Brotherhood of the Wolf
Mark Dacascos made a name for himself in the world of martial arts before launching a successful acting career. The 1982 European Kung Fu Champion in the lightweight category is perhaps best known for his scene-stealing role of Mani in the popular action movie “Brotherhood of the Wolf” (2001), from which he picked up a Saturn nomination, and for his work on the television series “The Crow: Stairway to Heaven” (1998-1999, as Eric Draven) and “Iron Chef America” (2005-2006, as The Chairman). Dacascos also starred in many other movies, most notably “Only The Strong” (1993), “Double Dragon” (1994), “Kickboxer 5” (1995), “Crying Freeman” (1995), “Drive” (1997), “Boogie Boy” (1997), “China Strike Force” (2000), “Cradle 2 the Grave” (2003), “Nomad” (2005), “Only the Brave” (2005), “Code Name: The Cleaner” (2007), “Alien Agent” (2007) and “Serbian Scars” (2008).
Dacascos admirers should look forward to his performance in the upcoming “Shadows in Paradise” (2008), opposite Tom Sizemore and Steven Bauer.
The 5' 9” American actor from Hawaii has been married to actress Julie Condra since 1998. The couple has three children together, a girl and two boys.
Dacascos speaks German, French, Mandarin and English.
Martial Arts Champ
Childhood and Family:
Mark Alan Dacascos was born on February 26, 1964, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Al Dacascos, a Filipino martial arts instructor of Filipino, Spanish and Chinese descent, and Moriko McVey, who is of Irish and Japanese lineage. He moved quite often when he was young. After spending the bulk of his first 6 years with his maternal grandparents in Hawaii, he relocated to Denver, Colorado, in 1970 to live with his father and stepmother Malia Bernal, who is also a martial artist. Shortly thereafter, he started his long-running martial arts training.
Two years after winning his first tournament, 11-year-old Mark and his family left Colorado and lived in Hamburg, Germany. Six years later, he traveled to Taiwan to study Shaolin Kung Fu and Mandarin and did not return to the United State until the following year. He stayed in Hawaii with his paternal grandmother.
In addition to Shaolin Kung Fu, Mark also studied Wun Hop Huen Do, Chinese Judo, Capoeira, Shui Jao and Tai Chi and excelled in gymnastics. A devoted student, he also added acting to his endeavors and trained under the guidance of Patsy Rodenburg. Mark was educated at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, in which he majored in Chinese and drama.
On January 5, 1998, Mark married Texas-born actress Julie Condra (born on December 1, 1970). They welcomed a son named Makoalani Charles Dacascos on December 31, 2000, in Oahu, Hawaii. He has one more son and a daughter. In his spare time, Mark enjoys playing guitar and drums.
The Crow: Stairway to Heaven
Son of Kung-Fu teachers, Mark Dacascos began his training as a child. Entering his first tournament at age 7, he won the 1973 Long Beach Internationals Pee Wee tournament and several other championships. Among them were the 1980 Long Beach Internationals for the Brown Belt Division, the Hamburg Karate Championship for the Junior Division in 1980 and 1982, the 1982 Italian Kung Fu and Karate Championships for Lightweight Brown Belt Division and the 1982 European Kung Fu and Karate Championships for Lightweight Brown Belt Division.
Thanks to his martial arts skills, Dacascos had his first taste in front of the film camera when he was hired as a stunt man for the 1987 action “Steele Justice,” directed by Robert Boris. However, he did not begin his career as an actor until after he was discovered by a producer while walking down the street in Chinatown of San Francisco. Dacascos was cast in the romantic lead, opposite Chinese star Joan Chen, in the Wayne Wang independent film “Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart ” (1985), which received a BAFTA Film nomination for Best Foreign Language Film and the Grand Jury Prize nomination at the Sundance Film Festival. His part in the film, however, ended up on the cutting room floor. He debuted on the small screen with a four-episodic turn in the ABC soap opera “General Hospital” during the 1986-1987 seasons.
Dacascos resurfaced in 1990 when he landed a small role as Gregory Cruz's driver in “Angel Town,” a martial arts film directed by Eric Karson. He followed it up with a few guest spots in shows like “Doogie Howser, M.D.” and “Dragnet” (both 1990) and a TV movie debut appearance in the based-on-the novel “Dead on the Money” (TNT, 1991). He then costarred in “American Samurai” (1992) and had starring roles in such movies as “Only the Strong” (1993), which cast him as a former Special Forces soldier named Louis Stevens, the box office dud “Double Dragon” (1994), along with Robert Patrick and Scott Wolf, “Deadly Past” (1995), opposite Dedee Pfeiffer and Carol Alt, the sequel “Kickboxer 5” (1995), where he portrayed a kickboxing champion who witnesses the murder of his friend, and the Christophe Gans-helmed “Crying Freeman” (1995), in which he was cast opposite his soon-to-be-wife, Julie Condra. In 1994, he also played the lead role of a bad guy who is falls for an affluent good girl (played by Natasha Gregson Wagner) in the made-for-TV-film “Dragstrip Girl,” for director Mary Lambert.
