Steven Berkoff has played a nemesis to stars ranging from Eddie Murphy to Sylvester Stallone.
The British actor even tours in a one-man play called Shakespeare’s Villains.
But Berkoff, who was scheduled to perform the play this week in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Michigan, met his match in US immigration officials and was deported before he could take the stage, apparently for a visa violation.
‘‘It was a nightmare,’’ Berkoff told The Grand Rapids Press. ‘‘I have never been prevented from working in America before.’’
The Ann Arbor Summer Festival was forced to cancel last night’s production, and a showing in Grand Rapids today was also shelved.
Berkoff was sent home on Tuesday after being detained by US Immigration and Naturalisation Service agents at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on allegations that he had violated the stipulations of a previous work visa issued in 1997.
Following a two-hour wait during which his agent Joe Ajlouny, who is also a lawyer, pleaded with the INS to allow Berkoff to proceed to Ann Arbor, the actor was placed on a flight to London.
‘‘He was not happy,’’ said festival director Evy Warshawski, who received a call yesterday from Berkoff.
‘‘He called to apologise, to tell me how sad he was over the incident. But he’s not just sad, he’s mad.
‘‘He kept telling them ‘I’m not a terrorist, I’m an actor!’’’
Berkoff was told he had stayed one day past the limit of his 1997 visa, Ajlouny said.
INS district director Carol Jenifer would not comment on details of Berkoff’s case, but confirmed he had ben sent home.
Jenifer cited a ‘‘deficiency in his documentation’’ as the reason for Berkoff’s deportation, although she refused to specify the deficiency.
Berkoff has appeared in Beverly Hills Cop, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Octopussy and A Clockwork Orange.