Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He was born in Lansing, Michigan. His official film Bio claims that he went to Japan at the age of 17. However, this is inconsistent with an interview he gave in Aikido Magazine , in which he claimed to have given demonstrations in Japanese Deer Park (a former small amusement park in Southern California) in "the early 70s". Ray Van De Walker claims to have met Steven Seagal at the Orange County Aikikai, a prominent aikido dojo, around 1974, where he was known as "Steve, who gives demos at Japanese Deer Park." It seems unlikely that a 17-year old, a minor in the U.S., would be allowed to emigrate to Asia.
Ray's memory of him may be worth nothing, "He would come to Wednesday night practice. He tended to wear some weird striped robe thing that Japanese Deer Park asked him to wear. In practice, when he threw me, I couldn't feel his hands, which means that he was very skillful at blending ki." In Japan, Seagal taught English, and studied zen, aikido, kendo, judo and karate. He is said to have become adept at all of them. At some time later, he opened a martial arts school in Japan, the first westerner to do so. At this time, he married Miyako Fujitani but eventually left for America without her, pretending that he was not married at all. In 1984, he wed former Days of Our Lives actress Adrienne La Russa, but annulled the marriage when news of his marriage to Miyako (and, by extension, his bigamy) came to light.
Seagal hosted Saturday Night Live on April 20, 1991, and was barred from hosting again due to his difficulty in working with the cast and crew. During Nicolas Cage's monologue in a 1992 episode, Cage is speaking with Lorne Michaels backstage and says, "...they probably think I'm the biggest jerk who's ever been on the show!" To which Lorne replied, "No, no. That would be Steven Seagal."
In an interview in November 1997 for the Shambala Sun , he claimed to have developed his life-long interest in zen originally through a study of acupuncture. He also claimed that several Tibetan lamas suffering from malnutrition and abuse were sent to him, and he helped establish a safe house for them.
At various points, Seagal has hinted that he has worked as a bounty hunter and a CIA operative, although he has later denied it.
His film bio says he was in Asia for about 15 years. He was definitely in the U.S. one or two years before 1988 when he was associated with his first movie, the police drama Above the Law. If he was in Southern California in 1973, then he may have spent as long as fourteen years in Asia. At some point he returned to the San Fernando Valley (the northern suburb of Los Angeles, California) and opened a dojo. His film bio says that at this time he was a fight coordinator to the movies, for Sean Connery, and Toshiro Mifune.
In the Aikido Magazine interview, he said he developed his film contacts through students at his dojo. He claims that the moment of truth in his career was when they attempted to relegate him to a lower-paid, minor role, and he insisted on being paid the same as Chuck Norris, because he had at least the same level of skill.
He worked as a bodyguard and martial-arts instructor for Kelly LeBrock, whom he later costarred with, and married, and then divorced. At some point, he became associated with agent Michael Ovitz. He also appears to have a professional relationship with producer Jules R. Nasso .
Recently, Seagal has been forced to release his movies straight to DVD, skipping a theatrical release altogether. While his star may have faded, he continues to put out many movies per year, with more than 3 rumored in production for this year. He was in a highly acclaimed Mountain Dew Commercial, in which he parodied his tough-guy persona. (2005)
Seagal maintains a ranch in Colorado.
"Trust your doubt. Always fight for your beliefs. That is the path beyond thought." - Steven Seagal
- Above the Law. (aka "Nico") (1988) - Blockbuster police drama directed by Andrew Davis.
- Hard to Kill (1990) - Playing a cop out for vengeance. (He later married costar Kelly LeBrock.)
- Marked for Death (1990) - Playing a retired DEA agent who returns to his hometown, to find an evil drug lord in charge.
- Out for Justice (1991) - Playing one of two childhood rivals fighting over old grievances. This is also his first credit as a producer.
- Under Siege (1992) - Another Andrew Davis movie, about a sailor who prevents nuclear armageddon. This was his most successful movie.
- On Deadly Ground (1994) - A movie in which he befriends an Indian tribe and fights against an evil oil company. This is Seagal's directorial debut; he also produced. However, the movie underperformed at the box office and damaged his career.
- Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) - Seagal returns as Casey Ryback, this time out to foil a mad scientist who tries to hijack a satellite weapon. He also produced this movie.
- Executive Decision (1996) - Playing the head of an elite military team that must stop a plane carrying a nerve-gas bomb.
- The Glimmer Man (1996) - Playing a detective who must find a serial killer.
- Fire Down Below (1997) - Playing a hard-hitting EPA agent investigating a mine in Kentucky. He also produced this film.
- The Patriot (1998) - Playing a Canadian who foils an evil, virus-releasing militia. He produced this film also.
- The Prince of Central Park (2000) - Credited as producer.
- Exit Wounds (2001) - Playing a tough urban detective
- Ticker (2001) - Playing the leader of a bomb squad.
- Half Past Dead (2002) - Playing an FBI agent.
- The Foreigner (2003) - Political intrigue and scandal plague Seagal's character in this film. Known as "The Package" in production
- Out for a Kill (2003) - Playing an archaeologist who avenges the death of his wife. Oblowitz directs.
- Belly of the Beast (2003) - Direct to video release with Seagal parodying some of his best known films.
- Clementine (2004 - Guest stars in this korean martial arts film.
- Out of Reach (2004) - Seagal and his stunt double attempt to save a kidnapped girl.
- Into the Sun (2005) - Another direct to video release.
- (2006)- Seagal returns as Jon Cold in this continuation of "Foreigner" franchise. (Rumored to be his final film.)
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