Things You Didn't Know About

The 9 Ridiculous Careers of Steven Seagal

Somehow still described by IMDb as "striking and somewhat boyishly handsome," Steven Seagal and his ponytail are trucking through his mid-sixties. Unlike the rest of our favorite action heroes, Steven's "characters" never had any flaws, which turned out to be a refreshing change from the typical mold. No one had the gall to try that unorthodox dramatic strategy except Steven. Though we might not see him go full Under Siege much anymore, he still has plenty on his plate. Like Arnold, Jackie, and the rest, the man keeps busy. Really busy. Here are just a few of the things he's done.

Deputy sheriff

Back in the 1980s, the Parish sherif asked Steven to train his guys in hand-to-hand combat. Soon after, the department asked Steven to come on as a reserve deputy. A&E made a reality show about it. Maybe you've seen it—it drew the most viewers of any season opener on A&E, ever.

Martial artist and teacher

Steven is an extremely legit martial artist. He learned Aikidio in the sixties (an old pic from the early days is above) and honed his craft up to a 7th dan degree black belt. While living in Japan in the seventies, he became the very first westerner to operate an Aikido dojo. Steven also trained a couple UFC fighters and helped them ace the front kick. He was even the martial arts stunt coordinator for one or two James Bond movies, depending if you count Never Say Never Again.

Putin watchdog

Though Steven has defended "Brother" Putin on multiple occasions, it's a fair bet that he's secretly acting, and using the "friendship" to get closer to the Russian autocrat.


Contrary to popular belief, Steven Seagal is an actor, not just a martial artist. Those movies where you see him beating everyone up? They're not actually getting hurt, that's acting. See this chef's hat? He's not really a cook.

Beer promoter

Steven hucks for Carlton Dry, an Australian beer company owned by the Foster's group. He made some truly phenomenal ads.


Seriously, this guy is a triple threat. He can act, shred the guitar, and choreograph with the best of them. He tours with his band Thunderbox and has dueted with Stevie Wonder.

Animal rights activist

Besides owning a dude ranch, Steven adopts a ton of animals from shelters and was awarded a humanitarian award from PETA in 1999. He also wrote an open letter to Thailand telling them to make baby elephant torturing illegal (this actually happens and it's heartbreaking).


He has an energy drink called "Steven Seagal's Lightning Bolt," an aftershave called "Scent of Action," and a line of homeopathic oils, because he's into that.

A Reincarnated Buddhist Lama

Steven was named a "tulku" by a very important lama, which means he is the reincarnation of a 17th century "treasure revealer" named Chungdrag Dorje. However, many people suspected a sale of indulgences situation (i.e. paying for his redemption), due to his donations to a Buddhist center.

Ethan Wolff-Mann is the Deputy Editor of Supercompressor. He is also a reincarnated Buddhist lama. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann.