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Mickey Rourke is an American actor who had great success and became a sex symbol in the 1980s. He left acting to box but has recently returned to the screen.
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The sexually charged film caused controversy, but earned Rourke high critical praise. The role catapulted him to success, and helped him score his next film, Barfly (1987).
It wasn't long before Rourke succumbed to a hedonistic lifestyle, which led to difficult behavior on the set. Director Alan Parker, who worked with the actor in 1987's Angel Heart was quoted as saying, "working with Mickey is a nightmare. He is very dangerous on set because you never know what he is going to do."
Adding fuel to the fire, Rourke was branded as a loudmouth for bragging to reporters about his friendships with alleged mobsters. His increasing ego also led him into a false sense of importance, having developed a reputation for breezing through film roles without much care or appreciation of the other crew and cast involved.
Also having experienced difficulties in his private life, Rourke's first marriage to Debra Feuer ended in divorce in 1989. In 1990, Rourke met actress Carrie Otis on the set of the steamy thriller, Wild Orchid. The couple married two years later, but his second union to actress Carrie Otis ended a few years later after an alleged assault landed Rourke in jail. With his reputation damaged, Rourke made the decision to stop acting and return to the boxing ring. "I had to go back to boxing because I was self-destructing. I had no respect for myself being an actor. So I went back to a profession which really humbled me," Rourke said.
The actor failed to achieve national success in his return to boxing, and suffered a number of injuries including a broken nose, toe and ribs. In 1995, realizing that his boxing shelf-life had expired, he returned to acting with a new-found determination to succeed.
The early '90s comeback trail saw Rourke star in minor hits such as John Grisham's The Rainmaker. His next film, The Man of Fire (2003), saw Rourke playing a supporting role across from legend Denzel Washington. Rourke's performance established him as a legitimate actor once again. In 2005, he landed the lead in the international blockbuster, Sin City, directed by Robert Rodriguez. His role as a gritty, urban detective catapulted Rourke to the A-list of acting talent, and earned him a new generation of fans. He reprised his role in the 2014 sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
In 2008, Rourke met more critical acclaim with his role as Randy "The Ram" Robinson in the film, The Wrestler. Rourke won a Golden Globe for his performance, and was nominated—along with his co-star, Marisa Tomei—for an Academy Award. It has been a long, slow climb back from his '80s career dive, but Rourke managed to make a comeback as a prominent actor, having appeared in several action and thriller films since his return to the silver screen, including Iron Man 2 (2010) and Immortals (2011). He was also awarded a Hollywood star in 2011.
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