If you are a film and television lover, you have seen this guy. He isn't in the tabloids or being talked about in mainstream, but to be quit honest, he's a much better actor than most will admit and has been consistent with his style and roles. Bit-actors normally don't get the glory and are under appreciated. This article is to bring to light a great actor that has 231 Acting credits (IMDB) spanning nearly 40 years. (Samuel L. is in a lot of stuff too, yet only 162 acting credits (doesn't count Capital One commercials)). This is to you, Michael Freaking Ironside.
I mentioned this in another article, but if you haven't already, please start watching The Flash on the CW. This season, we are introduced to Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Golden Glider's (Peyton List) father Lewis Snart.
Spoiler for The Flash season two second episode.
Snart was not loved by his children and an abusive father. Only when he needs his son's unique abilities to orchestrate a great diamond caper is when he returns to his children's lives. In order to get his son to even help, however, he placed a bomb in Glider's head and use her as leverage. In the end, The Flash and his geek friends save Glider and immediately, Cold turns on his father and iced him.
Okay, this isn't a Flash article, but just had to bring him in since he graced us with his presence. Last year, sometime, my friends and I were watching a random movie and Michael Ironside was in it. So I say "Oooo, Michael Ironside! Love this guy." Sadly, my friends had no clue who he was exactly (although once I listed off his movies they conceded). Now there is a running joke that he is in every movie when we question which actor that is. Ha...Ha.If you really think about it though, he's been in some great movie along side some amazing talent and he still is trucking.
"That was some of the best flying I've seen to date - right up to the part where you got killed."
Top Gun opened in theaters in May of 1986, I was not there for the debut, being 2 years old, but had the VHS and watched that thing to death as any normal male in American would (should) have done in my age group. Ironside played the fighter pilot instructor Lt. Cmdr. Rick Heatherly, call-sign: Jester.Here, we see that Ironside fits the military quit easily and will dawn many uniforms over the years.
Michael Ironside specializes in playing villains and tough-guys and for the older readers, they may remember him from the 1981 Scanners. This takes me to Total Recall and Highlander II: The Quickening, where I remember fearing a ruthless villain that I recall hating and found pleasure when his character died in the end. Actors who can step into a role and make it believable is what makes Michael Ironside great. I literally wanted this guy dead as well.
It was not until he took command of the U.E.O seaQuest DSV 4600-II from Captain Bridger, played by the late great actor Roy Scheider, that I began to like the guy in the 90's series SeaQuest 2032. I say it that way, because most will agree we see actors as in the roles they play. Captain Oliver Hudson was the tough-guy commander who was opposite of seaQuests' original commander. Sadly, this show lasted only 3 seasons, with Michael Ironside entering its final third season. I loved this show. To me, it was the under water Star Trek sparking exploration and learning knowledge of our oceans. At the end of each episode, we had the remarkable Robert (Bob) Ballard would elaborate on the subject the episode had entailed. Bringing to life the real science behind the science fiction. If you don't know who Bob is, please visit these links (Wikipedia; National Geographic) . He's made some amazing discoveries in our Oceans and a pioneer in the early use of deep-diving submarines.
Let's not forget Terminator: Salvation and, even better, Starship Trooper's either. We are first introduced to him as the tight-ass high school teacher with one arm; a veteran in the war against the Arachnids. When the war is brought to Earth's doorstep, he is called back to duty and takes command of the Roughnecks. Ironside meets his end in the film, but not after inspiring the main character to become a leader and carry the team from here on out.
For our video game fans, and as my co-worker just relished in the awesome, he played the voice of Sam Fisher on the hit video game series 'Splinter Cell'. He is also the voice of Darkseid in the Superman (animated) tv series (1996-200). His voice just has that, can't think of the word, flare that can make you believe he is an experienced covert operative or the most powerful villain in the DC (arguably all of comics as well) universe. He reprized the voice role in the Justice League series in 2006.
Keeping true to the comic heritage, he later shows up in Smallville as Lois Lanes father General Sam Lane (another uniform), voiced in Wolverine and the X-men as, you guessed it, a Colonel and later a Navy captain on X-men: First Class who ordered the American vessels to fire upon the mutant students of the young Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr.
I've linked his IMDB page at the top for you all to view and appreciate this man's job in film and television. Once you realize that he's been in many of your favorite movies growing up, I think you would applaud him just as much as I do. Pulled from the Wikipedia page:
In a January 2010 interview, Ironside stated in response to a question about his many roles in science fiction movies that he has always been a big fan of science fiction and often received science fiction short story collections from his grandfather that he kept in a shoe box under his bed. He stated that his favorite science fiction novels are Dune by Frank Herbert and "anything involving adventure."
Please continue good kind sir, please do. When the airwaves are crowded with actors and actresses who are hot in the moment, you will continue to be successful as I'm sure there will always be a villain and tough-guy needed.