MICKEY ROURKE BIOGRAPHY :
Philip Andre “Mickey” Rourke Jr. (born September 16, 1952) is an American actor, screenwriter, activist, and former boxer who has appeared primarily as a leading man in drama, action, and thriller films. During the 1980s, Rourke starred in the comedy-drama Diner (1982), the drama Rumble Fish (1983), the crime-black-comedy film The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984), and the erotic drama 9½ Weeks (1986). He received critical praise for his work in the Charles Bukowski biopic Barfly and the horror mystery Angel Heart (both 1987). In 1991, Rourke teamed up with Don Johnson and Tom Sizemore in the cult classic action film Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man; also in 1991, Rourke—who trained as a boxer in his early years—left acting and became a professional boxer for a time. After retiring from boxing in 1994, Rourke returned to acting and had supporting roles in several films, including the drama The Rainmaker (1997), the comedy-drama Buffalo ’66 (1998), the thriller-remake of Get Carter (2000), the mystery film The Pledge (2001), the crime-dark-comedy-drama Spun (2002), the action film Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) and the action thriller Man on Fire (2004), playing the role of a corrupt lawyer. In 2005, Rourke made his comeback in mainstream Hollywood circles with a lead role in the neo-noir action thriller Sin City, for which he won awards from the Chicago Film Critics Association, the Irish Film and Television Awards, and the Online Film Critics Society. In the 2008 film The Wrestler, Rourke portrayed a past-his-prime professional wrestler; for his work in the film, Rourke received a 2009 Golden Globe award, a BAFTA award, and an Academy Award nomination. Since then, Rourke has appeared in several commercially successful films, including the 2010 films Iron Man 2 and The Expendables, and the 2011 film Immortals.
Philip Andre Rourke Jr. was born on September 16, 1952, in Schenectady, New York, the son of Annette (née Cameron) and Philip Andre Rourke (1924–1982). His father was of Irish descent and his mother had Scottish ancestry. He was raised Catholic and still practices his faith. His father left the family when Mickey was young. After his parents divorced, his mother married Eugene Addis, a Miami Beach police officer with five sons, and moved Rourke, his younger brother (Joey), and their sister (Patricia) to South Florida. There, he graduated from Miami Beach Senior High School in 1971.
During his teenage years, Rourke focused his attention mainly on sports. He took up self-defense training at the Boys Club of Miami. It was there that he learned boxing skills and decided on an amateur career. At age 12, Rourke won his first boxing match as a 112-pound (51 kg) flyweight, fighting some of his early matches under the name Phil Rourke. He continued his boxing training at the famed 5th Street Gym, in Miami Beach, Florida. In 1969, Rourke, then weighing 140 pounds (63.5 kg) sparred with former World Welterweight Champion Luis Rodríguez. Rodríguez was the number one–rated middleweight boxer in the world and was training for his match with world champion Nino Benvenuti. Rourke says he received a concussion from his sparring match with Rodríguez. At the 1971 Florida Golden Gloves, Rourke suffered another concussion in a boxing match. After being told by doctors to take a year off and rest, Rourke temporarily retired from the ring. From 1964 to 1973, Rourke compiled an amateur boxing record of 27 wins (including 12 straight knockouts) and 3 defeats, which included a first-round knockout win over John Carver and decision victories over Ronnie Carter and Javier Villanueva.
