Michael Madsen is an American actor, poet, and photographer. Michael Madsen has starred in films as Free Willy, Reservoir Dogs, Donnie Brasco and Kill Bill. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Elaine, an Emmy-winning poet, television producer and playwright, and Calvin, a firefighter.
His mother left a career in corporate business to pursue a writing career. Michael Madsen grandparents were danish and his mother has irish and native american ancestry. He has two sisters Virginia and Cheri.
Michael Madsen was nineteen when his parents separated and he frequently had to change schools. As a youth Michael Madsen began to steal cars and participate in other felonies before he was sent to prison. His acting career began at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, where he served as an apprentice under actor John Malkovich.