A black belt in seven karate styles who made his feature debut in The Toxic Avenger II and has appeared in numerous off-Broadway plays, Michael Jai White has a curiously eclectic career and is likely a recognized face to action movie aficionados.
A Brooklyn, NY, native who was raised in the sometimes harsh limbo between the impoverished Bridgeport and well-to-do Westport, CT, Jai White grew from an introverted youth to a man comfortable in multiple surroundings. Eventually gaining a reputation as a fearsomely tough street fighter by the age of 14, the strikingly mature-appearing youngster earned his keep by offering karate lessons at the YMCA before graduating high school with honors and setting his sights on college. Bouncing from school to school unsure of what direction to take in life, Jai White took a few acting classes but eventually ended up as a junior high school teacher specializing in emotionally disturbed children. Soon auditioning for roles in Manhattan with the blessing of his students, Jai White would rise through the ranks and eventually land roles in such features as Universal Soldier (1992) and Full Contact (1993). After appearing as Mike Tyson in the 1995 television movie Tyson, the tough actor was cast in the role of a double-crossed assassin who seeks vengeance from the fiery depths of Hell in the eagerly anticipated film adaptation of the cult comic book Spawn. Later appearing in such features as Breakfast of Champions (1999) and Exit Wounds (2001), Jai White gained solid footing as a reliable supporting action figure.