Michael Rooker

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Michael Rooker
Michael Rooker 2013 02 (cropped).jpg
Rooker in April 2013
Born(1955-04-06) April 6, 1955 (age 58)
Jasper, Alabama
Years active1986–present
Spouse(s)Margot Rooker
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Michael Rooker
Michael Rooker 2013 02 (cropped).jpg
Rooker in April 2013
Born(1955-04-06) April 6, 1955 (age 58)
Jasper, Alabama
Years active1986–present
Spouse(s)Margot Rooker

Michael Rooker (born April 6, 1955) is an American actor, best known for his roles as Henry in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Merle Dixon in The Walking Dead, Frank Bailey in Mississippi Burning, Hal Tucker in Cliffhanger, and Rowdy Burns in Days of Thunder.

Early life[edit]

Michael Rooker was born in Jasper, Alabama. He has eight brothers and sisters. His parents divorced when he was 13 years old, and he moved with his mother and siblings to Chicago, Illinois, where he studied at the Goodman School of Drama.[1][2][3]


Rooker made his film debut in 1986, playing the title role in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, a film based on the confessions of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas.[4] He was acting in a play when the director of the play, who was going to do the prosthetics for Henry, told him about the film. Rooker did not care if the script was good or bad, he just wanted to act in a film as it would "challenge" himself.[5] Henry was a critical success and got Rooker noticed in the filmmaking industry, which led to his receiving more film roles.

Rooker was given more dramatic roles in films such as Eight Men Out, Mississippi Burning, and JFK, but he became widely known for his roles in action and thriller films such as Sea of Love, Days of Thunder, Cliffhanger,[6] and Tombstone.[7] He also starred in Mallrats, Rosewood, The 6th Day, Slither, Jumper, Super[8] and Hypothermia.[9][10]

In June 2010, he revealed via Twitter that he was to appear in the AMC television series The Walking Dead as Merle Dixon, one of the survivors of a zombie apocalypse. He guest starred in two episodes of the first season and one of the second season before finally becoming a series regular for the third season.[11][12]

Rooker is also known for his roles in video games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops (where he played himself), Mike Harper in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 in November 2012, and voiced Merle in The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, the video game based on the television series.

In April 2013, Rooker was cast as Yondu in the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy, which is being directed by James Gunn, Rooker's frequent collaborator.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Rooker is married to Margot Rooker. They have two daughters[14] and one granddaughter.



1986Henry: Portrait of a Serial KillerHenryFantasporto Award for Best Actor
Golden Space Needle Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
1987Light of DayOogie
1988Above the LawMan in bar
1988Eight Men OutArnold "Chick" Gandil
1988Mississippi BurningFrank Bailey
1989Sea of LoveTerry Cruger
1989The EdgeDeputy Sheriff
1989L.A. TakedownBosko
1989Music BoxKarchy Laszlo
1990Days of ThunderRowdy Burns
1991JFKBill Broussard
1992AfterburnCasey "Z" Zankowski
1993The Dark HalfSheriff Alan Pangborn
1993CliffhangerHal Tucker
1993TombstoneSherman McMaster
1994SuspiciousAttendantShort film
1994The Hard TruthJonah Mantz
1995MallratsJared Svenning
1995Johnny & ClydeFrank Tennant
1996Bastard Out of CarolinaUncle Earle
1996The Trigger EffectGary
1996Keys to TulsaKeith Michaels
1996Back to BackBob Malone
1997Song of HiawathaBertrand
1997RosewoodSheriff Walker
1998The Replacement KillersStan "Zeedo" Zedkov
1998Shadow BuilderFather Vassey
1998Brown's RequiemFritz Brown
1998Renegade ForceMatt Cooper
1999A Table for OneMatt Draper
Dr. Matthew Swan
1999Bone Collector, TheThe Bone CollectorCaptain Howard Cheney
2000Table OneRowdy
2000Here on EarthMalcolm Arnold
2000NewsBreakJohn McNamara
2000The 6th DayRobert Marshall
2001ReplicantDet. Jake Riley
2001Hostage Rescue TeamSpecial Agent Nicholas Roberts
2002UndisputedAJ Mercker
2003The BoxDet. Stafford
2003On Thin IceHopkins
2003Saving Jessica LynchCol. Curry
2004Skeleton ManCapt. Leary
2004The EliminatorMiles Dawson
2005Chasing GhostsMark Spencer
2006Lenexa, 1 MileRuss
2006SlitherGrant Grant
2008The Lena Baker StoryRandolph County Sheriff
2008JumperWilliam Rice
2008This Man's LifeRichard CrummlyShort film
2009Super CapersJudge
Dark Winged Vesper
2009The Marine 2Church
2010Scott's DeadMitchShort film
2010Freeway KillerDetective St. John
2010Blood Done Sign My NameDefense Attorney Billy Watkins
2010Cell 213Ray Clement
2010DC Showcase: Jonah HexRed DocVoice
Short film
2010LouisPat McMurphy
2010MatadorsJohn Canterna
2010Atlantis DownFather / Alien
2011MysteriaCaptain McCarthy
2011ElwoodCondelloShort film
2012PennhurstDount Shop EmployeeDirector
2012HypothermiaRay Pelletier
2012Outlaw CountryLarkin's henchman
2013Brother's KeeperChief Carver
2014Guardians of the GalaxyYonduPost-Production


