Studied Japanese martial art of Aikido with Fumio Toyoda Shihan prior to establishing himself in Chicago theatre.
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) was his first movie, which was filmed in 1986 but was not released until 1990.
Attended and graduated from Chicago's Goodman School of Drama.
Ranked #17 on Tropopkin magazine's Top 25 Most Intriguing People [Issue #100].
He unofficially reprised his role from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) for the music video, "All Wrapped Up", by the heavy metal band, American Head Charge.
Currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Michael Rooker and Brian Thompson are the only actors to have acted alongside all three of the major action heroes of the 1980s. Rooker appeared with Sylvester Stallone in Cliffhanger (1993), Arnold Schwarzenegger in The 6th Day (2000) and Jean-Claude Van Damme in Replicant (2001). Thompson appeared with Sylvester Stallone in Cobra (1986), Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator (1984) and Jean-Claude Van Damme in Lionheart (1990).
Has appeared in two films whose plot centered around Human Cloning: The 6th Day (2000) and Replicant (2001).
Has two daughters with his wife Margot LaRose: Alynne Rooker and Gillian Rooker.
Announced on Twitter, with a photo, that his first daughter gave birth to his first grandchild, a daughter, on Thanksgiving morning, 28 November 2013.
The Walking Dead (2010) is not the first series on which he played a character with a prosthetic arm. He played a one-armed, drug smuggling, boat captain with a hook for a hand in the CSI: Miami (2002) episode "Dead Zone".
Said in an interview, that when he was 13 years old, he saw a Volvo commercial that compared Volvos to other cars by hanging them upside down from a crane and dropping them on their roof. He was so impressed with how well the Volvo fared in the comparison that he's wanted one ever since. In 2014, he finally purchased an s60 Volvo Sedan.