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Michael Madsen (1957)

Michael Soren Madsen

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  Summary  

Michael Søren Madsen is a Danish-American actor, poet, and photographer. He has appeared in more than 150 films, most of them small independent films, though he has starred in central roles in such films as Reservoir Dogs, Free Willy, Donnie Brasco, and Kill Bill, in addition to a supporting role in Sin City. Madsen is also credited with voice work in several video games, including Grand Theft Auto III, True Crime: Streets of L.A. and DRIV3R.

  Biography  

 early life
Madsen was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Elaine (née Melson), an Emmy-winning poet, television producer, and playwright who often works for PBS, and Calvin Madsen, a firefighter. Madsen's mother left a career in corporate business to pursue a writing career. Madsen's paternal grandparents were Danish and his mother has Irish and Native American ancestry. His sister is actress Virginia Madsen, and he also has an older sister, Cheri.

Madsen's acting career began at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, where he served as an apprentice under actor John Malkovich.

 career
In 1982, Madsen was cast by Edward McDougal for the lead in a small independent film, Against All Hope, his first movie. He then played a small role in the studio picture WarGames in 1983. That same year, he appeared in a bit part in Edward Zwick's 1983 television movie Special Bulletin. Soon after, Madsen was cast as a psychopathic gunman who took Mary Beth hostage in the Cagney and Lacey episode "Heat", which aired October 22, 1984. He moved to Los Angeles and appeared in other films, including as arrogant baseball player Bump Bailey in The Natural , a deranged killer in Kill Me Again and as the tough but touching boyfriend of Susan Sarandon in Thelma & Louise .

Then came a memorable role as the razor-wielding, sadistic ex-con and jewel thief "Mr. Blonde" in the bloody Quentin Tarantino crime story Reservoir Dogs. The film brought Madsen attention among critics and fans. During a scene in which Madsen's psychopathic character Mr. Blonde tortures a police officer, actor Kirk Baltz ad-libbed a line about being a father to a young child. Madsen, who himself had just become a father, was so upset that he found it very difficult to finish the scene. On some copies of the film's DVD, as Baltz completes the line, a voice can be heard off-screen saying "Oh, no, no ..." The ad-lib exacerbated Madsen's original reluctance to do the scene, due to his real-life aversion to violence.

Subsequently, Madsen was cast in a variety of major studio films, including Free Willy, Mulholland Falls, Wyatt Earp, Species and with Johnny Depp and Al Pacino in the critically acclaimed Donnie Brasco.

Since the mid 1990s, Madsen has appeared more often in lower-budget films released directly to video or television. Notable exceptions include his featured role in Tarantino's Kill Bill, in the James Bond adventure Die Another Day and in the film version of the Frank Miller graphic novel Sin City. He appeared in Scary Movie 4 in 2006 parodying Tim Robbins's character from War of the Worlds. He was also in the film 44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shoot-Out in 2003.
In 2008 he had a starring role as "The Gent" in Quentin Tarantino's "HELL RIDE" that was written & Directed by Larry Bishop.


Madsen has been in a few television series, including the short-lived Vengeance Unlimited and as "Don Everest" in the poker-themed ESPN series Tilt. He was in Michael Jackson's 2001 music video "You Rock My World" and has provided voice work for several video games, including Grand Theft Auto III, True Crime: Streets of L.A. and DRIV3R. He provided voice work for the movie version of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as Maugrim the wolf, captain of the White Witch's secret police.

He also provides narration for Animal Planet and is heard in the PlayStation 2 game Yakuza, where he voices the role of Futo Shimano, the violent and unforgiving leader of a Yakuza family. Madsen played Sam Spade in Yuri Rasovsky's Grammy-nominated sonic dramatization of The Maltese Falcon, which also features Sandra Oh and Edward Herrmann.

In August 2008, Madsen co-starred in Coma, a web series on Crackle.

Madsen went to Mexico City to co-star in boxing film The Kid: Chamaco with Martin Sheen and Kirk Harris for director Miguel Necoechea in 2009.

Madsen is also expected to reprise his role as Bob in Sin City 2, which is in pre-production and has a release date of 2012. Fellow cast members include Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, and Clive Owen.

The actor appeared in Every Time I Die's music video "Kill The Music" and recorded a public service announcement for Deejay Ra's 'Hip-Hop Literacy' campaign, encouraging reading of screenplays by Tarantino.

In September 2009, he was filming the Magic Boys in Szeged, Hungary with Vinnie Jones. The film was never completed, due to the arrest in December 2010 of producer Gabor Koltai by Hungarian authorities on charges of fraud.

Madsen guest-starred in the final season of 24 in April 2010. He played Jim Ricker, an old friend of main character Jack Bauer.

His latest released film, Let The Game Begin, opened in May 2010. The film also features Adam Rodriguez and Stephen Baldwin. Madsen played the lead in the independent horror film Infected.

He is currently one of the stars of the western thriller The Sorrow with Kirk Harris, John Savage, newcomer Ryan Ballance and Yvonne Delarosa.

 personal life
Madsen's first marriage was to actress Georganne LaPiere, the half sister of Cher. He remarried, to Jeannine Bisignano, with whom he has two sons. Close friend Harvey Keitel is the godfather of Madsen's son Max. Since 1996, he has been married to Deanna Morgan, who was previously married to musician Brian Setzer of Stray Cats fame. They have 3 sons together.

The actor lived in a Malibu house that once belonged to Keith Moon, the original drummer of The Who, and it was at this house on December 26, 2004 that David Carradine and his last wife, Annie, were married by their longtime friend and attorney, Vicki Roberts.

In 2002 he was presented an award for his work with the Shriners Hospital For Children, and he gave his casting director friend Bruno Rosato a Porsche 928. In September 2009, Madsen announced his participation in the Love Ride 26 to help raise money for local charities and those less fortunate. Love Ride began in 1981 and has been growing ever since including many celebrities from Malcolm Forbes to Peter Fonda to Larry Hagman with musical entertainment from Robbie Krieger, David Crosby, Eric Burdon, Jackson Browne, Little Feat, Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen, Dwight Yoakam, the Doobie Brothers, Sammy Hagar and others. The event was to have taken place on October 25, 2009 but was canceled two weeks before the event due to poor ticket sales and a steep decline in sponsorship and vendor support.

Madsen has done several films with Daryl Hannah, these include Kill Bill, Shannon's Rainbow, Vice, and the upcoming films Eldorado as well as the film Garbage in which they play friends called Daryl and Michael. Hannah took part in the fictional documentary Being Michael Madsen.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Michael Madsen", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.