Warning: There are Walking Dead spoilers roaming around in this Norman Reedus bio list, so please proceed with caution. Wouldn't want any walkers to sneak up on you!
If you’re a Norman Reedus fan, you probably have more Norman Reedus fun facts and Norman Reedus images stored in your brain than we do, but we’ve tried to do you proud with the below list. We all know that Reedus currently plays fan favorite, Daryl Dixon, on The Walking Dead, but did you know that he had a cult following as Murphy MacManus in The Boondocks Saints? Before he became an actor, Norman Reedus was just a disgruntled bike mechanic who happened to fall into acting without really even trying. He also used to be a professional model, although he was never truly serious about it. Mostly, Reedus has appeared in a bunch of dark films where he either killed someone, thought about killing someone, or was suspected of killing someone. He did all of these things with that unique Norman Reedus-ness that fans have come to know and love.
The Walking Dead Norman Reedus is our new Chuck Norris, our post-apocalyptic Rambo, and our favorite go-to redneck for one-liners, but there’s also a softer side to him. He’s a painter, sculptor, photographer, director, animal lover, and father. He’s also packing in as much film work as possible between seasons, appearing in indie projects and popping in for cameos in bigger blockbusters, as well as loaning his voice to video game characters. Somehow, the NYC-dwelling Reedus also finds time to hop on his bike and ride cross-country during seasonal breaks from The Walking Dead.
Norman Reedus stories run the gamut - from terrifying Heidi Klum with life-sized rat art, to keeping Andrew Lincoln’s prop beard in his fridge. Check out this list of things you didn't know about Norman Reedus below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section.
Mark Norman Reedus was born in Hollywood, Florida on Jan. 6 1969. His parents divorced when he was very young. His mother, Marianne, traveled around the world as a teacher and adventurer. Reedus and his younger sister were raised in Los Angeles, but they traveled to Texas, Colorado, Tokyo, Motookubo, and London with their mother.
Reedus lived in Spain for a while, then Tokyo, and eventually followed a girl to Los Angeles. She pretty much dumped him for someone else immediately, leaving him alone in the city. After an argument with his boss, he was fired from his job as a motorcycle mechanic at Dr. Carl’s Hog Hospital in Venice. Feeling upset and frustrated, he headed to a party in the Hollywood hills, where he got wasted and started yelling at various party-goers. As a result, he was cast in the play Maps for Drowners, and even took the lead when the real lead actor failed to show up on the first night. An untrained Reedus completely winged his first performance.
A casting agent from William Morris saw him in the play and began to “hip pocket” the young actor, putting him out there for roles without formal representation. His first film was Floating in 1997, followed by Guillermo del Toro’s Mimic the same year.Reedus is best known, prior to playing Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead, as Murphy MacManus from The Boondock Saints and The Boondock Saints: All Saints. He has held the lead in many films, mostly playing highly flawed characters. He did some modeling in the ‘90s, but never developed a true passion for it. Dixon has a son, Mingus Lucien Reedus, with Danish model Helena Christensen.
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His Character, Daryl Dixon, Wasn't in the Comic Books
Daryl Dixon is not a character in any of the original The Walking Dead comic books. Reedus came to LA for the 2010 pilot season to read for The Walking Dead. All of the roles for the series had already been cast, but he just wanted to "get in the room" and show off his skills to the show's producers. Frank Darabont was so impressed with his performance that he created a whole new character just for him. Now, Reedus plays the brother of the menacing redneck character, Merle, on TWD.
He's Got an Unscripted Travel Show on AMC
Ride with Norman Reedus will feature Reedus traveling across America on his motorcycle across six episodes in 2016. Get excited for a ton of "Wooooooooooo's" and "Daaaaaaaaruhhhl's!"
Robert Kirkman Credits Reedus with Shaping and Evolving Daryl Dixon
In the early scripts, Daryl was supposed to say racist things and take drugs. Reedus fought that because he wanted to play a more nuanced character. He’d played bad guys before, and knew that there was more to these kinds of characters than meets the eye. “You want to root for them as they fight their way through something,” Reedus said.
The Walking Dead comic creator Robert Kirkman credits the actor with taking Daryl to a whole new level. "I would have to credit Norman Reedus a great deal for how his character developed just because it was the first time in the show, in real time, watching the actor read the lines the way they did, seeing the choices that they made inform what went into who that character was.”