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New Episodes at CBC Music

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Guest Michael Ironside

Michael Ironside has probably spent as much time in your living room as you have. He's worked as an actor almost non-stop for more than 30 years, popping up in some very big movies and TV shows, usually playing villains and tough guys. But for the longest time - even when acting alongside Schwarzenegger - Michael still saw himself as The Roofing Guy.

Not surprising, given his origins: Michael was raised in a blue-collar family in Toronto. As a kid he had a passion for reading and wanted to become a writer. So he studied acting to improve his screenplays and became a roofer on the side - just until his writing career took off. But instead it was acting gigs that came through, including his breakthrough performance in 'Scanners'.

The film helped put Michael on the map, though when you've done upwards of 140 films, it's hard to pin down just one that made you. These days, Michael may be as well-known for his rich baritone as his face. He's the voice behind Sam Fisher in Tom Clancy's 'Splinter Cell' series, one of the biggest video-game franchises on the planet.

But all the work in the world didn't matter when Michael - twice - found himself facing cancer. He beat it both times, and surviving readjusted his outlook, on both his career and his life. For a man who believes we're defined by our actions, we'll see how Michael defines himself next.

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