Michael Madsen

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Michael Madsen
Michael Madsen by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Born Michael Søren Madsen
September 25, 1957 (age 60)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Other names Maykl Madsen, The Mafia Man
Occupation Actor, producer, director, writer, poet, photographer
Years active 1982–present
Spouse(s) Georganne LaPiere
(m. ??; div. ??)
Jeannine Bisignano
(m. 1991; div. 1995)

DeAnna Madsen
(m. 1996)
Children 6
Parent(s) Calvin Madsen
Elaine Madsen
Relatives Virginia Madsen (sister)
Website michaelmadsen.com

Michael Søren Madsen (born September 25, 1957)[1][2] is an American actor, producer, director, writer, poet and photographer. He has starred in many feature films, several direct-to-video films, television series and video games.[3]

Early life[edit]

Madsen was born in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Elaine, was a filmmaker and author. His father, Calvin, was a firefighter.[4] His parents divorced in the 1960s, and his mother left a career in finance to pursue a career in the arts, encouraged by film critic Roger Ebert. His siblings are Cheryl Madsen, an entrepreneur, and Academy Award nominee Virginia Madsen.[5] Madsen's paternal grandparents were Danish, while his mother is of English, German, Irish, Native American and Scottish ancestry.[6]


Madsen as a senior in high school, 1975

Madsen began working at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, where he served as an apprentice under John Malkovich and appeared in a production of Of Mice and Men.[7]

In Quentin Tarantino's directorial debut film Reservoir Dogs, Madsen played Mr. Blonde, a villainous mobster. He did not get the role of Mr. Pink (which went to Steve Buscemi), which he wanted because he had more scenes with Harvey Keitel.[7] For Pulp Fiction, Madsen declined the role of Vincent Vega, which went to John Travolta. Madsen starred in Mike Newell's gangster film Donnie Brasco (1997). He once said of these films: "Some of them I'm only in for 10 minutes, but they bought my name, and they bought my face to put on the DVD box with a gun. What people don't always understand is that I established a certain lifestyle for my family back in the days of Species and Mulholland Falls and The Getaway. I wasn't about to move my six kids into a trailer park. So when people offered me work, it wasn't always the best, but I had to buy groceries and I had to put gas in the car."[7]

Madsen in 2006

In Kill Bill, Madsen played assassin Budd, the brother of Bill (David Carradine) The film was released in two parts, Vol. 1 and Vol.2.[8] In 2004, Tarantino discussed an idea for the film to unite Madsen and Travolta, as The Vega Brothers.[9] In 2007, Tarantino said the film (which he intended to call Double V Vega) was "kind of unlikely now", because of the age of the actors and the onscreen deaths of both characters.[10]

Madsen appeared in Uwe Boll's BloodRayne, a film he described as "an abomination... It's a horrifying and preposterous movie".[11] He won Best Actor awards at the Boston Film Festival and New York International Independent Film and Video Festival for his performance in Strength and Honour. He played himself in the mockumentary Being Michael Madsen. Madsen co-starred in Coma, a Web series on Crackle.[12]

Madsen played Jim Ricker, the old friend of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), in the final season of 24.[13] Madsen starred in the comedy film Let the Game Begin.[14] On January 5, 2012, he entered the Celebrity Big Brother house, where he finished in 4th place in the final. In February 2014, he played Las Vegas casino mogul Ted Binion in Josh Evans' film Death in the Desert.[15][16] The screenplay was written by John Steppling, based on the book Death in the Desert by crime writer Cathy Scott.[17] In August 2014, he starred in the Kill Bill-themed music video for the song "Black Widow" by Iggy Azalea featuring Rita Ora.[18]

Madsen starred in the ensemble western film The Hateful Eight (2015). He was among a number of people rumored to have leaked the film's script, before it was released causing Tarantino to almost not make the film and eventually rewrite it.[19] In 2016, he played a dramatized role of former Texas Ranger Phil Ryan in Real Detective on the Investigation Discovery network.[20] In 2017, Madsen signed on as executive producer of the under $5K budget feature crime-thriller The Dirty Kind, written and directed by Vilan Trub. After being screened some footage and the trailer for the film by producer Derek Zuzunaga, Madsen agreed to sign on as EP and make the film citing a need for more quality independent films in the genre.