Early acting roles
In 1971, as a senior at Miami Beach Senior High School, Rourke had a small acting role in the Jay W. Jensen–directed school play The Serpent. However, Rourke’s interests were geared to boxing, and he never appeared in any other school productions. Soon after he temporarily gave up boxing, a friend at the University of Miami told Rourke about a play he was directing, Deathwatch, and how the man playing the role of Green Eyes had quit. Rourke got the part and immediately became enamored with acting. Borrowing $400 from his sister, he moved to New York, working an assortment of odd jobs while studying with Actors Studio alumni Walter Lott and Sandra Seacat. It was under the latter’s tutelage, Rourke later recalled, that “everything started to click.” Seacat motivated Rourke to find his father, from whom he was separated for more than twenty years. During his appearance on Inside the Actors Studio, after the release of The Wrestler, host James Lipton disclosed that Rourke had been selected to the Actors Studio in his first audition, which Elia Kazan is reported to have said was the “best audition in thirty years”. Appearing primarily in television films during the late 1970s, Rourke made his feature film debut with a small role in Steven Spielberg’s 1941. He played Ritchie, Dennis Christopher’s bullying and ill-fated co-worker in the 1980 slasher film Fade to Black. However, it was in 1981, with his portrayal of an arsonist in Body Heat, that Rourke first received significant attention, despite his modest time on screen. The following year, he drew further critical accolades for his portrayal as the suave compulsive gambler “Boogie” Sheftell in Barry Levinson’s Diner, in which Rourke co-starred, alongside Paul Reiser, Daniel Stern, Steve Guttenberg, Tim Daly and Kevin Bacon; the National Society of Film Critics named him Best Supporting Actor that year. Soon thereafter, Rourke starred in Rumble Fish, Francis Ford Coppola’s follow-up to The Outsiders. Rourke’s performance in the film The Pope of Greenwich Village alongside Daryl Hannah and Eric Roberts also caught the attention of critics, although the film was not financially successful. In the mid-1980s, Rourke earned himself additional leading roles. His role alongside Kim Basinger in the erotic drama 9½ Weeks helped him gain sex symbol status. He received critical praise for his work in Barfly as the alcoholic writer Henry Chinaski (the literary alter ego of Charles Bukowski) and in Year of the Dragon. In 1987, Rourke appeared in Angel Heart. The film was nominated for several awards. It was seen as controversial by some, owing to a sex scene involving Cosby Show cast member Lisa Bonet, who won an award for her part in the film. Although some of Rourke’s work was viewed as controversial in the US, he was well received by European, and especially French, audiences, who loved the “rumpled, slightly dirty, sordid … rebel persona” that he projected in Year of the Dragon, 9½ Weeks, Angel Heart, and Desperate Hours. Director Adrian Lyne said that had Rourke died after the release of Angel Heart, he would have become a bigger phenomenon than James Dean. In the late 1980s, Rourke performed with David Bowie on the Never Let Me Down album. Around the same time he also wrote his first screenplay, Homeboy, a boxing tale in which he starred. In 1989 Rourke starred in the docudrama Francesco, portraying St. Francis of Assisi. This was followed by Wild Orchid, another critically panned film, which gained him a nomination for a Razzie award (also for Desperate Hours). In 1991 he starred in the box office bomb Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man as Harley Davidson, a biker whose best friend, Marlboro, was played by Don Johnson. In his last role before departing for the boxing ring, Rourke played an arms dealer chased by Willem Dafoe and Samuel L. Jackson in White Sands, a film noir that reviewers found stylish but incoherent. Rourke’s acting career eventually became overshadowed by his personal life and career decisions. Directors such as Alan Parker found it difficult to work with him. Parker stated that “working with Mickey is a nightmare. He is very dangerous on the set because you never know what he is going to do.” In a documentary on the special edition DVD of Tombstone, actor Michael Biehn, who plays the part of Johnny Ringo, mentions that his role was first offered to Rourke. Rourke has allegedly turned down several roles in high-profile films, including 48 Hrs., Platoon, Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop, Rain Man, The Silence of the Lambs, and Pulp Fiction.
Professional boxing career
In 1991, Rourke decided that he “had to go back to boxing” because he felt that he “was self-destructing … [and] had no respect for [himself as] an actor”. Rourke was undefeated in eight fights, with six wins (four by knockout) and two draws. He fought internationally in countries including Spain, Japan, and Germany. During his boxing career, Rourke suffered a number of injuries, including a broken nose, toe, and ribs, a split tongue, and a compressed cheekbone. He also suffered from short-term memory loss. His trainer during most of his boxing career was Hells Angels member, actor, and celebrity bodyguard Chuck Zito. Freddie Roach also trained Rourke for seven fights. Rourke’s entrance song into the ring was often Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine” (to which reference is made in his film The Wrestler, in which Rourke’s character enters his final match of the film to the song playing over the loudspeakers). Boxing promoters said that Rourke was too old to succeed against top-level fighters. Indeed, Rourke himself admits that entering the ring was a sort of personal test: “[I] just wanted to give it a shot, test myself that way physically, while I still had time.” Rourke’s boxing career resulted in a notable physical change in the 1990s, as his face needed reconstructive surgery to mend his injuries. His face was later called “appallingly disfigured”.
Return to boxing in 2014
On November 28, 2014, Rourke briefly returned to the boxing ring and fought 29-year-old Elliot Seymour in Moscow, Russia. It was Rourke’s first boxing match in over 20 years. Talks of him being involved in four more matches were released by Rourke himself after the match. He won the exhibition fight in the second round by TKO. The fight is not counted in his professional record since it was an exhibition match. The opponent later stated that he threw the fight, having been promised payment to take a dive in the second round.