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      Michael Rooker

      Michael Rooker

      Highest Rated: 100% Bastard Out of Carolina (1996)

      Lowest Rated: 6% Super Capers (2009)

      Birthday: Apr 6, 1955

      Birthplace: Jasper, Alabama, USA

      Michael Rooker's harrowing turn in "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" (1986) minted him as an in-demand character actor specializing in intense and often dangerous characters in "Mississippi Burning" (1988) and "JFK" (1991), but he would not achieve true mainstream stardom until the 2010s with exuberant and even sympathetic performances on "The Walking Dead" (AMC, 2010- ) and in the Marvel Films cult favorite "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014). Born in Jasper, Alabama on April 6, 1955, Michael Rooker relocated to Chicago, Illinois with his mother and eight siblings after the divorce of his parents. There, his family struggled to make ends meet and put him and his brothers and sisters through school. Initially, Rooker viewed the Marines as his career of choice, but after landing roles in productions, he shifted his focus to acting. He gained entry to the prestigious Goodman School of Drama, and then made a name in local theater productions. Bit roles in television and film productions lensed in the Windy City soon followed, with his breakthrough, "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer," coming in 1986. Directed in stark, realistic tones by Chicago filmmaker John McNaughton, the indie horror-drama followed Rooker's brooding, monstrous loner - based on real-life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas - as he cut a swath of death through the underbelly of a rotting industrial city. His unnerving performance - equally vulnerable and menacing - earned Rooker an Independent Spirit Award nomination and the attention of Hollywood casting agents, who tapped him for a wide variety of projects. Many of his early roles were in the vein of "Henry," like a brutish Klan member in Alan Parker's "Mississippi Burning" and a psychopathic husband in "Sea of Love" (1989). But he soon added more sympathetic roles to his growing c.v., including an assistant district attorney that challenged Kevin Costner's Jim Garrison in Oliver Stone's "JFK" (1991) and Tom Cruise's racing rival turned friend in "Days of Thunder" (1991). He soon settled into a string of character turns that tapped his imposing physicality - Rooker held a black belt in martial arts - in order to provide believable support to such veteran action stars as Sylvester Stallone in "Cliffhanger" (1993), Kurt Russell in "Tombstone" (1993), Chow-Yun Fat in "The Replacement Killers" (1998) and Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The Sixth Day" (2000). But he also remained a consistent presence in dramas, most notably as Jena Malone's supportive uncle in Anjelica Huston's "Bastard Out of Carolina" (Showtime, 1996), and even the occasional comedy like Kevin Smith's "Mallrats" (1996). As he entered into his third decade as an actor in the late '90s and 2000s, Rooker remained extraordinarily busy with both feature and television appearances; though many of these were unremarkable horror or suspense projects for the direct-to-video or -cable market, a few stood out from the pack, including Walter Hill's "Undisputed" (2002) and "Slither" (2006), an amusing horror comedy directed by "Scooby-Doo" (2002) and "Dawn of the Dead" (2004) writer James Gunn. Rooker would go on to become one of Gunn's repertory players, appearing in nearly all of his directorial projects, including the violent comic book spoof "Super" 2010), while also enjoying something of a comeback as repentant redneck Merle Dixon on AMC's hit horror series "The Walking Dead." In 2014, Gunn cast Rooker as the blue-skinned intergalactic bounty hunter Yondu Udonta in "Guardians of the Galaxy," an adaptation of a relatively obscure Marvel Comics title. The film was an unqualified critical and box office success, and led to an even more popular sequel, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (2017), which provided Rooker with what was arguably his most affecting on-screen moment when he confessed his fatherly love for Chris Pratt's hero, Peter Quill, seconds before his death. The success of both "Guardians" films reignited Rooker's film and television career, and led to his casting in such high-profile projects as the third season of HBO's "True Detective" (2014- ), Blumhouse Pictures' horror revamp of "Fantasy Island" (2020), the ninth entry in the "Fast & Furious" franchise (2020) and "The Suicide Squad" (2021), which marked Gunn's writing and directing debut for DC Films.

