Austin Powers (character)
|Austin Powers series character|
|First appearance||Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)|
|Last appearance||Austin Powers in Goldmember (2003)|
|Created by||Mike Myers|
Aaron Himelstein (teenager)
Tom Cruise (in film within film)
|Occupation||Spy for the Ministry of Defence|
Nigel Powers (father)|
Dr. Evil (brother)
|Spouse(s)||Vanessa Kensington (deceased)|
Mini-Me (brother's clone)|
Scott Evil (nephew)
Frau Farbissina (nephew's possible mother)
Sir Austin Danger Powers, KBE, is a fictional character from the Austin Powers series of films, and is created and portrayed by Mike Myers. He is the protagonist of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) and Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002).
He is a womanizing, hard-partying British spy embodying the Swinging London mod culture and hippie culture of the 1960s who, with his nemesis Dr. Evil, was frozen in a cryonics experiment. The series' humor follows his attempts to adjust to the modern world as he continues to try to save it from terrorism.
Austin Powers was a character seen as a parody of James Bond and being influenced by Harry Palmer and characters played by Peter Sellers. The character of Austin Powers represents an archetype of 1960s Swinging London, with his advocacy for free love, his use of obscure impressions and his clothing style (including crushed velvet suits and Beatle boots).
Myers, Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs formed the faux British 1960s band Ming Tea after Myers' Saturday Night Live stint in the early 1990s. The band members all performed under pseudonyms with 1960s personas. Myers adopted the pseudonym and character of Austin Powers. This group made a number of live club and television performances in character. Myers' then wife, Robin Ruzan, encouraged him to write a film based on Austin Powers.
Obituaries of Simon Dee (1935–2009), the radio and television presenter, stated that his "Sixties grooviness" made him the inspiration for the character. Mike Myers has claimed his father was the inspiration behind Austin Powers.
- HBO purchased the rights to produce a cartoon series based on the Austin Powers films in May 1999. Despite announcing plans for a thirteen episode season, HBO ultimately shelved the project.
- Austin Powers has been used for advertising numerous products and endorsements, such as Pepsi Cola.
- He also appears in the music videos for Madonna's "Beautiful Stranger", Beyoncé's "Work It Out" and Britney Spears' "Boys".
- The video games he appears in are Austin Powers, Austin Powers Pinball, Austin Powers: Welcome to My Underground Lair!, Austin Powers: Oh, Behave!, and Austin Powers in Operation Trivia.
- Rumors of an Austin Powers meets Borat crossover movie have abounded for years, but nothing's materialized to date.
In popular culture
In November 2010, he was voted #23 in Entertainment Weekly's list "The 100 greatest characters of the last 20 years."
- "THE MEDIA BUSINESS: ADVERTISING; Big marketers are betting on 'Austin Powers' to endear them to young people". The New York Times. 1999-06-14. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- Montalbano, Dave (December 2010). The Adventures of Cinema Dave in the Florida Motion Picture World. Xlibris Corporation. p. 185. ISBN 978-1-4500-2396-2. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- "Myers is funny, but he's no Peter Sellers". Deseret News (Salt Lake City) via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 28 November 2003. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- John Storey (2010). "Culture and Power in Cultural Studies: The Politics of Signification". p. 60. Edinburgh University Press
- Digital Hit (1997–2012). "Mike Myers". Digital Hit. Digital Hit Entertainment/ Multiplex Theatre Properties Inc. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- Cherie D. Abbey; Omnigraphics; Kevin Hillstrom (2004). Biography Today Performing Artists. Omnigraphics. p. 101. ISBN 078080709X.
- "This Sort Of Thing Is His Bag, Baby". Newsweek. May 18, 1997.
- Evans, Peter (2009-08-31). "The groovy rise and sad fall of Simon Dee, the real Austin Powers". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- "TV chat show star Simon Dee dies". BBC. 2009-08-30. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- "Dee day for the real Austin Powers". The Age. Melbourne. 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- "Austin Powers has The Force". BBC. 1999-06-14. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
- Kaplan, Don (1999-05-04). "YEAH, BABY! HBO SINKS TEETH INTO 'AUSTIN POWERS' CARTOON". The New York Post. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- Seiler, Andy (1999-06-21). "The spy who won't go away HBO will animate 'Austin Powers,' and a third movie is expected". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- Ressner, Jeffrey (1999-06-21). "Cinema: Austin's Power". Time. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
- "Freebies Power Austin's Promotional Mojo". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- "The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
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