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Date of Birth: 16/09/1952
Biography: An American actor, screenwriter and retired boxer, who has appeared primarily as a leading man in action, drama, and thriller films.
During the 1980s, Rourke starred in Diner, Rumble Fish, and the erotic drama 9½ Weeks, and received critical praise for his work in Barfly and Angel Heart. In 1991, Rourke, who had trained as a boxer in his early years, left acting and became a professional boxer for a period. He had supporting roles in several later films, including The Rainmaker, Buffalo '66, The Pledge, Get Carter, Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Man on Fire.
In 2005, Rourke made his comeback in mainstream Hollywood circles with a lead role in Sin City, for which he won awards from the Chicago Film Critics Association, the Irish Film and Television Awards and the Online Film Critics Society. In the 2008 film The Wrestler, Rourke portrayed a past-his-prime wrestler, and garnered a 2009 Golden Globe award, a BAFTA award, and a nomination for an Academy Award.
In 2010, he appeared in the blockbusters Iron Man 2 and The Expendables.
Rourke was born Philip Andre Rourke, Jr., in Schenectady, New York, to a family of Irish and French descent. He was raised Roman Catholic and still practices his faith. His father, Philip Andre Rourke, Sr., an amateur body builder, left the family when Mickey was six years old. After his parents divorced, his mother, Ann, married Eugene Addis, a Miami Beach police officer with five sons, and moved Rourke, his younger brother, and their sister to southern Florida. There, he graduated from Miami Beach Senior High School in 1971.
During his teenage years, Rourke focused his attention mainly on sports. He took up self-defence training at the Boys Club of Miami. It was there that he learned boxing skills and decided on an amateur career. At age 12, Rourke won his first boxing match as a 118-pound bantamweight (53.5 kg), fighting some of his early matches under the name Andre Rourke. He continued his boxing training at the famed 5th Street Gym, in Miami Beach, Florida, where Muhammad Ali began his career. In 1969, Rourke, then weighing 140 lbs. (63.5 kg), sparred with former World Welterweight Champion Luis Rodríguez. Rodriguez was the number one-rated middleweight boxer in the world and was training for his match with world champion Conor Scullion. Rourke boxed Scullion and claims to have received a concussion in this sparring match.
At the 1971 Florida Golden Gloves, Rourke suffered another concussion in a boxing match. After being told by doctors to take a year off and rest, Rourke temporarily retired from the ring. From 1964 to 1972, he compiled an amateur record of 20 wins (17 by knockout) and 6 defeats, which included wins over Ron Carter, Charles Gathers and Joe Riles.
After his retirement from boxing, Rourke did accept supporting roles in several 1990s films, including Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of John Grisham's The Rainmaker, Vincent Gallo's Buffalo '66, Steve Buscemi's Animal Factory, Sean Penn's The Pledge and Sylvester Stallone's remake of Get Carter. Rourke has also written several films under the name "Sir Eddie Cook", including Bullet, in which he co-starred with close friend Tupac Shakur.
Rourke has dated several celebrities, including Terry Farrell and Sasha Volkova. He has been married twice. In 1981, he married Debra Feuer, whom he met on the set of Hardcase (1981) and who co-starred with him in Homeboy (1990) as his love interest. The marriage ended in 1989, with Rourke subsequently commenting that making the film 9½ Weeks "was not particularly considerate to my wife's needs." The two have remained good friends, according to an interview Feuer gave in 2009.
Wild Orchid co-star CarreOtis was briefly a cause celebre following the release of the film owing to rumours that she and then-lover Rourke filmed an unsimulated love scene. Otis married Rourke on June 26, 1992. In 1994, Rourke was arrested for spousal abuse. The charges were later dropped. The couple reconciled and also starred together in Exit in Red, but their marriage ended in December 1998. In November 2007, Rourke was arrested again, this time on DUI charges in Miami Beach.
In 2008, Rourke confessed he had never fully recovered from the split, despite their difficult partnership, admitting that he had resigned himself to a life of meaningless trysts because he would never be able to match the powerful love he had found with Otis.
He said, "I waited 10 years for her to come back... I won't compromise. Carre was thunder and lightning. If I can't have thunder and lighting then I won't have anything. It'll be a one-night stand here and there, but I'm not going to compromise. I can't."
Otis reveals she was furious with her ex's comments because she had just started a family with her second husband, environmental scientist Matthew Sutton - but her anger soon turned to pity because she realised the only person Rourke was hurting was himself.
Appearing on U.S. newsman Anderson Cooper's new talk show (11Oct11), Otis says, "It (Rourke's comments) was totally inappropriate. I'm a wife and a mother of two little girls today and I have done so much work (to heal emotionally) and that was so long ago. And for me it just felt like, really a testament to his evolution, and (he should) just let it go.
"His star (in Hollywood) is rising and it should rise, and he doesn't need to bring up a bunch of old stuff. It doesn't benefit him; it doesn't serve him well to carry that baggage any longer."
In numerous TV and print interviews, he attributes his comeback after fourteen years to weekly meetings with a psychiatrist, "Steve," and to a Catholic priest he identified as "Father Pete."