Monday, July 4, 2011

Steven Seagal - My God

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Steven Seagal

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Steven Seagal

Steven Seagal in 2008
Born Steven Frederic Seagal
April 10, 1952 (1952-04-10) (age 59)[1]
Lansing, Michigan, U.S.
Other names Chungdrag Dorje, Takeshigemichi
Style Aikido
Rank      7th degree black belt in Aikido
Years active 1987–present
Occupation Actor, film producer, martial artist, musician, writer, reserve deputy sheriff
Spouse Miyako Fujitani (1975–1986)
Adrienne La Russa (1984–1987)
Kelly LeBrock (1987–1996)
Erdenetuya Seagal (neé Batsukh) (2009-present)
Steven Frederic Seagal[2][3] (play /sɨˈɡɑːl/; born April 10, 1952)[1] is an American action film star, producer, writer, martial artist, guitarist and a reserve deputy sheriff. A 7th-dan black belt in Aikido, Seagal began his adult life as an Aikido instructor in Japan.[4] He became the first foreigner to operate an Aikido Dojo in Japan.[5]
He later moved to the Los Angeles, California, area where he made his film debut in 1988 in Above the Law. By 1991, he had starred in three successful films, and would go on to achieve greater fame in Under Siege (1992), where he played Navy SEALs counter-terrorist expert Casey Ryback. However, his image became tarnished when both On Deadly Ground (1994, which he directed) and Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) did poorly in theaters. During the later half of the 90s, he starred in three more theatrical films and a direct-to-video The Patriot. Aside from Exit Wounds (2001) and Half Past Dead (2002), his career shifted almost entirely to direct-to-video films (often low budget productions and shot in Europe or Asia). Between 1998 to 2009, he appeared in a total of 22 of these. At the age of 59, he finally returned to the big screen as Torrez in the 2010 film Machete. As of 2011, he's currently busy with the third season of his reality show Steven Seagal: Lawman.
Seagal is also a recording artist and guitarist and the founder of Steven Seagal Enterprises.[6] In addition to his professional achievements, he is also known as an environmentalist, an animal rights activist and a supporter of the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, and the Tibetan independence movement.



Early life

Seagal was born in Lansing, Michigan, where he lived until he was five years old. His mother, Patricia (1930–2003), was a medical technician, and his father, Samuel Steven Seagal (1928–1991), was a high school math teacher.[7] His mother was Irish American and his father was Jewish.[8] The family relocated to Fullerton, California, where Seagal attended Buena Park High School in Buena Park.


Seagal, currently a 7th dan degree and Shihan in aikido, moved to Japan in his late teens and became the first foreigner to operate an aikido dojo in Japan.[9] He was trained by Harry Ishisaka and received 1st dan degree or Shodan under the direction of Koichi Tohei. He continued to train in aikido as a student of Seiseki Abe, Koichi Tohei (to whose aikido organization, Ki Society, Seagal refused to join in favor of staying with the Aikikai), Kisaburo Osawa, Hiroshi Isoyama and the second doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba.
When Miyako's father retired from his job as an instructor, Seagal became the new head of the organization known as Tenshin Aikido in Osaka (affiliated with the Aikikai). Seagal is known by his students as Take Sensei. Seagal left his dojo in Osaka and his wife, Miyako being the care-taker of the dojo up to the present day. Seagal initially returned to Taos, New Mexico, with his student—and later a film stuntman—Craig Dunn. There, they opened a dojo, but Seagal spent much of his time pursuing other ventures. After another period in Japan, Seagal returned to the U.S. in 1983 with senior student Haruo Matsuoka. They opened an aikido dojo, initially in Burbank, California, but later moved it to the city of West Hollywood. Seagal left Matsuoka in charge of the dojo, which he ran until the two parted ways in 1997. He currently trains three students: Craig Dunn, Elliot Freeman, and Jorge Angulo.[citation needed]
Initially, he worked as the martial arts coordinator for the films The Challenge (1982) starring Scott Glenn and Toshirô Mifune, and Never Say Never Again (1983) starring Sean Connery and A View to a Kill.
He has helped train Brazilian mixed martial artists Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida. Silva, who is the reigning UFC Middleweight Champion, credited Seagal with teaching him the kick that knocked out Vitor Belfort in their fight at UFC 126 in February 2011,[10][11] and Machida also credited him for helping him perfect the crane kick that he used to knock out Randy Couture at UFC 129 in May 2011.[12][13]
On May 5, 2011, Seagal appeared on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “It’s Time” show with Bruce Buffer and spoke about his relationship with Silva and Machida as well his training methods. He explained: "Anderson had originally sent me a little postcard saying, 'Please teach me your lethal stuff'. Because a lot of my students know that a lot of the stuff I have is punishing or effective, shall we say. They left a number, and the number was Jorge Guimaraes, the manager of those guys in Black House. He said, ‘Yeah, man, the guys all want to learn from you.’ I went over there and began". In regards to his teaching of the kicks he said: "With Lyoto, I came in probably five days before the (Couture) fight, something like that, started working on different kinds of elbows, different kinds of punching, different kinds of feetwork... but particularly the kick. I think against a lot of the guys who have spent a lot of their energy on wrestling, they’re not exactly what I would call great strikers. The kick can be very effective. This kick is different. This kick, the thing that's deceptive about it is that, the normal (technique) where you lift up your knee and you kick, this one I'm kind of trying to teach the guys to lead with the foot. I don’t want to say too much about it because I don't want to give it away completely to the world. It's different and it’s hard to see. It's very difficult to see coming, and that's how my guys have been successful with that."[14]

