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The Modern Warrior-Steven Seagal

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Biography

"I have no fear of death. More important, I don't fear life."
-Steven Seagal

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A master of several Japanese martial arts, Steven Seagal is a popular action movie hero whose films combine spiritual concepts and social/environmental consciousness with high-voltage violence. Born in Lansing, Michigan on April 10, 1951, Seagal traveled to Japan at the age of seventeen. There, he taught English, studied Zen, and perfected his martial arts, earning black belts in Aikido, karate, judo, and kendo. Afterwards, he became the first Westerner to open a martial arts school in Japan.

During this time, Seagal occasionally choreographed fight scenes in movies and coached such stars as Sean Connery and Toshiro Mifune. He also became interested in Eastern religion: in a November, 1997 interview for the Shambala Sun, he stated that his encounter with Tibetan Buddhism resulted from his study of acupuncture. According to Seagal, several ailing Tibetan lamas, suffering from malnutrition, exhaustion, and the effects of Chinese torture, were sent to him for treatment, which led him to become a director of secret security operations and to set up special safe houses. Regarding other incidents from his past, Seagal has remained secretive, though he was allegedly a bounty hunter and occasionally has hinted about involvement with the CIA. Further speculation has surrounded the work he did on behalf of Tibetan Freedom fighters, and it was not until 1997 that he mentioned the large amounts of money he claimed to have donated to various religious organizations.

Seagal spent about 15 years in Asia before returning to the States, where he opened a new martial arts academy and also worked as a celebrity bodyguard. His clients included his future (now ex-) wife Kelly Le Brock and Hollywood agent Michael Ovitz. With help from Ovitz, Seagal contracted to make martial arts films for Warner Bros. For his first film, he and cinematographer-turned-director Andrew Davis carefully refashioned an average police drama into Above the Law (1988), which stressed characterization and plot as well as high-energy action scenes. It was well-received and Seagal found himself an instant star among action aficionados. His next film, Hard to Kill (1989), overflowed with chop-socky violence, casting him as a cop who wakens from a coma and sets out for revenge against those who sent him to the hospital. Seagal attracted mainstream appeal in 1992 when he starred in the Davis-directed hit Under Siege, his most popular movie. In 1994, he made his directorial debut with the environmentally conscious but critically panned On Deadly Ground, in which he single-handedly attempts to save Alaska and the Eskimos from an avaricious oil tycoon. Subsequent action attempts included 1996's Executive Decision and 1998's The Patriot. In 1999, Seagal turned to producing with Prince of Central Park, an uncharacteristically gentle film about a young boy living in the titular park.

In 1997, Seagal publicly announced that one of his prime Buddhist teachers, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, had proclaimed him a tulku, the reincarnation of a Buddhist lama. Seagal's announcement met with some cynicism, but Penor Rinpoche backed him up with a formal statement at Colorado's Naropa Institute. In subsequent interviews, Seagal has presented himself as a serious student of Buddhism who spends many hours meditating, studying, and practicing the tenets to help him become a teacher and healer.

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Mini-Facts
 
Birth Name:
Steven Seagal

Date Of Birth:
10 April 1951

Birth Location:
Lansing, Michigan, USA

Height:
6ft 4inches

Education:
Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California.
Fullerton College, Fullerton, California.

Occupations:
Martial Artist, action star, musician.

Significant Others:
Wife: Miyako Seagal (née Fujitani); born 1948; married 1975; divorced 1987.
Wife: Adrienne La Russa. (filed for annulment when Kelly LeBrock became pregnant)
Wife: Kelly LeBrock, model, actress; met in Japan; top Dior model; filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, November 1994.
Others: Arissa Wolf; born 1975; former nanny to Seagal's and Kelly LeBrock's children.

Family:
Father: Stephen, math teacher.
Mother: Patricia, nurse.
Sisters: Has three; one older, two younger.
Son: Kentaro (aka Justice Seagal), actor, model; born 1976; mother, Miyako Fujitani.
Daughter: Ayako Seagal; mother, Miyako Fujitani; born 1980.
Daughter: Annaliza Seagal; born 1987; mother, Kelly LeBrock.
Son: Dominic San Rocco Seagal; born June 21, 1990; mother, Kelly LeBrock.
Daughter: Arissa; born July 24, 1993; mother, Kelly LeBrock.
Daughter: Savannah; born September 1996; mother, Arissa Wolf.
 
