One of the cornerstones of WWE’s meteoric rise in the late ’90s, Mick Foley earned the nickname “The Hardcore Legend” for his ability to absorb seemingly inhuman punishment in some of the most dramatic matches in sports-entertainment history. Already a respected veteran for his 11 physically punishing years wrestling under the name Cactus Jack, Foley’s career soared to new heights in WWE as Mankind, a character Foley claimed was inspired by a combination of reading Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and listening to the music of Tori Amos.
As Cactus Jack, Foley won the 1995 “King of the Deathmatch” tournament in Yokohama, Japan, and continued wrestling, despite the amputation of his right ear, in a match against Vader in Munich, Germany in 1994. As Mankind, Foley was a 3-time WWE Champion, but is best known for his epic and brutal battle with The Undertaker in 1998’s “Hell in a Cell” match, during which he was knocked unconscious after falls both off of and through the 16 foot Cell structure. Despite the injury, Foley finished the match – with one of his front teeth lodged in his nose.
With retirement looming as a result of that physically demanding style, Foley penned his own memoir, Have a Nice Day, without the aid of a ghost-writer – writing 200,000 words in longhand in 50 days. The book showcased Foley’s paradoxical blend of wit and wisdom, wildness and warmth, and shocked the literary world by hitting number one on the New York Times best-seller list in October, 1999. The book remained on the Times list for twenty six weeks. A follow-up, 2001’s Foley is Good hit number one on the New York Times list as well. Foley has published a total of ten books; four memoirs, four children’s books and two novels.
After speaking at some of the United Stated most respected colleges and universities – including MIT, Syracuse University, Notre Dame and The University of Miami, Foley decided to take his verbal skills to the stand-up comedy stage in 2009. 2012 saw Foley earn rave reviews for his comedy sets at Just for Laughs in Montreal, and the Edinburgh (UK) Fringe Fest – the two largest comedy festivals in the world. He is currently represented by Innovative Artists.
Foley’s acting credentials include 30 Rock, Warren the Ape, Now and Again, G vs E, and Boy Meets World, and he was featured in the critically acclaimed documentary Beyond the Mat. He has done voice work on Squidbillies, Celebrity Death Match, and Avatar: the Last Airbender, and was featured in a 2012 episode of Celebrity Wife Swap. His list of guest appearances include The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Late Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Good Morning America, Family Feud, Redeye, Larry King Live, and several appearances on Today. He was featured in a 2010 story on ABC’s World News Tonight for his work as an online volunteer with RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization. Foley was also recognized for his work with RAINN at 2010’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear – where he was awarded a Medal of Reasonableness from Jon Stewart.
Foley lives with his wife and four children on Long Island. His book A Most Mizerable Christmas was published in October, 2012, by DK Books. The Foleys have sponsored children with Child-Fund International for twenty years.