|Date of Birth||9 May 1938, Passaic, New Jersey, USA|
|Date of Death||14 April 1997, Los Angeles, California, USA (kidney cancer)|
Mini Bio (1)
Movies were an escape and inspiration for young Michael Stroka. Forced to move from his hometown of Passiac, New Jersey, to nearby Garfield, with his family when he was in second grade, young Michael relied on his imagination to cope.
"That's when I really started escaping into my own little world, and I think that's what made me decide to be an actor", he told "16" magazine years later, after gaining world-wide fame as one of the bad guys on the supernatural soap opera, Dark Shadows (1966), in the late 1960s.
Nearly every Saturday, Michael and a small group of friends attended movie matinées. Then, they reenact the stories they'd just watched. "I loved horror movies", he said. "I was playing "Dracula" when I was 9. I guess Dark Shadows (1966) was just a natural thing for me to grow into".
Michael attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology, then moved to California to further his dream of being a movie star. First using the professional name Mike G. Stroka, he found work on stage and, soon, in films. His early stage appearances included "The Man" (in 1964 at the Santa Monica Playhouse), and he was in the movies 36 Hours (1964), starring James Garner and Eva Marie Saint, and King Rat (1965), starring George Segal. He also appeared in several TV classics, including three episodes of The Twilight Zone (1959) and Combat! (1962) (1965).
After returning to New York, Michael appeared in several off-Broadway plays, then was cast on Dark Shadows (1966) in the summer of 1969. He remained on the show for a year and a half, getting teen idol treatment in various magazines including "Flip" and "16".
From 1975 to '76, Michael played "Dr. Quentin Henderson" on _"The Edge of Night" (1956)_. His later movie roles included the TV movie, Contract on Cherry Street (1977) and 'Eddie Murphey''s Harlem Nights (1989). He guest-starred on some other cult classic TV shows, including Wonder Woman (1975) and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979).
After a long battle with cancer, Michael died in 1997.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Craig Hamrick, author, Barnabas & Company
|Karen Jensen||(? - 14 April 1997) (his death)|