      Highest rated movies

      Bastard Out of Carolina
      The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Love and Monsters Guardians of the Galaxy The Suicide Squad
      Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
      Slither
      Rosewood

      Photos

      Michael Rooker BOLDEN, MICHAEL ROOKER, 2019. PH: FRED NORRIS/© ABRAMORAMA BOLDEN, MICHAEL ROOKER, ERIK LARAY HARVEY, IAN MCSHANE, 2019. PH: FRED NORRIS/© ABRAMORAMA EIGHT MEN OUT, (Back, L-R), John Cusack, D.B. Sweeney, Perry Lang, Charlie Sheen, James Read, David Strathairn. (Front L-R), Don Harvey, Michael Rooker, 1988. (c)Orion Pictures. CLIFFHANGER, Leon, Michael Rooker, 1993, (c) TriStar MISSISSIPPI BURNING, Michael Rooker, Brad Dourif, Gene Hackman, 1988, © Orion Pictures/ EIGHT MEN OUT, Bill Irwin, D.B. Sweeney, Charlie Sheen, & the team, 1988. (c)Orion Pictures Corp. TOMBSTONE, Buck Taylor, Kurt Russel, Peter Sherayko, Val Kilmer, Michael Rooker, 1993, (c) Buena Vista TOMBSTONE, Kurt Russell, Michael Rooker, 1993, (c) Buena Vista DECEIVER, Chris Penn, Tim Roth, Michael Rooker, 1997, (c) MGM THE SIXTH DAY, Sarah Wynter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Rooker, 2000 TOMBSTONE, Buck Taylor, Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell, Michael Rooker, Peter Sherayko, 1993. ©Buena Vista Pictures CLIFFHANGER, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Rooker, 1993, (c)TriStar Pictures Talking Dead, Michael Rooker, 'Season 6', ©AMC Talking Dead, Michael Rooker (L), Aisha Tyler (R), Aisha Tyler and Michael Rooker, Season 1, Ep. #5, 11/13/2011, ©AMC Talking Dead, Michael Rooker, Aisha Tyler and Michael Rooker, Season 1, Ep. #5, 11/13/2011, ©AMC Talking Dead, Michael Rooker (L), Aisha Tyler (R), Aisha Tyler and Michael Rooker, Season 1, Ep. #5, 11/13/2011, ©AMC Talking Dead, Michael Rooker (L), Aisha Tyler (R), Aisha Tyler and Michael Rooker, Season 1, Ep. #5, 11/13/2011, ©AMC Talking Dead, David Morrissey, Michael Rooker, Reggie Watts, Chris Hardwick, Gregory Nicotero, This Sorrowful Life, Season 2, Ep. #15, 3/24/2013, ©AMC Talking Dead, David Morrissey, Michael Rooker, Reggie Watts, Gregory Nicotero, This Sorrowful Life, Season 2, Ep. #15, 3/24/2013, ©AMC

