Mickey Rourke, the American actor who captivated audiences through the 1986 romantic drama film, 9½ Weeks, was a sexy man. In the film, which is considered the original Fifty Shades of Gray, Rourke delivered erotic scenes that were as tantalizing as they were breathtaking, making the production the first blockbuster erotic thriller.

Beyond the controversy it attracted, the film gained an almost cult-like adoration among female audiences who considered the magnificently chiseled Mickey Rourke the ideal lover boy. And boy oh boy, did Rourke look good back then!

A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!© Double Team (1997) / Columbia Pictures

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Boxing changed his life forever

Well, despite his success in surgically delivering roles in other top-notch films such as Barry Levinson’s ‘Diner,’ ‘Body Heat,’ and ‘The Pope of Greenwich Village,’ the celebrated actor left the film industry for first love; boxing.

The move to return to boxing, however, brought with it immense changes that truly transformed the actor in ways that no one could have anticipated.

A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!© Diner (1982) / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

While Rourke had been successful as a boxer before catching the silver-screen bug, his return to the sport in 1991 was harder than he had anticipated. After eight bouts on the boxing ring where he spurred with legends such as James Toney, Tommy Morrison, and John David Jackson, Rourke suffered severe facial injuries.

A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!gettyimages

The massive punches from the ring left Rourke with various injuries such as a smashed cheekbone, a nose with multiple breaks, and scar tissues where the face did not heal correctly. After a four-year stint in boxing, the face that American audiences had fallen in love with was lost forever.

A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!gettyimages

While ‘The Wrestler’ star would later undergo plastic surgery to reconstruct his face, the damages from boxing were never fully erased as his face took a rougher appearance that contrasted his previous form.

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His return to film proved that he still has it

Despite these changes, after 1995, Rourke returned to acting where he took up new roles that re-introduced him to film-lovers. Some of the most notable appearances by the actor include a role in Bullet (1996) where he starred alongside Tupac Shakur, and another in Jean Claude Van Damme’s Double Team (1997).

A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!gettyimages

Most recently, the actor has taken up roles in films like The Wrestler (2008) that won him a Golden Globe, Iron Man 2 (2010), and The Expendables (2010) where he proved that he is still in the game, as an actor.

A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!A Boxing Career Robbed Mickey Rourke Of The Face That Americans Had Fallen In Love With. He Is Unrecognizable!© Iron Man 2 (2010) / Marvel Studios

Well, even though he lost his charming playboy face through boxing, Rourke still moves audiences through the silver-screen. While he has less screen roles today, for his die-hard fans, Rourke will always be the man that showed the world how to love and adore women through his fascinating role in 9½ Weeks. Whether he is a playboy or a villain, seeing him on screen will always leave you wanting more. 

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