Hollywood career


Steven Seagal in Hard to Kill.
In 1987, Seagal began work on his first film, Above the Law (titled Nico in Europe), with director Andrew Davis and reportedly as a favor to a former aikido student, the agent Michael Ovitz, who believed he could make anyone a star.[15] Following its success, Seagal made three more movies – Hard to Kill, Marked for Death, and Out for Justice – that were box office hits, making him an action hero. Later, he achieved wider, mainstream success in 1992 with the release of Under Siege (1992). That film reunited Seagal with director Andrew Davis, and was a blockbuster in the U.S. and abroad, grossing $156.4 million worldwide.[16]
Seagal then directed On Deadly Ground (1994). This film, in which he also starred, emphasized environmental and spiritual themes, signaling a break with his previous persona as a genre-ready inner-city cop. The film featured Michael Caine as well as R. Lee Ermey and Billy Bob Thornton in minor supporting roles.
Following the general critical disappointment of On Deadly Ground,[17] Seagal filmed a sequel to one of his most successful films, Under Siege, titled Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), and cop drama The Glimmer Man (1996). In 1996, he had minor role in the Kurt Russell film Executive Decision, in which he played a special ops soldier who was killed in the film's first 45 minutes. He subsequently made another environmentally conscious film, Fire Down Below (1997), wherein he was an EPA agent fighting industrialists dumping toxic waste in the Kentucky hills, but the movie was commercially unsuccessful. This film ended his original multi-picture contract with Warner Bros.

Direct-to-video work

The next year, Seagal made The Patriot, another environmental thriller which was his first direct-to-video release in the United States (though it was released theatrically in most of the world). Seagal produced this film with his own money, and the film was shot on-location on and near his farm in Montana.
After producing Prince of Central Park, Seagal returned to cinema screens with the release of Exit Wounds in March 2001. The film had fewer martial arts scenes than Seagal's previous films, but it was a commercial success, taking almost $80 million worldwide. However, he was unable to capitalize on this success and his next two projects were both critical and commercial failures. Ticker co-starring Tom Sizemore and Dennis Hopper, and filmed in San Francisco before Exit Wounds, went straight to DVD while Half Past Dead, starring rap star Ja Rule, made less than $20 million worldwide.
All of the films Seagal has made since the latter half of 2001 have been released direct-to-video (DTV) in North America, with some theatrical releases to other countries around the world. Seagal is credited as a producer and sometimes a writer on many of these DTV movies, which include Black Dawn, Belly of the Beast, Out of Reach, Submerged, Kill Switch, Urban Justice, Pistol Whipped, Against the Dark, Driven to Kill, A Dangerous Man, and The Keeper, a movie released in Japan fifteen weeks earlier than the United States.[18] His latest film, Born to Raise Hell, of 2010.