      Filmography

      Movies

      Credit
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 1 Unknown (Character) - 2024
      21% 35% The Out-Laws Agent Oldham (Character) - 2023
      56% 84% Fast X Buddy (Character) $573.9M 2023
      94% 81% The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Yondu Udonta (Character) - 2022
      13% 15% White Elephant Gabriel Tancredi (Character) - 2022
      86% 73% Vivo Lutador (Voice) - 2021
      90% 82% The Suicide Squad Savant (Character) $55.8M 2021
      59% 82% F9 The Fast Saga Buddy (Character) $173.0M 2021
      94% 89% Love and Monsters Clyde (Character) $1.0M 2020
      8% 48% Blumhouse's Fantasy Island Morgan (Character) $26.4M 2020
      70% 40% Bolden Pat McMurphy (Character) - 2019
      85% 87% Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Yondu (Character) $389.8M 2017
      54% 40% The Belko Experiment Bud Melks (Character) $10.2M 2016
      92% 92% Guardians of the Galaxy Yondu Udonta (Character) $333.7M 2014
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Lost Episode Dount Shop Employee (Character),
      Director
      - 2012
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Brother's Keeper Chief Carver (Character) - 2012
      No Score Yet 21% Rogue River Gas Attendant (Character) - 2012
      No Score Yet 22% Mysteria Captain McCarthy (Character) - 2011
      No Score Yet 23% Freeway Killer Det. St. John (Character) - 2010
      17% 24% Cell 213 Ray Clement (Character) - 2010
      No Score Yet 9% Hypothermia Ray Pelletier (Character) - 2010
      50% 56% Super Abe (Character) $322.2K 2010
      52% 62% Blood Done Sign My Name Billy Watkins (Character) $82.7K 2010
      No Score Yet 71% DC Showcase: Jonah Hex Red Doc (Voice) - 2010
      No Score Yet 66% Atlantis Down Father / Alien (Character) - 2010
      33% 57% Louis Pat McMurphy (Character) - 2010
      No Score Yet 34% The Marine 2 Church (Character) - 2009
      6% 14% Super Capers The Dark Winged Vesper/Judge (Character) $31.0K 2009
      80% 17% Penance Mann (Character) - 2008
      No Score Yet 75% Hope & Redemption: The Lena Baker Story Sheriff Haney (Character) - 2008
      15% 44% Jumper William Rice (Character) $80.2M 2008
      No Score Yet 56% Lenexa, 1 Mile Russ (Character) - 2006
      87% 63% Slither Grant Grant (Character) $7.8M 2006
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Young Rebels Unknown (Character) - 2006
      No Score Yet 36% Chasing Ghosts Mark Spencer (Character) - 2005
      No Score Yet 4% Skeleton Man Captain Leary (Character) - 2004
      No Score Yet 18% The Eliminator Miles Dawson (Character) - 2004
      No Score Yet 65% On Thin Ice Unknown (Character) - 2003
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Saving Jessica Lynch Colonel Curry (Character) - 2003
      No Score Yet 33% The Box Detective Stafford (Character) - 2003
      49% 46% Undisputed A.J. Mercker (Character) - 2002
      27% 37% Replicant Det. Jake Riley (Character) - 2001
      No Score Yet 44% Table One Rowdy (Character) - 2000
      40% 32% The 6th Day Robert Marshall (Character) $34.5M 2000
      17% 60% Here on Earth Michael Arnold (Character) $10.5M 2000
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Newsbreak John McNamara (Character) - 2000
      No Score Yet 28% A Table for One Michael Rooker (Character) - 1999
      28% 63% The Bone Collector Captain Howard Cheney (Character) $66.5M 1999
      No Score Yet 25% Bram Stoker's Shadowbuilder Father Vassey (Character) - 1998
      50% 33% Brown's Requiem Fritz Brown (Character),
      Associate Producer
      $3.1K 1998
      37% 47% The Replacement Killers Stan 'Zeedo' Zedkov (Character) $19.0M 1998
      No Score Yet 59% Renegade Force Matt Cooper (Character) - 1998
      No Score Yet 24% Shadow Builder Unknown (Character) - 1998
      42% 58% Liar Kennesaw (Character) $545.6K 1997
      87% 83% Rosewood Sheriff Walker (Character) $13.1M 1997
      10% 23% Keys to Tulsa Keith Michaels (Character) $53.2K 1997
      No Score Yet 17% Back to Back Bob Malone (Character) - 1996
      No Score Yet 62% The Song of Hiawatha Bertrand (Character) - 1996
      73% 43% The Trigger Effect Gary (Character) $3.6M 1996
      100% 84% Bastard Out of Carolina Uncle Earle (Character) - 1996
      58% 82% Mallrats Mr. Jared Svenning (Character) $1.8M 1995
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Johnny & Clyde Frank Tennant (Character) - 1995
      No Score Yet 40% The Hard Truth Jonah Mantz (Character) - 1994
      60% 41% The Dark Half Sheriff Alan Pangborn (Character) $9.0M 1993
      68% 52% Cliffhanger Hal Tucker (Character) $80.5M 1993
      73% 94% Tombstone Sherman McMasters (Character) $55.9M 1993
      No Score Yet 57% Afterburn Casey "Z" Zankowski (Character) - 1992
      84% 88% JFK Bill Broussard (Character) - 1991
      38% 60% Days of Thunder Rowdy Burns (Character) $80.6M 1990
      75% 66% Sea of Love Terry (Character) $56.6M 1989
      76% 76% Music Box Karchy Laszlo (Character) $5.1M 1989
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Gideon Oliver: Sleep Well, Professor Oliver Detective John Quinn (Character) - 1989
      79% 90% Mississippi Burning Frank Bailey (Character) $33.7M 1988
      87% 79% Eight Men Out Chick Gandil (Character) $4.3M 1988
      89% 71% Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Henry (Character) - 1986

      TV

      Credit
      91% 80% What If...? Yondu (Voice) 2021
      No Score Yet No Score Yet AMC+ Fan Experience Unknown (Character) 2021
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Ride With Norman Reedus Guest 2020-2021
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs Unknown (Character) 2019
      No Score Yet 75% Talking Dead Guest 2018
      No Score Yet 87% SEAL Team Big Chief (Guest Star) 2017
      No Score Yet 36% Jimmy Kimmel Live! Guest 2017
      No Score Yet No Score Yet MythBusters Guest 2013
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Nerdist Guest 2013
      79% 78% The Walking Dead Merle Dixon (Character),
      Unknown (Guest Star)
      2010-2013
      91% 85% Archer Sheriff E.Z. Ponder (Guest Voice) 2012
      No Score Yet 85% Criminal Minds Unknown (Guest Star) 2009
      52% 50% Shark Unknown (Guest Star) 2008
      No Score Yet 83% Law & Order Unknown (Guest Star) 2008
      No Score Yet No Score Yet JAG Unknown (Guest Star) 2005
      No Score Yet 66% CSI: Miami Unknown (Guest Star) 2003
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Outer Limits Colonel Beckett (Character) 2001
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Fallen Angels Babe McCloor (Character) 1995
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Equalizer Bill Whitaker (Guest Star) 1988