Date of Birth : Sep 25th 1958
American actor. He is well known for his ‘tough guy’ image on screen.
Madsen was born in Chicago, Illinois to Cal Madsen, a fireman, and Elaine, an Emmy-winning poet, producer and playwright; Madsen’s mother left a career in corporate business to pursue a writing career. His sister is actress Virginia Madsen. He also has an older sister named Cheri, who owns a restaurant with her husband and three children, they live in Wisconsin. Madsen’s paternal grandparents were Danish and his mother has Irish and Native American ancestry. Madsen’s youth was characterized by unfortunate 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.
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. 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.
Madsen has 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, True Crime: Streets of L.A., and Driver 3. He 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 confirmed that he will use Madsen in another upcoming movie by him, this time as the lead role of Babe Buchinsky in Inglorious Bastards. Madsen will reprise his role as Bob in Sin City 2. He is set to appear in House, a horror movie that is adapted from the acclaimed novel by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti, in which he will portray a police officer. It is scheduled to be released on October 22 2007.
Michael lives in a Malibu house that once belonged to the late Keith Moon, the original drummer of The Who but has recently moved but is still in Malibu.
September 20th, 2007 won “Best Actor” award at the 23rd Annual Boston Film Festival for his role as Sean Kelleher in Strength and Honour.