Mickey Rourke

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Mickey Rourke at the US premiere of City Island on April 26, 2009 at the Tribeca Film Festival

Mickey Rourke (* 16th September 1952 as Philip Andre Rourke Jr., in Schenectady , New York ) is an American actor . From 1991 to 1994 he played eight fights as a professional boxer .

Childhood and youth

His family is of Irish descent, his father Philip immigrated from Cork . Mickey Rourke is the oldest of his biological father's three children, he has a sister (Patty) and a brother (Joey). The latter died in 2004 after a long period of cancer that had existed in childhood, at the age of 50. The father ran a bar, was a caretaker at a golf club, weightlifter and heavy drinker. The family atmosphere was fraught with violence. The grandmother, who lived in the same house, was his early caregiver. After their parents' divorce - Rourke was seven years old - his mother moved the children to Miami, Florida. A year later, she married a police officer who brought five sons into the new family. This family atmosphere was also fraught with violence on the part of the stepfather and the stepbrothers.

Rourke's mother ran a laundromat in Liberty City, a socially problematic suburb of Miami. When Rourke was 15, the family moved to Miami Beach. There he graduated from Miami Beach Senior High School in 1971 . Outstanding were his achievements in sports, especially baseball and boxing. He trained at the Fifth Street Gym boxing school , which Muhammad Ali had previously attended. Rourke had good training fights at the time, but his lack of training discipline prevented greater success.

Acting training and theater

After graduating from school, Rourke lived in a motel and made a living by doing temporary work as an usher , construction worker and warehouse worker. In the exercise of an activity as a laborer, he met a member of the local theater club, leading to a role in the Jean Genet- -Stück Under the supervision led. Rourke successfully repeated the role on a second stage. This was the initial spark for his professional direction as a performing artist.

In 1975 he went to New York . There he succeeded in the second attempt at the renowned Actors Studio , where he received extensive acting training in method acting according to Lee Strasberg under Sandra Seacat , as did Marlon Brando , Robert DeNiro and Steve McQueen , an early acting role model for Rourke , before him . In 1977 he made his successful stage debut in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge in the role of Eddie.


Mickey Rourke at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival

At the age of 16, Rourke gave up a promising career as an amateur boxer after a concussion. He himself later said he had to "get back in the ring - to feel like a man again".

In 1979 he was discovered by Steven Spielberg for 1941 - Where Do You Go To Hollywood (1979). He had his breakthrough in the early 1980s with the films American Diner , Barry Levinson's debut film , and Rumble Fish , directed by Francis Ford Coppola . He played leading roles in the erotic film 9½ weeks (1986) with Kim Basinger , in Michael Cimino's In the Year of the Dragon (1985), in the occult thriller Angel Heart (1987) by Alan Parker ("cool, rough and vulnerable - at the same time" - Darren Aronofsky ) and Barfly based on a script by Charles Bukowski .

In the 1980s and 1990s, at the time of Rumble Fish , 9 1/2 Weeks and Angel Heart , Rourke was highly valued and admired as an exceptional talent; his screen presence has been compared to that of James Dean , Marlon Brando or Humphrey Bogart .

With Wilde Orchidee (1990) he managed to repeat the success of 9½ weeks at the side of Jacqueline Bisset and Carré Otis . The film grossed over $ 100 million worldwide. In the same year, the Michael Cimino thriller was released 24 hours under his control (with Anthony Hopkins , a remake of A Day Like Everyone Else ) . When the film flopped at the box office , Rourke decided to become a professional boxer. However, he only played eight fights, of which he won six and two ended in a draw. However, he sustained various injuries, such as B. A broken nose, broken toe, and broken ribs. He also injured his tongue and one cheekbone. At one point he even suffered from short-term memory loss. At first he tried to take on film roles in addition to his boxing career, but this was hardly possible due to time and insurance reasons. In 1993 he turned down director Quentin Tarantino's offer to play the role of boxer Butch Coolidge in his film Pulp Fiction , who was then played by Bruce Willis .

When he returned to working as an actor after his boxing career ended in the mid-1990s, the rebellious Rourke had to settle for roles in B-movies or supporting roles in films by well-known directors such as Francis Ford Coppola's Der Regenmacher (1997), Tony Scott's husband Fire (2004) or in Sometime in Mexico (2004) by Robert Rodriguez . He was able to convince in these roles, so that in 2005 he was offered one of the leading roles in the comic film Sin City by Rodriguez as the criminal Marv, who avenged the murder of his prostitute girlfriend Goldie , and thus celebrated a highly regarded comeback. His performance as a bounty hunter in Tony Scott's Domino (also 2005) was critically acclaimed, although the film flopped.

