Michael Rooker

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Michael Rooker
Michael Rooker Makeup and Hairstyling Symposium - Feb 2015 (cropped).jpg
Rooker in February 2015
Born (1955-04-06) April 6, 1955 (age 63)
Jasper, Alabama, U.S.
ResidenceCalifornia
OccupationActor
Years active1986–present
Spouse(s)
Margot Rooker (m. 1979)
Children2

Michael Rooker (born April 6, 1955)[1] is an American actor, best known for his breakout role as Henry in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), as well as his roles as Terry Cruger in Sea of Love (1989), Rowdy Burns in Days of Thunder (1990), Bill Broussard in JFK (1991), Hal Tucker in Cliffhanger (1993), Jared Svenning in Mallrats (1995), Merle Dixon in The Walking Dead (2010–2013), and Yondu Udonta in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and its sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017).

Early life[edit]

Michael Rooker was born in Jasper, Alabama. He has nine brothers and sisters. His parents divorced when he was 13 years old, and he moved with his mother and siblings to Chicago, Illinois, where he attended Wells Community Academy High School and studied at the Goodman School of Drama.[2][3][4]

Career[edit]

Rooker made his film debut in 1986, playing the title role in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, a film based on the confessions of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas.[5] He was acting in a play when the play's director, who was going to do the prosthetics for Henry, told him about the film. Rooker did not care if the script was good or bad, he just wanted to act in a film as it would "challenge" him.[6] Henry was a critical success and got Rooker noticed in the filmmaking industry, which led to his receiving more film roles.

Rooker was given more dramatic roles in films such as Eight Men Out, Mississippi Burning, and JFK, but he became widely known for his roles in action and thriller films such as Sea of Love, Days of Thunder, Cliffhanger,[7] and Tombstone.[8] He also starred in Mallrats, Rosewood, The 6th Day, Slither, Jumper, Super[9] and Hypothermia.[10][11]

In June 2010, he revealed via Twitter that he was to appear in the AMC television series The Walking Dead as Merle Dixon, one of the survivors of a zombie apocalypse. He guest starred in two episodes of the first season and one of the second season before finally becoming a series regular for the third season.[12][13]

Rooker is also known for his roles in video games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops (where he played himself), Mike Harper in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 in November 2012, and voiced Merle in The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, the video game based on the television series.

Rooker played Yondu in the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy, which was directed by James Gunn.[14] He reprised his role as Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017).[15]

Personal life[edit]

Rooker lives in California, and is married to Margot Rooker. They were married on June 22, 1979 and have two daughters. Rooker holds a black belt in Kyokushin style of karate.[1]

Filmography[edit]

