February 12, 1950
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Big screen Sci-fi fans will instantly recognize Michael Ironside, this Canadian-born thespian
who first came to worldwide attention in the cult Cronenberg classic "Scanners" where he played
the merciless mind controlling maverick who could blow up the head of his enemies. Indeed the
famous scene where he does just that to an academic giving a talk about "scanning", is one of
the enduring images of early 80's cinema.
Ironside was equally good as baddie in "Total Recall" as a henchman pursuing Arnie. Next it
was Christopher Lambert's turn to be hunted in "Highlander II", this time the psycopathic
character Ironside plays makes a businessman eat his own gun, but Ironside seems to relish
these roles in the sci-fi genre. More sci-fi followed in "Starship Troopers" but this time
Ironside played a facist trying to destoy invading Aliens as a drill Sarge, so it's a case
of reverting to type just when you think he's about to be a good guy.
A menacing, some might say method actor, and as hard as nails, Ironside finally got with the
heroes on "Top Gun" and his cameo as the fishing boss of George Clooney in "The Perfect Storm"
sees a fine take off of a New England accent made so famous by JFK.
A tough guy, even when he is playing a good guy, Ironside has found a very busy niche for
himself and must be top of the list under "B" for Brooding. Screen presence? See "L" for Loads.
Photo © Unknown
Bio by Alex horsburgh ©2002
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