Madsen has been writing since the early 1990s. He began writing on match books, napkins and hotel stationery in between his time working on film sets and traveling around the world. In 2005, 13 Hands Publications compiled all of his poetry and released The Complete Poetic Works of Michael Madsen, Vol I: 1995–2005. The original books released were Beer, Blood and Ashes (1995), Eat the Worm (1995), Burning in Paradise (1998), and the now out-of-print A Blessing of the Hounds (2002), 46 Down; A Book of Dreams and Other Ramblings (2004) and When Pets Kill (2005).

Madsen's friend, Dennis Hopper, described his poetry as a throwback to the Beat Generation: "I like him better than Kerouac: raunchier, more poignant, he's got street language, images I can relate to, blows my mind with his drifts of gut-wrenching riffs; this actor is a poet and he is cool, of course, he is Michael Madsen."[citation needed] Madsen has noted influences for his style of poetry, as being Jack Kerouac and Charles Bukowski. In 2008, Madsen was invited and appeared in Norway for the Norwegian translation and release of Burning In Paradise. In November 2010, he was the guest of honor for his poetry at the Crossing Border Festival at The Hague. Another book of poetry, American Badass, was released on September 25, 2009. Madsen dedicated the book to the memory of his friend and Kill Bill co-star David Carradine. His latest book, Expecting Rain, was released in October 2013 with an introduction by Jerry Hopkins.


Madsen horsing around with co-star Carl Weathers while promoting Explosion Jones at the 2017 New York Comic Con

Madsen is also an accomplished photographer. In 2006, he released his first book of photography entitled Signs of Life, which contained new selections of his poetry and was published by 13 Hands Publications. It was also dedicated to the memory of his friend Chris Penn.

Personal life[edit]

Madsen's first wife was Georganne LaPiere. He married Jeannine Bisignano from 1991 to 1995. They have two children, including their son Christian. In 1996, he married DeAnna Madsen. They have three children.[21] He also has one daughter named Jessica.

In 2002, Madsen was presented an award for his work with the Shriners Hospital for Children, and he gave a Porsche 928 for his casting director friend Bruno Rosato. In September 2009, Madsen announced his participation in the Love Ride 26 to help raise money for local charities and those less fortunate.[22] The charity included the celebrities, including Malcolm Forbes, Peter Fonda, Larry Hagman, Billy Idol and Bruce Springsteen among others. The event took place on October 25, 2009, but was canceled in two weeks due to poor ticket sales and a decline in sponsorship and vendor support. Madsen also has a line of hot sauces called American Badass.[23] In 2016, Madsen hosted the event An Intimate Evening with Michael Madsen to benefit Children's Pediatric Cancer.[24]


  • Red Hen Press awarded Madsen with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his Complete Poetic Works in 2006.
  • 2007 Best Actor Boston Film Festival for Strength and Honour[25]
  • 2008 Best Actor New York International Independent Film & Video Festival for Strength and Honour[25].
  • Madsen won the 9th Annual Malibu International Film Festival award on April 6, 2008.
  • Independent Firecracker Award for his book of poetry "Burning In Paradise".
  • Madsen won Best Supporting Actor IFS Film Festival for Along the Roadside in March 2013.
  • Madsen won Ensemble of the Year for The Hateful Eight at the Hollywood Film Awards.