Marriages:
Wife: Miyako Fujitani ;

1948; Aikido Instructor, Dojo owner

1974 - 1987 (Divorced)

 

Wife: Adrienne La Russa; - (Annulled)

 Actress;

  
Wife:  Kelly LeBrock;

Model,Actress, Dior Top Model ; 

1987 - 1996 (Divorced)


 Arisa Wolf; 

1995 - Not married  


Fan Mail Address:
Steamroller Prod.
1041 N. Formosa Ave. #200
West Hollywood, Ca 90046
USA

Trivia:
As a kid growing up in Michigan, he was frail and asthmatic. A move to a dryer, warmer California helped.
In high school, Seagal worked at an Orange County, California, Burger King.
A letter to Movieline magazine in 1989, written by a high school classmate, remembered him, in the writer's opinion, as "a bully, a thug and a coward."
After mastering aikido in the United States, Seagal became one of the very few Westerners to teach the art in Japan, much less own a dojo.
The essence of aikido [one translation: "The Way of Harmony of the Spirit"] is to become one with the motion of the universe. It's less about kicking and punching, more about using your enemy's own motion against him.
"If you look at him run, he runs like a woman," John Connolly, who wrote a scathing profile of Seagal for Penthouse, tells THS.
When he wed Adrienne La Russa in 1984, Seagal was still married to Miyako Fujitani, who was living in Japan.
According to the book she wrote, Seagal's last words to his first wife, the daughter of an aikido master, were: "You are crazy; I want a divorce."
Before he hit it big on the screen, Seagal's aikido dojo in West Hollywood attracted industry hotshots, including superagent Michael Ovitz.
He has a large gun collection.
He campaigned on behalf of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to improve the life of stray dogs in Taiwan, where they are, according to PETA, "gassed, starved, electrocuted and beaten to death."
He's a vegetarian.
A hard-core environmentalist, Seagal is a spokesman for Save the World Air, Inc., and he does ads encouraging you to recycle engine oil.
Seagal directed himself in On Deadly Ground, about a renegade taking revenge on a ruthless oil baron.
He plays guitar and has had an album in development for years. Wyclef Jean was, at one point, supposed to be producing a track.
Seagal is a reincarnated 17th-century Tibetan monk named Chungdrag Dorje [pronounce that: khyung brag rdo rje].
Responding to inquiries about how his ultraviolent movies mix with his coziness with Buddhist bigwigs like the Dalai Lama, Seagal once told a reporter: "A lot of great lamas and gurus I know really enjoy my films."
Witnesses in defense of a reputed wiseguy accused of trying to squeeze millions out of Seagal testified Monday saying that the actor is a delusional liar – When asked to describe Seagal’s reputation in the movie world, Canadian Filmmaker Damian Lee said the star’s ability to be truthful is questionable.(February 26, 2003)
Seagal has been accused of trying to lie his way out of a $500,000 debt -- prosecutors plan to call the actor as a reluctant witness in the case against Peter Gotti and other alleged members of the Gambino family, who are accused of loan-sharking and racketeering. (January 20, 2003)
Seagal is vehemently denying allegations that he paid a private detective to threaten an L.A. Times reporter who was investigating the actor's purported relationship with Mafia figures -- according to an FBI informant cited in court papers, ex-con Alexander Proctor told him that Seagal hired him to intimidate Times reporter Anita Busch via high-profile private detective Anthony Pellicano. (November 26, 2002)
Seagal and a Los Angeles private detective were linked Friday to a bizarre harassment episode against a Los Angeles Times reporter probing alleged links between Seagal and the Mafia -- Anthony Pellicano, private eye to the stars, was charged Friday with possessing illegal weapons after the FBI searched his Los Angeles office for evidence that he hired an ex-convict suspected of threatening Times reporter Anita Busch in June. (November 23, 2002)
Seagal’s case keeps seeming more and more like a bad mobster movie -- prosecutors say that producer Julius Nasso menaced Seagal's former assistant in order to get him to testify against the action star. (October 16, 2002)
A judge has refused to expel a $60 million lawsuit against Seagal that alleges the action film star backed out of movie projects on the advice of his Buddhist spiritual adviser. (September 30, 2002)
The reporters who dished about the Mafia extorting money from him are apparently getting a little more action than they bargained for.
He is the first foreigner ever to own and operate an Aikido dojo in Japan. Known as Master Take Shigemichi, he was the chief instructor at the Aikido Tenshin Dojo in the city of Osaka.
His Santa Inez home includes 200 acres planted with cabernet grapes, which he contracts a winery to distill.
Arrissa, his youngest child with LeBrock, was named after the family nanny. Seagal then got involved romantically with the nanny who then became pregnant with his child.
Steven Seagal's business partner claims the actor broke a contract to star in four movies after falling under the spell of a Buddhist spiritual advisor.

Quotes:
I am hoping that I can be known as a great writer and actor some day, rather than a sex symbol.
(On what he thinks are the most important lessons that one should strive to live by in Aikido) Try to find the path of least resistance and use it without harming others. Live with intregrity and morality, not only with people but with all beings.
In life you never stop learning

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Forever Steven Seagal.