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Michael Dudikoff

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Biography

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Actor
Born:
October 8, 1954 in Redondo Beach, CA
Biography
Though few familiar with buff skull cracker Michael Dudikoff would be shocked to hear that the handsome action star got his start in modeling, the fact that he previously studied child psychology might come as a surprise to those who think brawn overpowers brain. The Redondo Beach, CA, native was born to a Russian father in early October of 1954, and although Dudikoff isn't fluent in his native tongue, his father did teach him to speak a little Russian. Studies in child psychology preceded work as a model for the handsome young hopeful, and in 1978, he got his big break when cast in a supporting role on the wildly popular television drama Dallas. In the years that followed, Dudikoff appeared in both Happy Days and Gimme a Break!, and in 1980 the young rising star made his feature debut in The Black Marble. Small roles in Tron (1982) and Uncommon Valor (1983) found his action chops developing nicely, and after having a wild time in Bachelor Party (1984), Dudikoff had his breakthrough role in the 1985 martial arts action film American Ninja. Though the part was originally intended for film star Chuck Norris, Dudikoff made the role his own, to the delight of action fans worldwide. Though the requisite sequels came fast and furious, it was roles in such small-scale actioners as Platoon Leader (1988, directed by Chuck Norris' brother Aaron) and Midnight Ride (1990) that kept his name alive in the lucrative low-budget action market. Though Dudikoff's 1993 series Cobra would only hold out for one season, his average of two films per year would find him doling out the punches well into the new millennium. The late '90s found Dudikoff teaming with B-movie maestro Fred Olen Ray for a series of small-scale punishers, and in 2002, Dudikoff appeared opposite Treat Williams in Jim Wynorski's Gale Force. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
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