Brother of actress Virginia Madsen and Cheryl Madsen. Son of Cal Madsen, a retired firefighter, and Elaine Madsen.
Has worn the same pinky ring in numerous movies.
Announced the second greatest movie villain of all time by Maxim Magazine's "Greatest Movie Villains of all Time" for his character in Reservoir Dogs (1992) of "Mr. Blonde".
His character of Mr. Blonde was one of the 200 nominees on the American Film Institute's list of 100 years of the best Heroes and Villains. He was also the only character from Reservoir Dogs (1992) who was nominated. However, he didn't make it into the top 50.
Dennis Hopper wrote the introduction to his book of short stories and poems "Burning in Paradise".
Former brother-in-law of Danny Huston and Cher.
Children with Jeannine Bisignano: Christian Madsen (born 1990) and Max Madsen (born 1994). Children with DeAnna Madsen: Hudson Lee (born 1995), Calvin Michael (born 1997) and Luke Ray (born 2005).
In the early days of his acting career, he considered changing his name to "Michael Hood."
States only five films as ones he's even remotely proud of: Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Donnie Brasco (1997), Reservoir Dogs (1992), Species (1995) and Free Willy (1993).
Because of his strong aversion to violence, Madsen was very uncomfortable filming the torture scenes in Reservoir Dogs (1992), especially in the scenes in which he was required to hit Kirk Baltz.
He points to Robert Mitchum as his idol and role model. Many similarities are apparent, as both are large, intimidating "tough guys" who are generally underrated and Madsen (as did Mitchum) doesn't always appear in films for their artistic merit. They both shared a love for poetry. He and Mitchum also both appeared in War and Remembrance (1988), though they never had any scenes together.
Was set to play "Sean Harrison" in the series Hawaii (2004) but was replaced by Michael Biehn.
TV commercial (voice-over): Boeing Corp.
Owned the yellow Cadillac that his character Mr Blonde drove in Reservoir Dogs (1992).
Was offered role of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction (1994) but turned it down because he couldn't get out of rehearsal for Wyatt Earp (1994). He cited this as the the worst mistake of his career.
His paternal grandparents (Soren and Anna Marie Madsen) immigrated from Denmark in the early 1900s.
His mother has English, Irish, Scottish, and German ancestry, and is also said to have Native American roots.
For his past, present and ongoing commitment to independent film, was presented with the inaugural Rebel Award by good friend/actor Harvey Keitel at Rebelfest 2005, Toronto.
He was considered for Tom Sizemore's roles in Heat (1995) and Saving Private Ryan (1998).
Poetry collection: 10-Year Anniversary Edition of his poetry book, "The Complete Poetic Works of Michael Madsen, Vol I: 1995-2005/," available at Amazon.com.
One of his dogs is "Buftea", a recent addition. He found it emaciated, wild and roaming the forests of Romania while he was filming The Last Drop (2006). Madsen gradually tamed the dog, adopted it, named it after the town in Romania where they were shooting and whisked it back to beach-front Malibu.
He has said in an interview once that his feminine characteristic would be that he has soft feet.
His maternal grandparents are Lance and Lavinia.
"Burning in Paradise" won the Independent Firecracker Award for Poetry in 1998.
In 2002 he was presented an award for his work with the Shriners Hospital For Children.
Good friends with Dennis Hopper, Harry Dean Stanton and Nick Nolte.
Has worked as a car mechanic, a landscaper and a hospital orderly before turning to acting.
Married his wife, DeAnna Madsen, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
He was originally asked to play "Harland", the man who rapes Geena Davis in Thelma & Louise (1991), but he refused the part and, when director Ridley Scott asked what part he would like instead, Madsen asked if he could play "Jimmy Lennox", the well meaning but short tempered boyfriend of Susan Sarandon's Louise. Scott initially scoffed at the idea, but Madsen got the part of "Jimmy" after having lunch with Sarandon.
