Mickey Rourke was born Phillip Andre Rourke, Jr. on September 16, 1952, in Schenectady, New York, the son of Annette (Cameron) and Phillip Andre Rourke.
The young Rourke was a soft-spoken hoodlum with a predilection for playing street kids, blue-collar gamblers and ‘50s throwbacks. In Barry Levinson’s teen hangout film Diner, set in working class ‘50s Baltimore, a bunch of boys sit around arguing about records, baseball, and girls. Rourke stood out in the role of Boogie, an ambition-free hairdresser who is constantly in deep gambling debts.
Rourke played the lead in Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, winner of the Golden Lion Award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, about washed-up professional wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson. Regarding first reading the screenplay, he stated that he originally “didn’t care for it”.
I didn’t really care for the script, but I wanted to work with Darren and I kind of thought that whoever wrote the script hadn’t spent as much time as I had around these kind of people and he wouldn’t have spoken the way the dude was speaking. And, so Darren let me rewrite all my part and he put the periods in and crossed the T’s. So once we made that change I was okay with it.