Got a Tip? Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here
READ NOW

TMZ SPORTS

  • FS1
    M-T-Th-F:
    9:00 PM PST

    W:
    9:30 PM PST
clock-iconREMIND ME TO WATCH

Steven Seagal

Powered by imdb

Steven Seagal is a striking and somewhat boyishly handsome (often with ponytail) action star who burst onto the martial arts film scene in 1988 in the fast-paced Warner Bros. film Above the Law.Steven Frederic Seagal was born in Lansing, Michigan, to Patricia Anne (Fisher), a medical technician, and Samuel Seagal, a high school math teacher. His paternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, and his mother had English, German, and Dutch ancestry. The enigmatic Seagal commenced his martial arts training at the age of seven under the tutelage of well-known karate instructor and author Fumio Demura, and in the 1960s commenced his aikido training in Orange County, CA, under the instruction of Harry Ishisaka. Seagal received his first dan accreditation in 1974, after he had moved to Japan to further his martial arts training. After spending many years there honing his skills, he achieved the ranking of a 7th dan in the Japanese martial art "aikido" and was instructing wealthy clients in Los Angeles when he came to the attention of Hollywood power broker Michael Ovitz.Ovitz saw star value in the imposing-looking Seagal. The high-octane action movie genre was in full swing in the late 1980s, and Seagal's debut movie, "Above the Law", was wildly received by action fans and actually received some complimentary critical reviews. He followed up "Above the Law" with another slam-bang thriller, Hard to Kill, as a cop shot in an ambush by the mob who revives from a coma to take his revenge. The movie also starred Seagal's wife at the time, leggy Kelly LeBrock, who was married to him from 1987 to 1996 and is the mother of three of his children. His next outing was battling voodoo-using Jamaican drug "posses" in the hyper-violent Marked for Death, before returning to fight psychotic mob gangster William Forsythe in the even more punishing Out for Justice. Seagal was by now enormously popular, and his next movie, the big-budgeted Under Siege, set aboard the battleship USS Missouri and also starring Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey, was arguably his best film to date, impressing both fans and critics alike.Seagal's fighting style was rather different from that of other on-screen martial arts dynamos such as Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme, who were predominantly fighters from striking arts background such as karate or tang soo do. However, aikido is built around using an opponent's inertia and body weight to employ various locks, chokes and holds that incapacitate him. Seagal carries himself differently, too, and often appears wearing Italian designer clothes and usually favors an all-black outfit, generally with a three-quarter-length coat with an elaborate trim. Additionally, Seagal's on-screen characters were often seemingly benign or timid individuals; however, when the going gets rough they reveal themselves to be deadly ex-CIA operatives, or retired Special Forces soldiers capable of enormous destruction!As his box-office drawing power grew, Seagal began to infuse his film projects with his personal and spiritual beliefs, especially concerning the abuse of the environment. He appeared as an oil fire expert who turns against his corrupt CEO (played by Michael Caine) in On Deadly Ground to save the Eskimo population from an oil disaster; in Fire Down Below he plays an environmental agency troubleshooter investigating the dumping of toxic waste in Kentucky coal mines, and in the slow-moving The Patriot he plays a medical specialist trying to stop a lethal virus unleashed by an extremist group.Action fans struggled to come to terms with social messaging being built into bone-crunching fight films; however, Seagal's box-office clout remained fairly strong, and more traditional chopsocky projects followed with the "buddy cop" film The Glimmer Man, then almost a cameo role as a Navy SEAL alongside CIA analyst Kurt Russell before Seagal is sucked out of a jet at 35,000 feet in Executive Decision.In 1999 Seagal took a different turn in his film projects with the surprising genteel Prince of Central Park, about a child living inside NYC's most famous park. He returned to more familiar territory with further high-voltage, guns-blazing action in Exit Wounds, Half Past Dead, Out for a Kill and Belly of the Beast.Unbeknownst to many, in 1997 Seagal publicly announced that one of his Buddhist teachers, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, had accorded Seagal as a tulku, the reincarnation of a Buddhist Lama. This initial announcement was met with some disbelief until Penor Rinpoche himself gave a confirmation statement on Seagal's new title. Seagal has repeatedly discussed his involvement in Buddhism and how he devotes many hours studying and meditating this ancient Eastern religion.While his box-office appeal has somewhat declined from his halcyon blockbusters of the mid-'90s, Seagal still has a very loyal fan base in the action movie genre and continues to remain a highly bankable star.  See full bio on IMDb »

LATEST STORIES
  
Steven Seagal Accuser -- I Manipulate Men

Steven Seagal Accuser
I Manipulate Men

The woman accusing Steven Seagal of treating her like a "sex toy" once appeared on an episode of "The Tyra Banks Show" -- where she claimed to be a "lipstick lesbian," who can "trick" men. Back in… READ MORE >

Steven Seagal Sex Case -- Cops to Weigh In

Steven Seagal Sex Case
Cops to Weigh In

The Steven Seagal sex case will be the topic of discussion in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana tomorrow -- where the local sheriff's department is set to hold a news conference on the horrific… READ MORE >

- 2269 days ago
Steven Seagal's Accuser Liked to Jacket

Steven Seagal's Accuser
Liked to Jacket

Kayden Nguyen -- the girl who accused Steven Seagal of treating her like his sex toy -- looked extremely professional when she applied to work for the action star ... at least on paper.Kayden's… READ MORE >

- 2269 days ago
Steven Seagal Sued for Sexual Assault,Trafficking

Steven Seagal
Sued for Sexual Assault, Trafficking

UPDATE:  Seagal's lawyer, Marty Singer, responded to the lawsuit this way: "The lawsuit filed by Kayden Nguyen against Steven Seagal is a ridiculous and absurd claim by a disgruntled… READ MORE >

- 2270 days ago
Steven Seagal Sued over Reality Show

Steven Seagal
Sued over Reality Show

So this is no surprise -- Steven Seagal and A&E are now being sued over the reality show "Steven Seagal: Lawman" ... right after A&E filed papers expecting to be sued over the show.Genuine… READ MORE >

- 2500 days ago
Steven Seagal's Reality Show Under Siege

Steven Seagal's Reality Show
Under Siege

Who knew Steven Seagal is still so hot people would sue over him.A production company claims A&E stole its idea to do a reality show featuring Seagal. The Idea Factory claims it pitched some… READ MORE >

- 2501 days ago
Steven Seagal: I Got Opri'd!

Steven Seagal:
I Got Opri'd!

The lawyer who defended Steven Seagal in a mob case is now under siege by the former action star for giving him the Debra Opri treatment -- by allegedly charging him somewhere over a million… READ MORE >

- 3274 days ago
Seagal's Waist Line is 'Under Siege'

Seagal's Waist Line
Is 'Under Siege'

Martial arts guru Steven Seagal seems to have exchanged his nunchucks for a pair of chopsticks. The former musclebound leading man was spotted taking some time away from his intense movie-making… READ MORE >

- 3591 days ago

Around The Web