Michael Madsen

Michael Madsen Headshot

Actor • Producer • Director • Writer • Photographer

Birth Name: Michael Soren Madsen

Birth Date: September 25, 1957

Age: 66 years old

Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois

Siblings: Virginia Madsen

A legitimate tough guy who made a name for himself playing gun-toting psychopaths, actor Michael Madsen-brother to Oscar-nominated actress Virginia Madsen-demonstrated his versatility throughout his career by playing a wide-range of roles, including a well-meaning foster father in "Free Willy" (1993) and its sequel. But it was his turn as the sociopathic Mr. Blonde in Quentin Tarantino's seminal "Reservoir Dogs" (1992) that propelled the then-unknown supporting actor into a star, thanks to a truly disturbing scene, forever inscribed in cinema infamy, where his character enjoys the torture and mutilation of a police officer.

Able to thrive in mainstream Hollywood movies and low-brow straight-to-DVD fare, Madsen easily fluctuated from popular films like "Thelma & Louise" (1991) and "Wyatt Earp" (1994) to low-budget thrillers and horror movies that barely saw the light of day. He had prominent supporting roles in David Lynch's noirish "Mulholland Falls" (1998), sci-fi horror hit "Species" (1998) and a small, but pivotal role in the James Bond movie "Die Another Day" (2002), as well as reuniting with Tarantino for "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" (2003), "Kill Bill, Vol. 2" (2004) and the violent western "The Hateful Eight" (2015). Frequently appearing in six to 10 films per year for most of his career, Madsen was well-established as one of the most prolific actors working in film.

Born on Sept. 25, 1958 in Chicago, IL, Madsen was raised by his father, Cal, a fireman, and his mother, Elaine, an author, poet and Emmy-winning documentarian. Unlike his sister, Virginia Madsen, who became a popular actor after studying dancing and acting throughout her childhood, Madsen spent his youth working on cars and thinking that he would become a race car driver. Because his family relocated several times, he often found himself to be the new kid on the block, leading him to embrace his loner status early in life.

He also ran afoul of the law by stealing cars and committing robbery, which led to a brief stint in prison. He eventually followed his sister into acting by way of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, where he was an apprentice for actor John Malkovich. While performing at the Steppenwolf, Madsen was spotted by acclaimed Italian director Sergio Leone, who encouraged the young actor to try a film career. Madsen heeded the advice and moved to Los Angeles in his early twenties, where he landed his feature acting debut with a few lines in the hit teen thriller, "WarGames" (1983).

Following his debut, Madsen embarked on a series of small parts in a wide range of movies, including "Racing with the Moon" (1984) and "The Natural" (1984), while making his television premiere in Edward Zwick's Emmy-winning political drama, "Special Bulletin" (NBC, 1983). He quickly landed his first regular series role, playing the murderous son of a crime lord (Eli Wallach) on the short-lived series "Our Family Honor" (ABC, 1985-86). Following a small turn in the blackmail thriller "Shadows in the Storm" (1988), Madsen was a psychotic killer opposite Val Kilmer's seedy private detective in John Dahl's "Kill Me Again" (1989).

Although his turn as the understanding boyfriend of Susan Sarandon in Ridley Scott's "Thelma & Louise" (1991) raised his profile substantially, Madsen had his breakout performance as psychopathic Mr. Blonde in Quentin Tarantino's own breakthrough, "Reservoir Dogs" (1992). Starring opposite heavy hitters like Harvey Keitel, Lawrence Tierney and Tim Roth, Madsen was nothing short of sensational as a recently released con who joins the crew of what turns out to be a botched diamond heist. But it was his interrogation and torture of a rookie police officer, where he slices off his ear while prancing around to the 1970s tune "Stuck in the Middle with You," that cemented his place in cinema history as playing one of the more twisted of villains.

