Michael Soren Madsen (born September 25, 1958) is an American actor, poet, and photographer. He has starred in central roles in such films as Reservoir Dogs, Donnie Brasco and Kill Bill.
Madsen was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Elaine (née Melson), an Emmy-winning poet, television producer and playwright who often works for PBS, and Calvin Madsen, a firefighter. Madsen's mother left a career in corporate business to pursue a writing career. Madsen's paternal grandparents were Danish and his mother has Irish and Native American ancestry. His sister is actress Virginia Madsen. He also has an older sister Cheri, who owns a restaurant with her husband and three children. They live in Wisconsin.
Madsen was nine when his parents separated and he frequently had to change schools. As a youth he began to steal cars and participate in other minor felonies before he was sent to prison for a short time. Madsen's acting career began at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, where he served as an apprentice under legendary actor John Malkovich.
In 1982 Madsen was cast by Edward McDougal for the lead in a small independent film Against All Hope, his first movie. He then played a