Rooker at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con International, in character as Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1986 Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Henry Fantasporto Award for Best Actor
Golden Space Needle Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
1987 Light of Day Oogie
Rent-A-Cop Joe
1988 Above the Law Man in bar
Eight Men Out Arnold "Chick" Gandil
Mississippi Burning Frank Bailey
1989 Sea of Love Terry Cruger
Music Box Karchy Laszlo
1990 Days of Thunder Rowdy Burns
1991 JFK Bill Broussard
1993 The Dark Half Sheriff Alan Pangborn
Cliffhanger Ranger Hal Tucker
Tombstone Sherman McMasters
1994 Suspicious Attendant Short film
The Hard Truth Jonah Mantz
1995 Mallrats Jared Svenning
1996 Bastard Out of Carolina Uncle Earle
The Trigger Effect Gary
Back to Back Bob Malone
1997 Song of Hiawatha Bertrand
Rosewood Sheriff Walker
Keys to Tulsa Keith Michaels
Deceiver Kennesaw
Shadow Builder Father Vassey
1998 The Replacement Killers Stan "Zeedo" Zedkov
Brown's Requiem Fritz Brown Also associate producer
Renegade Force Matt Cooper
1999 A Table for One Matt Draper / Dr. Matthew Swan Also co-executive producer
The Bone Collector Captain Howard Cheney
2000 Table One Rowdy
Here on Earth Malcolm Arnold
NewsBreak John McNamara
The 6th Day Robert Marshall
2001 Replicant Det. Jake Riley
2002 Undisputed AJ Mercker
2003 The Box Det. Stafford
2004 The Eliminator Miles Dawson
2005 Chasing Ghosts Mark Spencer
2006 Repo! The Genetic Opera Repo Man Short film[16]
Lenexa, 1 Mile Russ
Slither Grant Grant
2007 Whisper Sidney
2008 The Lena Baker Story Randolph County Sheriff
Jumper William Rice
This Man's Life Richard Crummly Short film
2009 Super Capers Judge / Dark Winged Vesper
Penance Mann
The Marine 2 Church Direct-to-DVD
2010 Scott's Dead Mitch Short film
Freeway Killer Detective St. John
Blood Done Sign My Name Defense Attorney Billy Watkins
Cell 213 Ray Clement
DC Showcase: Jonah Hex Red Doc (voice) Short film
Louis Pat McMurphy
Super Abe
2011 Atlantis Down Father / Alien
Mysteria Captain McCarthy
Elwood Condello Short film
2012 The Lost Episode Chris / Dr. Death Director
Hypothermia Ray Pelletier
2013 Brother's Keeper Chief Carver
2014 Guardians of the Galaxy Yondu Udonta
2016 The Belko Experiment Bud Melks
2017 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Yondu Udonta Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Source
1986 Crime Story Lieutenant Episode: "Pilot"
1988 The Equalizer Bill Whitaker Episode: "No Place Like Home"
1989 Gideon Oliver Det. John Quinn Episode: "Sleep Well, Professor Oliver"
The Edge Deputy Sheriff Television film
L.A. Takedown Bosko Television film
1990 Equal Justice Wallace 'Wally' Dalton Episode: "Sugar Blues"
1992 Afterburn Casey "Z" Zankowski Television film
1995 Fallen Angels Babe McCloor Episode: "Fly Paper"
Johnny & Clyde Frank Tennant Television film
2001 The Outer Limits Col. Beckett Episode: "Patient Zero"
Hostage Rescue Team Special Agent Nicholas Roberts Pilot
2002 Jeremiah Major Quantrell Episode: "Firewall"
2003 Tremors Kinney Episode: "Hit and Run"
Lucky Gibby Episode: "Savant"
Stargate SG-1 Col. Edwards Episode: "Enemy Mine"
CSI: Miami Marty Jones Episode: "Dead Zone"
On Thin Ice Hopkins Television film
Saving Jessica Lynch Col. Curry Television film
2004 Skeleton Man Capt. Leary Television film
Las Vegas Marcus Wexler Episode: "Degas Away with It"
2005 Numb3rs Don's partner Unaired pilot
JAG Capt. Jack Ramsey Episode: "Heart of Darkness"
2005–2007 Kings and Pharaohs King Agamemnon Main cast
BBC One original program
2006 Thief Det. John Hayes 5 episodes
2007 Crossing Jordan Shawn Curaco Episode: "D.O.A."
2008 Law & Order Jamie Yost Episode: "Executioner"
Shark Oscar Riddick Episode: "Bar Fight"
Chuck Frank Mauser Episode: "Chuck Versus Santa Claus"
Humanzee! Priest Episode: "Pilot"
2009 Meteor Calvin Stark 2 episodes
Criminal Minds Chief Carlson Episode: "House on Fire"
Psych Garth Longmore Episode: "Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark"
2010 Burn Notice Dale Lawson Episode: "Guilty as Charged"
Matadors John Canterna Pilot
2010–2013 The Walking Dead Merle Dixon 14 episodes
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series (2012)
2012 Outlaw Country Larkin's Henchman Television film
Archer Sheriff E.Z. Ponder (voice) Episode: "Bloody Ferlin"
2016 Unlocked: The World of Games, Revealed Himself Documentary [17][18][19]
2017 SEAL Team Big Chief Episode: "Tip of the Spear"
Robot Chicken Merle Dixon (voice) Episode: "The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who’s Walking"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2004 The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay Centurion, Jack
2006 Scarface: The World Is Yours Additional Voices
2011 Call of Duty: Black Ops Himself Appears in Call of the Dead
Days of Thunder Rowdy Burns
2012 Lollipop Chainsaw Vikke
Call of Duty: Black Ops II Mike Harper Also motion capture
2013 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct Merle Dixon

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Michael Rooker". TV Guide. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  2. ^ "'They' Command You to Score New TP/HC From Image". Bloody Disgusting.
  3. ^ Michael Rooker Biography - Yahoo! Movies
  4. ^ Hardwick, Chris (December 20, 2011). "Nerdist Podcast #151: Michael Rooker". Nerdist.
  5. ^ "Dark Sky's Hypothermia is Rolling! Full Casting News". Dread Central.
  6. ^ "Michael Rooker Discusses 'Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer'". Yahoo. Archived from the original on 2013-11-02.
  7. ^ "A Chat with Horror Icon Michael Rooker". Dread Central.
  8. ^ "TV: Michael Rooker Becomes One of 'The Walking Dead'!". Bloody Disgusting.
  9. ^ "Blood-Soaked Snow in First Hi-Res Look at 'Hypothermia'". Bloody Disgusting.
  10. ^ "Michael Rooker Scores Leading Role in Dark Sky's 'Hypothermia'!". Bloody Disgusting.
  11. ^ "First Look at Michael Rooker on the Set of 'Hypothermia'!". Bloody Disgusting.
  12. ^ "Michael Rooker Joining AMC's The Walking Dead". Dread Central.
  13. ^ "Michael Rooker interview (Merle Dixon on "The Walking Dead")". The Desk of Brian. Archived from the original on 2013-11-03.
  14. ^ "Michael Rooker Joins 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'". Deadline Hollywood. April 16, 2013. Archived from the original on April 16, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  15. ^ "Michael Rooker Says Yondu Will Return for Guardians of the Galaxy 2". Renegade Cinema.
  16. ^ "Truly Disturbing: Horror Icon of the Month: Michael Rooker | Michael Rooker Online". www.michaelrookeronline.com. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  17. ^ "Amazon.com: Unlocked: The World of Games, Revealed: Sean Astin, Tom Arnold, Michael Rooker, Penn Jillette, Zelda Williams, Matt Walsh, Alison Haislip, Meghan Camarena, William Shatner, Kevin Smith, Tony Hawk, Jeremy Snead: Amazon Digital Services LLC". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  18. ^ "Cast & Crew - Unlocked: The World of Games, Revealed". unlockedtvshow.com (Unlocked: The World of Games, Revealed official website). Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  19. ^ Stipp, Christopher (November 19, 2016). "This Week In Trailers: I Am Not Your Negro, The New Man, Detour, Unlocked: The World of Games, Revealed, The Salesman". Slashfilm. Retrieved July 24, 2017.

External links[edit]