This post was inspired by a conversation with a reader (maybe on Facebook?) about loving Billy Zane in Titanic. He’s had a few roles that real standouts to me (Dead Calm, Only You — both modern-set — as well as frock flicks Titanic and Orlando). He’s got THOSE EYELASHES. Sadly these days he seems to be mostly doing low-budget productions, although I’m glad to see he’s working. So, with a lot of B-movie stuff, here’s beautiful Billy Zane in historical flicks:
Back to the Future (1985) & Part II (1989)
As “Match,” so called because he always chewed on a match; one of villain Biff’s gang in these time travel to the 1950s classics.
Memphis Belle (1990)
As an American? lieutenant in this World War II film.
As Orlando’s love interest in the late 19th-century segment of the film.
Per IMDB: “In 1898 Cuba, five Buffalo Soldiers find a gold cache, desert and return to America where they help defend a black town from the KKK, all the while trying to avoid capture by lawmen and military authorities alike.” Zane plays a colonel, I’m guessing a baddie.
As a traveling Shakespearean actor in the Western.
The Phantom (1996)
As the title character in this 1950s?-set superhero film.
This World, Then the Fireworks (1997)
Per IMDB: “In 1950s, two incestuous lovers, a depraved suave journalist and his equally depraved prostitute sister, plan to get rich through seduction and murder. Things complicate when their feeble-minded mother begins to suspect something.” Zane is one of the incestuous lovers.
As Rose’s rich, mean fiance Cal Hockley — one of the villains in the film.
As Marc Antony, Roman general and partner to the Egyptian pharaoh.
The Diamond of Jeru (2001)
A TV movie in which Americans search for diamonds in Borneo.
Per IMDB, “Death and spiritual torment stalk three American students visiting the Carpathian mountain homeland of Vlad Tepes.”
Allegedly set in the 18th century, a vampire seeks revenge.
The Last Drop (2006)
The search for Nazi gold in World War II Holland.
The Man Who Came Back (2008)
Former slaves go on strike at a plantation. Zane plays “Ezra.”
The Hessen Conspiracy (2009)
In 1945, American officers try to fence German jewels.
A TV movie about a man (Zane) who’s life is spared because of the crucifixion of Jesus.
Hannah’s Law (2012)
A Western about a female bounty hunter seeking revenge. I’m guessing Zane plays a baddie?
The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption (2012)
The third in a series of fantasy/horror films that are spun off from The Mummy.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (2017)
A TV series about time-traveling superheroes; Zane guests in one episode as circus owner P.T. Barnum.
Holmes & Watson (2018)
Zane makes a cameo as himself when the main characters board the Titanic.
A film about the Old Testament Samson, with Zane as Philistine King Balek.
Cliffs of Freedom (2019)
A Greek village girl and a Turkish Ottoman Colonel fall in love during the Greek War for Independence (1821-29); Zane plays “Christos.”
The Great War (2019)
World War I movie.
Ghosts of War (2020)
A supernatural horror film set in France during World War II. Zane plays “Dr. Engel.”
Which is your favorite of Billy Zane’s historical roles?