The Irish Americans
The hands-down comeback of the year is actor Mickey Rourke whose rise to the height of the film industry with The Wrestler has reminded critics why they loved him in the first place.
After a stint as a professional boxer in the 1990s, Rourke fell off the Hollywood map for a while, but his Golden Globe win and Oscar nomination have the Irish-American actor returning for what may yet be the pinnacle of his career. Sean Penn, who beat Rourke for the Oscar for Best Actor, concluded his acceptance speech with, “Mickey Rourke rises again. And he is my brother.”
The former professional boxer made his acting debut in Steven Spielberg’s 1941 which he followed with roles in memorable films like The Outsiders and The Pope of Greenwich Village.
Rourke is no stranger to expressing his Irish heritage, portraying a Belfastman in "A Prayer for the Dying," which followed the moral struggle of an ex-IRA hitman. Rourke, unhappy with the production choices made for the film, told Irish America before the film’s 1987 release, “I’m no Irish Rambo.” Known for his eccentric choices of roles, Rourke is sure to continue to keep Hollywood guessing.
Return to Global 100