Mickey Rourke, co-star of the "Sin City" Movie!
Before devoting his energies to New York's Actor's Studio and becoming an actor, Mickey Rourke aspired to be a professional baseball player and boxer. Rourke launched his acting career with small roles in 1941 (1979) and Heaven's Gate (1981) before being noticed in Body Heat (1981) and Diner (1982). He followed with admirable work in Rumble Fish (1983) and The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984), and then gave a bravura performance as fanatically determined police captain Stanley White in Year of the Dragon (1985). When the film was slammed by critics, Rourke defended director Michael Cimino and refused critics' requests for interviews. He immediately gained a reputation as a perfectionist, agreeing only to work with directors and on projects that met with his high standards. His 1987 performances in Angel Heart, A Prayer for the Dying, and Barfly attest to this, but starring roles in the infamous 9 1/2 Weeks (1986) and Wild Orchid (1990) gave him a "Eurotrash" taint that was only enhanced by his hot temper and maverick nature. These qualities, however, while career poison in the U.S., did nothing to hurt Rourke's reputation in France, where he was well-loved. From the late '80s through the '90s, the career of this disillusioned actor with the potential of Robert De Niro suffered a downward spiral. He wrote, produced, and starred in Homeboy (1988), a film about a near brain-dead prize fighter. It was given no theatrical release and went straight to home video. The masochistic connection between this film and his subsequent "new career" as a boxer was undeniable, though he continued to appear sporadically in small films and supporting roles. In 1997, Rourke reprised his role as a sexual sadist in Another 9 1/2 Weeks, a virtual remake of the original, only without the redeeming presence of Kim Basinger. Although Rourke's career consisted primarily of direct-to-video titles, he had enough friends and respect among some of his peers that he did make an occasional appearance in big-budget films. In 1997, he had a small role in Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of John Grisham's The Rainmaker. The following year, Vincent Gallo, an unapologetic fanatic of Rourke's, cast him as the bad guy in Gallo's directorial debut, Buffalo '66. Rourke showed flashes of his former brilliance in Steve Buscemi's Animal Factory (2000), and was one of a number of impressive cameos in Sean Penn's The Pledge. Rourke was also given one of his largest roles in a major Hollywood release by Robert Rodriguez in the third of that director's Mariachi films, Once Upon a Time in Mexico in 2003.
Mickey was born on September 16, 1956, in New York.