He painted houses, repaired cars, worked as an orderly in a hospital and pumped gas in his late teens and early twenties before he moved to Los Angeles.
Hobbies include cars and bikes.
Has a parrot called Marlon (after Marlon Brando).
Uncle of Virginia Madsen's son, Jack Sabato.
Godfather of his sons, Hudson Madsen and Kalvin Madsen, is Quentin Tarantino.
Has lent his voice to several seasons of Animal Precinct (2001) on The Animal Planet.
Stepfather of Cody (born 1987), son of DeAnna Madsen and Brian Setzer.
Was offered the role of Seth Gecko in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), but couldn't accept due to scheduling conflicts.
The character of Officer Wendell 'Bud' White in L.A. Confidential (1997) was written with Madsen in mind, but Russell Crowe got the part.
According to his interview in Maxim magazine, he doesn't own a cell phone nor does he use the Internet to send e-mails; he still writes letters by hand.
Lives in Malibu with his family.
His parents, Cal and Elaine Madsen, divorced when Michael was 9.
He has an older sister named Cheryl Madsen (Cheri). She's the owner of a restaurant in Wisconsin.
David Carradine and his wife Annie were married at Madsen's home by Vicki Roberts.
September 2007 - outstanding achievement award in acting at the 13th annual Temecula Valley International Film & Music Festival.
Good friend Harvey Keitel served as godfather to his son Max Madsen.
Was considered for the role of John McClane in Die Hard (1988).
Studied at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre.
The films he acted in have grossed over 2 billion dollars world wide.
Will Rogers pioneer award 2007.
The Boys Republic once a year gives a scholarship on behalf of Michael Madsen. Steve McQueen attended that school.
Very well-known for his generosity; he gave his casting director friend Bruno Rosato a Porsche 928.
Won the Maverick Award 2007 Method fest, presented to him by good friend David Carradine.
Uncle of Jack Sabato.
Has starred in three films as a gangster whose organization is infiltrated by undercover law enforcement: Reservoir Dogs (1992), Donnie Brasco (1997) and Beyond the Law (1993).
After the death of good friend Chris Penn, he has a hard time watching Reservoir Dogs (1992).
Ex-son-in-law of Georgia Holt.
He's shooting House (2008) in Lodz, Poland; staying in the Grand Hotel. [July 2006]
Starring on Celebrity Big Brother (2001) in the UK. [January 2012]
His wife DeAnna's ex-husband is Stray Cats guitarist Brian Setzer.
In 2002, Madsen was presented an award for his work with the Shriners Hospital for Children, and he gave his casting director friend Bruno Rosato a Porsche 928.
He was offered the role of Danny McKnight in Black Hawk Down (2001), but was forced to turn the role down because of scheduling conflicts with Big Apple (2001).
He called BloodRayne (2005) "an abomination... a horrifying and preposterous movie", but added that he enjoyed working with Uwe Boll and would certainly work with him again if asked. Boll claimed that Madsen was frequently drunk during production.
He was considered for the role of Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers (1994), but Warner Bros. wanted somebody less intimidating, and with a softer persona, as they felt this might alleviate the brutality of the character somewhat.
He was strongly considered for Detective Mike Logan on Law & Order (1990), until the final reading when the NBC suits felt that his "acting mannerisms were repetitive.".
He was considered for a role in Inglourious Basterds (2009).
In September 2009, Madsen announced his participation in the Love Ride 26 to help raise money for local charities and those less fortunate. Love Ride began in 1981 and has included celebrities Malcolm Forbes, Peter Fonda, and Larry Hagman with musical entertainment from Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen, and others. The event was to have taken place on October 25, 2009 but was canceled two weeks before the event due to poor ticket sales and a decline in sponsorship and vendor support.
He has a line of hot sauces.
He was considered for Christopher Walken's role in True Romance (1993).
Close friends with actor Chris Penn, and acted as a pallbearer at the latter's funeral.