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|Also Known As:||Boz Bosworth||Died:|
|Born:||March 9, 1965||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA||Profession:||actor, writer, professional football player|
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With his flamboyant antics and attention-grabbing hairstyles, Brian Bosworth made a name for himself during the 1980s as one of the bad boys of football. In interviews, he described himself as an entertainer and his brash, punk persona seemed to have been cultivated with that in mind. Fortunately for "The Boz," he was also a terrific inside linebacker and a two-time winner of the Butkus Award. He distinguished himself to such an extent while a member of the Oklahoma Sooners, that Bosworth was the Seattle Seahawks' number one draft pick. He accepted a then record $11 million offer from that National Football League team, making one of the splashiest professional sports debuts seen up to that time. However, persistent shoulder problems eventually ended his career after only two dozen games. Aiming for the sort of fanfare that had accompanied his football days, Bosworth turned to acting and essayed the starring role in the motorcycle gang action movie "Stone Cold" (1991). However, the film disappeared quickly from theaters and Bosworth was forced to toil in a series of low-budget pictures that debuted in video stores and on cable stations. A stint on series television proved more embarrassing when his...
With his flamboyant antics and attention-grabbing hairstyles, Brian Bosworth made a name for himself during the 1980s as one of the bad boys of football. In interviews, he described himself as an entertainer and his brash, punk persona seemed to have been cultivated with that in mind. Fortunately for "The Boz," he was also a terrific inside linebacker and a two-time winner of the Butkus Award. He distinguished himself to such an extent while a member of the Oklahoma Sooners, that Bosworth was the Seattle Seahawks' number one draft pick. He accepted a then record $11 million offer from that National Football League team, making one of the splashiest professional sports debuts seen up to that time. However, persistent shoulder problems eventually ended his career after only two dozen games. Aiming for the sort of fanfare that had accompanied his football days, Bosworth turned to acting and essayed the starring role in the motorcycle gang action movie "Stone Cold" (1991). However, the film disappeared quickly from theaters and Bosworth was forced to toil in a series of low-budget pictures that debuted in video stores and on cable stations. A stint on series television proved more embarrassing when his show "Lawless" (Fox, 1997) was yanked after only a single episode. Although he revealed tremendous abilities on the field during his college days, Bosworth physical misfortunes and exceedingly short-lived career ended up defining him.
Brian Keith Bosworth was born in Oklahoma City, OK on March 9, 1965. Interested in football from a young age, the 6'2" Bosworth had become a formidable opponent by the time he graduated from MacArthur High School in Irving, TX. He attended Oklahoma University and quickly distinguished himself on the school's football team, the Oklahoma Sooners. Bosworth won the Butkus Award as America's premiere linebacker on two occasions and was hailed for his tackling abilities, but earned almost as much ink for his hairstyles - particularly a bleached blond Mohawk -and constant criticism of the National College Athletic Association. That war of words with the league intensified when Bosworth was banned from playing in the 1987 Orange Bowl following a drug test that revealed the presence of anabolic steroids in his system. The football star argued to no avail that the drug had been administered to him by a physician and had simply not cleared his system in time for the test. When Bosworth displayed his displeasure with the NCAA from the sidelines by wearing a shirt saying "National Communists Against Athletes," it was deemed one misstep too many and he was booted off the team.
For all of his bombast and questionable choices, Bosworth delivered during his time in Oklahoma and also displayed similar tenacity off the field with an academic performance that put to rest any suggestion he was being carried by the university. Whatever negative impressions Bosworth's dismissal generated proved short-lived and had no serious effect on his professional prospects. With that impressive college record, Bosworth was in great demand among NFL teams and was chosen as a first round draft pick by the Seattle Seahawks. In 1987, Bosworth signed a 10-year, $11 million contract with the team, the highest ever for a rookie. He was flying high and so published a tongue-in-cheek autobiography, titled The Boz (1988), in which he made claims of drug use and other excesses by Sooner team members. However, football took a major toil on his body and Bosworth's shoulders soon proved to be his undoing. His right shoulder had already been problematic and issues with the left one eventually rendered him unable to perform. After consultation, the Seahawks decided Bosworth's health situation was too risky from a legal standpoint to keep him on the field. After lengthy build-up as one of the most promising players to come along in years, the 24-year-old's pro career was over after a mere 24 games spread out over three seasons.
