Michael Rooker is an American actor best known for his turn as the blue-skinned alien Yondu Udonta in 2014’s top grossing film Guardians of the Galaxy, and as the character fans loved to hate on AMC’s worldwide hit television show The Walking Dead, as Merle Dixon.
Rooker has thrilled fans for decades with complex portrayals of characters audiences can’t help but cheer on despite their dark personas. He made his film debut in 1986 playing the title role in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, a film based on the confessions of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. He has since appeared in numerous films including Mississippi Burning, Sea of Love, Days of Thunder, JFK, Cliffhanger, Tombstone, Mallrats, Rosewood, The 6th Day, and Jumper. Rooker also has a prolific relationship with writer/director James Gunn, appearing in Gunn helmed productions Slither, Super and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
He has guest starred on several TV shows including Stargate SG-1, CSI: Miami, Las Vegas, JAG, Numb3rs, Law & Order, Chuck, Criminal Minds, Psych, Burn Notice, and Archer. He added his voice talents to Activision’s video game The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. Rooker’s voiceover work in video games has also included Mike Harper, the lead character in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and the villain Vikke in Lollipop Chainsaw.
Rooker, who has eight brothers and sisters, was born in Jasper, Alabama and studied at the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago, where he moved with his mother and siblings at the age of thirteen, after his parents divorced.
1990- Golden Space Needle Award – Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
1991- International Fantasy Film Award – Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
2012- Special Achievement Award for Best TV Ensemble – The Walking Dead
2013- Guys Choice Spike TV
2014- Critics Choice Award – Best Action Movie – Guardians of the Galaxy
2014- Phoenix Film Critics Society – Best Ensemble Acting: Guardians of the Galaxy cast
1991-Independent Spirit Award, Best Male Lead – Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
2006-Fangoria Chainsaw Award: Relationship from Hell – Slither