Year Title Role Director Notes
1982 Against All Hope Cecil Moe Edward T. McDougal
1983 WarGames Steve Phelps John Badham
1984 Racing with the Moon Frank Richard Benjamin
1984 The Natural Bartholomew "Bump" Bailey Barry Levinson
1987 The Killing Time Stu Rick King
1988 Iguana Sebastián Monte Hellman
1988 Shadows in the Storm Earl Terrell Tannen
1989 Blood Red Enzio Peter Masterson
1989 Kill Me Again Vince Miller John Dahl
1990 The End of Innocence Earl Dyan Cannon
1991 The Doors Tom Baker Oliver Stone
1991 Thelma & Louise Jimmy Lennox Ridley Scott
1992 Reservoir Dogs Mr. Blonde / Vic Vega Quentin Tarantino
1992 Straight Talk Steve Barnet Kellman
1993 Trouble Bound Harry Talbot Jeffrey Reiner
1993 Free Willy Glen Greenwood Simon Wincer
1993 Money for Nothing Detective Laurenzi Ramón Menéndez
1993 A House in the Hills Mickey Ken Wiederhorn
1994 The Getaway Rudy Travis Roger Donaldson
1994 Blue Tiger Gun Salesman Norberto Barba Uncredited cameo
1994 Final Combination Detective Matt Dickson Nigel Dick
1994 Wyatt Earp Virgil Earp Lawrence Kasdan
1994 Felidae Bluebeard (voice) Michael Schaack English dub, uncredited
1995 Species Preston "Press" Lennox Roger Donaldson
1995 Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home Glen Greenwood Dwight H. Little
1995 Man with a Gun John Wilbur Hardin David Wyles
1996 Mulholland Falls Eddie Hall Lee Tamahori
1996 The Winner Wolf Alex Cox
1996 The Last Days of Frankie the Fly Sal Peter Markle
1996 Red Line Mr. Lawrence John Sjogren Direct-to-DVD
1997 Donnie Brasco Sonny Black Mike Newell
1997 The Maker Skarney Tim Hunter
1998 Surface to Air Gunnery Sergeant Zach Massin Rodney McDonald
1998 Species II Preston "Press" Lennox Peter Medak
1999 The Florentine Whitey Nick Stagliano
2000 The Alternate Agent Jack Briggs Sam Firstenberg
2002 Die Another Day Damian Falco Lee Tamahori
2003 Pauly Shore Is Dead Himself Pauly Shore
2003 My Boss's Daughter T.J. David Zucker
2003 Kill Bill: Vol. 1 Budd Quentin Tarantino
2004 Blueberry Wallace Sebastian Blount Jan Kounen
2004 Kill Bill: Vol. 2 Budd Quentin Tarantino
2005 Sin City Detective Bob Frank Miller,
Robert Rodriguez,
Quentin Tarantino
2005 Chasing Ghosts Kevin Harrison Kyle Dean Jackson
2005 BloodRayne Vladimir Uwe Boll
2005 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Maugrim (voice) Andrew Adamson Uncredited
2006 Scary Movie 4 Oliver David Zucker
2006 The Last Drop Col. J.T. Colt Colin Teague
2006 Hoboken Hollow J.T. Goldman Glen Stephens
2007 Machine Ray Michael Lazar
2007 Living & Dying Agent Lind Jon Keeyes
2007 Boarding Gate Miles Rennberg Olivier Assayas
2007 Strength and Honour Sean Kelleher Mark Mahon
2007 Tooth and Nail Jackal Mark Young
2008 Hell Ride The Gent Larry Bishop
2008 Last Hour Monk Pascal Caubet
2008 Vice Max Walker Raul Inglis
2008 Break The Associate Marc Clebanoff
2008 House Tin Man Robby Henson
2009 You Might as Well Live Clinton Manitoba Simon Ennis
2009 Shannon's Rainbow Dave Blair Frank E. Johnson
2009 Green Lantern: First Flight Kilowog (voice) Lauren Montgomery Direct-to-DVD
2009 The Bleeding Father Roy Charlie Picerni
2010 The Killing Jar Doe Mark Young
2010 Let the Game Begin Dr. Turner Amit Gupta
2010 The Big I Am Martell Nic Auerbach
2010 Terror Trap Carter Dan Garcia
2010 The Brazen Bull The Man Douglas Elford-Argent
2011 Not Another Not Another Movie Lester Storm David Murphy
2011 Forest of the Living Dead Lt. Brandon Ross Shan Serafin
2011 The Lion of Judah Boss (voice) Deryck Broom & Roger Hawkins
2011 Loosies Lt. Nick Sullivan Michael Corrente
2011 The 5th Execution Rik Aleksandr Yakimchuk & Elena Kovaleva
2011 Amsterdam Heavy Martin Keele Michael Wright Direct-to-DVD
