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Why Johnny Ringo From Tombstone Looks So Familiar

Released nearly 30 years ago, 1993's "Tombstone" remains among the greatest modern films of the Western genre. It's based loosely on true events about the legendary gun fight at the O.K. Corral in the title town in what was then the Arizona Territory, given that the Grand Canyon State became the last among the 48 contiguous United States to join the union in 1912. "Tombstone" tells of the exploits of legendary frontier lawman-slash-law-breaker Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) and his brothers Virgil Earp (Sam Elliott) and Morgan Earp (Bill Paxton) in the time before and after the aforementioned showdown with members of the Clanton and McLaury clans. The film follows the Earps from the time they arrive at the mining town — and reunite with Southern gentleman, gambler and gunfighter John "Doc" Holliday (Val Kilmer) — to Wyatt's legendary Vendetta Ride to avenge the attacks on his family at the hands of the surviving Clantons, McLaurys, and their fellow outlaw Cochise County Cowboys.

The cowboys experience a change in leadership during the Wyatt's quest for revenge when he shoots and kills William "Curly Bill" Brocius (Powers Boothe), one of many real-life historical figures depicted in the film. He leads the likes of Ike Clanton (Stephen Lang), Billy Clanton (Thomas Haden Church), Tom McLaury (John Philbin), Frank McLaury (Robert John Burke), and Frank Stilwell (Tomas Arana). "Tombstone" also featured appearances from Terry O'Quinn as Mayor John Clum, Billy Bob Thornton as Johnny Tyler, Charlton Heston as rancher Henry Hooker, and Michael Rooker as Sherman McMasters.

Curly Bill's second in command, Johnny Ringo, was also based on a real life frontier outlaw. He's the deadliest pistoleer since Wild Bill Hickock, Holliday tells his lover, Big Nose Kate (Joanna Pacula), and there's something around the eyes that reminds him of himself. Michael Biehn, the actor behind the outlaw, should remind viewers of plenty of characters as well; here's why Johnny Ringo from Tombstone looks so familiar.

Biehn protected Sarah Connor in the first Terminator movie

In 1984, Michael Biehn teamed up with legendary director James Cameron for the groundbreaking sci-fi action thrill ride that was "The Terminator." As the surviving humans fight a war against self-aware machines in the year 2029, the machines send a cyborg assassin called a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back in time to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), the woman who would give birth to John Connor, the future leader of the human resistance. In the most selfish act of self-preservation in history ... er, future history, John Connor sends one of his own soldiers back in time to protect his mother and ensure his own birth and eventual rise to power. Absolute power move. The man he trusts with his mother's life — and technically his own — is Kyle Reese, as played by Michael Biehn.

Reese is initially pretty brusque with Sarah, who just learned that someone is killing women who have the same name as her and this crazy dude with a gun comes along and gets all shouty. It's a bit much. Their relationship eventually softens, as Sarah grows more and more convinced he's not crazy and that his insane story of being sent by her unborn son from the future actually starts making sense. Eventually, though neither man seemed to know it heading into the situation, Sarah realizes after Reese's death that John sent him back not only to protect his mother but to unwittingly become his father. 

For such an important role in a movie that would later go on to spawn a long-lasting franchise, Biehn revealed to Total Film that he got the part through the standard Hollywood audition process. "Jim and I met on a regular casting call, basically. I got sent the script and it was, you know, one of hundreds that I've been sent throughout my career, and I went in and met and read for him and [co-writer and producer] Gale Hurd and they liked my reading and I got the part."

He fought the Xenomorphs as Corporal Dwayne Hicks in Aliens

Two years after helping co-writer and director James Cameron and co-writer and producer Gale Ann Hurd launch the massive "Terminator" franchise, Michael Biehn helped the duo give another property a successful second outing in 1986's "Aliens," the pluralized sequel to the 1979 singular sci-fi smash hit from director Ridley Scott. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has survived in stasis for decades aboard her escape pod after destroying her ship, the Nostromo, and the alien menace that stowed away aboard one of its now-deceased crew members. She's rescued and debriefed by her employer and company execs don't exactly buy her story about alien eggs on LV-426, the moon they recently terraformed for colonization in a total coincidence. Wait, what's that? They lost contact with said colony? Well now Weyland-Yutani stooge Carter Burke (Paul Reiser) wants Ripley to go along to check it out, along with a company of Colonial Marines.

Michael Biehn takes on the role of Corporal Dwayne Hicks, who teaches Ripley how to shoot and trades saves and rescues with her throughout the film. With Ripley, a young girl named Newt (Carrie Henn), and the damaged android Bishop (Lance Henriksen), he's among the four survivors at the end of the second film — a fact that makes his character being killed off in the intro of "Alien 3" that much more upsetting for some fans. James Cameron even weighed in on the topic himself at Comic Con in 2016 (via ScreenRant). "I thought it was dumb. I thought it was a huge slap in the face to the fans." Cameron clarified that "Alien 3" director David Fincher is a friend of his and called him "an amazing, amazing filmmaker," but said it was his first big film gig and "he was getting vectored around by the studio." He went on to say that if he and Hurd had been involved, Hicks would not have been killed off in such a fashion.

