Mike Schank, Musician, and American Movie Co-star, Dead at 56

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Mike Schank

Milwaukee musician Mike Schank, best known for his role as co-star in the documentary American Movie, has passed away. A friend of the actor confirms to the Milwaukee Record that Schank “passed away early this morning [Thursday] in his mother’s arms.” He was 56 years old.

In his private life Schank was a well-known participant in a local sobriety organization, an unidentified source saying to that the Milwaukee Record that Schank had been “a staple in so many’s recovery.” An ex- alcohol and drug addict himself, Schank posted his milestones in sobriety on social media. He was a proud celebrant of the occasion of his “27 years clean and sober birthday” this year. In the wake of announcement of Schank’s passing, Borchardt tweets, “Stay strong forever, Mike …”

Alongside the principal topic in American Movie, Milwaukee filmmaker Mark Borchardt, Schank became a star on the rise in the early 2000s. In addition to a variety of national media appearances Schank was a character on an episode of Family Guy in show on Family Guy as well as in the film of Todd Solondz in 2001 Storiestelling. It was his performance on the Christopher Smith directed Sundance Film Festival winner American Movie that made Schank a memorable character who was a loyal and laidback buddy, as well as an accomplished musician. Schank could also shout in a way that nobody else could.

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After film’s debut American Movie, Schank was a minor star of the independent world. the following year, he would be seen in the film of Todd Solendz Storytellingas the cameraman, helping Paul Giamatti document the life of a slumbering wealthy family. Other credits include appearances in Family Guy, the cut-part (that appeared in special films) for Jason X, and a few small roles in a variety of horror or indie films.

Schank was able to remain within Milwaukee; in a interview on radio from 2012 Schank stated that Schank and Borchardt maintained close contact, chatting all day long, and expressed his gratitude for the opportunities offered his way via American Movie. In the Reportnotes that, in addition to the other achievements of Schank, he was a prominent member in The MKE Alano Club, a sobriety and recovery group located in Milwaukee.

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