Steven Seagal - Rotten Tomatoes

Steven Seagal



A master of several Japanese martial arts, Steven Seagal is a popular action movie hero whose films combine spiritual concepts and social/environmental consciousness with high-voltage violence. Born in Lansing, MI, on April 10, 1951, Seagal traveled to Japan at the age of 17. There, he taught English, studied Zen, and perfected his martial arts, earning black belts in Aikido, karate, judo, and kendo. Afterwards, he became the first Westerner to open a martial arts school in Japan.

During this time, Seagal occasionally choreographed fight scenes in movies and coached such stars as Sean Connery and Toshiro Mifune. He also became interested in Eastern religion: in a November 1997 interview for the Shambala Sun, he stated that his relationship with Tibetan Buddhism resulted from his study of acupuncture. According to Seagal, several ailing Tibetan lamas, suffering from malnutrition, exhaustion, and the effects of Chinese torture, were sent to him for treatment, which led him to become a director of secret security operations and setting up special safe houses. Regarding other incidents from his past, Seagal has remained secretive, though he was allegedly a bounty hunter and occasionally has hinted about involvement with the CIA. Further speculation has surrounded the work he did on behalf of Tibetan freedom fighters, and it was not until 1997 that he mentioned the large amounts of money he claimed to have donated to various religious organizations.

Seagal spent about 15 years in Asia before returning to the States, where he opened a new martial arts academy and also worked as a celebrity bodyguard. His clients included his future (now ex-) wife Kelly LeBrock and Hollywood agent Michael Ovitz. With help from Ovitz, Seagal contracted to make martial arts films for Warner Bros. For his first film, he and cinematographer-turned-director Andrew Davis carefully refashioned an average police drama into Above the Law (1988), which stressed characterization and plot as well as high-energy action scenes. It was well received and Seagal found himself an instant star among action aficionados. His next film, Hard to Kill (1989), overflowed with chop-socky violence, casting him as a cop who wakens from a coma and sets out for revenge against those who sent him to the hospital. Seagal attracted mainstream appeal in 1992 when he starred in the Davis-directed hit Under Siege, his most popular movie. In 1994, he made his directorial debut with the environmentally conscious but critically panned On Deadly Ground, in which he single-handedly attempts to save Alaska and the Eskimos from an avaricious oil tycoon. Subsequent action attempts included 1996's Executive Decision and 1998's The Patriot. In 1999, Seagal turned to producing with Prince of Central Park, an uncharacteristically gentle film about a young boy living in the titular park. Following a rollicking time in the corrupt cop thriller Exit Wounds (2001), Segal shook things up behind bars in Half Past Dead (2002). The coming years would find Segal continuing to star in low proifle action fare like Urban Justice and Flight of Fury. He'd also find success starring on the TV series True Justice.



In 1997, Seagal publicly announced that one of his prime Buddhist teachers, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, had proclaimed him a tulku, the reincarnation of a Buddhist lama. Seagal's announcement met with some cynicism, but Penor Rinpoche backed him up with a formal statement at Colorado's Naropa Institute. In subsequent interviews, Seagal has presented himself as a serious student of Buddhism who spends many hours meditating, studying, and practicing the tenets to help him become a teacher and healer.

