During the 1980s Mickey Rourke was considered one of Hollywood's brightest rising stars, after leading roles in films like Diner, Rumble Fish and Angel Heart.
But he quickly got a reputation as being difficult to work with, and his career began to fade. In 1991 he left acting and spent a number of years as a professional boxer. When he returned to acting, he was offered only supporting roles in bad films and leading roles in worse ones. He admitted at the time to feeling like a has-been, "living in a state of shame".
And then in 2005 he made his comeback in the film Sin City, garnering critical praise. In 2008 he completed his rehabilitation into mainstream Hollywood with The Wrestler, a film about a past-his-prime wrestler for which his weathered features and hangdog style proved the perfect fit. The film won numerous awards and brought Rourke an Oscar nomination.