Mickey Rourke was born Phillip Andre Rourke, Jr., in Schenectady, New York. Philip Andre "Mickey" Rourke, Jr. is an Academy Award- and SAG award-nominated, BAFTA Award- and Golden Globe Award-winning American actor who has appeared primarily as a leading man in action, drama and thriller films. Trained as a boxer in his early years, Rourke had a short stint as a pro fighter in the 1990s. He won a 2009 Golden Globe award and a BAFTA award, was nominated for a SAG award, and is nominated for an Academy Award for his work in the film The Wrestler. Rourke's film debut was a small role in Steven Spielberg's film 1941. However, it was his portrayal of an arsonist in Body Heat that garnered significant attention. He mostly appeared in television movies in his early career. During the early 1980s, Rourke starred in the cult classic Diner, which also starred Paul Reiser, Daniel Stern, Steve Guttenberg, Tim Daly and Kevin Bacon. Rourke starred in Francis Ford Coppola's follow-up to The Outsiders, the coming-of-age tale, Rumble Fish. Playing the enigmatic older brother of Matt Dillon's character, he was praised as a standout in a film that also featured such talents as Dennis Hopper, Vincent Spano, Diane Lane, Nicolas Cage, Chris Penn, Laurence Fishburne and Tom Waits. Rourke's performance in the film The Pope of Greenwich Village alongside Daryl Hannah and Eric Roberts also caught the attention of critics. While the film was a box office flop during its initial release, it has become something of a minor cult hit. In the mid-1980s, Rourke earned himself additional leading roles. His role alongside Kim Basinger in the controversial, sexually charged box-office hit 9Â½ Weeks helped him gain "sex symbol" status. Rourke's acting career eventually became overshadowed by his personal life and bizarre career decisions. Directors found it difficult to work with him. Mickey took a break from acting to pursue boxing. His big break and Hollywood comeback is Mickey's lead in The Wrestler, winner of the Golden Lion Award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, about washed-up professional wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson. Mickey trained under former WWE wrestler Afa the Wild Samoan for the part, and has received a British Academy (BAFTA) award, a Golden Globe award, an Independent Spirit Award, and an Oscar nomination as Best Actor. Rourke was pessimistic about his chances to win the Oscar as he had been, in the past, very vocal against Hollywood's establishment During a roundtable session of Oscar nominated actors held by Newsweek, Brad Pitt cited Rourke as one of his early acting heroes along with Sean Penn and Gary Oldman.
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