Photos

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
0% Contract to Kill
  • John Harmon
  • Producer
2016
No Score Yet End of a Gun
  • Decker
2016
No Score Yet The Perfect Weapon
  • The Director
2016
No Score Yet The Asian Connection
  • Gan Sirankiri
2016
No Score Yet Code of Honor
  • Robert Sikes
  • Executive Producer
2016
No Score Yet Killing Salazar
  • John Harrison
  • Producer
2016
No Score Yet Sniper: Special Ops
  • Executive Producer
  • Jake
2016
No Score Yet Absolution (Mercenary: Absolution)
  • John Alexander
  • Producer
2015
No Score Yet Agency of Vengeance: Dark Rising (Dark Rising 2: Summer Strikes Back!)
  • Screenwriter
  • Elijah Kane
2014
No Score Yet A Good Man
  • Producer
  • Alexander
2014
No Score Yet Angel of Death
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Gutshot Straight
  • Paulie Trunks
2014
No Score Yet Force of Execution
  • Thomas Douglas
  • Producer
2013
No Score Yet Maximum Conviction
  • Steele
  • Producer
2012
72% Machete
  • Torrez
2010
No Score Yet Born to Raise Hell
  • Samuel Axel
2010
No Score Yet The Keeper
  • Roland
  • Producer
2009
No Score Yet Against the Dark
  • Producer
  • Tao
2009
No Score Yet A Dangerous Man
  • Executive Producer
  • Shane Daniels
2009
No Score Yet Driven to Kill
  • Executive Producer
  • Ruslan
2009
No Score Yet Kill Switch
  • Screenwriter
  • Executive Producer
  • Jacob
2008
No Score Yet Pistol Whipped
  • Producer
  • Matt
2008
No Score Yet The Onion Movie
  • Himself
2008
No Score Yet Urban Justice (Renegade Justice)
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Simon
2007
No Score Yet Flight of Fury
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • John Sands
2007
No Score Yet Words of My Perfect Teacher
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet Harvester
  • Producer
  • Marshall Lawson
  • Screenwriter
2006
No Score Yet Shadow Man
  • Jack Foster
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
2006
No Score Yet Mercenary for Justice
  • John Seeger
  • Executive Producer
2006
No Score Yet Black Dawn
  • Jonathan Cold
  • Producer
2005
No Score Yet Into the Sun
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Travis Hunter
2005
No Score Yet Today You Die
  • Producer
  • Max Stevens
2005
No Score Yet Mercenary
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Clementine
  • Jack Miller
2004
No Score Yet Submerged
  • Chris Cody
2004
No Score Yet Out of Reach
  • Billy Ray Lancing
  • Executive Producer
2004
No Score Yet Belly of the Beast
  • Producer
  • Jake Hopper
2003
0% The Foreigner
  • Jonathan Cold
  • Producer
2003
No Score Yet Out for a Kill
  • Professor Robert Burns
  • Producer
2003
3% Half Past Dead
  • Sascha Petrosevitch
  • Producer
2002
32% Exit Wounds
  • Orin Boyd
2001
No Score Yet Ticker
  • Glass
2001
20% Prince of Central Park
  • Producer
2000
71% Get Bruce
  • Actor
1999
22% The Patriot
  • Producer
  • Dr. Wesley McClaren
1999
19% My Giant
  • Himself
1998
11% Fire Down Below
  • Producer
1997
13% The Glimmer Man
  • Lt. Jack Cole
  • Producer
1996
34% Under Siege 2: Dark Territory
  • Casey Ryback
1995
63% Executive Decision
  • Lt. Col. Austin Travis
1995
10% On Deadly Ground
  • Director
  • Forrest Taft
  • Producer
1994
75% Under Siege
  • Director
  • Casey Ryback
  • Producer
1992
19% Out for Justice
  • Producer
  • Gino Felino
  • Screenwriter
1991
22% Marked for Death
  • Producer
  • John Hatcher
1990
33% Hard to Kill
  • Mason Storm
  • Producer
1990
No Score Yet Celebrity Guide to Wine
  • Actor
1990
50% Above the Law
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Nico Toscani
1988
No Score Yet Prince of Pistols
  • Actor
  • Director

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet True Justice
2012
  • Screenwriter
  • Creator
  • Elijah Kane
No Score Yet Steven Seagal Lawman
2009-2014
  • Executive Producer
  • Reality cast member
  • Producer
  • Actor
  • Appearing
No Score Yet Jimmy Kimmel Live
2003
  • Guest
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Guest

Quotes from Steven Seagal's Characters