the oldest of six kids. I have four sisters and another
brother. We grew up as Air Force brats traveling around
the US and the world. We traveled around so much we ended
up in Tehran, Iran. That's where I spent my junior and senior
years of High School, at the Tehran American School. In
Junior High and my first two years of High School, I used
to get picked on a lot. I remember times having to find
new ways to the bus just to avoid the guys who were waiting
to beat me up. So when we moved to Iran it was a chance
to "start over".
only way I knew to "start over" was to become
a good athlete. And that's what it did. With a lot of work
I became a good athlete, playing football, basketball and
baseball. In my senior year, the football coach said that
I had the potential to play college football. After that,
playing college ball became my first big goal. Unfortunately
there were two problems. First, I was playing football in
Iran. The chances of a college scout coming to watch you
play are about zero. Secondly, I was skinny. Not just slim,
no, we're talkin' bone skinny
6'4" and 160lbs.
That's skinny! Even though the Air Force provided a good
life for our family, it didn't provide the luxury of sending
the kids off to college. Especially being the oldest. So
after High School I got a job working for Westinghouse building
Defense Radars for the Iranian Air Force. It was a good
job and paid pretty well but it wasn't enough to pay for
college. So after nine months of working there, I joined
the Army. I figured it was the best way to save some money
and build my body for football.
so far, I guess I lived it pretty safe and normal. Yeah,
we moved around and I saw some pretty cool things but I
really never pushed myself to do something beyond what I
thought were my limitations. So when I joined the Army I
said, "What the hell", and joined one of the most
elite and well-respected units in the world, the 82nd Airborne
Division. I spent three years as a paratrooper in the 82nd
Airborne. I have 64 combat-equipped jumps to my name and
been to some pretty crazy places. I came close to seeing
action three times but thank God I didn't.
I got out, I went to Eastern Michigan University and "walked-on"
to the football team. I didn't have a scholarship or anything,
which was pretty crazy. All I came with was a lot heart,
determination and my 235lb body that I built in the Military.
After my sophomore year, they gave me a scholarship and
I became a starter, playing offensive guard. As I got bigger
they moved me out to offensive tackle. At 6'4"and 285lbs,
running the 40 in 4.8, I started to have the pro scouts
look at me. My goal to just play college football wasn't
good enough. Now I had a new goal, to play professional
football. But unfortunately a knee injury in my senior year
put an end to all of that. On draft day, the Dallas Cowboys
did knock on my door and offered me to be a free agent.
So, I took it and went to camp with Cowboys. I was doing
pretty well until I re-injured my knee. Dallas released
me and I went back to college to get my degree.
After a year and half, I graduated with a Computer Science
degree, specializing in Computer Aided Design. I don't know
why but for some reason I wanted to move to California.
Friends of mine would always tell me that I should be in
the movies. They'd say, "You could be the next Arnold
Schwarzenegger." I'd always say, "Yeah, right."
But I guess in the back of mind I always wanted to give
it a try. So I ended up in San Diego. It wasn't exactly
LA but it was close enough. I got a job debugging software
for Xerox and after about a month, I hated it. I knew that
this was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
football, my weight training had grown from training for
strength to full on bodybuilding. While I was still finishing
up my degree, I had actually completed in two bodybuilding
contests. So when I went to San Diego I got into it even
more. My training partner at the time had dabbled into acting
and would go on auditions to LA from time to time. One day
he was driving up to LA to read for a part in "A Nightmare
on Elm Street - Part 5". I asked if I could go along
and he agreed. It was my first time in LA and I was like
a little kid in a candy store. I couldn't believe I was
in Hollywood. Well, after my friend auditioned the Casting
Director came out asked if I like to audition. I kind of
reluctantly said, "Okay." and I went into the
room. They asked me if I could laugh like Freddy Kruger.
I said, "Yeah." and I gave it my best shot. Well,
I ended up getting the job and after that, I guess the rest
of history. The "acting bug" bit me and I haven't
Michael has been married for over 7 years. Her name is Lisa
and they dated for about two years before getting hitched.
He also has a 4-year old son named Bailey, who was named
after Michael's grandfather.
At the end of april 2002 Lisa and Michael became parents
again of another son. His name is Hunter Hal Smith.