Taking a surprising turn toward family fare, Madsen played the foster father of a 12-year-old boy (Jason James Richter) who befriends a trained killer whale in "Free Willy" (1993). He went back to his sociopathic roots to play a killer hunting down his old heist partner (Alec Baldwin) in the remake of "The Getaway" (1994), which also starred Kim Basinger. Following a turn as the oldest Earp brother, Virgil, in Lawrence Kasdan's ponderous "Wyatt Earp" (1994), he hung up his holster and boot spurs to reprise his foster father role for "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home" (1995).

After playing the trained assassin hired to locate an escaped alien in "Species" (1995), Madsen portrayed the rakish member of the Hat Squad in the disappointing "Mulholland Falls" (1996). He provided able support to Al Pacino and Johnny Depp as Mafia hood Sonny Black in "Donnie Brasco" (1997) before returning to his trained assassin role for the sequel "Species II" (1998). Back on the small screen, he starred as the mysterious Mr. Chapel, a man with no first name, no past and no gun, who crafts unique punishments for criminals who have outsmarted the legal system in the short-lived drama, "Vengeance Unlimited" (ABC, 1998-99).

While routinely starring in low-budget or straight-to-DVD releases like "Trail of a Serial Killer" (1998) and "Voodoo Dawn" (2000), Madsen popped up occasionally in big studio movies like "Die Another Day" (2002), playing U.S. government agent Damian Falco, who has a small, but pivotal role in redefining the relationship between James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) and his American counterparts. After a brief succession of roles in lower-grade fare, Madsen resurfaced in a high-profile way when he collaborated again with Quentin Tarantino for "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" (2003) and "Kill Bill, Vol. 2" (2004), in which he played Budd, one in a team of assassins marked for retribution by The Bride (Uma Thurman).

After a welcome turn as Bruce Willis' corrupt cop partner in Robert Rodriguez's adaptation of writer-artist Frank Miller's "Sin City" (2005), he appeared in Uwe Boll's "Bloodrayne" (2006), the cinematic prequel to the popular video game, in which he was a vampire hunter schooled in battling the forces of darkness. Madsen next appeared in David Zucker's zany sequel, "Scary Movie 4" (2006), playing a crazed farmer who houses a bumbling father (Craig Bierko).

Madsen returned to low-end movies following his resurgence in more mainstream Hollywood films, starring opposite Chevy Chase and Penelope Ann Miller in the farcical comedy, "Funny Money" (2007). In "Hoboken Hollow" (2007), he was an eccentric businessman who unwittingly discovers the horror behind a successful rancher (Mark Holton) and his sadistic family, while in "Vice" (2008) - which Madsen also executive produced - he was a former top cop-turned-ticking time bomb after his wife's death, who is targeted for execution by a killer following a botched drug sting.

Madsen next starred in the erotic thriller, "Boarding Gate" (2008), playing the former pimp of a former prostitute (Asia Argento), who re-embark on their kinky sexual affair, which eventually becomes troubled following a botched drug deal. After a supporting turn in the made-for-television action drama "Crash & Burn" (Spike TV, 2008) and a starring role in the hostage thriller "Killing Jar" (2010), Madsen joined the cast of "24" (Fox, 2001-10) to play the recurring role of Jim Ricker, an old friend who helps Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) after the latter goes on the run.

Meanwhile, Madsen - who largely remained out of the tabloid eye throughout his career - landed on the front pages of gossip websites when it became known that he was rushed to a hospital in England after a nine-day bender of booze and pills. Concerned emergency medics considered the actor a "high-risk" patient and placed him under suicide watch. Previously, he was rumored to have been in a Los Angeles-area hospital for poor mental health in 2008, a claim his representatives flatly dismissed at the time.

Credits

Final Wager

Actor
Movie
2024

South of Hope Street

Actor
Benjamin Flowers
Movie
2024

Monster Mash

Narrator
Movie
2024

Waking Karma

Actor
Paul
Movie
2023

Assault on Hill 400

Actor
General Cota
Movie
2023

Damon's Revenge

Actor
Damon
Movie
2022

IncarnationStream

Actor
Peter
Movie
2022
20%

Death Count

Actor
Detective Casey
Movie
2022

The Wraith Within

Actor
Sheriff Townsend
Movie
2022

Ten Million Throwaways

Narrator
Movie
2021

Burial Ground Massacre

Actor
Damon
Movie
2021

Every Last One of Them

Actor
Bill
Movie
2021

American Night

Actor
Lord Samuel Morgan
Movie
2021

Christmas Thieves

Actor
Vince
Movie
2021

Why Are We (Not) Creative?

