Photo of Mickey Rourke Mickey Rourke

Born Sept. 16, 1956, in Schenectady, N.Y., Mickey Rourke was a fighter before he was a performer, wracking up an impressive amateur boxing record. Known for sparring not only with boxers but also directors, other actors and the world at large, Rourke would return to boxing when his acting career faltered in the '90s.

After training at New York's Actor's Studio, Rourke quickly began amassing critical praise for his work in such films as Body Heat (1981), Barry Levinson's Diner, Rumble Fish (opposite Matt Dillon) and Barfly (1987).

Rourke once again gave up boxing and returned to film with appearances in Steve Buscemi's Animal Factory (2000), Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City and Domino. Rourke made the ultimate career comeback playing a has-been looking for a comeback in The Wrestler (2008), for which he won his first Golden Globe and nabbed his first Oscar nomination.

Mickey Rourke in Rumble Fish

Rumble Fish

1983 R

In Francis Ford Coppola's black-and-white adaptation of the S.E. Hinton novel, Rusty James (Matt Dillon) is the leader of a small, dying gang once led by his now-absent brother, Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke). When Rusty is injured in a gang fight, his brother returns to their sad, industrial town to help. Despite this, Rusty continues on his path of self-destruction, damaging his relationships with his girlfriend (Diane Lane) and friends.

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