Legends of Action

August 3, 2012

Legends of Action: Michael Jai White

BirthDate: November 10, 1967

Michael Jai White may not have the name recognition of Arnie or Sly, however he is still every bit an action legend.

Born in New York, he is an accomplished martial artist, holding eight black belts in Shotokan, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Tae Kwon Do, Kobudo, Goju Ryu, Tang Soo Do, Wushu and Kyokushin.

White is a former teacher who didn’t get his breakout role until the HBO movie Tyson came along in 1995. He first came to prominence with mass audiences in the 1997 film Spawn and despite the movie’s flaws became one of the next action stars. He was also the first African American to play a major comic book superhero in a motion picture.

He would go on to star in some classic action movies including Undisputed II: Last Man Standing, Never Backdown II: The Beatdown (also his directorial debit) , Blood and Bone, Tactical Force (with Steve Austin) and Exit Wounds (with Steven Seagal). Michael would also get to play a villain in Universal Soldier: The Return and in 2008 was asked why he was so serious by Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. He filmed a scene for Kill Bill: Volume 2 which sadly didn’t make the final cut of the film but because I love you, I’ve posted it below.



Michael Jai White has not only proven that he has martial arts prowess, but also comic timing. His movie Black Dynamite remains one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a long time and is a classic parody of the Blaxpolitation genre. An animated TV series already making the rounds. He has also worked with Tyler Perry on several “Madea” films and TV shows.

His career has gone from strength to strength and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. So what say you, a role in The Expendables 3 for him? Damn right!



About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



Katrina Grey Interview

Actress Katrina Grey came to my attention a few years back. With the release of Hard Target 2, and Locked up, I wanted to get her thoughts on the various projects she has worked on. Katrina has been honing her action skills and...
by Dan Templegod


No Retreat No Surrender Part 2 vs. Part 3

No Retreat No Surrender 2: Raging Thunder turns 30 this year so what better time to compare it with the third entry in the series? I go into some spoilers in this article so if you’ve never seen the movies then best move alon...
by Eoin Friel


Revisiting The Eiger Sanction (1975)

If ever there’s a movie that wouldn’t get made today it’s The Eiger Sanction directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. It tells the story of former government assassin Jonathan Hemlock (Clint Eastwood) who now devotes his ...
by Eoin Friel