At the age of 56 he shone in Darren Aronofsky's film The Wrestler in 2008 in the role of the tragic freak and wrestling veteran Randy "The Ram" Robinson. The film won the Golden Lion at the 65th Venice Film Festival . Jury President Wim Wenders regretted that due to the regulations of the Festival, film and actor awards may not be combined. Mickey Rourke would have recommended himself for the Coppa Volpi with his performance in The Wrestler . In addition to numerous other awards, he received the Golden Globe for best actor in a drama , the British Academy Film Award and his first Oscar nomination for The Wrestler .

In 2010, Rourke then played the villain Ivan Vanko in the blockbuster Iron Man 2 and was also used in other major Hollywood productions such as The Expendables or War of the Gods .


Rourke played eight fights as a professional boxer between May 1991 and September 1994 in the light heavyweight division, of which he won six. Two fights ended in a draw. At the beginning, Rourke, who is considered a Hollywood handsome by box fans, had to endure a lot of ridicule . This was also the case in November 1993, when he competed against his compatriot Thomas McCoy in Hamburg as part of the supporting program for the World Cup match between Markus Bott and Nestor Giovannini . Rourke received a fee of 200,000 D-Marks for the fight in Hamburg, but was whistled by the spectators in view of a poor performance despite his victory. In 1994 he received the offer for a WBO fight, but previously resigned as a boxer on the advice of a neurologist after a memory loss. He got into the ring again for a show fight in Moscow in 2014 . In total, Rourke was able to "fight for" about 1 million dollars as a boxer and always attracted many spectators to the boxing arenas.

Private life

Until 1989 Rourke was married to the actress Debra Feuer , from 1992 to 1998 with the American model Carré Otis . Otis, whom he met while filming "Wilde Orchidee", reported him in 1994 for domestic violence , but did not testify against him in court. On the other hand, Rourke supported her in coping with her drug problem. On November 8, 2007, Rourke hit the headlines again when he was withdrawn from traffic on charges of "driving under the influence" and subsequently sent to the Miami-Dade Pre-trial Detention Center.

Since 2009 Rourke has been in a relationship with the Russian model Anastassija Makarenko, who grew up in Germany, which is why they both moved into a second home in Wiesbaden in May 2011 . During this move he made negative comments about Germany, also influenced by the impressions he had during his boxing match in Hamburg. When shooting the episode film Berlin, I Love You 2017, Rourke was enthusiastic about the German capital .

At the beginning of November 2011 he was given a seat in front of the Chinese Theater with his autograph, hand and footprint in a floor slab on Hollywood Boulevard.

Filmography (selection)



List of awards
year Award nomination Movie result
1983 Boston Society of Film Critics Award Best supporting actor American diner Won
National Society of Film Critics Best supporting actor
1987 Jupiter Best Actor Angel Heart and On the Wings of Death Won
1988 Independent Spirit Awards Best Actor Barfly
1991 Golden Raspberry Worst actor Desperate Hours
Wild orchid
2006 Saturn Award Best supporting actor Sin City Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Best supporting actor
Irish Film and Television Awards Best International Actor
Online Film Critics Society Best supporting actor
Satellite Award Best supporting actor
Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Best ensemble
Critics' Choice Movie Award Best ensemble
Total Film magazine Man of the Year Elected
2008 Moviefone Sexiest Movie Couple 9½ weeks Elected
Golden Orange Award Honorary award Won
Satellite Awards Best Actor - Drama The wrestler
Washington DC Area Film Critics Best Actor Won
Golden lion Best Actor Won
San Francisco Film Critics Best Actor Won
Broadcast Film Critics Best Actor
San Diego Film Critics Society Best Actor Won
Toronto Film Critics Association Best Actor Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Actor Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Best Actor Won
Detroit Film Critics Society Best Actor Won
2009 Golden Globe Award Best Actor - Drama Won
Independent Spirit Award Best Actor Won
BAFTA Award Best Actor Won
Academy Awards Best Actor
Chlotrudis Awards Best Actor
Screen Actors Guild Awards Best Actor
Santa Barbara International Film Festival Best Actor Riviera Award Won
2010 Scream Awards Best villain Iron man 2 Won
2011 MTV Movie Awards Best villain Iron man 2


Web links

Commons : Mickey Rourke  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. There are different details about the year of his birth, for example in various reputable sources in 1950 and 1952.