Michael Biehn led the special forces team in Navy SEALs

Michael Biehn switched branches of the fictional military after "Aliens," first appearing as a Navy SEAL in James Cameron's next feature, "The Abyss," in 1989. Biehn must have liked what he saw on the special operations side of fake military life, because he appeared as team commander Lieutenant James Curran in 1990's "Navy SEALs." After a bachelor party for team member William "Billy" Graham (Dennis Haybert), Curran's squad — which also consists of hot-headed Lieutenant Dale Hawkins (Charlie Sheen), corpsman James Leary (Rick Rossovich), explosives expert Homer Rexer (Cyril O'Reilly), sniper Floyd "God" Dane (Bill Paxton), and radio operator and interpreter Ramos (Paul Sanchez) — gets the call for deployment to rescue a captured helicopter crew in the Mediterranean. Curran faces greater adversity trying to keep his own team together than from the terrorists but they get the job done, despite Hawkins wanting to destroy of a stockpile of missiles they happen upon. 

The team does some R&R, with a hilarious golf montage, before coming up empty in an attempt to secure the aforementioned missiles. On their next mission to rescue a CIA asset, Hawkins disobeys orders and Graham ends up getting killed. Curran blames Hawkins for Graham's death, though Hawkins penchant for disobedience allows him to save Curran during the film's climax. 

Having worked with real like Navy SEAL operators in preparation for the film, Biehn said they're "not really what you'd expect" in an interview with Bobbie Wygant. Having expected to meet a group of uber-patriotic guys with their chests puffed out, dripping in machismo, he said "They seemed more or less more soft-spoken and kind of quiet. They're not muscle-y type of guys, per se. They seem to be intelligent and not overly patriotic at all. It seems to me that there's a sense of pride in being a SEAL and that's the most important thing to them."

He played SEAL team Leader Commander Anderson in The Rock

Three years after his turn as Johnny Ringo in "Tombstone," Michael Biehn laced up his Navy SEAL boots again for the Michael Bay-directed action thriller "The Rock" in 1996. Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, and Ed Harris lead an all-star cast that includes David Morse, William Forsythe, John  C. McGinley, John Spencer, Tony Todd, Claire Forlani, and Bokeem Woodbine. General Frank Hummel (Harris) leads a rogue team of U.S. Marines in stealing rockets armed with a lethal toxin, VX Gas, with which he holds the city of San Francisco hostage for $100 million while positioned on Alcatraz Island. Hummel's not really a bad guy, in fact, he's considered a military hero. But in the process of becoming a military legend, 83 of his men were left behind and their families were not paid any benefits, a situation he finds unconscionable and totally worth threatening the lives hundreds of thousands of civilian lives.

The FBI recruits chemical super-freak and weapons expert Stanley Goodspeed (Cage) to team up with former Alcatraz inmate and British special forces veteran John Mason (Connery) to beat the bad guys with the help of a SEAL team led by Commander Anderson (Biehn). If they don't get it done before the deadline, the U.S. military will have to destroy the VX rockets with thermite plasma, killing the civilian hostages in the process. 

Biehn's scene with Harris in the Alcatraz shower room — in which his unit is covered from an elevated position but he refuses to order his men to stand down — ranks among the most pulse-pounding, goosebump-raising scenes in action movie history. As Entertainment Weekly reported, real-life Navy SEALs appeared in the film, which apparently made Biehn nervous. Film School Rejects reports that the home media extras for "The Rock" reveal Biehn said he was freezing up being around them and in Connery's presence.

Biehn faced off against Wesley Snipes in The Art of War

After years of playing a good guy, Michael Biehn broke bad again in 2000 for "The Art of War." Starring action-movie legend Wesley Snipes as Agent Neil Shaw of the United Nations' Special Activities Division, the movie follows a series of questionable actions taken in the name of peace and stability. Working under Eleanor Hooks (Anne Archer) and alongside fellow agent Robert Bly (Biehn), Shaw is tasked with unraveling a conspiracy involving a Chinese business mogul, the Triad crime syndicate, and the Chinese ambassador. He probably would have managed it if his partner wasn't killed and he wasn't framed for the ambassador's murder. Then again, considering Bly is really alive and Hooks is in on the conspiracy, aiming to undermine a trade deal between China and the United States, maybe not. 

"The Art of War" was a box office bomb, grossing only $40 million worldwide and failing to recoup its $60 million production budget, according to Box Office Mojo. Reviewers were not kind either, as the film has a lowly 16% critics score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus calling it "excessively noisy and overly reliant on genre clichés." "'The Art of War' wastes its star's charisma on a ridiculous, convoluted plot and poorly edited action sequences." For his part, Biehn praised the film's intelligence in a promotional clip made before its release (via MichaelBiehn.co.uk). "This has got a lot of intrigue. It's got a lot of suspense. It's got a lot of deception. It's got a lot of subtleties, but it's a really smart story .... I had to read it twice to figure out exactly what was going on in it."