The Hawaiian native remained busy throughout the rest of the 1990s. He played the supporting role of Lo-Mai in the big screen remake of “The Island of Dr. Moreau” (1996), which starred Marlon Brando, an ex-Navy commando named Michael Bishop in the action/thriller “Sabotage” (1996), teamed up with Jaimz Woolvett, Kylie Travis and Alan Scarfe for the independent film “Sanctuary” (1997) and was cast opposite Brittany Murphy and Kadeem Hardison in the cult favorite “Drive” (1997). Subsequent feature credits include Tibor Takács' “Deathline” (1997), Craig Hamann's “Boogie Boy” (1998) and Bret Michaels' “No Code of Conduct” (1998). From 1998 to 1999, Dacascos enjoyed television success with his role of Eric Draven on the well-liked syndicated show “The Crow: Stairway to Heaven,” which was a spin off of the 1994 film “The Crow,” starring Brandon Lee.
Dacascos flew to Shanghai to film the 2000 action film “China Strike Force” (2000), directed by Stanley Tong. As Tony Lau, he costarred with Mandarin star Aaron Kwok and Japanese actress Norika Fujiwara. He then traveled to France to film “Brotherhood of the Wolf,” an action/adventure movie that reunited him with director Christophe Gans. Released in 2001, the movie went on to become an international hit and collected several nominations, including César and Saturn nominations. For his fine acting, Dacascos, who played a Canadian Indian living in France named Mani, was handed a Saturn nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Next up for Dacascos, he starred as ex-cop J.T. Dillon on “Instinct to Kill” (2001), shared the screen with John Rhys-Davies, Tamara Davies, Rutger Hauer and Rayne Marcus for James Seale's “Scorcher” (2001), supported Jet Li and DMX in Warner Bros.' “Cradle 2 the Grave” (2003), played Kato in the direct-to-video-release “Junior Pilot” (2005) and starred as Lucas Foster in another video release, “Solar Strike” (2005).
Also in 2005, Dacascos was cast in the history film “Nomad,” produced by Milos Forman and directed by Ivan Passer and Academy Award-winning Russian filmmaker Sergei Bodrov. Shot in Kazakhstan, the movie, co-starring Jay Hernandez and Jason Scott Lee, was released in America in March 2007 and shown at the Cannes in April that same year. He was reunited with Jason Scott Lee for the war movie “Only the Brave” (2005), penned and directed by Lane Nishikawa.
After “The Crow: Stairway to Heaven,” Dacascos was cast in “Iron Chef America,” a cooking show that aired on the Food network. His character was originally portrayed by Takeshi Kaga on the original Japanese series of “Iron Chef.” He stayed with the show from 2005 to 2006. Telling how he obtained the assignment, he said, “The producers of 'On Chef: America' called my managers. They told us that the producers of the original show in Japan had cast approval for the American version and that my name was on the 'short list.' When my managers called me to ask me if I was interested in taking the meeting, I immediately thought that the producers had made a mistake. I remember asking my managers if the ICA people knew that I 'KICK,' not 'COOK.' They assured me that they did. Apparently, two French films that I had done, 'Brotherhood of the Wolf' and 'Crying Freedom,' had done very well in Japan and the producers of ‘Iron Chef’ knew me from that.”
Returning to film, Dacascos supported Cedric the Entertainer, Lucy Liu and Nicollette Sherida in the action/comedy “Code Name: The Cleaner” (2007), which was considered a failure. Also that year, he could be seen in Brian Thompson's comedy “Vardell Duseldorfer: The Great V.D.,” which debuted at the 2007 Delray Beach International Film Festival, Jesse Johnson's “Alien Agent,” opposite Billy Zane, and “I Am Omega,” which went straight to video stores. On the small screen, he appeared as Tyre in an episode of the 2004 sci-fi hit series “Stargate: Atlantis.”
Recently starring with Vladimir Rajcic and Michael Madsen in the action/thriller movie “Serbian Scars” (2008), Dacascos will star as Max in “Shadows in Paradise” (2008). The upcoming action film also stars Tom Sizemore and Steven Bauer.
European Kung Fu and Karate Championships: Lightweight, Brown Belt Division, 1982
Italian Kung Fu and Karate Championship: Lightweight, Brown Belt Division, 1982
Hamburg Karate Championships: Junior Division, 1980, 1982
Long Beach Internationals: Brown Belt Division, Forms, 1980
Long Beach Internationals: Pee Wee, 1973