John Michael Beck Taylor
February 4, 1949
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
|Years active||1971–2005, 2015|
Cari Brendel (m. 1980)
John Michael Beck Taylor (born February 4, 1949), commonly known as Michael Beck, is an American actor. He is known for his roles as Swan in The Warriors (1979), Sonny Malone in Xanadu (1980), and Levon Lundy in Houston Knights (1987–1988).
Beck was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the third of nine children, and grew up in the small resort town of Horseshoe Lake, Arkansas. He attended Memphis University School and then Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi on a football scholarship. While in college he was initiated into Kappa Alpha Order fraternity. After graduating with a degree in economics, he was one of 30 (out of 2,500) applicants chosen for London's Central School of Speech and Drama. Beck's stage credits, beginning with college, include: Camelot (he was King Arthur); Of Mice and Men (he was George Milton); Romeo and Juliet (he was Tybalt); and Cat On a Hot Tin Roof.
Beck is known predominantly for his roles as Swan in the action film The Warriors (1979), Sonny Malone in Xanadu (1980), Lieutenant Commander Dallas in Megaforce (1982), and Koda in Triumphs of a Man Called Horse (1983). Both the Xanadu and Megaforce roles garnered him Razzie nominations, for Worst Actor and Worst Supporting Actor, respectively. Beck has appeared in other movies such as Warlords of the 21st Century (1982), Wes Craven's Chiller (1985), Gone to Texas (1986) as James Bowie, and Forest Warrior (1996).
Beck appeared as Hans Helms in the 1978 TV miniseries Holocaust, and starred with Michael Paré in the CBS police drama Houston Knights (1987–1988). More recently, he appeared in television shows such as JAG, Walker, Texas Ranger, In the Heat of the Night, as the Mars-born terrorist-turned-cyborg assassin Abel Horn in Babylon 5 (episode "Spider in the Web"), and as Mr. Jones in the spin-off series Crusade.
Beck has narrated numerous audiobooks of John Grisham's novels. He has also narrated Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz; A Darkness More Than Light by Michael Connelly; State of the Union by David Callahan; and the unabridged version of Bill Clinton's My Life. He also reprised his role as Swan in 2005, lending his voice to the popular video game adaptation of The Warriors.
Beck married songwriter Carolyn "Cari" Louise Brendel in September 1980. They have two children, a son, Jesse (b. 1983), and a daughter, Ashley (b. 1986).
He is a Christian.
|1971||The Hard Ride||Highway Thug||Uncredited|
|1982||Battletruck||Hunter||aka Warlords of the 21st Century and Destroyers|
|1983||Triumphs of a Man Called Horse||Koda|
|1983||The Golden Seal||Crawford|
|1996||Forest Warrior||Arlen Slaighter|
|1998||The Jungle Book: Search for the Lost Treasure||Prof. Gershwin Donovan|
|2015||The Grace of Jake||Henry Haynes|
|2015||The Warriors: Last Subway Ride Home||Swan||Video|
|1977||Ryan's Hope||2 episodes|
|1978||Holocaust||Hans Helm||3 episodes|
|1979||Mayflower: The Pilgrims' Adventure||John Alden||Television film|
|1980||Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story||Clarence Carnes||Television film|
|1981||Fly Away Home||Mark||Television film|
|1983||The Last Ninja||Kenjiro Sakura||Television film|
|1984||Celebrity||T.J. Luther||3 episodes|
|1984||The Streets||Sgt. Danny Wreade||Television film|
|1984||Rearview Mirror||Jerry Sam Hopps||Television film|
|1985||Wes Craven's Chiller||Miles Creighton||Television film|
|1985||Blackout||Mike Patterson||Television film|
|1986||Gone to Texas||James Bowie||Television film|
|1987–1988||Houston Knights||Sgt. Levon Lundy||30 episodes|
|1989||Murder, She Wrote||Danny Schubert||Episode: "The Search for Peter Kerry"|
|1990||Murder, She Wrote||Justin Fields||Episode: "Trials and Tribulations"|
|1990||Only One Survived||Paul Haskel||Television film|
|1991||Deadly Game||Peterson||Television film|
|1991||Stranger at My Door||Jimmy Lee Dancey||Television film|
|1991||Final Judgement||Delaney||Television film|
|1993||Fade to Black||Braith||Television film|
|1993||In the Heat of the Night||Sonny Roper||Episode: "A Deadly Affection"|
|1993||Murder, She Wrote||Brian Bentall||Episode: "The Big Kill"|
|1994||Robin's Hoods||Det. Stephen DeCosta||3 episodes|
|1994||Babylon 5||Abel Horn||Episode: "Spider in the Web"|
|1995||McKenna||Jon Doe / Alex||Episode: "Racing in the Streets"|
|1996−1998||Walker, Texas Ranger||Adam McGuire||2 episodes|
|1997||Diagnosis: Murder||Frank Waldeck||Episode: "Deadly Games"|
|1998||Born Free||Luke||Episode: "The Reunion"|
|1999||Crusade||Mr. Jones||Episode: "The Well of Forever"|
|2001||Nash Bridges||Adult Bobby Bridges||Episode: "Quack Fever"|
|2004||JAG||Senator Carter Innes||Episode: "Whole New Ball Game"|
- Weiss, Arlene R. (May 11, 2015). "Michael Beck Reflects on "The Warriors," "Xanadu" and the Premiere of His New Film "The Grace of Jake."". PopEntertainment.com. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- Connor, Jackson (September 8, 2015). "Remember the Warriors: Behind the Chaotic, Drug-Fueled, and Often Terrifying Making of a Cult Classic". The Village Voice. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- Maslin, Janet (February 10, 1979). "Movie: 'Warriors' Creates Visual Style That Is Stark:The Cast". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- Maslin, Janet (August 9, 1980). "MISS NEWTON-JOHN IN 'XANADU'". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- Maslin, Janet (June 27, 1982). "'MEGAFORCE' IS A MIX OF JOVIALITY AND STUNTS". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- Tenreyro, Tatiana (February 8, 2019). "13 Razzie-Nominated Movies That Are Way Better Than You Remember". Bustle. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- Bobbin, Jay; Lawler, Sylvia (August 16, 1987). "HOUSTON KNIGHTS' TRIES AGAIN AT 8 P.M. TUESDAYS". The Morning Call. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- Rubins, Jennifer (October 18, 2018). "Narrator Q&A: Longtime Grisham narrator Michael Beck returns in THE RECKONING". Books on Tape. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- Bauers, Sandy (June 3, 1999). "AUTHOR EXPLORES MANY DIFFERENT SHADES OF GRAY". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- Kingston, Peter (March 2, 2001). "A Darkness More than Night by Michael Connelly, read by Michael Beck". The Guardian. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- "ATOP THE STAIRMASTERSTATE OF THE UNIONBy David..." Chicago Tribune. August 24, 1997. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- Newman, Andrew Adam (June 6, 2005). "The Winner Is Bill Clinton, in His Own Voice (Abridged)". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- Schiesel, Seth (October 16, 2005). "Gangs of New York". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2014.