Star Tracks: Monday, May 16, 2016 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Taylor Swift & Tom Hiddleston: Meeting the Parents!
- Read the Cover Story: Mystery in Idaho: Little Boy Lost
- Big Ang Raiola's Friend Posts Touching Tribute on What Would Have Been the Mob Wives Star's 56th Birthday
- Before Texas Mom Killed Their Two Daughters, Husband Told Her He Wanted a Divorce
- Johnny Depp Steps Out with His Kids in L.A.: He 'Really Missed' Them, Says Source
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- May 07, 1990
- Vol. 33
- No. 18
Film Actor Michael Rooker, Whose 1986 Role as a Serial Killer Has Suddenly Found a Cult Audience
Rooker is no rookie when it comes to on-the-edge characters. He played a bribe-taking baseball player in Eight Men Out, a lynch mob leader in Mississippi Burning and a psychopathic repairman in Sea of Love. Ironically, the role now drawing the raves was his first, filmed before any of the others. Henry was inspired by the story of Henry Lee Lucas (now a death-row inmate in Texas convicted of eight murders and suspected of scores more), and it was shot back in 1985 on a Brownie-camera budget of $125,000. Its backers had planned a straight-to-video slasher flick, but Rooker's unnerving performance prompted a trial release in Chicago, Boston and eventually elsewhere. The New York Times praised the actor's "astonishing calm and control" in portraying a man "who kills as simply and naturally as he breathes." Says Rooker, 35: "I was connected to the character. The loneliness, the paranoia, you can't play a role like that without knowing those feelings."
Born in rural Alabama and raised in Chicago, Rooker learned about life's hard knocks early. The oldest child from a broken family, he staggered through high school while supporting five younger sisters as a part-time truck driver, punch-press operator and auto-parts delivery boy. Then in 1978 he enrolled at Chicago's Goodman School of Drama and found a mentor in veteran acting teacher Bella Itkin.
Mindful of his past hard times, perhaps, Rooker still lives in a modest three-bedroom rental in Sunland, Calif., with wife Margot, 34, and daughter Alynne, 4. Not even Henry's success, he says, has erased all the old fears, even in the master fearmaker himself. "Now that it's opening around the country, I'm open to public judgment," says Rooker. "That's scary."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!