As a child, Michael Biehn moved from his Alabama hometown to Nebraska and finally Arizona, where he graduated high school. He went to college and later moved to Los Angeles to begin a film career, making his professional stage debut after two years of intensive training. In 1978, Biehn was cast as Mark Johnson, the hard-veneered but vulnerable ward of psychiatrist Robert Reed in the TV series Operation: Runaway. For the next few years, malevolence was Biehn's onscreen strong suit, first as the psycho title character in 1981's The Fan, then as the neofascist military-school upperclassman in The Lords of Discipline (1982). After switching gears with the sympathetic role of futuristic android-hunter Kyle Reese in James Cameron's The Terminator, Biehn became a member of Cameron's informal stock company, playing colorful leading roles in Aliens (1986) and The Abyss (1989). He worked steadily throughout the '90s and '00s, dividing his time between television and films.