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Last update:
21 September 2009

Mark Dacascos - a Biography



I have put together Mark Dacascos's biography from snippets I have found on the internet and in interviews.

"I want to be an actor and a martial artist, not a martial arts actor."

Mark describes himself as a "surfer dude".

And here's what he lists in his MySpace profile:

I like to surf, practice Yoga and Martial Arts, play drums and guitar, listen to live music, read biographies, write short-stories, watch foreign films, travel, walk, teach Martial Arts, have conversations with passionate, creative, mindful people...

Favorite Music: Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, John Legend, Indie Arie, Sting, Craig David, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Pink, Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley...

Favorite Movies:
Braveheart, Roman Holiday, The Seven Samurai, Enter the Dragon, My Life as a Dog, The Shaolin Temple, Gloomy Sunday, Talk to Her, When We Were Kings, Hero, Spartacus, Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, The Professional, East-West

Stats

Born: 26 February 1964, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.
Mark is part Chinese, Spanish and Filipino on his father's side and Japanese and Irish on his mother's.
Parents: Al Dacascos and Moriko McVey and stepmother Malia Bernal.
Siblings: Yes, several.
Family: Married to actress Julie Condra, two sons and a daughter.


Growing up

Mark lived in Hawaii from 0 to 6 years old.
Colorado and California 6 - 10.
Hamburg, Germany 10 - 18.
Taiwan, 6 months when he was 17.


School

German school.
Liberal Arts at Valley College, Van Nuys, California
Chinese and drama at Portland State University


Physical

Competed on the Valley College gymnastics team.
Yoga. Tumbling. Snowboarding.
Was the caboose on his swimming team ;-)

And surfing of course.


Martial Arts

Trained since he was 4 years old in his father Al Dacascos's system, Wun Hop Kuen Do, in which he has a third degree black belt - at least.
Won his first international tournament at age 9 and competed throughout Europe until he was 18. Lived in Taiwan for 6 months, training in Black Tiger Northern Shaolin.
Capoeira - trained two months before auditioning and 5 more months after getting the role, before filming started. And trained capoeira for a year after filming ended.
Also trained in kung fu and boxing.


Skills

Languages: English, basic Mandarin, fluent German, French, a very little bit of Mohawk.
Learned to play the guitar for The Crow: Stairway to Heaven.
Learned to ride for Brotherhood of the Wolf.
Started playing drums when he was 15.


Awards

In 2002 he was nominated for a Saturn Award (Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA) in the category Best Supporting Actor for Le Pacte des loups


Favorite movies and actors

Saving Private Ryan, Braveheart.
Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Julia Roberts.


Ambition

When he was around 9, he wanted to be a monk - fortunately, he changed his mind ;-)
1992: Doing a live action version of the cartoon "Speed Racer" ;-)
- and bring up the quality of martial arts in film.


Acting

Signed a 6 picture deal with Cannon after American Samurai, but unfortunately the company closed down.
Is still taking acting classes and considers Howard Fine his mentor.

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