Return to the big screen

In 2010, Seagal appeared in his first theatrically released film in nearly a decade, as the main villain in Robert Rodriguez' Machete.

Other ventures


Seagal live in 2007
In addition to acting and aikido, Seagal also plays the guitar, and his songs have been featured in several of his movies (such as Fire Down Below and Ticker). In 2005, he released his first album, Songs from the Crystal Cave, which has a mix of pop, world, country and blues music. It features duets with Tony Rebel, Lt. Stichie, Lady Saw, and Stevie Wonder. The soundtrack to Seagal's 2005 film Into the Sun features several songs from the album. One of his album tracks, "Girl It's Alright", was also released as a single in parts of the world alongside an accompanying music video created for it.
Seagal's second album, titled Mojo Priest, was released in April 2006. Subsequently, he spent summer 2006 touring the United States and Europe with his band, Thunderbox, in support of the album.

Law enforcement work

Seagal is currently a Reserve Deputy Chief of the Sheriff's Office in the community of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Seagal has a second home in Louisiana, and spends several months a year there.[19] He graduated from a police academy in California over twenty years ago and has a certificate from Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST), an organization that accredits California police officers. In November 2008, A&E announced that they had begun taping Steven Seagal: Lawman, which follows his work in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. The series premiered on A&E on December 2, 2009. Seagal stated that "I’ve decided to work with A&E on this series now because I believe it’s important to show the nation all the positive work being accomplished here in Louisiana—to see the passion and commitment that comes from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in this post-Katrina environment." The series premiere drew 3.6 million viewers, ranking as best season opener for any original A&E series ever.[20]
On April 14, 2010, the series was suspended by Jefferson Parish, Louisiana Sheriff Newell Normand due to the sexual trafficking lawsuit filed against Seagal, a case later dropped.[21] A & E resumed the show for the second season which began on October 6, 2010.

Business ventures

Seagal Enterprises markets an energy drink known as Steven Seagal's Lightning Bolt, as well as an homeopathic oil product line.[22] Seagal personally endorses this drink, saying, "I have traveled the world creating this drink; there is none better that I know."[22] He also has his own aftershave called Scent of Action.
Outside of his film work, Seagal has volunteered, lending his voice as a narrator for an activist film project, Medicine Lake Video, which seeks to protect sacred tribal ground near his ranch in Siskiyou County.[23]
In 2002, Segal along with Global Village Champions Foundation and founder Yank Barry helped support Father Joe's orphanage for children with AIDS in Bangkok, Thailand.

Personal life

Seagal in 2006
He owns a dude ranch in Colorado and a home in the Mandeville Canyon section of Brentwood, a wealthy neighbourhood in Los Angeles. He has adopted many animals from shelters.[24] Seagal is a Buddhist.[25]

Relationships and family

Seagal has seven children from four relationships:
In Japan Seagal married his first wife, Miyako Fujitani, the daughter of an aikido instructor. With Fujitani, he had a son, model and actor Kentaro Seagal, and a daughter, writer and actress, Ayako Fujitani. Seagal left Miyako Fujitani to go back to the United States.[26][27]
In the United States he married former Days of our Lives actress Adrienne La Russa, despite his divorce to Fujitani not yet being finalized. During his marriage to La Russa he met actress/model Kelly LeBrock, with whom he began a relationship and who eventually became pregnant with his child. When news of this emerged, Seagal's marriage to La Russa was annulled and he then married LeBrock on 5 September 1987. His three children with LeBrock are daughters Annaliza and Arissa, and son Dominic. In 1994, LeBrock filed divorce papers citing "irreconcilable differences". During this time it emerged that Seagal was having an affair with Arissa Wolf, who was hired to be a nanny to Seagal and Lebrock's children.[28] Seagal has a daughter with Arissa Wolf, Savannah.
Seagal is currently married to Erdenetuya Batsukh (mong. Эрдэнэтуяа Батсүх), better known as Elle, and with whom he has a son, Kunzang.[29] Elle is from Mongolia.[30] She trained as a dancer from her early age at the Children's Palace in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. After her graduation from high school and the Children's Palace, she pursued a career as a professional dancer. She won numerous dancing contests and she was considered as the top female dancer in Mongolia. She particularly excelled in ballroom dance. Erdenetuya first worked as Seagal's interpreter when he visited Mongolia in 2001.
In addition to his biological children he is the guardian to a Tibetan child, Yabshi Pan Rinzinwangmo.[31] Rinzinwangmo, or "Renji", is the only child of the 10th Panchen Lama of Tibet. Renji studied in the United States at American University, and Seagal was her guardian and bodyguard.[32]
An only son, Seagal has three sisters, one older and two younger.

