The Rake

‘IF I CAN’T HAVE THUNDER AND LIGHTNING, I WON’T HAVE ANYTHING’

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The actor Mickey Rourke is a Hollywood myth incarnate, a beautiful man undone by a dependence on his own face, a saddle-soaped Dorian Gray. The smirking eyes, harsh frame and soft voice combined to subvert the eighties lead, a soulful minimalist to Michael Douglas’s greedy kitsch. Chiming with the era’s more quixotic auteurs, he abandoned his screen prime to box. Like Jean-Paul Belmondo (the subject of a previous Rake profile), Rourke was an undefeated amateur fighter, but by the time he wanted to act again, that face was a pulpy caricature of itself. For 15 years, Rourke was the heavyweight bruiser turned industry punchbag until a single film in 2009, one of the most potent life-art blurs in recent cinema history, revived him.

We’re getting ahead of ourselves. Born in Schenectady, New York, in 1952, Mickey was six when his bodybuilder father, Philip, left his mother, Annette, and moved to Florida once his mother married Miami Beach police officer Eugene Addis,

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