On Tuesday, July 31, 1956, the world was graced with the presence of one of the most talented actors of his generation. Michael Connell Biehn was born in Anniston, Alabama, the second of four children. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Lincoln, Nebraska and then on to Lake Havasu, Arizona when Michael entered his teen years. His father and older brother, Steven Albert, are attorneys. The remaining brother, Jonathon King and sister, Brooks Ann, work in daycare in Arizona.
Michael was active in sports during junior high and high school, and received a drama scholarship to the University of Arizona when the drama dean of that school noticed him in a high school play. After two years, he left school, telling his parents he wanted to try his luck in Hollywood. He now admits that he didn’t want his folks to realize he was flunking out! He also studied with noted acting coach, Vincent Chase. Chase was cast as Bimbo in Travellers by another one of his students you may be familiar with, Bill Paxton.
Starting out as a model, Michael soon realized he didn’t like it much. He found acting work as a guest on several television shows and movies. The pilot of James at 15 was Michael Biehn’s tv movie debut in 1977, and Coach, with Kathy Lee Crosby was his film acting debut in 1978. [See filmography – ABCs of Biehn and IMDb] Some say Michael’s first big break was playing the psychotic fan in The Fan with Lauren Bacall. Unfortunately, after that role, he didn’t work for two years. Then James Cameron cast him as Kyle Reese in The Terminator. This is probably the role that MB is most identified with, and one that he is still very proud of. He almost didn’t get the part, though. At the time he read for Terminator, he was also working on a southern accent for a stage production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Cameron didn’t want Kyle to have an accent, and told Michael’s agent so. The agent was surprised because Michael ‘was accent-free’, having been raised in Nebraska and Arizona. Once that was straightened out, Cameron could cast the hero.
Terminator was the first, but not the last Cameron/Biehn collaboration. MB found himself rushing to England to replace the actor originally hired to play Cpl. Dwayne Hicks in Aliens. Lt. Hiram Coffey of The Abyss is the third Cameron character we’ve had the good fortune to see MB work his magic with. MB was suggested for an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the role of the”crumbling commando” in The Abyss.
He married actress Carlene Olssen in 1980. They are the parents of twin sons, Devon and Taylor, born in 1983. MB and second wife, model Gina Marsh, have one son, Caelan, born in 1992. Caelan appeared in the television series The Magnificent Seven as the son of MB’s character, Chris Larabee.
His mom calls him “Mickey.”