Michael Rooker

Michael Rooker is an American actor, known for his roles as Henry in , Chick Gandil in Eight Men Out, Terry Cruger in Sea of Love, Rowdy Burns in Days of Thunder, Bill Broussard in JFK, Hal Tucker in Cliffhanger, Jared Svenning in Mallrats, Merle Dixon in AMC's The Walking Dead and Yondu Udonta in Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Early life

Michael Rooker was born in Jasper, Alabama. He has nine 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 attended Wells Community Academy High School and studied at the Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University.


Rooker made his film debut in 1986, playing the title role in ', based on the confessions of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. He was acting in a play when the play's director, who was going to do the prosthetics for Henry, told him about the role. Rooker did not care if the script was good or bad; he just wanted to act in a film as it would "challenge" him. Henry was a critical success and Rooker was subsequently 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, and Tombstone. He also starred in Mallrats, Rosewood, The 6th Day, Slither, Jumper, Super and Hypothermia.
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.
Rooker is also known for numerous television character appearances.
Rooker is also known for his roles in video games such as
', Mike Harper in ' in November 2012, and voiced Merle in ', the video game based on the television series.
Rooker played Yondu in the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy, which was directed by James Gunn. He reprised his role as Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
In August 2019, Rooker joined the cast of the upcoming 2021 action film F9, directed by Justin Lin.

Personal life

Rooker lives in California, and is married to Margot Rooker. They were married on June 22, 1979 and have two daughters. Rooker holds a black belt in Kyokushin style of karate.




Video games