Michael Beck

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Michael Beck
Born John Michael Beck Taylor
(1949-02-04) February 4, 1949 (age 68)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Residence California
Occupation Actor
Years active 1971–2005, 2015
Spouse(s) Cari Beck (1980–present)
Children 2

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,[1] and as Sonny Malone in Xanadu.

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

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.

Acting career[edit]

Beck is known predominantly for his roles as Swan in the action film The Warriors (1979), Sonny Malone in Xanadu (1980),[2] 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.[citation needed] 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).[citation needed] 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.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Beck lives in California with his wife Cari, a songwriter. They wed in 1980, and have two children: daughter Ashley, and son Jesse (neither of whom is in show business).[citation needed]


Film and television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1971 The Hard Ride Highway Thug (uncredited)
1977 Ryan's Hope Uncredited 2 episodes
1978 Holocaust Hans Helm TV miniseries (Parts 1-3)
1979 The Warriors Swan
1979 Mayflower: The Pilgrims' Adventure John Alden TV movie
1980 Xanadu Sonny Malone
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
1982 Megaforce Dallas
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


External links[edit]