Second chances are rare, and Mickey Rourke’s life proves how lucky he is. The actor once attempted to commit suicide, but his dog saved him. Rourke also was at the peak of his acting career before it all went downhill. He would turn down movie parts without even researching what they were all about but not anymore. After grasping at straws trying to make a comeback, he recognizes how fortunate he is to be given another opportunity to do what he loves. Mickey Rourke’s net worth has risen to $10 million as a result, and here are the details of how he achieved it.
Letting Out His Rage in the Boxing Ring
Rourke was born in 1952 and raised alongside his sister Patty and brother Joey. Unfortunately, the actor’s dad left the family when Rourke was six, resulting in Rourke’s mother moving to Miami. She married Eugene Addis, a Miami Beach cop, who had five children. The couple got another child and raised their nine children under one roof in Liberty City, Miami. Addis was not the ideal stepfather; he was violent and abused Joey and Rourke. For this reason, Rourke never considered Addis as his father. It took a lot of beatings for the actor to concede to calling Addis “daddy,” a title Rourke felt was meant only for his biological father. The more the violence endured, the more the hate he felt for his mother. Rourke’s mother turned her back on what was happening, leaving Rourke and Joey to seek solace in their grandmother’s house during the weekends.
The neighborhood Rourke grew up in was also violent. He, therefore, took it upon himself to be Joey’s protector, going as far as avenging his brother’s beatings. He disclosed he had his first fistfight at ten when a guy kicked him in the schoolyard, and Rourke retaliated. He said that he suddenly changed from being peaceful to a violent teenager. The rage continued to build up, and Rourke decided the best way to deal with it was to join the Miami 5th Street Gym. However, there are holes in the stories that Rourke tells regarding his boxing past as a teenager. According to The New York Times Magazine, Addis bought Rourke boxing gloves and paid a trainer, but the stepfather said Rourke was never in the Golden Gloves fight, a statement supported by the director of The New York Daily News Golden Gloves. Contrastingly, Rourke insisted that he sparred with Luis Rodriguez but quit.
Rollercoaster Ride of His Acting Career
Rourke did not have to look much further for a job because, according to The Guardian, he landed an acting job. His friend studying at the University of Miami was directing a play, “Deathwatch,” but the person tasked with playing Green Eyes had dropped out. After booking the gig, Rourke felt his calling was in the acting industry, so he went to New York to study the craft, courtesy of a loan of $400 from his sister. He had to work menial jobs to afford the classes, and his persistence bore fruits when he landed his breakthrough role in “Body Heat” in 1981. Although it was a small role, it helped Rourke’s career, and he started raking in $3 million for every film he was cast in, in the 1980s.
Unfortunately, he did not think much about his future. According to his interview with Daily Mail, he splurged on the fine things in life. He said that he bought a Cadillac that had belonged to the Shah of Iran for $97,000. He only owned it for two months and drove it five times before the hydraulic windows failed; thus, Rourke sold it for $20,000. He also purchased six other Cadillacs but gave them away. To him, life was one big party comprising nightlife, motorcycles, and parties. His pride led him to badmouth and insult film directors Maybe due to partying too hard, the actor also forgot to call back Dustin Hoffman, who was calling to offer Rourke a part in “Rain Man” – the role eventually went to Tom Cruise. Finally, no film producer wanted to work with him. Rourke had also been making terrible choices in the types of movies he made; thus, his fall from grace. He lost everything – his wife, money, house, and reputation – and began renting a one-room apartment for 500. The disgraced actor relied on a close friend for a few hundred dollars each month to buy food. For about twelve years, Rourke was living in hell on earth.
Back to Boxing
The passion for acting died, and the only way to survive was to return to his first love – boxing. He was good at it and earned $1 million annually but suffered severe concussions and short-term memory loss. His doctor advised him against the sport, saying that Rourke was putting his life on the line because it could only take one more punch for him to die. Rourke was back to square one, and no one was willing to give him a chance until Frank Coppola gave him a small role in “The Rainmaker,” a 1997 film. Rourke could have been in “In the Cut” in 2003, but Nicole Kidman did not want to work with him. Landing a part in that film would have helped Rourke get back on track with his acting career, but it was not meant to be. Fortunately, Darren Aronofsky was making a small budget film “The Wrestler,” and offered Rourke the part of Randy. His performance was so good that he was nominated for various awards and won some. He has since had several roles like in “The Expendables.” If the producers were willing to pay $3 million to Bruce Willis for four days of work, most likely Rourke was well compensated. As he continues trying to be in the good graces of film producers, Rourke is sure not to squander any more chances that come his way.