Dude, where is Michael Dudikoff now? What he’s been up to lately? Does he continue to shoot action films?
These kind of questions are pretty common these days because only a few weeks ago the actor in question had a birthday and turned 63.
That is why, I decided to use that occasion as an excuse to write an article about Michael Dudikoff, thus demystifying the unclearness about his recent activities.
I hope that in that way, all his fans will sleep better.
Before jumping to that, however, let’s see…
Who Is Michael Dudikoff In The First Place?
I don’t know which one is harder – to look back to the 80’s and not remember how entertaining the ‘American Ninja’ series are, or to not laugh at the fact that Michael Dudikoff and Tom Hanks (that’s right, Tom Hanks himself) have appeared in a movie together.
In fact, as an addition to the latter, it might be shocking to you to learn that Michael has also shared screens with Gene Hackman in ‘Uncommon Valor’ (1983) and with Jeff Bridges in the sci-fi blockbuster from 1982 ‘Tron’.
But neither of those movies were meant to be the shining break out of the sympathetic actor with a constant seriousness on his face.
Michal Dudikoff left a significant mark in the action movie industry mostly by playing the leading role of the lethal shinobi Joe Armstrong in the cult action flick ‘American Ninja’ (1985).
Following the huge popularity and the unbelievable commercial success of the actioner, four sequels appeared and Michael didn’t participate only in the last one – ‘American Ninja 5’ (this one’s with David Bradley as the main action hero) which was so preposterous that officially it was declared as an action-comedy.
By the way, while we are still in a Ninja mood, feel free to check out the list of the best ninja movies of the new millennium. There are some really remarkable flicks there.
Michael Dudikoff is also known for starring in many similar low-budgeted, yet highly amusing little actioners such as ‘Platoon Leader’ (1988), ‘River of Death’ (1989), ‘The Human Shield’ (1991), ‘Soldier Boyz’ (1995), and many others.
Contrary to many beliefs, Dudikoff didn’t have any martial arts training prior to shooting the first installment of ‘American Ninja’ but after that, he developed a passion for combat sports and he became highly trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Aikido, and Judo.
Make no mistake that he knows how to kicks ass by only using his body.
At least, he knew by the time he was filming ‘American Ninja’ for which he needed to learn some martial arts in order to better portray his character.
One thing is unarguable – Michael Dudikoff gained huge popularity in the b-action movie genre in the mid 80’s and during the 90’s when it was the golden era of the funny action movies.
After that, he quietly disappeared from the radar and as many other action stars who had the peak of their glory during the 90’s, his name has faded into oblivion.
All that arises the question…
Where Is Michael Dudikoff Now?
The good news is that the American Ninja continues to shoot action movies after a long break.
He backed up from the movie industry for eleven years – from 2002 when he acted in the direct-to-video action flick called ‘Stranded’ until 2013 when Michael made a comeback and performed in the comedy TV series ‘Zombie Break Room’.
In 2015 he participated in the funny action movie ‘Navy Seals vs. Zombies’ (what can you expect from a movie with such a title!) for which one can see reviews starting with ‘the worst zombie film ever’.
If I had to define it, I’d say that it is immensely amusing.
In addition, Michael has two upcoming projects in development – the family horror flick ‘Landfill’ and the action thriller ‘Left Turn’.
It is true that the movies he shoots are far from being even close to the success of his breakthrough ‘American Ninja’ but at least Dudikoff keeps himself busy and doesn’t stop making what he loves and what he does best.
Currently, the beloved action star’s main occupation apart from shooting movies is mentoring aspiring actors and he is also maintaining close connections with the martial arts world.
He continues to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and to inspire other aspiring martial artists all over the world.
Mike is a family man who has a black belt in keeping life simple as quoted from his Twitter profile.
Michael is married with two children and he lives in Los Angeles, California.
In September 2017, he was a guest at the Comic-Con Festival in Amsterdam along with fellow stars Pamela Anderson, Michael Madsen, Billy Boyd, and Carice Van Houten (‘Game of Thrones’).
In a recent interview with Den Of Geek, Dudikoff mentioned that he has written a script for a sequel to ‘American Ninja’ and hopefully one day, soon, we can see it happen.
He said numerous times that he is a big fan of ‘the Expendables’ and he would love to join the franchise one day.
Wouldn’t it be awesome?!
It is good to know that Michael Dudikoff, the celebrated action star from the 80’s that inspired many to start learning martial arts is still in an amazingly great shape and continues to be active in the movie business.
Even though today he is not in the spotlight, his films still thrill and spread joy and positive vibes among the b-action world.
Mike, if you are reading this, stay true to yourself and please, keep those actioners coming!
And Sly, if you are reading this, please don’t wait too much to cast Michael in ‘Expendables 4’.
We’d love to see an American Ninja in it.
What is your favorite Michael Dudikoff movie and why? Leave a comment below!