Steven Frederic Seagal (born April 10, 1952) is an actor, producer, screenwriter, director, martial artist, and musician who holds American, Russian, and Serbian citizenship.
A 7th-dan black belt in Aikido, Seagal began his adult life as a martial arts instructor in Japan; becoming the first foreigner to operate an Aikido dojo in the country. He later moved to Los Angeles, California, where he worked as a martial arts instructor. In 1988, Seagal made his acting debut in Above the Law. By 1991, he had starred in four successful films. In 1992, he played Navy SEALs counter-terrorist expert Casey Ryback in Under Siege. During the latter half of the 1990s, Seagal starred in three more theatrical films and the direct-to-video film The Patriot. Since then, his career has shifted almost entirely to direct-to-video productions. He has since appeared in films and reality shows, including Steven Seagal: Lawman, which depicted Seagal performing his duties as a reserve deputy sheriff.
Seagal is a guitarist and has released two studio albums (Songs from the Crystal Cave and Mojo Priest), and performed on a number of film scores. He has worked with Stevie Wonder and Tony Rebel, who both performed on his debut album. He has also been involved in a line of "therapeutic oil" products and energy drinks.
In addition, Seagal is known as an environmentalist, an animal rights activist, and as a supporter of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. He is also known for his outspoken political views and for his friendship with Vladimir Putin. Seagal once referred to Putin as "one of the great living world leaders".