossed paths at a party in 2000, with the actor describing her as the most "beautiful girl". After dating on and off, Nicolas and Lisa Marie tied the knot on August 10, 2002, opting for a private ceremony at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows resort in Hawaii. 107 days later, Nicolas filed for divorce. 

Nicolas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley at the Captain Corelli's Mandolin premiere© Getty
The A-lister married Lisa Marie Presley in 2002

During a 2003 interview with Barbara Walters, Nicolas opened up about the split. "Oftentimes when you have two people who are very strong and their own personalities, and rather intense, sometimes you can have a hard time meshing," he said. 

"It's sad, and I miss her every day and sometimes I wish we couldn't have rushed the marriage, and sometimes I regret rushing the divorce, but it just seemed like it wasn't going to change."

By 2004, Nicolas had met his third wife, Alice Kim, while she was working as a waitress at a Los Angeles restaurant. Embarking on a whirlwind romance, the couple got engaged after two months of dating and exchanged vows at a private ranch in Northern California on July 30, 2004. Their son, Kal-El, was born on October 3, 2005. 

Nicolas Cage and his third wife Alice Kim on the red carpet© Getty
Nicolas was married to Alice Kim for 12 years

However, after 12 years of marriage, Nicolas and Alice confirmed their separation in 2016. "It was a shocker for me – I definitely didn't see it coming," Nicolas admitted to The Guardian in 2018. Asked if they'd remained friends, he replied: "Oh yes, I want to. She was quite young when I married her and I don't really have any ill will towards what happened. That's all I'll say."

Nicolas' fourth wedding took place in Las Vegas in 2019. After dating makeup artist Erika Koike for a year, the pair decided to elope, but four days later, Nicolas applied for annulment. Two months later, a Nevada judge granted his request. 

Nicolas Cage and Erika Koike at the premiere of Running With The Devil© Getty
Nicolas and Erika Koike married in Las Vegas before getting an annulment

In court documents obtained by The Blast, it was stated that Nicolas "lacked understanding of his actions in marrying [Koike] to the extent that he was incapable of agreeing to the marriage."

Nicolas Cage and fifth wife Riko Shibata at the Renfield premiere© Getty
In 2021, Nicolas married Riko Shibata

As of February 16, 2021, Nicolas is married to Riko Shibata, whom he met while working on Prisoners of the Ghostland (2020) in Japan. Their wedding took place in Las Vegas and was held on February 16, 2021, to coincide with Nicolas' late father August Coppola's birthday. 

They welcomed a daughter, August Francesca, on September 7, 2022. His third child, Nicolas is already a father to his oldest son, Weston, whom he shares with his ex-girlfriend, Christina Fulton, and Kal-El, from his marriage to Alice Kim. 

Quest to find the Holy Grail

Believe it or not, Nicolas embarked on a quest to find the Holy Grail. Yes, really. 

Nicolas Cage on the red carpet© Getty
In a 2019 interview, the star revealed his obsession with the Holy Grail

Speaking to the New York Times in 2019, the actor revealed that he'd been obsessed with discovering the location of the Holy Grail – most commonly identified as the cup that Jesus drank from at the Last Supper. According to mythology, it's also said to possess miraculous healing powers. 

"I went years where all I was doing was meditating three times a day and reading books on philosophy, not drinking whatsoever," he said. "That was the time when I almost went on — you might call it a grail quest. 

"I started following mythology, and I was finding properties that aligned with that. It was almost like National Treasure. Of course, that didn't sustain."

nicolas cage© Getty
Nicolas eventually gave up on his search, which led him to Rhode Island

Asked how his quest came about, Nicolas explained: "One thing would lead to another. It's like when you build a library. You read a book, and in it, there's a reference to another book, and then you buy that book, and then you attach the references. For me, it was all about where was the Grail. Was it here? Was it there? Is it at Glastonbury? Does it exist?"

"This had put me on a search around different areas, mostly in England, but also some places in the States," he continued. While Nicolas eventually gave up on his search, it did take him to Rhode Island at one point, which inspired him to purchase a property there.   

2011 arrest

In 2011, the Face/Off star was taken into custody in New Orleans, following an altercation with his then-wife, Alice Kim. 

Nicolas Cage and Alice Kim at the National Treasure premiere© Getty
In 2011, Nicolas was taken into custody in New Orleans, following an altercation with his then-wife Alice Kim

Arrested for domestic abuse, disturbing the peace and public drunkenness, New Orleans police spokesman Gary Floyd recalled: "[They] were standing in front of a residence that he insisted was the property the couple was renting. She disagreed and Cage grabbed her by the upper arm and pulled her to what he believed was the correct address."

Explaining that Nicolas had allegedly begun striking cars, he added that the star was "heavily intoxicated" at the time of his arrest.

Nicolas Cage attends the "Dream Scenario" world premiere party hosted by Ketel One Vodka at Pink Sky during the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival© Sonia Recchia
The New Orleans District Attorney was unable to press charges

Following the incident, the New Orleans District Attorney was unable to press charges, telling TMZ: "The evidence did not support charging Cage with a crime." Shortly after his arrest, Nicolas returned to work and was spotted on the set of Medallion. He and Alice eventually divorced in 2016. 

Career comeback

While Nicolas has garnered widespread critical acclaim throughout his decade-spanning career, the actor has also appeared in a string of poorly-received films. Among them, Trespass (2011), Rage (2014), Arsenal (2017), and 211 (2018) were slated. Described as having entered a "career slump," Nicolas was quick to change the narrative and in 2018, the 'Cage-aissance' began.

Nicolas Cage and his co-stat Pedro Pascal at the premiere of The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent© Getty
Nicolas and co-star Pedro Pascal at the premiere of The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent

Impressing critics with his performance in the 2018 action horror, Mandy, Nicolas continued to receive further praise for Pig (2021), The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022), and most recently Dream Scenario (2023). 

In a recent interview with Uproxx, Nicolas revealed that he's thinking about retiring from acting soon. "I think I have to do maybe three or four more movies before I can get there," he said. 

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