Self
Movie
2021

Conjuring: The Book of the Dead

Actor
Jefferson
Show
2020

Angels Fallen

Actor
Balthazar
Movie
2020

2 Graves in the Desert

Actor
Vince
Movie
2020

Deep Blue Nightmare

Actor
James
Movie
2020

Serpent in the Bottle

Actor
Joe
Movie
2020

Nishabdham

Actor
Richard Dawkins
Movie
2020

Dirty Fears

Actor
Michael
Movie
2020

Until We Meet Again

Actor
Det. Morrison
Movie
2020

Montecarlo Film Festival de la Comedie

Guest
Show
2019

Once Upon a Time in HollywoodStream

Actor
Sheriff Hackett on Bounty Law
Movie
2019
85%

Arctic Justice

Voice
Duke
Movie
2019

Welcome to Acapulco

Actor
Hyde
Movie
2019

The Garden Left Behind

Actor
Kevin
Movie
2019

QT8: The First Eight

Self
Movie
2019

Red Handed

Actor
Lou
Movie
2019

Born 2 Race

Actor
Bobby Unser
Movie
2019

Love Addict

Actor
Movie
2018

Papa

Actor
Ivan
Movie
2018

Megalodon

Actor
Admiral King
Movie
2018

Trading Paint

Actor
Linsky
Movie
2018

Hangover in Death Valley

Actor
Movie
2018

The Dirty Kind

Executive Producer
Movie
2018

Dead on Time

Actor
Mike McGuirk
Movie
2018

Diamond Cartel

Actor
Movie
2017

Devil's Domain

Actor
Bill
Movie
2017

The Wrong Neighbor

Actor
Coach Jaworski
Movie
2017

Unfallen

Actor
General McCallister
Movie
2017

Garlic and Gunpowder

Actor
Jason
Movie
2017

The Broken Key: La chiave spezzata

Actor
Tullio De Marco
Movie
2017

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Actor
Doyle Dechert
Movie
2017

