American actor Steven Frederic Seagal is a man of many talents. A writer, musician, writer, martial artist, reserve deputy sheriff and a producer but it his recurring role as a movie action hero that has chiefly contributed to his estimated $5 million fortune.
The Michigan-born actor was a natural fit for action roles as his physical appearance and cool air combined well with his extensive knowledge of martial arts but Seagal was a late-comer to the big screen.
Born in the town of Lansing, Michigan, in 1951, Steven Seagal’s father was a Russian-Jewish maths teacher and his mother a medical technician. Having been introduced to martial arts as a young teenager, Seagal traveled with his father to Japan when he was seventeen where he decided to remain to perfect his aikido and karate skills.
Quickly rising to 7th Dan black belt level in Aikido, Seagal opened his own dojo in Japan, becoming the first foreigner to do so, and remained in the country for fifteen years.
Return to the States
Back home in the U.S.A after his years in Japan, Seagal opened a dojo in New Mexico before moving his business to Burbank, California. Seagal was hired as a martial instructor for the James Bond movie “Never Say Never Again” where he proceeded to break Sean Connery’s wrist during filming.
The Connery incident didn’t prevent Seagal’s admittance to the world of film and in 1988 he made his debut in the action movie “Above the Law”. Seagal made his name as an action hero in the movies that followed “Hard to Kill”, “Marked for Death” and “Out for Justice” before playing the part of Navy Seal Casey Ryback in “Under Siege” which made him an international star.
The success of “Under Siege” was not to be repeated and Seagal appeared in a series of straight to video movies with the exception of “Exit Wounds” and “Half Past Dead” which were reasonably successful at the box office.
- An accomplished guitarist, Steven Seagal had some success with two albums, “Mojo Priest” and “Songs from the Crystal Cave”, as well as playing guitar for several movie soundtracks.
- Steven Seagal Enterprises markets its own brand of energy drink called “Lightning Bolt” and Seagal also represents a major Russian weapons manufacturer.
- Reality TV. Seagal is a reserve deputy sheriff and starred in the reality show “Steven Seagal: Lawman” depicting his time with the Jefferson Parish and Maricopa County police forces.
Environment and Animals
Steven Seagal is a well-known animal rights activists and environmentalist with strong political views which don’t always gibe with the American authorities.
Although Steven Seagal’s net worth is generally accepted to be in the region of $5 million, many experts estimate that it is actually closer to three times that amount but, as a philanthropist and donator to good causes, perhaps Seagal really is a man of action and not words.