Michael Madsen

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Michael Joe Madsen (born September 25, 1958) is an American actor. Although he has appeared in over one hundred films, he is perhaps best known for his performance as "Mr. Blonde" in Reservoir Dogs.

Early life

Madsen was born in Chicago, Illinois to Cal Madsen (a firefighter of Danish descent) and Elaine (an award-winning producer, writer and poet of Irish aNative American descent); he is the brother of actress Virginia Madsen. He also has an older sister, Cheri, who owns a restaurant in Wisconsin with her husband: they have three children.

Madsen's youth was characterized by tragic events: at age nine his parents separated and he frequently had to change schools. He began to steal and was sent to jail a few times.

Madsen's acting career started at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, where he served as an apprentice actor under John Malkovich.

Film career

Soon after his apprenticeship, he was cast in a small role in the movie WarGames (1983). He moved to Los Angeles and appeared in a series of minor film roles, including playing baseball player Bump Bailey in The Natural a deranged killer in Kill Me Again (1989) and Susan Sarandon's tough but touching boyfriend "Jimmy" in Thelma & Louise (1991).

He played a razor-wielding, sadistic ex-con and jewel thief, "Mr. Blonde", in the film Reservoir Dogs. The film gained attention among film critics and fans, as did Madsen's performance and the brutality of his character. Subsequently, Madsen was cast in a variety of supporting roles in major studio films, including Free Willy, Mulholland Falls, Species, and the critically-acclaimed Donnie Brasco. Quentin Tarantino wanted Madsen to play Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, a role that ultimately went to John Travolta (the character is the brother of Vic Vega, Madsen's character in Reservoir Dogs). However, Madsen was already committed to Wyatt Earp (1994) and couldn't appear in the film.

Since his peak in the mid 1990s, Madsen has appeared in a large number of lower-budget films that have been released directly to video or television. Some notable exceptions include his major role in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill and appearances in the James Bond film Die Another Day and the film version of Frank Miller's Sin City. He also appeared in Scary Movie 4 in 2006 parodying Tim Robbins's character from War of the Worlds.

Madsen has also appeared in a few television series, including the short-lived series Vengeance Unlimited and most recently as "Don Everest" in the poker-themed ESPN series Tilt. He appeared in Michael Jackson's 2001 music video, "You Rock My World" and has provided voice work for several video games, including Grand Theft Auto III as Toni Cipriani, True Crime: Streets of L.A., and Driver 3. Although he did not voice Toni Cipriani for the game Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. He also provided voice work for the movie of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as Maugrim the wolf, captain of the White Witch's secret police.

Madsen's latest voice-over role is for the Playstation 2 game, Yakuza, where he voices the role of Futo Shimano, a violent and unforgiving leader of a Yakuza family.

Quentin Tarantino has confimed that he will use Madsen in another upcoming movie by him, this time as the lead role as Babe Babinsky in Inglorious Bastards.

Private life

Madsen's first marriage was to Georganne LaPiere, the half sister of Cher. He remarried, to Jeannine Bisignano, with whom he has two sons Christian and Max. Since 1996, he has been married to De Anna Morgan. Madsen has five children, all boys. He has been noted to say that he appears in movies of lower quality in order to support his family [1]. He has said that the five films he has acted in that he is proudest of are Reservoir Dogs, Donnie Brasco, Species, Free Willy, and Kill Bill.


  • Appeared in Every Time I Die's music video "Kill The Music"
  • During the scene in Reservoir Dogs where Michael Madsen's character, Mr. Blonde, tortures Officer Nash, actor Kirk Baltz ad-libbed a line about being father of a young child. Madsen, who himself had just become a father, was so upset by this line that he had difficulty finishing the scene. On some copies of the DVD, as Baltz completes the line, a voice can be heard off-screen saying "Oh, no, no..." The line compounded Madsen's already mixed feelings about filming the scene because of his aversion to violence in real-life.
  • Michael currently lives in a Malibu house that once belonged to the late Keith Moon, the original drummer of The Who.
  • Height: 6'2" (1.88 meters)
  • He is often confused with the actor Tom Sizemore


  • Against All Hope (1982)
  • WarGames (1983)
  • Racing with the Moon (1984)
  • The Natural (1984)
  • The Killing Time (1987)
  • Shadows in the Storm (1988)
  • Iguana (1988)
  • Kill Me Again (1989)
  • Blood Red (1989)
  • The End of Innocence (1990)
  • Fatal Instinct (1991)
  • The Doors (1991)
  • Thelma and Louise (1991)
  • Beyond the Law (1992)
  • Almost Blue (1992)
  • Reservoir Dogs (1992)
  • Straight Talk (1992)
  • Inside Edge (1993)
  • A House in the Hills (1993)
  • Trouble Bound (1993)
  • Free Willy (1993)
  • Money for Nothing (1993)
  • Who Do You Think You're Fooling? (1994)
  • Season of Change (1994)
  • Dead Connection (1994)
  • The Getaway (1994)
  • Blue Tiger (1994)
  • Wyatt Earp (1994)
  • Species (1995)
  • Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995)
  • Man with a Gun (1995)
  • Red Line (1996)
  • Mulholland Falls (1996)
  • The Winner (1996)
  • Surface to Air (1997)
  • Papertrail (1997)
  • The Last Days of Frankie the Fly (1997)
  • Donnie Brasco (1997)
  • The Girl Gets Moe (1997)
  • The Maker (1997)
  • Catherine's Grove (1997)
  • Executive Target (1997)
  • The Thief & the Stripper (1998)
  • Flat Out (1998)
  • Ballad of the Nightingale (1998)
  • Rough Draft (1998)
  • Species II (1998)
  • The Sender (1998)
  • Voodoo Dawn (1998)
  • The Florentine (1999)
  • Detour (1999)
  • Ides of March (2000)
  • Fall: The Price of Silence (2000)
  • Bad Guys (2000)
  • The Sray (2000)
  • Luck of the Draw (2000)
  • The Alternate (2000)
  • The Price of Air (2000)
  • Pressure Point (2001)
  • Grand Theft Auto III (2001) (as Toni Cipriani]]
  • Die Another Day (2002)
  • 44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shootout (2003)
  • Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
  • Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)
  • Frankenstein (2004)
  • Sin City (2005)
  • Hoboken Hollow (2005)
  • Scary Movie 4 (2006)
  • BloodRayne (2006)
  • UKM: Ultimate Killing Machine (2006)
  • House (2007)
  • Inglorious Bastards (TBA)


External links