Gene Simmons is best known as the co-founder and arguable leader of the rock band Kiss (he's the one who wears the "demon" makeup and spits blood on-stage, among other antics). After the band became popular in the late '70s, Simmons embarked upon a relatively short-lived acting career that began with the made-for-TV movie Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978). He made his solo acting debut as a villain in Never Too Young to Die (1986). He went on to play villains in more films until his acting began interfering with his music. Simmons was born Chaim Witz in Israel but was raised in the U.S. After graduating from college, he spent a few months teaching sixth grade, but then left to become a musician.