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
Love and Monsters Guardians of the Galaxy The Suicide Squad Slither
Rosewood
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Eight Men Out

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
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 22% Freeway Killer Det. St. John (Character) - 2010
17% 19% Cell 213 Ray Clement (Character) - 2010
No Score Yet 8% Hypothermia Ray Pelletier (Character) - 2010
49% 56% Super Abe (Character) $322.2K 2010
52% 61% 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 64% Atlantis Down Father / Alien (Character) - 2010
33% 50% Louis Pat McMurphy (Character) - 2010
No Score Yet 34% The Marine 2 Church (Character) - 2009
6% 13% 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 36% Chasing Ghosts Mark Spencer (Character) - 2005
No Score Yet 4% Skeleton Man Captain Leary (Character) - 2004
No Score Yet 14% The Eliminator Miles Dawson (Character) - 2004
No Score Yet 67% 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
48% 46% Undisputed A.J. Mercker (Character) - 2002
27% 36% 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
29% 63% The Bone Collector Captain Howard Cheney (Character) $66.5M 1999
No Score Yet 26% Bram Stoker's Shadowbuilder Father Vassey (Character) - 1998
50% 33% Brown's Requiem Fritz Brown (Character),
Associate Producer
$3.1K 1998
38% 47% The Replacement Killers Stan 'Zeedo' Zedkov (Character) $19.0M 1998
No Score Yet 59% Renegade Force Matt Cooper (Character) - 1998
No Score Yet 25% Shadow Builder Unknown (Character) - 1998
48% 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 19% Back to Back Bob Malone (Character) - 1996
No Score Yet 65% The Song of Hiawatha Bertrand (Character) - 1996
75% 42% The Trigger Effect Gary (Character) $3.6M 1996
100% 83% Bastard Out of Carolina Uncle Earle (Character) - 1996
57% 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
58% 38% The Dark Half Sheriff Alan Pangborn (Character) $9.0M 1993
67% 52% Cliffhanger Hal Tucker (Character) $80.5M 1993
74% 94% Tombstone Sherman McMasters (Character) $55.9M 1993
No Score Yet 55% Afterburn Casey "Z" Zankowski (Character) - 1992
84% 88% JFK Bill Broussard (Character) - 1991
38% 60% Days of Thunder Rowdy Burns (Character) $80.6M 1990
76% 66% Sea of Love Terry (Character) $56.6M 1989
No Score Yet No Score Yet Gideon Oliver: Sleep Well, Professor Oliver Detective John Quinn (Character) - 1989
84% 90% Mississippi Burning Frank Bailey (Character) $33.7M 1988
86% 79% Eight Men Out Chick Gandil (Character) $4.3M 1988
87% 71% Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Henry (Character) - 1986

TV

Credit
94% 95% What If...? Yondu (Voice) 2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet AMC+ Fan Experience Unknown (Character) 2021
No Score Yet 82% 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 63% Talking Dead Guest 2018
No Score Yet 83% SEAL Team Big Chief (Guest Star) 2017
No Score Yet No Score Yet q Guest 2017
No Score Yet No Score Yet Good Morning America Guest 2017
No Score Yet No Score Yet ET Canada Guest 2017
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Social Guest 2017
No Score Yet 10% Jimmy Kimmel Live! Guest 2017
No Score Yet No Score Yet Unlocked: The World of Games, Revealed Unknown (Character) 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet MythBusters Guest 2013
No Score Yet 100% The Nerdist Guest 2013
80% 79% The Walking Dead Merle Dixon (Character),
Unknown (Guest Star)
2010-2013
90% 86% Archer Sheriff E.Z. Ponder (Guest Voice) 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet Meteor Unknown (Character) 2009
No Score Yet 86% Criminal Minds Unknown (Guest Star) 2009
52% 60% Shark Unknown (Guest Star) 2008
No Score Yet 96% Law & Order Unknown (Guest Star) 2008
No Score Yet 35% JAG Unknown (Guest Star) 2005
No Score Yet 61% CSI: Miami Unknown (Guest Star) 2003
No Score Yet 100% The Outer Limits Unknown (Character) 2001
No Score Yet 100% The Equalizer Unknown (Guest Star) 1988