Michael Joseph Dudikoff II (born October 8, 1954) is an American actor who has been in numerous films, including the American Ninja series (1985–1990), Tron (1982), Bachelor Party (1984), Platoon Leader (1988), River of Death (1989), Soldier Boyz (1996), Ringmaster (1998), and The Silencer (1999).
|Born||Michael Joseph Dudikoff II
October 8, 1954
Redondo Beach, California, U.S.
Early lifeMichael Joseph Dudikoff comes from a large family. His father was a Christian Orthodox from Russia, and served in the Army before marrying Dudikoff’s mother, a French-Canadian native from Quebec who was extremely talented on the piano. The couple moved to California in the mid-1970s and had five children. Dudikoff is the fourth of the group.
Dudikoff graduated from West Torrance High School and was studying child psychology at Harbor College, when he was discovered as a model. During this time, he also worked at a rehabilitation center for abused youth called Cedar House. He waited tables at Beachbum Burt’s in Redondo Beach, California to pay for his education.
During lunch one day, Dudikoff served Max Evans, a fashion editor with Esquire magazine, who came in with some models. Evans asked Dudikoff to walk in a Newport Beach fashion show, and his mother encouraged him to try it out.
After a couple of successful runways, Dudikoff retained an agent at the Mary Webb Davis Agency in Los Angeles. Dudikoff soon entered the high fashion world and counted Calvin Klein and GQ among his clients. He moved quickly to international print modeling and traveled between New York, Los Angeles, and Milan by his late 20s.
Film careerDudikoff soon began acting, and he starred in several commercials for companies, including Coppertone, Coca-Cola for Japan, Army Reserve and Stridex.
His first television role took place after a meeting with theatrical agent Sid Craig. It was at this time that he landed the part as Joni’s first boyfriend in the American sitcom Happy Days. Other TV work included roles in Dallas, Gimme a Break!, and a Columbia Pictures movie-of-the-week called Sawyer & Finn.
He is widely recognized for playing the character Private Joe Armstrong in the American Ninja (1985). The American Ninja series went on to become a five-movie sensation.
Other Dudikoff films include Tron (1982), Uncommon Valor (1983), Bachelor Party (1984), Avenging Force (1986), River of Death (1989), The Human Shield (1991), Chain of Command (1994), Soldier Boyz (1996), Bounty Hunters (1996), Ringmaster (1998), The Silencer (1999), In Her Defense (1999), Gale Force (2002), and Quicksand (2002).
Dudikoff currently[when?] is in pre-production for Havana Heat.
Private lifeDudikoff mentors other actors and participates in martial arts, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He began his training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Rorion Gracie and stays connected with the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighting circuit, including Rigan Machado, an eighth degree red and black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and former world champion.
Dudikoff is married and has two children. He also owns two chihuahuas. He can speak a little Russian.
Film and television credits