Michael Dudikoff: biography
Michael Dudikoff has become the hero of many American action movies and was nicknamed Cold-blooded Warrior with a childish face. Young Michael made his debut on the runway and then started a career in the film industry, successfully playing in the American Ninja series. Other famous projects of the actor were the movies Platoon Leader, River of Death, Soldier Boyz, and Bounty Hunters.
Childhood and youth
Michael Joseph Stephen Dudikoff Jr. was born on October 8, 1954, in Redondo Beach, California. His father was an Orthodox Christian who inherited all the features of his ancestors, Russian immigrants. Before marrying Rita T. Girardin, a French-Canadian piano-player from Quebec, Michael Sr. had served in the army. The man could demobilize and move with his family to California only after the birth of his children.
As a child, the future actor was diagnosed with dyslexia, but this did not prevent him from graduating from Western High School in Torrance, and then enrolling in Los Angeles Harbor College to study child psychology.
The parents who raised five children could not provide financial support to Michael, and he earned for a living, helping patients at a youth rehabilitation center and serving clients at Beachbum Burt's restaurant, located on the coast.
One day, Max Evans, a fashion editor with Esquire magazine, visited the place, where Dudikoff worked. He paid attention to the handsome young man whose height reached 6 ft. (183 cm), and invited to participate in a fashion show in Newport Beach. Michael consulted with his mother and agreed to try his hand at a modeling business.
Soon after his runway debut, Dudikoff began a career in the world of high fashion and participated in photo shoots of such famous brands as Calvin Klein and GQ. Traveling between New York City, Los Angeles, and Milan, the young man found time to shoot in commercials for Coca-Cola, Copperton, Army Reserve, and Stridex.
Dudikoff began an acting career in the 1980s, playing in episodes of The Black Marble, Bloody Birthday, Making Love, and Tron. The young actor was noticed and in 1983 was invited to play Huckleberry Finn in the television project Sawyer & Finn, and then landed the role of one of Tom Hanks's assistants in the popular comedy Bachelor Party.
In 1985, the independent company Cannon Group decided to release a series of action movies with the participation of the famous martial artist, Chuck Norris. For unknown reasons, the fighter and actor turned down the role, and it went to Dudikoff, who was chosen from 400 candidates.
The actor was surprised by the decision of the American Ninja producers; he had previously acted in comedies, but he quickly got used to the new character and started working with Steve James. Having no practice in martial arts, Michael trained under the supervision of professional trainers Royce Gracie and Rigan Machado. So, when the filming of the second part of the action movie began, he had already trained in karate, aikido, judo, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
As a result, the movies with a budget of $1 million received recognition in the USA and were warmly welcomed worldwide, grossing $10 million. So, Dudikoff became a star after the premiere of American Ninja.
In 1985, Michael received the Golden Raven Award at the 5th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival for his role in the post-apocalyptic comedy Radioactive Dreams, and the next year he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for his work in the mini-series North and South, Book II. Having gained experience in the action movie genre, Dudikoff played Matt Hunter, a retired secret service agent, in the film Avenging Force, and then turned to the war theme in the movie Platoon Leader.
In 1989, Michael refused to participate in American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt because he did not want to return to South Africa, where the apartheid system reigned. Despite this, the actor continued to work with the Cannon Group and joined the cast of the movie Midnight Ride, after which he played Private Joe Armstrong in the last installment of the ninja saga again.
Throughout the 1990s, Dudikoff continued to portray a brave justice fighter. At that time, the actor’s filmography included such projects as The Human Shield, Cobra, Chain of Command, and Soldier Boyz.
In the early 2000s, Michael also did not remain without work, playing in action movies and comedies, and in 2002 for the first time, he played the role of the antihero and the main villain in Jim Wynorski's Gale Force. After that, the actor had a career break, which lasted about ten years.
In 2013, the actor took off coat to the work, simultaneously appearing in the television series Zombie Break Room and the feature film Olympus Has Fallen. Besides, Dudikoff gave an interview for the documentary movies The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films and Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films, and then starred in the thriller Navy Seals vs. Zombies and took part in the action movie Fury of the Fist and the Golden Fleece.
Since 2004, Michael Dudikoff has been married to a woman named Belle. Before making a proposal, the actor had quitted the career in the film industry and mastered the profession related to the purchase and restoration of real estate.
After the wedding and the birth of children, he began thinking about handing the business over to his wife, twins Nancy and Joseph, and the youngest son, Michael Joseph Stephen III.
Dudikoff carefully hides the details of his personal life. Michael posts pictures of friends and relatives on Instagram, which proves family happiness.
Michael Dudikoff now
Despite the actor’s considerable age, he looks excellent thanks to regular training and dancing. Michael takes care of his weight and spends a lot of time outdoors, walking his dog and caring for a garden located next to a mansion in Redondo Beach in California.
Dudikoff’s career is also thriving. Having completed work on the movie Landfill, he is preparing for the premiere of the television series Green Valley, which is scheduled for 2019.
Michael Dudikoff has a net worth of $1.5 million.
- 1982 – Bachelor Party
- 1985 – Radioactive Dreams
- 1985 – American Ninja
- 1986 – Avenging Force
- 1987 – American Ninja 2: The Confrontation
- 1989 – River of Death
- 1990 – Midnight Ride
- 1991 – American Ninja 4: The Annihilation
- 1995 – Soldier Boyz
- 1998 – Ringmaster
- 2013 – Olympus Has Fallen
- 2015 – Navy Seals vs. Zombies
- 2018 – Fury of the Fist and the Golden Fleece