The son of a preacher, musician Vincent Furnier spent most of his formative years in Phoenix, AZ. It was here that Furrier formed his first rock band, the Earwigs, in 1965. He later changed the group's name to the Spiders and later the Nazz, enjoying only moderate success each time. Then, in 1968, or so the story goes, Furrier was playing with a ouija board when he suddenly "channelled" the spirit of a 16th century woman by the name of "Alice Cooper." Adopting thick, androgynous facial makeup, Furnier and a handful of like-minded musicians -- guitarists Mike Bruce and Glenn Buxton, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith -- metamorphosed into the hard rock band Alice Cooper, with Furnier himself adopting the on-stage persona of "Alice." The granddaddies of shock rock, Alice Cooper put on the most outrageous show in the business, replete with live boa constrictors, guillotines, mutilated dummies, and gallons of stage blood. Given that the 1970s was the Decade of Pointless Excess, it was only natural that Alice himself would be courted by the glitterati and cognoscenti (though it helped that he made some great records along the way).
Cooper made his film debut in Diary of a Mad Housewife in 1970. He went on to appear as "himself" in Roadie (1980) and The Decline of Western Civilization Pt. Two: The Metal Years (1988), and to portray a "street schizo" in Prince of Darkness (1988). Outside of his own hour-long music video Welcome to My Nightmare, Alice Cooper's most memorable screen appearance was in the 1992 comedy Wayne's World; after accepting the genuflections of party dudes Wayne and Garth ("We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"), Cooper then launches into a solemn, thoroughly knowledgeable discourse on the history of socialism in Milwaukee. The rocker would also make occasional appearances on film in projects like Suck. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi