Walking Dead Wiki

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Walking Dead Wiki
This article is about Merle's actor. For other pages with the same name, see: Michael

Michael Rooker is an American actor who portrayed Merle Dixon in AMC's The Walking Dead.


Michael Rooker was born in 1955 in Jasper, Alabama. When he was 13, his parents divorced and he went with his mother to live in Chicago. He became interested in acting while attending college, and began appearing in local stage productions.

On first breaking into film, his intensity and "don't-mess-with-me" good looks were highlighted to chilling effect as the title character in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), filmed in 1986 but, due to its controversial nature, not released until 1990.

Since that widely noticed and highly praised performance, much of his career has been spent playing brutes, villains, and psychopaths. His occasional turns as a "good guy," however, are always well-acted and a welcome change for a talented actor too often typecast.

Other Works

  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.
  • Cliffhanger
  • Jumper
  • The Bone Collector
  • Mississippi Burning
  • Eight Men Out
  • The Dark Half
  • Renegade Force
  • Bolden!
  • JFK
  • Tombstone
  • The Replacement Killers
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops I
  • Love and Monsters
  • The Suicide Squad


  • He jokes that Merle and Michonne would have become a couple had the former stayed alive in an interview.
  • He has stated in interviews that he wished more of Daryl and Merle's backstory was explored before Merle died and has wished that Daryl and Merle shared more screen time together.
  • He starred alongside Elizabeth Ludlow (Arat) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

External Links