Mickey Rourke

Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler

Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler”

Despite a long history of speaking his mind with unsavory results, Mickey Rourke battled his way back from near-Hollywood superstardom to become one of the hottest commodities in the industry. It also helps that he’s sort of a badass. Born in the rough and tough Liberty City, Miami, Mickey went to study at the famous Lee Strasberg Institute (the acting hotspot for other method actors like Robert DeNiro and Marlon Brando) after graduating from high school. During his time at the Institute, Mickey also took up amateur boxing and put together a pretty impressive 20-4 record along the way, but he soon became the “It” guy for 80’s Hollywood and was forced to put his boxing career to rest. His first appearance in “Diner” was all the industry needed to see to know that he was going to be a huge star, and future roles in “Rumble Fish,” “9 ½ Weeks” and “Angel Heart” served only as further proof.

But the 90’s weren’t nearly as good to the actor as the previous decade. Mickey’s promising career quickly became overshadowed by personal problems and an erratic behavior on set, leading many to believe that he was full of himself. In turn, Mickey took a break from acting and returned to the world of boxing, this time as a professional under the nickname “Marielito.” He posted a near-perfect 6-0-2 record, but never received the world title shot that we originally set out to get. It’s probably a good thing he didn’t either, because he would have never returned to acting.

The late 90’s marked his inevitable return, with tiny roles in mostly independent flicks, but it was obvious that he wasn’t the same puerile actor from the 80’s and he made it known that he was gracious for the second chance. Appearances as the heel in a number of films, including “Spun” and “Man on Fire,” helped to re-establish his reputation as the bad ass, and soon after, has been found playing not-so-good good guys (see “Once Upon A Time in Mexico,” “Sin City,” and “Domino”). And now that he’s back in the ranks of Hollywood’s finest, we can only hope that he’ll remain there for the rest of his career.

Mickey on the Screen

Mickey lit up the red carpet in the early 80’s with appearances in “Diner,” “Rumble Fish” and “Nine 1/2 Weeks,” and even got the chance to star alongside Robert DeNiro in “Angel Heart.” Since his falling out with the movie business, Mickey has returned to the scene with awesome cameos in “Spun” and “Man on Fire,” as well as bigger roles in the Robert Rodriquez films “Once Upon A Time in Mexico” and “Sin City,” and his second Tony Scott film in a year, “Domino.”

Mickey Says

On his career:
“I thought my talent would transcend my outspokenness. I was wrong.”

On past chances:
“A couple of guys won Academy Awards for the things that I turned down. Today, after coming to terms with everything, after being in therapy for a long time-there are areas where I will compromise.”

On his, well, comeback:
“Comeback is a good word, man.”

On being famous:
“I always knew I’d accomplish something very special – like robbing a bank perhaps.”

On visiting Texas:
“They have great strip clubs in Austin, Texas, so I would have my fan club… I would have the girls come up and we would, ah… talk.”