The Broken Key

Actor
Tully DeMarco
Movie
2017

Master of Photography

Guest
Show
2016

Those Who Can't

Guest Star
Show
2016

Outsiders: Living Off the Edge

Narrator
Reality
2016

Back in the Day

Actor
Enzo Agostino
Movie
2016

Kidnapped in Romania

Actor
Mihai
Movie
2016

Vigilante Diaries

Actor
Moreau
Movie
2016

The Lost Tree

Actor
John
Movie
2016

American Dream

Actor
Show
2015

PowersStream

Actor
Patrick/SuperShock
Series
2015

No Deposit

Actor
Peter Shay
Movie
2015

The Hateful EightStream

Actor
Joe Gage
Movie
2015
75%

Skin Traffik

Actor
The Boss
Movie
2015

The Natural: The Best There Ever Was

Actor
Bartholomew Bump Bailey / Himself
Movie
2015

Lumberjack Man

Actor
Dr. Peter Shirtcliff
Movie
2015

Hope Lost

Actor
Manol
Movie
2015

Flipped

Actor
Casey
Movie
2015

Death in the Desert

Actor
Ray Easler
Movie
2015

Death in the Desert

Executive Producer
Movie
2015

Lady Psycho Killer

Actor
Professor Douglas
Movie
2015

Sacred Blood

Actor
Detective Brennan
Movie
2015

Turnaround Jake

Actor
Russell O'Malley
Movie
2014

The Taste of Revenge

Actor
Movie
2014

The Ninth Cloud

Actor
Bob
Movie
2014

The Ninth Cloud

Executive Producer
Movie
2014

Death Squad

Actor
Lobo
Movie
2014

Dirty Dealing

Actor
Dean
Movie
2014

Non escludo il ritorno

Actor
Paul Hummel
Movie
2014

Magi

Actor
Lawrence Irlam
Movie
2014

Golden Boy

Guest Star
Series
2013

Gabrielle

Actor
Edward Sheehan
Movie
2013

Ashley

Actor
Bill
Movie
2013

Terrible Angels

Actor
Ben Nolan
Movie
2013

I'm in Love With a Church Girl

Actor
Frankj Harris
Movie
2013

Along the Roadside

Actor
Jerry
Movie
2013

Lionhead

Actor
Walter Powell
Movie
2013

ICE Agent

Actor
Carlos Garcia
Movie
2013

Alien Battlefield

Actor
Movie
2013

Amazing Racer

Actor
Dave
Movie
2013

Infected

Actor
Louis Hartley
Movie
2013

A Sierra Nevada Gunfight

Actor
Sheriff Sawyer
Movie
2013

The Mob Doctor

Guest Star
Show
2012

Playboy Morning Show

Guest
Show
2012

Sins

Actor
Don Mancino
Movie
2012

Eldorado

Actor
Ted
Movie
2012

Garbage

Actor
Movie
2012

PiranhacondaStream

Actor
Prof. Lovegrove
Movie
2012

Cole Younger and The Black Train

Actor
Movie
2012

Refuge From the Storm

Actor
Steve Grecco
Movie
2012

Magic Boys

Actor
Terence
Movie
2012

Trophy

Actor
Cole Lambert
Movie
2012

Prince of the City

Actor
Ben Carlton
Movie
2012

Bob's BurgersStream

Guest Voice
Kevin Costner
Series
2011

Black Gold

Actor
Movie
2011

The Lion of Judah

Voice
Boss
Movie
2011

The Forest

Actor
Lt. Brandon Ross
Movie
2011

A Cold Day in Hell

Actor
Marshal Stallings
Movie
2011

Not Another Not Another Movie

Actor
Lester Storm
Movie
2011

Dirty Little Trick

Actor
Vito
Movie
2011

Loosies

Actor
Lt. Sully Sullivan
Movie
2011

Amsterdam Heavy

Actor
Keele
Movie
2011

A Matter of Justice

Actor
Leo Ibiza
Movie
2011

Blue BloodsStream

Guest Star
Series
2010

Hawaii Five-0Stream

Guest Star
Series
2010

Outrage

Actor
Farragut
Movie
2010

Missiya: Prorok

Actor
Movie
2010

Corruption.Gov

Actor
Senator John Mordire
Movie
2010

Serbian Scars

Actor
Dreq
Movie
2010

Let the Game Begin

Actor
Dr. Turner
Movie
2010

The Big I Am

Actor
Movie
2010

Now Here

Actor
Leblanc
Movie
2010

Now Here

Producer
Movie
2010

Krach

Actor
William
Movie
2010

Terror Trap

Actor
Carter
Movie
2010

The Brazen Bull

Actor
The Man
Movie
2010

Six Days in Paradise

Actor
Rich McShane
Movie
2010

The Portal

Actor
Dr. Azirra
Movie
2010

Federal

Actor
Sam Gibson
Movie
2010

The 5th Execution

Actor
Rik
Movie
2010

Put

Actor
Commander
Movie
2009

Green Lantern: First Flight

Voice
Kilowog
Movie
2009

You Might as Well Live

Actor
Clinton Manitoba
Movie
2009

Clear Lake, WI

Actor
The Reverend
Movie
2009

Edgar Allan Poe's Ligeia

Actor
George
Movie
2009

Road of No Return

Actor
J. Marcone
Movie
2009

The Killing Jar

Actor
Doe
Movie
2009

The Kid: Chamaco

Actor
Willie
Movie
2009

The TombStream

Actor
George
Movie
2009

The Bleeding

Actor
Father Roy
Movie
2009

Hired Gun

Actor
Dan Moeller
Movie
2009

Lost in the Woods

Actor
Stuart Bunka
Movie
2009

Studio Spotlight

Actor
Show
2008

House

Actor
Tin Man/Officer Lawdale
Movie
2008

Vice

Actor
Walker
Movie
2008

Strength and Honor

Actor
Movie
2008

Hell Ride

Actor
The Gent
Movie
2008

The Last Hour

Actor
Movie
2008

So You Want Michael Madsen?

