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Michael Ironside

Michael Ironside

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: February 12, 1950 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Toronto, Ontario, CA Profession: actor, screenwriter, producer, editor, director, playwright

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Immediately recognizable to film and television audiences for his piercing gaze and gravelly tones, Michael Ironside was a character actor who essayed powerful, often dangerous figures on both sides of the law in countless films, including "Top Gun" (1986), "Total Recall" (1990) and "Terminator Salvation" (2009). He burst onto the international scene as a malevolent telepath in David Cronenberg's gory "Scanners" (1981) and bounced between heels and anti-heroes for the next decade. His ubiquitous presence in everything from low-budget thrillers to straight drama boosted him to Hollywood features in the late '80s and early '90s, as well as television series like "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009) and "Seaquest DSV" (NBC, 1993-96), and continued to divide his time between mainstream and indie product well into the next millennium. His vast body of work and undeniable screen presence made him a favorite among cult movie fans and tough guy aficionados for nearly four decades.

Immediately recognizable to film and television audiences for his piercing gaze and gravelly tones, Michael Ironside was a character actor who essayed powerful, often dangerous figures on both sides of the law in countless films, including "Top Gun" (1986), "Total Recall" (1990) and "Terminator Salvation" (2009). He burst onto the international scene as a malevolent telepath in David Cronenberg's gory "Scanners" (1981) and bounced between heels and anti-heroes for the next decade. His ubiquitous presence in everything from low-budget thrillers to straight drama boosted him to Hollywood features in the late '80s and early '90s, as well as television series like "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009) and "Seaquest DSV" (NBC, 1993-96), and continued to divide his time between mainstream and indie product well into the next millennium. His vast body of work and undeniable screen presence made him a favorite among cult movie fans and tough guy aficionados for nearly four decades.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Stay (2014)
2.
 Ice Soldiers (2014)
3.
 Fighting Man, A (2014)
4.
 Burden of Evil (2012)
5.
6.
 Lake Placid 3 (2010)
7.
 Jazzman, The (2009)
8.
 Beacon, The (2009)
9.
 Hardwired (2009)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1965:
Wrote first play at age 15, "The Shelter", which won first prize in a Canada-wide university contest; produced the play with the prize money
:
While in college, wrote, directed, edited, produced and acted in first film, "Down Where the Lights Are", attracting the attention of actor-director Janine Manatis, whom Ironside has called a major influence
:
Canadian TV debut, "Look Back in Anger"
1978:
Feature acting debut, "High-ballin'"
1979:
American TV-movie debut, "The Family Man" (CBS)
1980:
Shone in David Cronenberg's "Scanners"; Cronenberg rewrote and expanded the part of Darryl Revok for Ironside
1983:
Moved to L.A.
1984:
Had a lead role in the NBC miniseries "V: The Final Battle" and its subsequent spin-off "V: The Series"
1986:
Appeared as Tom Cruise's flight instructor Dick 'Jester' Weatherly in Tony Scott's "Top Gun"
1987:
Portrayed Harry Bennett in syndicated miniseries "Ford: The Man and the Machine"
1987:
Led a hi-tech commando unit in Walter Hill's "Extreme Prejudice"
1990:
First film with director Paul Verhoeven, "Total Recall", playing the sociopathic intelligence agent Richter
1991:
Feature screenwriting and co-producing debut (also actor), "Chaindance"
:
Formed Wilmont Productions with producer Richard Davis
1994:
Played Colonel Dugan (the villain opposing Pat Morita) in "The Next Karate Kid"
1994:
Created the recurring character of Dr William Swift on the hit NBC medical drama "ER"
1994:
Starred with Bruce Dern in USA Network movie "Dead Man's Revenge"
1994:
Joined cast of the NBC series "seaQuest DSV"
1997:
Reteamed with Verhoeven for "Starship Troopers"
1998:
Starred opposite Frederic Forrest in "One of Our Own"
2000:
Played the abusive, alcoholic stepfather in "Crime and Punishment in Suburbia"
2000:
Had featured role in "The Perfect Storm"
2004:
Starred with Christian Bale in "The Machinist"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Ontario College of Art: Toronto , Ontario -

Notes

"My perceptions of who I am as opposed to the characters I'm playing are usually very, very different. I've played a lot of violent characters in the past, a lot of people who have been very sociopathic, psychopathic, psychotic, sick individuals, people who have illnesses. And I'm not. I'm basically a dove, I don't believe violence really solves anything, and I do play violence as an illness, and a desperation." --Michael Ironside to HOLLYWOOD ONLINE, 1997

On paying dues: "It's not the scrimping [while you try to find work] . . . It's the emotional pain of coming in second for parts. That's what busts people and breaks their hearts. [And] do you take a stupid role to pay the rent or hang out to wait for something you respect." --Ironside in USA TODAY, December 5, 1997

On the advantage of being from Canada: "Because the money scale is so low, if you're going to commit to the Canadian film industry, you have to commit completely. I went into it because I wanted to do it, not because I wanted to be somebody. There was always a work ethic involved, and by the time Canadians get here, they know their s--t." --Michael Ironside in DAILY NEWS, July 27, 1993

Ironside can trace his ancestry back to the 13th Century English feudal king Edmund Ironside.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Karen Virginia Ironside. Actor. Married c. 1983.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Robert Walter Ironside.
mother:
Patricia June Ironside.
daughter:
Adrienne Katrina Ironside. Actor. Born c 1974; mother is Ironside's first wife; acted with father in "Captive" (lensed 1997).

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