Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Michael was the son of a German sailor and an American Delaware Indian. Since childhood, he had always had a passion for filmmaking. At the age of 10, using a Super-8 camera, Michael directed his first short film, titled THE TIRE. Michael continued to make short films until his late teens.
At the age of 9, Michael’s mother enrolled him in an Aikido class. A bully at the school would break Michael’s spirit and he would drop out. When he was 13, Michael soon realized the spiritual aspects of the martial arts and began training in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu under Master Y.C. Chiang. Michael would dabble in other forms of martial arts from Tang Soo Do to Muay Thai. At 16, he spent nearly a decade in karate competitions until his mid-twenties, when he headed for California.
In 1991, Michael was approached by producer Joseph Merhi, who at the time, hit success with his PM Entertainment company with the film RING OF FIRE, starring the just-retired kickboxing legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson. Worth signed a three-picture deal with PM Entertainment. Michael got his first major film role in the film FINAL IMPACT, in which he starred opposite Lorenzo Lamas as a young kickboxer who trains under Lamas’ former champion character. Worth got to showcase his kickboxing skills in the film and for a stright-to-video film, it did quite interesting. Michael completed his run with PM with the films STREET CRIMES (1992) and TO BE THE BEST (1992).
In 1993, Michael nailed a lead role in a new television series titled ACAPULCO H.E.A.T. The series revolved around a group of sexy agents operating out of Mexico. People can think of it as a clean version of the Andy Sidaris series of action films that starred many Playboy playmates. Worth played Tommy, a martial arts expert who is a member of the H.E.A.T. team. The series lasted two seasons in syndication.
In 1994, Michael auditioned for the role of Dick Grayson, or Robin, in the third installment of the famous BATMAN series, BATMAN FOREVER. When Michael was first runner-up to bigger star Chris O’Donnell, Michael would end up becoming O’Donnell’s stunt double, taking part in an intricate fight sequence that pitted Robin against an unrecognizable Don “The Dragon” Wilson, who played a skull-faced gang leader. Robin was doubled by both Worth and former Olympic gymnast Mitch Gaylord in the fight scene.
After making the film FISTS OF IRON in 1995, Michael took some time off and appeared in numerous television series. He would make appearances in two films in 1999, THE CONTRACT and THE STORYTELLERS.
In 2001, Michael was invited by action film director Isaac Florentine to headline the cast of the sequel U.S. SEALS II: THE ULTIMATE FORCE. With a cast of martial arts champions and stunt experts, the film would feature Hong Kong-style choreography by former Jackie Chan Stunt Team member Andy Cheng. The film gained acclaimed within martial arts film fans everywhere.
In 2004, Michael made his directorial debut with the film KILLING CUPID. It is described as a love story with a vengeance-styled theme. Worth appeared in the film and wrote the screenplay as well. That same year, Michael wrote the martial arts western GHOST ROCK, opposite Gary Busey and Jeff Fahey. Michael has been known to take a break from martial arts films, delving into horror films like DEMON HUNTER (2005) and IT WAITS (2006) as well as making his second directorial film, the drama GOD’S EARS (2007).
Michael Worth has shown his versatility as of late when it comes to filmmaking, but diehard martial arts films fans will know worth for his work in the 90′s and the actioner U.S. SEALS II.