Actor
Movie
2008

Christmas Crash

Actor
Joseph Johnson
Movie
2008

Deep Winter

Actor
Dean
Movie
2008

45 R.P.M.

Actor
Major Baxter
Movie
2008

Break

Actor
The Associate
Movie
2008

No Bad Days

Actor
Lester
Movie
2008

Living & Dying

Actor
Agent Lind
Movie
2007

All In

Actor
Seal
Movie
2007

Croc

Actor
Croc Hawkins
Movie
2007

Tooth & Nail

Actor
Jackal
Movie
2007

Afghan Knights

Actor
Cooper
Movie
2007

Crash and Burn

Actor
Vincent Scaillo
Movie
2007

Boarding Gate

Actor
Miles Rennberg
Movie
2007

Cosmic Radio

Actor
Senator Atwood
Movie
2007

Being Michael Madsen

Self
Movie
2007

Machine

Actor
Ray
Movie
2007

Canes

Actor
Guillermo List
Movie
2006

UKM: The Ultimate Killing Machine

Actor
Major Blevins
Movie
2006

Tilt

Actor
Don "The Matador" Everest
Show
2005

Velvet Revolution

Actor
The American
Movie
2005

L.A. Dicks

Actor
Movie
2005

Muzhskoj sezon

Actor
Narkobaron
Movie
2005

BloodRayne

Actor
Vladimir
Movie
2005

Chasing Ghosts

Actor
Kevin Harrison
Movie
2005

Hoboken Hollow

Actor
J.T. Goldman
Movie
2005

The Last Drop

Actor
Col. J.T. Colt
Movie
2005

Sin CityStream

Actor
Bob
Movie
2005
76%

Jacked

Actor
The Boss
Movie
2004

Renegade

Actor
Wallace Sebastian Blount
Movie
2004

Kill Bill: Vol. 2Stream

Actor
Budd - 'Sidewinder'
Movie
2004
84%

Blueberry

Actor
Wallace Sebastian Blount
Movie
2004

Frankenstein

Actor
Detective Harker
Movie
2004

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

Guest
Talk
2003

My Boss's DaughterStream

Actor
T.J.
Movie
2003
8%

44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shootout

Actor
Frank McGregor
Movie
2003

Kill Bill: Vol. 1Stream

Actor
Budd/Sidewinder
Movie
2003
85%

Vampires Anonymous

Actor
Geno
Movie
2003

CSI: MiamiStream

Guest Star
Series
2002

The Real Deal

Actor
Baker Jacks
Movie
2002

Die Another DayStream

Actor
Falco
Movie
2002
55%

Love.com

Actor
Russ
Movie
2002

24Stream

Guest Star
Jim Ricker
Series
2001
87%

Animal Precinct

Narrator
Show
2001

Big Apple

Actor
Terry Maddock
Show
2001

42K

Actor
Movie
2001

Extreme Honor

Actor
Sparks
Movie
2001

Rude

Actor
Dan Olinghouse
Movie
2001

The Ghost

Actor
Actor
Movie
2001

Pressure Point

Actor
Jed Griffin
Movie
2001

L.A.P.D.: To Protect and to Serve

Actor
James Alexander
Movie
2001

Agent of Death

Actor
Agent Briggs
Movie
2000

The Inspectors 2: A Shred of Evidence

Actor
Joe
Movie
2000

High Noon

Actor
Frank Miller
Movie
2000

The Stray

Actor
Ben
Movie
2000

Fall

Actor
Jeremy Banes
Movie
2000

Luck of the Draw

Actor
Zippo
Movie
2000

Choke

Actor
Will
Movie
2000

The Price of Air

Actor
Mr. Ball
Movie
2000

The Price of Air

Producer
Movie
2000

El Florentino

Actor
Whitey
Movie
1999

Sacrifice

Actor
Tyler Pierce
Movie
1999

