Michael Bentt filmography and biography
Date of birth: 4 September 1965, London, England, UK
Michael Bentt biography
Born in London, England, to Jamaican parents and raised in Queens, New
York,Michael attended Northhampton College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
after retiring from boxing. Studied journalism and acting. As
Northampton's first Artist-in-Residence played the title role of
'Othello' in the colleges 2003 production.
Michael was the subject of Anna Deavere Smith's "Skipping Rope," which was part of her evening of 'journalistic portraits and sketches' at New York City's Carnegie Hall.
After retiring from boxing in 1994, enrolled in Northampton College where he contributed articles on various subjects to the campus newspaper. Among the topics covered: the murder of Tupac Shakur and Evander Holyfield's resounding knockout victory of "Iron" Mike Tyson (I) in 1996. His work eventually appeared in the New York Daily News and The HBO Boxing website.
His essay "Anatomy of a Knockout" featured in "Bert Sugar's FightGame" (see Bert Randolph Sugar) led to an opportunity to audition for and win the coveted role Charles "Sonny" Liston (Sonny Liston) in Michael Mann (I)'s Ali.
Was the captain of the US National Boxing team that competed in the inaugural Moscow Godwill Games and the 1987 Pan Am Games.
In addition to his role of Sonny Liston in Ali, also served as the chief sparring partner and assistant trainer for Will Smith (I) in Smith's Academy Award nominated portrayal of Muhammad Ali (I).
Has also instructed Terence Blanchard, Damon Dash, Heavy D, Paul Schulze, Harold Perrineau, and Anna Deavere Smith among others on the virtues and benefits of being "fighting fit."
Studied acting with the late Tina Satin.
Four months after scoring a shocking and decisive first round knockout over the heavily favored Tommy Morrison, was himself KO'd in seven rounds in his last fight in March of 1994, the result of which left him in a coma for 96 hours.
On the match that resulted in his being placed in a coma: "I nearly paid the ultimate price for a moment that allowed me to briefly realize my full potential as a boxer. If getting dismantled to the point of near death in my last fight was the price I had to pay for a victory over Tommy Morrison, I'll never question the price of success."
Michael Bentt trivia
- Former pro boxer.
- Held the WBO Heavyweight Title (1993-1994).
- He was supposed to be an easy fight for then WBO champ Tommy Morrison before taking on Lennox Lewis in a huge payday fight. Bentt proved to be more than expected as he knocked down Morrison in a 1st round TKO to win the WBO championship. He eventually lost the title to fellow Englishman Herbie Hide.
- Currently studies with Rick Edelstein in Los Angeles.
- Dropped out of high school when he became a member of the United States International Amateur Boxing Team.
- Not motivated by high school but having a lust for the written word, he would often go to his high school library and 'borrow' everything from Bram Stoker's 'Dracula', 'William Styron's 'Confessions of Nate Turner' to the works of William Shakespeare. He would then spend the hours that should have had him attending classes at New York City's Aviation High School, riding the subway, reading.
- In David E. Finger's "Rocky Lives," is referred to as 'the most accomplished boxer in the history of American amateur boxing never to have made the US Olympic Boxing Team.
- Remains the only boxer in the 201 lb. weight class division (heavyweight) to capture four New York City Golden Gloves titles and five U.S. Amateur National Championships.
- Can be 'seen' as an background player sparring in a boxing ring, albeit from the waste down, in 'Saturday Night Live'. The boxing skit featured Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest and Howard Cosell. Cosell served as the shows host for the episode.
- Prepped Clifton Collins Jr. for his role as the boxing trainer Loco in John Leguizamo's 'Undefeated'.
- At the height of his legendary amateur boxing career, he worked as a salesman at a ladies lingerie and dress shop on Jamaica Avenue in Queens, New York.
- After winning the role of Charles 'Sonny' Liston over Ving Rhames in Michael Mann's ALI, Rhames advised Michael to 'go connect with Sonny and ask for his blessing and guidance' in preparation for the role. Liston, who died under suspicious circumstances in 1971, is laid to rest in Las Vegas.
- A chance meeting with Michael Mann at a stop light in Beverly Hills, California, led to Bentt working with the Academy Award nominated director for a fourth time, appearing opposite Johhny Depp as Herbert Youngblood in 'Public Enemies'.
- Trained in Firearm Handling and Manipulation by the LA County Sheriff Dept. Firearm Training Bureau.
Michael Bentt filmography
|Sons of Anarchy||2008|
|Fighting Tommy Riley||2005|
|State Property 2||2005|
|Million Dollar Baby||2004|
|Robbery Homicide Division||2002|
|Black People Hate Me and They Hate My Glasses||2000|
|The Invisible Man||2000|
|HBO First Look||1992|
|Saturday Night Live||1975|