2012 Eldorado Ted Richard Driscoll Direct-to-DVD
2012 Desperate Endeavors Ed Salim Khassa
2012 Infected Louis Glenn Ciano
2012 Prince of the City Ben Carlton Roslan Hussin Malaysia English-language movie
2013 Along the Roadside Jerry Zoran Lisinac
2013 Ashley Bill Dean Matthew Ronalds
2013 I'm in Love with a Church Girl Frank Harris Steve Race
2014 The Ninth Cloud Bob Jane Spencer
2015 Skin Traffik The Boss Ara Paiaya
2015 Lumberjack Man Dr. Peter Shirtcliff Josh Bear
2015 No Deposit Peter Shay Frank D'Angelo
2015 Hope Lost Manol David Petrucci
2015 The Whole World at Our Feet Michael Salamat Mukhammed-Ali
2015 Flipped Casey Harris Demel
2015 Death in the Desert Ray Easler Josh Evans
2015 The Hateful Eight Joe Gage / Grouch Douglass Quentin Tarantino
2016 Magi Lawrence Irlam Hasan Karacadag
2016 Vigilante Diaries Moreau Christian Sesma
2016 Devil's Domain[26] Bill Jared Cohn
2016 Back in the Day [27] Enzo Paul Borghese
2016 The Lost Tree John Brian Metcalf
2017 The Broken Key Tully De Marco Louis Nero
2018 Love Addict Mr. Dickinson Frank Bellocq
2018 Papa Ivan Dan Israely
2018 The Garden Left Behind Kevin Flavio Alves Post-production
2018 Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad Duke (voice) Aaron Woodley Post-production
2018 Trading Paint Karzan Kader Post-production
2019 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Quentin Tarantino Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1983 St. Elsewhere Mike O'Connor 2 episodes
1983 Special Bulletin Jimmy Lenox Television film
1983 Diner Boogie Television short
1984 Cagney & Lacey Boyd Evans Strout Episode: "Heat"
1984 Miami Vice Sally Alvarado Episode: "Give a Little, Take a Little"
1985 Deadly Nightmares John Hampton Episode: "Man at the Window"
1985–1986 Our Family Honor Augie Danzig 13 episodes
1986 Crime Story Johnny Fosse 2 episodes
1988 War and Remembrance Lt. "Foof" Turhall Episode: "Part I"
1989 Almost Grown Walter Zmuida Episode: "Take It Slow"
1989 Tour of Duty Sergeant Greg Block Episode: "Sleeping Dogs"
1989 Jake and the Fatman Chase Episode: "Snowfall"
1989 Quantum Leap Blue Episode: "Jimmy - October 14, 1964"
1990 Montana Pierce Television film
1990 The Outsiders Mick Jenkins Episode: "The Beat Goes On"
1991 Gabriel's Fire Stan Frankel Episode: "Finger on the Trigger"
1992 Baby Snatcher Cal Hudson Television film
1992 Beyond the Law Blood Television film
1998–1999 Vengeance Unlimited Mr. Chapel 15 episodes
2000 High Noon Frank Miller Television film
2001 Big Apple Terry Maddock 8 episodes
2001–2005 Animal Precinct Narrator (voice) Television documentary
2003 44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shoot-Out Detective Frank McGregor Television film
2004 Frankenstein Detective Harker Television film
2005 Tilt Donovan 'The Matador' Everest 9 episodes
2007 Croc Croc Hawkins Television film
2008 Crash and Burn Vincent Scaillo Television film
2010 CSI: Miami Cooper "Coop" Daly Episode: "L.A."
2010 24 Jim Ricker 4 episodes
2012 Bob's Burgers Kevin Costner (voice) Episode: "Moody Foodie"
2012 Piranhaconda Professor Lovegrove Television film
2012 Blue Bloods Benjamin Walker Episode: "Family Business"
2012–2013 The Mob Doctor Russell King 3 episodes
2013 Paulie Michael Pilot
2013 Golden Boy Walter Clark Sr. 2 episodes
2013 Axe Cop Baby Man (voice) Episode: "No More Bad Guys"
2014 Hawaii Five-0 Roy Parrish Episode: "Na hala a ka makua"
2015 Big Time in Hollywood, FL Harvey Scoles 5 episodes
2016 Powers Patrick / Supershock[28] 7 episodes
2016 Those Who Can't Officer Callahan Episode: "Wet Dreams May Come"
2016 Real Detective[29] Texas Ranger Phil Ryan Episode: "Damage"[30]
2017 The Wrong Neighbor Coach Jaworski Television film