2010 lawsuit

On April 12, 2010, 23-year-old Kayden Nguyen filed a lawsuit against Seagal in Los Angeles Country Superior Court claiming sexual harassment, illegal trafficking of females for sex, failure to prevent sexual harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and false representation about employment,[33][34] that specified damages exceeding one million dollars.[33][34][35]
On April 13, 2010, the day after Nguyen made the claims, Seagal's attorney, Marty Singer, released this written statement to CBS news: "The lawsuit filed by Kayden Nguyen against Steven Seagal is a ridiculous and absurd claim by a disgruntled ex-employee who was fired for using illegal narcotics."[34] Seagal personally denied the claims, yet he was forced to suspend his show, Steven Seagal: Lawman, while his attorneys attempted to resolve the case privately.[33]
On July 14, 2010, three months after Nguyen made her claims against Seagal, it was announced that the case has been dismissed by the Los Angeles County Superior Court, without any public explanation.[36]


In 2003, Seagal wrote an open letter to the leadership of Thailand, urging them to enact law to prevent the torture of baby elephants.[37]
Seagal has described his activism method as "shaming companies into changing,"[citation needed] a theme that is visible in such films as On Deadly Ground and Fire Down Below. He has worked with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to discourage the fur trade, and has written to the Prime Minister of India to seek increased legal protection for cows.[citation needed] Seagal worked effectively towards saving dogs destined to drown in Taiwan.


In 1999, Seagal was awarded a PETA Humanitarian Award.[38]


Year Title Role
1988 Above the Law Nico Toscani
1990 Hard to Kill Mason Storm
Marked for Death John Hatcher
1991 Out for Justice Det. Gino Felino
1992 Under Siege Casey Ryback
1994 On Deadly Ground Forrest Taft
1995 Under Siege 2: Dark Territory Casey Ryback
1996 Executive Decision Lt. Colonel Austin Travis
The Glimmer Man Lt. Jack Cole
1997 Fire Down Below Jack Taggart
1998 The Patriot Dr. Wesley McClaren
1999 Get Bruce (himself)
2001 Exit Wounds Orin Boyd
Ticker Frank Glass
2002 Half Past Dead Sasha Petrosevitch
2003 The Foreigner Jonathan Cold
Out for a Kill Prof. Robert Burns
Belly of the Beast Jake Hopper
2004 Out of Reach William Lansing
Clementine Jack Miller
2005 Into the Sun Travis Hunter
Submerged Chris Cody
Today You Die Harlan Banks
Black Dawn Jonathan Cold
2006 Mercenary for Justice John Seeger
Shadow Man Jack Foster
Attack Force Cmdr. Marshall Lawson
2007 Flight of Fury John Sands
Urban Justice Simon Ballister
2008 Pistol Whipped Matt Conlin
The Onion Movie Cock Puncher
Kill Switch Jacob
2009 Against the Dark Tao
Driven to Kill Ruslan
The Keeper Roland Sallinger
2009- Steven Seagal: Lawman (himself)
2010 A Dangerous Man Shane Daniels
Machete Torrez
Born to Raise Hell Samuel Axel
2011 True Justice Elijah Kane
Skin Trade


