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. Feel the improvement.

Since then, Seagal has keep grinding them out: Contract to Kill (released in 2018) with Russell Wong, General Commander (released in May 2019) with Sonia Couling and Beyond the Law (released in December 2019) with Johnny Messner.
Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Steven Seagal Forecourt block. Executed by unknown, Monday, July 10, 1995. 49 x 44 inches.
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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