Now Viewing: steven_seagal
Tag type: Character
Actor/filmmaker/guitarist/sheriff/Aikido practitioner born on April 10, 1952 in Lansing, Michigan. He often ties his hair into a ponytail. In his earlier films, he was a relatively lean man, but in his later films, he put on a considerable amount of weight.
He became interested in martial arts when he was working at a restaurant as a teenager. One of the cooks was a Japanese shotokan karate expert who noted that Seagal moved quickly around the kitchen and decided to teach him some karate. Seagal later studied Aikido under Harry Kiyoshi Ishisaka, who he considers to be the most important martial arts teacher in his life. He continued to study Aikido and eventually opened the 1st Aikido dojo operated by a foreigner in Japan and married a fellow Aikido practitioner Fujitani Miyako. He continued to focus on teaching Aikido and worked on a few films behind the scenes as a stunt coordinator/martial arts instructor until 1987 when a student of his, Michael Ovitz, helped him start his acting career by taking him to Warner Bros. to do an Aikido demonstration. Seagal then made his film debut/breakthrough role with Above the Law in 1988, notably making him one of the relatively few actors to have a successful film debut, let along first lead role. While his film career was successful through the late 1980s-1990s, his film career slowed down considerably in the late 90s due to making quite a few films that were box office failures as well as controversies surrounding his off-screen behavior. Afterwards, he mostly starred in direct to video films, only sporadically appearing in bigger budgeted theatrical movies.
His movies are often filled with his characters breaking the joints of the villains he fights; besides having their limbs snapped, the villains tend to suffer gruesome demises, even by action movie standards, in his films. He often plays larger-than-life tough heroes who are massively superior to their opponents in martial ability, rarely suffering significant damage.
His daughter from his first wife, Fujitani Miyako is writer and actress Fujitani Ayako.
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