See also


  1. ^ a b Steven Seagal – About Steven
  2. ^ Nobori-Ryu : The Ascending dragon / author, Steve Seagal
  3. ^ Makoto : an original screenplay / by James Berkley [sic] and Steve Seagal
  4. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (1988-02-14). "Steven Seagal Gets a Shot at Stardom"
    . The Los Angeles Times.
    . Retrieved 2010-11-25.
  5. ^, Retrieved on January 27, 2008
  6. ^ "Steven Seagal Enterprises Launches New Line of Energy Drinks"
  7. ^ Steven Seagal Biography (1951?-)
  8. ^ "Steven Seagal and the mob"
    . Retrieved 2008-11-06.
  9. ^ "Sure, He's Making a Box-Office Killing—but Who Is Steven Seagal?"
    . People.,,20113675,00.html
    . Retrieved 2011-03-12.
  10. ^ Anderson Silva trains with Steven Seagal
  11. ^ Maggie Hendricks. "Steven Seagal helped Anderson Silva with KO front kick"
    . Yahoo!.
  12. ^ John Morgan. "Machida credits training changes, Seagal for UFC 129 win over Couture"
    . MMAjunkie.
  13. ^ "UFC 129 main card results: St-Pierre outjabs Shields, Aldo retains in thrilling finish"
    . MMAjunkie.
  14. ^ Seagal Says He’s Working with Machida on More Unseen Techniques
  15. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (1988-02-14). "Steven Seagal Gets a Shot at Stardom"
    . The Los Angeles Times.
    . Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  16. ^ "Under Siege"
    "IMDb Business Data for Under Siege (1992).
  17. ^
  18. ^ (2010). "The Keeper (2009/I) – Release dates"
    . Retrieved 2010-04-24.
  19. ^ Strauss, Gary (2009-12-02). "'Lawman' finds Steven Seagal fighting crime for real"
    . USA Today.
    . Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  20. ^ Andy Denhart (2008-11-23). "Steven Seagal: Lawman coming to A&E"
    . Retrieved 2008-11-23.
  21. ^ "Steven Seagal's TV Show – Suspended By Cops"
    . TMZ.
  22. ^ a b Larry Carroll (2005-08-22). "Steven Seagal's Next Target? The Nap – Action star creates energy drink called Lightning Bolt"
    . Retrieved 2006-05-07.
  23. ^ "Medicine Lake Video"
    . 2001.
    . Retrieved 2007-01-07.
  24. ^ Dan Mathews (2001). "Getting tough with Steven Seagal"
    . PETA: Animal Times.
    . Retrieved 2006-05-07.
  25. ^
  26. ^ Paul Smith. "E! TV- "E! True Hollywood Story" – Steven Seagal"
    . E!.
    . Retrieved 2006-06-25.
  27. ^ "Mini Facts"
    . Retrieved 2007-01-27.
  28. ^ "Spiritually Retreat With Steven Seagal"
    . Luke Ford.
    . Retrieved 2007-01-27.
  29. ^ "Proud father of seven Steven Seagal shows off baby son on reality show"
    . Daily Mail (London). 2010-10-21.
    . Retrieved 2010-10-23.
  30. ^
  31. ^ Charles Carreon. "Steven Seagal Comes Out of the Buddhist Closet"
    . American Buddha Online Library.
    . Retrieved 2007-05-24.
  32. ^ Isabel Hilton (2003-04-02). "Buddha's daughter: A young Tibetan-Chinese woman"
    . The New Yorker. Archived from the original
    on 2006-06-30.
    . Retrieved 2006-05-07.
  33. ^ a b c "Steven Seagal sued for sexual assault"
    . BBC. April 14, 2010.
    . Retrieved November 6, 2010.
  34. ^ a b c Martinez, Edecio (April 14, 2010). "Kayden Nguyen (NEW PICTURES): I Manipulate Men, Says Steven Seagal "Sex Toy" Accuser"
    . CBS.
    . Retrieved November 6, 2010.
  35. ^ "Steven Seagal Sued for Sex Trafficking, Assault"
    . Fox News. April 13, 2010.
    . Retrieved November 6, 2010.
  36. ^ "Steven Seagal sexual harassment case dismissed"
    . BBC. July 15, 2010.
    . Retrieved July 28, 2010.
  37. ^ Steven Seagal (2003-02-07). "Letter to Prime Minister
    Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand by Steven Seagal" (PDF).
    . Retrieved 2006-05-07.
  38. ^ Julian C. Dunn (1999-09-18). "Paul McCartney's World Exclusive Performance at PETA's Party Of The Century and Humanitarian Awards"
    . The Sea of Waking Dreams.
    . Retrieved 2006-05-07.

External links

Preceded by
Kenshiro Fujitani
Dōjōcho of Tenshin Aikido Dojo
Succeeded by
Miyako Fujitani-Seagal
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