Ballad of the Nightingale

Actor
Movie
1999

Flat Out

Actor
Gene
Movie
1999

Vengeance Unlimited

Actor
Series
1998
19%

Papertrail

Actor
FBI Agent Brad Abraham
Movie
1998

Species IIStream

Actor
Press Lenox
Movie
1998
9%

Catherine's Grove

Actor
Joe Mason
Movie
1998

Supreme Sanction

Actor
Dalton
Movie
1998

Detour

Actor
Burl Rogers
Movie
1998

Surface to Air

Actor
Gunnery Sgt. Zach Massin
Movie
1998

Fait Accompli

Actor
Frank Barlow
Movie
1998

The Thief and the Stripper

Actor
Jimmie D.
Movie
1998

Donnie BrascoStream

Actor
Sonny
Movie
1997
88%

The Last Days of Frankie the Fly

Actor
Sal
Movie
1997

The Maker

Actor
Skarney
Movie
1997

Executive Target

Actor
Nick James
Movie
1997

The Girl Gets Moe

Actor
Donnelly
Movie
1997

Diary of a Serial Killer

Actor
Haynes
Movie
1997

The Sender

Actor
Dallas Grayson
Movie
1997

Línea Roja

Actor
Movie
1996

En la Línea de Fuego

Actor
Movie
1996

Man With a Gun

Actor
John Wilbur Hardin
Movie
1996

Mulholland FallsStream

Actor
Eddie Hall
Movie
1996
31%

The WinnerStream

Actor
Wolf
Movie
1996
17%

Red Line

Actor
Mr. Lawrence
Movie
1996

SpeciesStream

Actor
Preston Lennox
Movie
1995
42%

Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home

Actor
Glen Greenwood
Movie
1995

Season of Change

Actor
Randy Parker
Movie
1994

Wyatt EarpStream

Actor
Virgil Earp
Movie
1994
31%

Dead Connection

Actor
Det. Matt Dickson
Movie
1994

The GetawayStream

Actor
Rudy Travis
Movie
1994
33%

Tiempo de Cambio

Actor
Movie
1994

Descubriendo la Vida

Actor
Movie
1994

Trouble Bound

Actor
Harry Talbot
Movie
1993

A House in the Hills

Actor
Mickey
Movie
1993

Free WillyStream

Actor
Glen Greenwood
Movie
1993
71%

Money for Nothing

Actor
Detective Laurenzi
Movie
1993

Fatal Impulse

Actor
Cliff Burden
Movie
1992

Reservoir DogsStream

Actor
Mr. Blonde/Vic
Movie
1992
90%

Straight TalkStream

Actor
Steve
Movie
1992
46%

Baby Snatcher

Actor
Cal Hudson
Movie
1992

Almost Blue

Actor
Morris Poole
Movie
1992

Inside Edge

Actor
Richard Montana
Movie
1992

Fatal Instinct

Actor
Cliff Burden
Movie
1992

Beyond the LawStream

Actor
Blood
Movie
1992

The DoorsStream

Actor
Tom Baker
Movie
1991
56%

Thelma & LouiseStream

Actor
Jimmy
Movie
1991
86%

Shadows in the Storm

Actor
Earl
Movie
1990

Quantum LeapStream

Guest Star
Blue
Series
1989

Kill Me AgainStream

Actor
Vince Miller
Movie
1989

Blood RedStream

Actor
Enzio
Movie
1989

Jake and the Fatman

Guest Star
Series
1987

Tour of Duty

Guest Star
Sergeant Greg Block
Series
1987

The Killing Time

Actor
Stu
Movie
1987

Our Family Honor

Actor
Augie Danzig
Show
1985

Miami ViceStream

Guest Star
Series
1984
71%

The Hitchhiker

Actor
Show
1983

Against All Hope

Actor
Cecil Moe
Movie
1982

News aboutMichael Madsen