Michael Beck

John Michael Beck Taylor (born February 4, 1949), commonly known as Michael Beck, is an American actor, known for his role as Swan in the 1979 film The Warriors,[1] and as Sonny Malone in Xanadu.

Michael Beck
John Michael Beck Taylor

(1949-02-04) February 4, 1949
Years active1971–2005, 2015
Spouse(s)Cari Beck (1980–present)

Life and career

Early life

Beck was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the third of nine children. He attended Memphis University School and then Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi on a football scholarship. While in college he was initiated into Kappa Alpha Order fraternity. After graduating with a degree in economics, he was one of 30 (out of 2,500) applicants chosen for London's Central School of Speech and Drama. Beck's stage credits, beginning with college, include: Camelot (he was King Arthur); Of Mice and Men (he was George Milton); Romeo and Juliet (he was Tybalt); and Cat On a Hot Tin Roof.


Beck is known predominantly for his roles as Swan in the action film The Warriors (1979), Sonny Malone in Xanadu (1980),[2] Lieutenant Commander Dallas in Megaforce (1982), and Koda in Triumphs of a Man Called Horse (1983). Both the Xanadu and Megaforce roles garnered him Razzie nominations, for Worst Actor and Worst Supporting Actor, respectively. Beck has appeared in other movies such as Warlords of the 21st Century (1982), Wes Craven's Chiller (1985), Gone to Texas (1986, as James Bowie) and Forest Warrior (1996).

Beck appeared as Hans Helms in the 1978 TV miniseries Holocaust, and starred in a short-lived television series Houston Knights (1987). More recently, he appeared in television shows such as JAG, Walker, Texas Ranger, In the Heat of the Night, as the Mars-born terrorist-turned-cyborg assassin Abel Horn in Babylon 5 (episode "Spider in the Web"), and as Mr. Jones in the spin-off series Crusade.

Beck has narrated numerous audiobooks of John Grisham's novels. He has also narrated Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz; A Darkness More Than Light by Michael Connelly; State of the Union by David Callahan; and the unabridged version of Bill Clinton's My Life. He also reprised his role as Swan in 2005, lending his voice to the popular video game adaptation of The Warriors.[3]

Selected filmography


1971The Hard RideHighway ThugUncredited
1979The WarriorsSwan
1979Mayflower: The Pilgrims' AdventureJohn AldenTelevision movie
1980XanaduSonny MaloneNominated—Razzie Award for Worst Actor
1980Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking StoryClarence CarnesTelevision movie
1981Fly Away HomeMarkTelevision movie
1982BattletruckHunteraka Warlords of the 21st Century and Destroyers
1982MegaforceDallasNominated—Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor
1983Triumphs of a Man Called HorseKoda
1983The Golden SealCrawford
1984The Last NinjaKenjiro SakuraTelevision movie
1984The StreetsSgt. Danny WreadeTelevision movie
1984Rearview MirrorJerry Sam HoppsTelevision movie
1985ChillerMiles CreightonTelevision movie
(aka Wes Craven's Chiller)
1985BlackoutMike PattersonTelevision movie
1986Gone to TexasJames BowieTelevision movie
(aka Houston: The Legend of Texas)
1990Only One SurvivedPaul HaskelTelevision movie
1991Deadly GamePetersonTelevision movie
1991Stranger at My DoorJimmy Lee DanceyTelevision movie
1991Final JudgementDelaneyTelevision movie
1993Fade to BlackBraithTelevision movie
1996Forest WarriorArlen Slaighter
1998The Jungle Book: Search for the Lost TreasureProf. Gershwin Donovan
2015The Grace of JakeHenry Haynes
2015The Warriors: Last Subway Ride HomeSwanVideo


1977Ryan's HopeN/A2 episodes
1978HolocaustHans Helm3 episodes
1984CelebrityT.J. Luther3 episodes
1987–88Houston KnightsSgt. Levon Lundy30 episodes
1989Murder, She WroteDanny SchubertEpisode: "The Search for Peter Kerry"
1990Murder, She WroteJustin FieldsEpisode: "Trials and Tribulations"
1993In the Heat of the NightSonny RoperEpisode: "A Deadly Affection"
1993Murder, She WroteBrian BentallEpisode: "The Big Kill"
1994Robin's HoodsDet. Stephen DeCosta3 episodes
1994Babylon 5Abel HornEpisode: "Spider in the Web"
1995McKennaJon Doe / AlexEpisode: "Racing in the Streets"
1996−98Walker, Texas RangerAdam McGuire2 episodes
1997Diagnosis: MurderFrank WaldeckEpisode: "Deadly Games"
1998Born FreeLukeEpisode: "The Reunion"
1999CrusadeMr. JonesEpisode: "The Well of Forever"
2001Nash BridgesAdult Bobby BridgesEpisode: "Quack Fever"
2004JAGSenator Carter InnesEpisode: "Whole New Ball Game"


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