HOLLYWOOD - Hollywood, with its bright lights and glamour, is a dream for many.

For character actor Patrick Kilpatrick, it's a way to make a living. After 170 movies and television shows, he looks back on career highlights that include wrestling with Tom Cruise while they flew on jet packs in the 2002 futuristic thriller, "Minority Report." 

“It’s like you’re a gambler,” Kilpatrick recalled of the ups and downs of his acting career. “You’re kind of waiting for this golden hit to get the ring. And a couple of times, I’ve had what I call Hollywood moments, like "Under Siege II" with Steven Seagal.”

Down to his last $50, he was back in the game, in a luxury room in Beaver Creek, Colorado, for Seagal’s 1995 action thriller.

Kilpatrick has played opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in "Death Warrant," Chow Yun-Fat in "The Replacement Killers," Bruce Willis in "Last Man Standing," and nearly every action star, portraying army privates and generals “or the senator, or whatever it is, starting out as the beat cop,” he said.

Kilpatrick began his career as a writer and has returned to the profession, chronicling his life in the book "Dying for Living." At times, his literary skills have enriched his acting.

“Any actor who starts out is going to be in some pretty not-so-great films, so it’s really good to be able to write your own lines and create your own stuff,” he said. “A lot of times, I’ve been hired as a thug, but they get a criminal mastermind.”

At 69, Kilpatrick consults with young filmmakers and continues to act, but said that will end one day.

“The business uses you until you’re done,” he said, “so, you better be prepared for that. That can be pretty abysmal and a pretty dark place if your whole being is based on acting or writing or whatever it is, because it’s going to end.”

For now, with several films currently in production, Kilpatrick's wild Hollywood ride hasn’t ended.