Michael Ironside

Canadian actor Michael Ironside may be the ultimate B-Movie Hero. Pick any 80s or 90s, fun B-Movie and you will find him somewhere in it.

To be frank, we can't believe it took Gort-fan Chris Johnson to suggest we celebrate the ultimate B-Movie badass in our competition to inspire us to put this article together. Mr Ironside and Mr Johnson, we salute you both, hit the jump if you concur:


Born Frederick Reginald Ironside, the future Michael was raised by a blue collar family, but was artistic from the start. Like fellow B-Movie stalwart Steven Berkoff, Ironside was a true thesp, winning a university playwriting competition at the age of 15. Despite his lofty aspirations, Ironside was a huge scifi fan, thanks to his grandfather, who regularly lent him novels such as Frank Herbert's Dune.

From there, he moved into TV acting and finally into film. Like all truly great thespians, Ironside will undertake any role, no matter how cheesy, and put his heart and soul into it. His imdb filmography lists over 200 roles, almost none of them mainstream films. This is why we count him as one of the greats of the B-Movie genre.

B-Movie Highlights

Ironside's breakthrough film role was the sinister, yet soft-centred, airforce instructor known as "Jester" in 80s-tastic homo-erotic fantasy Top Gun. Despite any criticism you'd like to throw at it, this is still one of the all-time great movies and Ironside fits in perfectly. He manages to portray a one-note, background character with such subtlety that his stony mug still illustrates a wealth of emotion going on under the surface.

Total Recall

Yet another potentially-basic character is given depth and multiple facets by a masterful portrayal. The vicious Richter is one of the greatest movie villains, and it shows: I mean, this is a guy who arranged for his girlfriend to pretend to be his worst enemy's wife just to mess with him. Not a nice man.

Starship Troopers

Any scifi lit fan will know that Lieutenant Rasczak and Lieutenant Colonel Jean Dubois are among the greatest of Robert Heinlein's creations: one a complete bastard, but also a hero; the other a man so charismatic that he changes the course of young Juan Rico's life. To find an actor who could manage to portray Lieutenant Jean Rasczak, a combination of the two, was no mean feat. The solution, of course, was Michael Ironside. Who else would you choose to play a man who preaches to children that you don't deserve citizenship unless you've survived military service? "C'mon you apes, you wanna live forever?"

Hey, Gort-fans

Just a brief addendum to let you know that we'll be taking a hiatus next week, but we'll be back with more boobs and explosions the week after

Peace out


  1. Thank you, Michael Ironside is a true B-movie hero ;)

    I remember watch him for the 1st time in Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983) as the over the top baddie "Overdog" ;)

  2. Thanks for this! He is one of my favourite actors, even if some of his films are a bit naff. He is always top form.