After laser surgery and therapy helped to make him more physically functional, Bosworth's ongoing relationship with agent Gary Wichard - later cited by Cameron Crowe as one of the inspirations for his 1996 hit film "Jerry Maguire" - helped him segue into a new arena. Former NFL football stars like Jim Brown and Fred Williamson were able to move on to successful big screen careers and with his good looks and larger-than-life persona, Bosworth seemed like a natural as an action hero. He was granted the starring role in his first feature, "Stone Cold" (1991), which cast him as a tough undercover cop assigned to infiltrate an especially dangerous motorcycle gang. While hardly monumental, the film offered some entertaining scenes - including a now famous bit where Bosworth's character used a motorcycle to bring down a helicopter - and colorfully over-the-top performances by veteran character actors Lance Henriksen and William Forsythe as the villains. While "Stone Cold" garnered a reasonable amount of pre-release publicity, it failed to draw many patrons upon its opening in May 1991, grossing only slightly more than half of its production cost. The film was also a difficult experience for its star from a physical standpoint as Bosworth's shoulders required frequent therapy treatment.
While it made up for some of it losses in other markets, the theatrical failure of "Stone Cold" relegated Bosworth to the direct-to-video sidelines after just one movie. While they offered occasional moments of low-rent entertainment, films like "One Man's Justice" (1996), "Blackout" (1996), "Virus" (1996) and "Back in Business" (1997) made little impression. Television called, however, and Bosworth was granted his own action series, "Lawless" (Fox, 1997), playing the title role of detective John Lawless. Unfortunately, the show was so poorly received that it was removed after only a single episode had aired. Thus, after undertaking a minor role in David O. Russell's "Three Kings" (1997), it was back to the DTV minors for Bosworth with "The Operative" (2000), "Mach 2" (2001), and "Phase IV" (2002), plus guest appearances on "Nash Bridges" (CBS, 1996-2001) and "CSI: Miami" (CBS, 2002-2012), and a stint as a commentator for the short-lived XFL Football league. No longer in play as a leading man, Bosworth essayed small parts in the Adam Sandler remake of "The Longest Yard" (2005), the comedy "Rock Slyde: Private Eye" (2009), and the family movie "Down and Distance" (2010). In 2009, Bosworth was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and was required to lecture high school students about his crime as part of court ordered community service duties.
By John Charles
Filmographyclose complete filmography
CAST: (feature film)
Milestones close milestones
"Football was just entertainment. The rawest, most barbaric form of entertainment." --Brian Bosworth quoted in PEOPLE, June 10, 1991
"He is not a good actor, but then he wasn't such a good football player either. As a linebacker . . . Bosworth parlayed an excess of personality, earrings, dyed blond hair and a better body through chemistry into national celebrity. The Boz seems to be the first movie hero specifically manufactured in sports, the human equivalent of a hot house, gas-blown beef tomato. The key, documented ingredients in his production have been peroxide and steroids. They do work." --Robert Lipsyte writing in THE NEW YORK TIMES, May 17, 1991
"Unlike any of the other action stars, he can relate to the younger audience in the way he talks, dresses, even moves." --Rick Bieber, president, Stonebridge Entertaniment, quoted in NEW YORK, April 1, 1991
"It is no coincidence that all these [new action] actors come from the world of contacts sports, where they learned how to flex and preen, how to stare pitilessly into their opponents' eyes, and, most of all, how to inflict pain--the every qualities needed for them to become all-purpose action heroes." --From "Hollywood's New Action Toys" by John Taylor, NEW YORK April 1, 1991
On first seeing Bosworth play as a collegian: "I thought, 'This is one of those rare guys who can be larger than life.' Just the way he walked off the field, the way he pumped up the crowd. He was strutting his stuff. He was letting everyone know that he was in charge. It was an ego, a charisma that stars have. He had that thing like it was Richard Burton doing Hamlet and you're watching him all over the stage and you can't get your eyes off him." --Gary Wichard in the LOS ANGELES TIMES, March 3, 1991
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