Just watched THE WRESTLER. An unimaginably harrowing, brutal, sordid, nauseating, transfixing, existential piece of film art (non-squeamish only, please). More on the star from Wikipedia:
Rourke's acting career eventually became overshadowed by his personal life and seemingly eccentric career decisions. Directors such as Alan Parker found it difficult to work with him. Parker stated that "working with Mickey is a nightmare. He is very dangerous on the set because you never know what he is going to do". He is alleged to have turned down a number of high-profile acting roles, including Eliot Ness in The Untouchables, Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop, Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs, Tom Cruise's role in Rain Man, Nick Nolte's part in 48 Hrs., Christopher Lambert's part in Highlander and a part in Platoon. In a documentary on the special edition DVD of Tombstone, actor Michael Biehn, who plays the part of Johnny Ringo, mentions that his role was first offered to Rourke.
In 1991, Rourke decided that he "…had to go back to boxing" because he felt that he "… was self-destructing … (and) had no respect for myself being an actor." Rourke was undefeated in eight fights, with six wins (four by knockout) and two draws. He fought as far afield as Spain, Japan and Germany.
Boxing promoters said that Rourke was too old to succeed against top-level fighters. Indeed, Rourke himself admits that entering the ring was a sort of personal test: "(I) just wanted to give it a shot, test myself that way physically, while I still had time." In 1995, Rourke retired from boxing and returned to acting.
Rourke's boxing career resulted in a notable physical change in the 1990s, as his face needed reconstructive surgery in order to mend his injuries. His face was later called "almost unrecognizable". In 2009, the actor told The Daily Mail that he had gone to "the wrong guy" for his surgery and that his plastic surgeon had left his features "a mess."