actor, film producer, screenwriter, director, aikido instructor
born April 10, 1952
Steven Seagal is an American actor, film producer, screenwriter and director, high-level aikido instructor with 7th dan and several dojos across the globe, musician, professional deputy sheriff with operational experience, as well as a successful entrepreneur.
Steven Seagal - a warrior without fear and reproach to himself
The actor was born in Lansing, Michigan, to the family of Patricia, an Irish immigrant, and Samuel, the son of Dora Goldstein and Nathan Seagal (1928-1991), Jewish immigrants from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Nathan's real name was Samuel Siegelman, but he changed it later in life to make it sound more American.
At a young age he started taking karate lessons from a Japanese master he met at his first job, in the kitchen of a local restaurant. The martial art impressed the boy so much that when his father, a soldier, was sent to Japan, he joined him at the age of 19 and attended several karate, and later- aikido, dojos. He quickly raised to the impressive rank of 7th dan and opened his own dojo, the first martial school operated by a foreigner in the history of Japan! Later he would open high-profile dojos in US and abroad.
In 1987, after returning to California, he agreed to help out his former disciple and took up the position of a consultant and actor in Above the Law, on condition he was allowed to re-write the script for the movie. The film was a box office success, in no small part thanks to his aikido techniques that were a novelty at the time and attracted great attention of the American public. Several high-profile action movies followed, including Hard to Kill, Marked for Death, Out for Justice and Under Siege, only strengthening his newfound stardom.
But in 1997 the style of Seagal's works changed drastically, becoming more environment-focused and moralistic, which caused a slump in box office sales and termination of his contract with the Warner Bros. studios. After that, the actor/fighter turned to direct-to-video productions and had considerable success on television.
In addition to making movies, Steven Seagal released two albums with his own songs - he is a gifted guitar player.
In 2009 he starred in the controversial but popular Steven Seagal: Lawman reality series, depicting his new job of a reserve deputy sheriff in Louisiana.
The actor has been married four times. First - to Miyako Fujitani, the daughter of his Japanese sensei; she brought him daughter Ayako, who is an actress. Second - to Hollywood actress Adrienne La Russa; the marriage ended after it had become known that Seagal had an affair with model Kelly LeBrock. Third - to LeBrock, who brought him three children; the couple divorced in 1994, after Seagal admitted an affair with a hired nanny, who later gave birth to his child. Fourth - to a Mongolian dancer Erdenetuya Batsukh. Seagal, in addition to his own children, is the official guardian of a Tibetan orphan Renji.
"Seagalogy: A Study of the Ass-Kicking Films of Steven Seagal."- Vern, Titan Books, (2008)
"Sure, He's Making a Box-Office Killing—but Who Is Steven Seagal?" - People
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