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Martial Arts

Superstars – Steven Seagal

Born in Lansing, Michigan on April 10, 1952, Steven Seagal is a man of diverse character whose spiritual beliefs and humanity have been woven into every aspect of his life, especially in his later years. Son of a Math teacher and a Medical Technician, Steven’s childhood was underscored by a fascination with the Martial Arts and the blues. Steven Seagal mastered Martial Arts at an early age, becoming a 7th degree black belt and Aikido master, while at the same time, has become an accomplished film star as well as (more recently) a very popular blues musician, releasing his second album in 2005, the critically acclaimed Mojo Priest.

Steven is best known for his roles as an action hero with an acting career that was launched from his Los Angeles Dojo in the late 80’s where he taught Martial Arts to the likes of Sean Connery, James Coburn and the famed talent agent, Michael Ovitz. Ovitz was the man who arranged for Steven to co-write and star in his first and hugely successful action film “Above the Law” in 1988, one of the grittiest and darkest martial arts actions films to be released. From there his career saw the release of over 20 movies and $2 billion in box office receipts. Steven doesn’t just act he also has a hand in writing, producing, and directing.

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Above the Law. (1988)—Playing a Chicago cop Nico Toscani who discovers a web of corruption in the city’s police department, directed by Andrew Davis.

Hard to Kill (1990)—Playing a cop out for vengeance, with assistance from a nurse (played by then-wife Kelly LeBrock).

Marked for Death (1990)—Playing a retired DEA agent who returns to his hometown, to find an evil drug lord in charge.

Out for Justice (1991)—Playing an NYPD cop in Brooklyn on the hunt for an old childhood rival who killed his best friend

Under Siege (1992)—Another Andrew Davis movie, about a cook (Casey Ryback) on a Navy ship who prevents nuclear Armageddon. This was his most successful movie. Also has Erika Eleniak popping out of a cake. Happy Birthday Admiral!

On Deadly Ground (1994)—A movie in which he befriends an Alaskan Native Indian tribe and fights against an evil oil company. This is Seagal’s directorial debut; he also produced. However, the movie underperformed at the box office and damaged his career.

Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995)—Seagal returns as Casey Ryback, this time out to foil a mad scientist who tries to hijack a satellite weapon hidden on-board a train.

Executive Decision (1996)—Playing the head of an elite military team that must stop a plane carrying a nerve-gas bomb. The only time Seagal is killed during the course of a movie in which he has appeared.

The Glimmer Man (1996)—Playing a detective who (along with Keenan Ivory Wayans) must find a serial killer.

Fire Down Below (1997)—Playing a hard-hitting EPA agent investigating a mine in Kentucky.

The Patriot (1998)—Playing a Canadian who foils an evil, virus-releasing militia.

Prince of Central Park (2000)—Credited as producer.

Exit Wounds (2001)—Playing a tough urban detective who tries to clean up his precinct with the help of a wealthy business man who in turn is trying to free his brother from jail.

Ticker (2001)—Playing the leader of a bomb squad.

Half Past Dead (2002)—Playing a Russian FBI agent, Sasha Petrosevitch, who goes to jail undercover.

The Foreigner (2003)—Political intrigue and scandal plague Seagal’s character, Jonathan Cold, in this film.

Out for a Kill (2003)—Playing an archaeologist who avenges the death of his assistant by the Chinese Triads.

Belly of the Beast (2003)—Playing a retired agent who must go to Thailand with his old partner to save his kidnapped daughter and her friends.

Out of Reach (2004)—Seagal attempts to save a kidnapped girl.

Clementine (2004)—Guest stars in this Korean martial arts film.

Unititled Onion Project (unreleased as of 2005) —Guest stars in a spoof of himself by the makers of The Onion.

Into the Sun (2005)—Playing a CIA operative in Tokyo who must take on the yakuza.

Submerged (2005)—Playing a mercenary who must fight terrorists.

Today You Die (2005)—Seagal plays a former thief who is trying to go straight and seeks vengeance on those who framed him

Black Dawn (2005)—Seagal returns as Jonathan Cold in this continuation of “Foreigner” franchise.

Mercenary for Justice (2006)—Playing a mercenary who is blackmailed into a mission to save his family, only to turn the tables on his blackmailers.

Shadow Man (2006)—Playing a former intelligence operative who must find his kidnapped daughter in Bucharest while also defeating various parties who believe he has a lethal virus.

Attack Force (2006)—Plays Marshall Lawson, the leader of a strike-team.

Flight of Fury (2007)—Playing John Sands, a former soldier who is sent to retrieve a stolen stealth bomber.

Once Upon A Time In The Hood (2007)—Out for revenge after his son is shot dead by the local gang leader.

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Little do people know but Steven has always played a cop or military official/agent (sometimes ‘retired’) in every one of his films. He has also clarified the purpose of his films: “Above the Law was a politically conscientious movie. On Deadly Ground was environmentally conscientious so I want to keep making movies like that which are more geared with a certain entertainment value but also bring people forward into contemplation.”

Now, Steven has put his movies onto the back burner and is instead concentrating on his true love, music. Having played the Blues since before he started the martial arts, Steven has honed his guitar skills, playing his music with some of the greatest blues legends to walk this earth. BB King, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker and his greatest influence, and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown are all among those who Steven has jammed with and also shares a common bond – the blues. Both is albums, ‘Songs from the Crystal Cave’ and ‘Mojo Priest’ show a side to Steven that most people wouldn’t be familiar with.

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7.


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