1986Crime StoryLieutenantEpisode: "Pilot"
1988The EqualizerBill WhitakerEpisode: "No Place Like Home"
1989Gideon OliverDet. John QuinnEpisode: "Sleep Well, Professor Oliver"
1990Equal JusticeWallace 'Wally' DaltonEpisode: "Sugar Blues"
1995Fallen AngelsBabe McCloorEpisode: "Fly Paper"
2001Outer Limits, TheThe Outer LimitsCol. BeckettEpisode: "Patient Zero"
2002JeremiahMajor QuantrellEpisode: "Firewall"
2003TremorsKinneyEpisode: "Hit and Run"
LuckyGibbyEpisode: "Savant"
Stargate SG-1Col. EdwardsEpisode: "Enemy Mine"
CSI: MiamiMarty JonesEpisode: "Dead Zone"
2004Las VegasMarcus WexlerEpisode: "Degas Away with It"
2005Numb3rsDon's partnerUnaired pilot episode
JAGCapt. Jack RamseyEpisode: "Heart of Darkness"
2006ThiefDet. John HayesMiniseries
2007Crossing JordanShawn CuracoEpisode: "D.O.A."
2008Law & OrderJamie YostEpisode: "Executioner"
SharkOscar RiddickEpisode: "Bar Fight"
ChuckMauserEpisode: "Chuck Versus Santa Claus"
Humanzee!PriestEpisode: "Pilot"
2009MeteorCalvin StarkMiniseries
Criminal MindsChief CarlsonEpisode: "House on Fire"
PsychGarth LongmoreEpisode: "Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark"
2010Burn NoticeDale LawsonEpisode: "Guilty as Charged"
2010–13Walking Dead, TheThe Walking DeadMerle DixonSeason 1 (recurring; 2 episodes)
Season 2 (guest; 1 episode)
Season 3 (series regular; 11 episodes)
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series (2012)
2012ArcherSheriff EZ PonderVoice
Episode: "Bloody Ferlin"
2013ConanMerle Dixon/HimselfEpisode: "It's Not the Hotlanta, It's the Humidylanta"
2013MythbustersMerle Dixon/HimselfEpisode: "Zombie Special"

Video games[edit]

2004The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher BayCenturion
2006Scarface: The World is YoursVarious charactersVoice
2010Call of Duty: Black OpsHimselfVoice
Playable character in Call of The Dead
2011Days of ThunderCrew chiefVoice
2012Lollipop ChainsawVikkeVoice
2012Call of Duty: Black Ops IIMike HarperVoice and motion capture
2013The Walking Dead: Survival InstinctMerle DixonVoice


External links[edit]