Individual evidence

  1. Miami Police Prison Arrest Protocol ( Memento of the original from May 29, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 2.41 MB) mentions 1952 as the year of birth on page 5 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.aolcdn.com
  2. Mickey Rourke's desperate truths . ( Memento of the original from December 25, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: Salon Magazine , May 15, 2002 (English) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / dir.salon.com
  3. a b BoxRec: Mickey Rourke. Retrieved October 13, 2019 .
  4. ^ A b Adolf Heinzlmeier: Mickey Rourke. The rebellious Hollywood star. Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1990, ISBN 3-404-61172-1 , pp. 19-22, Meinolf Zurhorst: Mickey Rourke. His films - his life. Heyne-Filmbibliothek, Volume 129. Heyne, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-453-03011-7 , pp. 19-23
  5. Source noted performance as "Eddie" Heinzlmeier: Mickey Rourke. The rebellious Hollywood star. Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1990, ISBN 3-404-61172-1 , p. 33
  6. There is hardly anything that I do not regret . In: Berliner Zeitung , February 21, 2009; Conversation with Mariam Schaghaghi
  7. ^ David Jenkins: Darren Aronofsky on the films behind 'The Wrestler'. In: Time Out London. Retrieved on February 13, 2009 (English): "cool, so tough and so soft at the same time"
  8. Source: Contemporary document: Star portrait from 1987 on the DVD "Angel Heart" released in 2000, sub-item: Special Features, sub-item: Star Portraits, sub-item: Mickey Rourke. Kinowelt GmbH. Original text and translation: “ Few actors working in Hollywood today [1987] can claim the admiration, curiosity and respect that this man, Mickey Rourke, can. He is - without question - one of the hottest young actors in the business. And in the opinion of those qualified to judge, one of the best. A former pretzel pusher on the sidewalks in the streets of New York, he is today being compared with the likes of James Dean, Marlon Brando, Robert de Niro and even Humphrey Bogart. "(German:" Only a few actors who work in Hollywood today [1987] can be said to enjoy as much admiration or respect as this man, Mickey Rourke. He is without a doubt one of the most sought-after young actors in the And by those who can tell, one of the best, once a pretzel seller on the sidewalks of New York City, today [1987] he is compared to the likes of James Dean, Marlon Brando, Robert de Niro and even Humphrey Bogart. ")
  9. Obituary for the director Zalman King (English)
  10. Mickey Rourke: I've hacked off so many people in Hollywood, who the hell would give me an Oscar? In: The Daily Mail , February 20, 2009
  11. Interview: Mickey Rourke. In: The Scotsman , January 10, 2009
  12. a b The second careers of Hollywood stars. Der Spiegel , October 12, 2017, accessed on April 11, 2020 .
  13. a b The holy sinner. Der Spiegel , August 8, 2003, accessed April 11, 2020 .
  14. My pride saved me. Der Spiegel , August 12, 2005, accessed April 11, 2020 .
  15. 65. mostra internazionale d'arte cinematografica . ( Memento of the original from September 8, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. arte.tv @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.arte.tv
  16. Video interview 2008 Venice Film Festival
  17. The last gladiator. Der Spiegel , February 25, 2009, accessed April 11, 2020 .
  18. a b “The Wrestler” wins the Golden Lion in Venice . In: welt.de , September 8, 2008
  19. Mickey Rourke shows his evil side in Iron Man 2. Weser-Kurier , April 30, 2010, accessed on April 11, 2020 .
  20. Mickey Rourke's Mickey Mouse Number. In: Hamburger Abendblatt. November 22, 1993. Retrieved October 13, 2019 .
  21. Carré Otis - Then and Now: What do the top models of the 80s and 90s do? In: gmx.net
  22. Mickey Rourke Busted… on a Vespa !! In: TMZ , November 8, 2007
  23. Real estate: Mickey Rourke now lives in Wiesbaden . In: FAZ.net
  24. Doesn't his model feel like him anymore? Image , June 17, 2017, accessed April 11, 2020 .
  25. Lousy surgeons, dreary cities, mean audiences. Der Spiegel , November 2, 2011, accessed April 11, 2020 .
  26. Actor Mickey Rourke is enthusiastic about Berlin. Der Tagesspiegel , October 2, 2017, accessed on April 11, 2020 .
  27. Mickey Rourke autograph Hollywood Walk of Fame . ( Memento of the original from February 2, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Acceptance speech on laist.com, also on youtube @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / laist.com
  28. Overview of the Jupiter Awards