|Born||John Michael Beck Taylor
February 4, 1949
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Cari Beck (1980-present)|
John Michael Beck Taylor (born February 4, 1949), commonly known as Michael Beck, is an American actor, perhaps best known for his role as Swan in the 1979 film, The Warriors, and as Sonny Malone in Xanadu.
Life and career
Beck was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the third of nine children. 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) 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 The 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 also appeared in other movies such as Warlords of the 21st Century (1982), Wes Craven's Chiller (1985), Gone to Texas (1986, as Jim Bowie) and Forest Warrior (1996).
Beck appeared as Hans Helms in the 1978 TV miniseries Holocaust, and starred in a short-lived television series, Houston Knights (1987). More recently, he appeared in such television shows 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 spinoff 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.
- Maslin, Janet (February 10, 1979). "The Warriors (1979) Movie: 'Warriors' Creates Visual Style That Is Stark:The Cast". The New York Times.
- Maslin, Janet (August 9, 1980). "Xanadu (1980) MISS NEWTON-JOHN IN 'XANADU'". The New York Times.
- Schiesel, Seth (October 16, 2005). "Gangs of New York". The New York Times.