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Michael Rooker is an American actor, best known for his roles as Merle Dixon in The Walking Dead, Yondu Udonta in Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Hal Tucker in Cliffhanger, Chick Gandil in Eight Men Out, Henry in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Frank Bailey in Mississippi Burning, Bill Broussard in JFK, and Jared Svenning in Mallrats.
Rooker made his film debut in 1986, playing the title role in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, a film based on the confessions of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. Rooker was given more dramatic roles in films such as Eight Men Out, Mississippi Burning, and JFK, but he became widely known for his roles in action and thriller films such as Sea of Love, Days of Thunder, Cliffhanger, and Tombstone. He also starred in Mallrats, Rosewood, The 6th Day, Slither, Jumper, Super, and Hypothermia.
In June 2010, he revealed via Twitter that he was to appear in the AMC television series The Walking Dead as Merle Dixon, one of the survivors of a zombie apocalypse. He guest-starred in two episodes of the first season and one of the second season before finally becoming a series regular for the third season. Rooker played Yondu in the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy, which was directed by James Gunn. Rooker will reprise his role as Yondu in Avengers: Infinity War in 2018.
Rooker is also known for his roles in video games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops (where he played himself), Mike Harper in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 in November 2012, and voiced Merle in The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, the video game based on the television series.