Steven Seagal. Date Unknown.
 
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Steven Seagal
Forecourt Ceremony held on Monday, July 10, 1995
 
Born: April 10, 1952, in Lansing, Michigan
Age at the time of the ceremony: 43
 
It seems somewhat needless to introduce Steven Seagal. Love him or hate him, he has been before the cameras for a very long time, showing that the man likes to work. We all know the kinds of films he has given the world: action, adventure, leading ladies who are willing to do nude scenes (check it out), and posters featuring Seagal aiming a weapon of some sort with the title emblazoned on at an angle . . .

Seagal was born in Lansing, Michigan, to a mother of Dutch, English and German descent, and a Russian-Jewish father. The family moved to Fullerton, California, when Steven was five. Sickly and puny, Steven took to the changed atmosphere of Southern California. So much so, that he dropped out of Fullerton College and stayed in the garage, listening to loud rock music. Such a nice boy.

After being introduced to the world of martial arts at a dojo in Graden Grove, Seagal moved to Japan in 1972. Before long, he met, married, and started a family with Miyako Fujitani, becoming an instructor at her family's dojo in Osaka. Criss-crossing the Pacific, Seagal opened dojos in North Hollywood and West Hollywood, famously working with Brazillian UFC champ Lyoto Machida. Seagal leached into film production by being a stuntman, accidentally breaking Sean Connery's wrist during the filming of Never Say Never Again (which played the Chinese in October, 1983).

Working as a aikido trainer to Hollywood super agent Michael Ovitz led to Steven making a screen test, with Warner Bros. giving him a multi-picture contract! His first starring role for the studio was Above the Law (released in April, 1988) with Pam Grier, which did well enough to lead to another: Hard to Kill (which played the Chinese in February, 1990) with Kelly LeBrock (the two wed in 1987, and divorced in 1996).

But it was Under Siege (played the Chinese in October, 1992) with Tommy Lee Jones which really brought him to the public's attantion. The slickly produced and marketed film became a crossover hit, allowing Seagal to write his own ticket.

And what Steven really wanted to do was direct, which he did for On Deadly Ground (played the Chinese in February, 1994) with Joan Chen; he has not directed since. Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (which played the Chinese in July, 1995) with Katherine Heigl, was popular. Seagal produced The Glimmer Man (which played the Chinese in October, 1996) with Michelle Johnson, which kinda bombed, then starred in and produced Fire Down Below (played the Chinese in September, 1997) with Marg Helgenberger, which for sure bombed. This was the end of his Warner contract.

Not to worry though. Seagal had bought a ranch in Montana, where his first independent production The Patriot (released in July, 1998) with Camilla Belle, was filmed. It went direct to video.

Producer Joel Silver wasn't so squeamish. He starred Seagal in Exit Wounds (released in March, 2001) with Jill Hennessy. The film was a hit. However, Ticker (released in June, 2001) with Jamie Pressly, went direct to video, while Half Past Dead (released in November, 2002) with Nia Peeples, bombed theatrically.

Seagal then began what might have seemed a career-breaking move. He began to star and coproduce action films shot internationally on fairly low budgets for the direct to video market. The first of these, The Foreigner (released in June 2003) with Anna-Louise Plowman, was shot in Warsaw, Poland, while Into the Sun (released direct to video in February, 2005) with Juliette Marquis, was shot in Japan.

Now we begin the series of films made for video-only release, almost all of them featuring guns, topless leading ladies, and gasoline explosions:

Submerged (released direct to video in June, 2005) with Christine Adams; Today You Die (released direct to video in September, 2005) with Sarah Buxton; Black Dawn (released direct to video in December, 2005) with Tamara Davies; Mercenary for Justice (released direct to video in April, 2006) with Jacqueline Lord; Shadow Man (released direct to video in June, 2006) with Eva Pope; Attack Force (released direct to video in December, 2006) with Lisa Lovbrand; Flight of Fury (released direct to video in February, 2007) with Katie Jones; Urban Justice (released direct to video in November, 2007) with Carmen Serano; Pistol Whipped (released direct to video in March, 2008) with Renée Goldsberry; Kill Switch (released direct to video in October, 2008) with Holly Elissa; Against the Dark (released direct to video in February, 2009) with Jenna Harrison; Driven to Kill (released direct to video in May, 2009) with Inna Korobkina; and The Keeper (released direct to video in October, 2009) with Liezl Carstens.

Seagal, used his working as a reservist sheriff's deputy to make 24 episodes of Steven Seagal: Lawman, airing over A&E, beginning in December, 2009, and ending on Reelz in January, 2014. He appeared in Machete (released in September, 2010) with Michelle Rodriguez, then went back to direct to video land; after Born to Raise Hell (released direct to video in October, 2012) with Claudiu Marinescu; Maximum Conviction (released direct to video in November, 2012) with Aliyah O'Brien, he created and starred in 24 episodes of True Justice, with Sarah Lind, aired over what we are assuming were cable channels all over the world, from July, 2011, to September, 2012.

But Seagal returned to the comfy confines of direct to video and has remained there ever since: Force of Execution (released in direct to video in December, 2013) with Jenny Gabrielle; Gutshot Straight (released direct to video in November, 2014) with AnnaLynne McCord; Mercenary: Absolution (released direct to video in May, 2015) with Adina Stetcu; Sniper: Special Ops (released in May, 2016) with Charlene Amoia; Code of Honor (released in May, 2016) with Helena Mattsson; The Asian Connection (released in May, 2016); The Perfect Weapon (released in August, 2016) with Sasha Jackson; End of a Gun (released in September, 2016) with Jade Ewen; Contract to Kill (released in 2016) with Jemma Dallender; Cartels (released in May, 2017)with Martine Argent; China Salesman (released in June, 2017) with Janicke Askevold (oh, and Mike Tyson); Attrition (released in September, 2018) with Kat Ingkarat.

What more can we say? Well, for one thing, in 2018, Seagal (who has triple citizenship in the US, Russia, and Serbia) has been appointed as special envoy for the Russian goverment to improve cultural ties with the United States.
 
 
Caption TK
Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Steven Seagal Forecourt ceremony, Monday, July 10, 1995. With his son Doninic standing beside him, Steve Seagal enjoys his moment in the sun. Photo by Frank Trapper.
 
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