|Born||John Michael Beck Taylor
February 4, 1949
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
|Years active||1971–2005, 2015|
|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); 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). He also read for, but did not get, the role of Lancelot in John Boorman's film Excalibur.
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.
Film and television
|1971||The Hard Ride||Highway Thug (uncredited)|
|1977||Ryan's Hope||Uncredited||2 episodes|
|1978||Holocaust||Hans Helm||TV miniseries (Parts 1-3)|
|1979||Mayflower: The Pilgrims' Adventure||John Alden||TV movie|
|1980||Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story||Clarence Carnes||TV movie|
|1981||Fly Away Home||Mark||TV movie|
|1982||Battletruck||Hunter||aka Warlords of the 21st Century and Destroyers|
|1983||Triumphs of a Man Called Horse||Koda|
|1984||The Last Ninja||Kenjiro Sakura||TV movie|
|1983||The Golden Seal||Crawford|
|1984||Celebrity||T.J. Luther||TV miniseries|
|1984||The Streets||Sgt. Danny Wreade||TV movie|
|1984||Rearview Mirror||Jerry Sam Hopps||TV movie|
|1985||Chiller||Miles Creighton||TV movie (aka Wes Craven's Chiller)|
|1985||Blackout||Mike Patterson||TV movie|
|1986||Gone to Texas||James Bowie||TV movie (aka Houston: The Legend of Texas)|
|1987–88||Houston Knights||Sgt. Levon Lundy||Main role (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||TV movie|
|1991||Deadly Game||Peterson||TV movie|
|1991||Stranger at My Door||Jimmy Lee Dancey||TV movie|
|1991||Final Judgement||Delaney||TV movie|
|1993||Fade to Black||Braith||TV movie|
|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||Forest Warrior||Arlen Slaighter|
|1996||Walker, Texas Ranger||Adam McGuire||Episode: "Flashpoint"|
|1997||Diagnosis: Murder||Frank Waldeck||Episode: "Deadly Games"|
|1998||Born Free||Luke||Episode: "The Reunion"|
|1998||Walker, Texas Ranger||Adam McGuire||Episode: "Second Chance"|
|1998||The Jungle Book: Search for the Lost Treasure||Prof. Gershwin Donovan|
|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"|
|2005||The Warriors||Swan (voice)||Video game|
|2015||The Grace of Jake||Henry Haynes|
|2015||The Warriors: Last Subway Ride Home||Swan||Video|
- 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.