The Official Website for Actor Michael Rooker
The Official Website for Actor Michael Rooker



Collected by Elaine Lamkin
May 2011

Still think you know Michael Rooker, huh? Think the ass-kickin’ star of movies as diverse as HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER to TOMBSTONE to SLiTHER to THE WALKING DEAD has no more secrets from his fans, eh? Well, I’m here to tell you, you don’t know Mike! With this installment, we have more tidbits of info and stories of Rooker’s adventures and misadventures from his boyhood days in Alabama to his life in Chicago to his present day popularity and you will be shocked, amused, disbelieving and downright proud to call yourself a Rooker fan …

1. Rooker has had the Heimlich Maneuver done on him and for the most Rooker-ish of reasons – choking on a lemon drop. He was at his agent’s office one day and was chatting with his agent’s assistant when the lemon drop went down the wrong way. The assistant started laughing, thinking Rooker was clowning around, as usual. Another assistant, Forrest, realized he wasn’t faking and gave Rooker the Heimlich which resulted in the lemon drop flying across the room, leaving a dent in the wall.

2. Rooker was named Rookie Lifeguard of the Year back in 1976 or 1977. He was a lifeguard for three summers while in high school. He worked at North Avenue beach in Chicago, and saved about 11 people during one summer. Said he was a good observer, but terrible swimmer and the award was for performing beyond what he thought his abilities were.

3. He didn’t have shoes until he entered 2nd grade. Just ran around barefoot all of the time (rural Alabama, remember?).

4. Rooker didn’t talk at all in the 1st grade. Calls it a “self-imposed mutism”. He was angry because he got spanked three times in the first hour of the first day because a little girl (the teacher’s niece) slapped him and he pushed her down and then laughed. He was spanked by a 1st grade teacher, the principal and a 3rd grade teacher. Decided not to talk after that.

5. Had to repeat 1st grade as a result of being so damn stubborn and not speaking the first time around.

6. Has only been knocked out once in his life and he did it to himself while cleaning metal piping at his home in LA. He grabbed the last pipe to throw into the dumpster and the next thing he remembers is being on the ground. Apparently that last pipe had an elbow in it that he didn’t see…

7. As a kid, he and his cousin, Stony, would play “chicken” with their bikes or one would stand in the street while the other tried to run the other over. One time Rooker didn’t chicken out and his cousin ran right over him with his Schwinn Stingray bike. He thought he could stop the bike with “powers”. Left treadmarks right down the front of his shirt and pants.

8. Rooker does not have a green thumb because everything Rooker tries to grow, dies.

9. Collects beer steins just for the fun of it.

10. Under extreme duress, Rooker will do his own laundry and ironing but under no circumstances will he ever stoop to “honey-dos”. But loooooves to do dishes.

11. Given the choice between a tuna melt and a patty melt, will take a patty melt with raw onions every time.

12. Has an extremely high threshold for pain.

13. Never read a novel that he didn’t skip to the end first.

14. Rooker loves to play board games and he loves it even more when he blatantly and blazingly in-your-face cheats. It makes it even better when he’s caught.

15. Has only gambled once in his life, while in Vegas shooting the film, THE UNDISPUTED. He had to learn how to play craps and blackjack by taking lessons. And he stayed at Caesar’s Palace for over two and a half months.

16. No matter how hard Rooker tries, within a week he has scratched the lenses of his new eyewear.

17. “Tough love” kind of guy.

18. Doesn’t ever remember getting a serious spanking as a child. But had a good switching with a tree branch, a clout with his grandmother’s broom or a good smack upside the head but nothing more serious than that.

19. Rooker would never build a house without a real storm cellar. Rooker is a firm believer in the right of self-protection and says everyone, male or female, needs to know how to defend themselves.

20. Tends to forget anything that’s not written down.

21. When it comes to Facebook or Twitter, groups or games such as Farmville or any of those “villes”, don’t bother asking him to join and if you do ask, don’t take it personally if he doesn’t respond.

22. When he goes to put gas in his truck, he always stops on an even dollar amount even if it means paying an extra dollar or two.

Elaine Lamkin is a horror journalist who contributes primarily to Dread Central.