Music video[edit]

Year Title Artist Role
2001 You Rock My World Michael Jackson Thug
2014 Black Widow Iggy Azalea featuring Rita Ora Boyfriend / Target

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role Notes
2001 Grand Theft Auto III Toni Cipriani
2003 True Crime: Streets of LA Don Rafferty
2004 Driver 3 John Tanner
2005 Yakuza Futoshi Shimano English dub
2005 Narc Detective Jack Forzenski
2006 Reservoir Dogs Mr. Blonde / Vic Vega
2012 Dishonored Daud
2012 Call of Duty: Black Ops II Michael 'Finn' O'Leary
2013 The Walking Dead: Season Two William Carver
2016 Dishonored 2 Daud Uncredited
2017 Dishonored: Death of the Outsider Daud


  1. ^ "Michael Madsen on beating up Justin Bieber, the 'Reservoir Dog' ear and why he regrets his tattoos". 
  2. ^ Bhattacharya, Sanjiv (17 April 2004). "Michael Madsen: Mr Blonde's ambition". the Guardian. 
  3. ^ "Michael Madsen IMDb". 
  4. ^ Bell, Mark (2007-02-23). "Method Fest to Present the 2007 Maverick Award to Michael Madsen". FilmThreat.com. Retrieved 2007-05-31.  Archived 2009-08-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Kennedy, Lisa (2007-02-21). "A strong role, an equal partner". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  6. ^ Bray, Tony (April 2004). "Virginia Madsen". TV Now. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  7. ^ a b c "Michael Madsen interview: How The Hateful Eight star ducked and dived his way through Hollywood". The Independent. 
  8. ^ "Michael Madsen: Mr. Blonde's ambition". The Guardian. 
  9. ^ Haddon, Cole (2008-08-07). "Michael Madsen Talks Hell Ride, Inglorious Bastards, and Sin City 2". Film.com. Archived from the original on 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 
  10. ^ Sciretta, Peter (April 7, 2007). "Quentin Tarantino talks Vega Brothers, the Pulp Fiction & Reservoir Dogs sequel/prequel". Slashfilm. 
  11. ^ "Madsen still scarred by BloodRayne movie". contactmusic.com. 
  12. ^ "Michael Madsen, George Hamilton and Paul Ben-Victor Star in Coma, an Original Web Series Premiering On Crackle.com". 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  13. ^ "24 Season 8 Episode 19 Press Release (10:00AM – 11:00AM)". 24 Spoilers. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  14. ^ Let the Game Begin on IMDb
  15. ^ Photographer helped Madsen meet Sinatra|Las Vegas Review-Journal
  16. ^ "Death in the Desert (2015)". IMDb. 9 October 2015. 
  17. ^ Jessica Harmon (11 October 2015). "Death in the Desert rolls up new trailer". moviepilot.com. 
  18. ^ "Iggy Azalea - Black Widow ft. Rita Ora". YouTube. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  19. ^ "Quentin Tarantino Shelves 'The Hateful Eight' After Betrayal Results In Script Leak". Deadline. 
  20. ^ "Michael Madsen-Real Detective". Starburst Magazine. 
  21. ^ Celebrity Big Brother, January 2012
  22. ^ HISTORY « Love Ride 26 Archived 2009-08-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ Frauenfelder, Mark (April 12, 2013). "Michael Madsen talks to Boing Boing about his hot sauce". Boing Boing. 
  24. ^ "Fundraising Gala! An Intimate Evening with Michael Madsen". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-11-12. 
  25. ^ a b Strength and Honour, retrieved 2017-11-12 
  26. ^ Scheck, Frank (May 19, 2017). "'Devil's Domain': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 14, 2018. 
  27. ^ Rechtshaffen, Michael (May 20, 2016). "'Back in the Day' is a punch-drunk retread of much better boxing dramas". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 14, 2018. 
  28. ^ "Powers Season 2: Michael Madsen Joins Cast as SuperShock". PlayStation.Blog. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  29. ^ "Michael Madsen - REAL DETECTIVE - Starburst Magazine". 
  30. ^ "Damage". 21 January 2016 – via www.imdb.com. 

External links[edit]