Michael Kevin Paré was born in Brooklyn, New York City, to Joan (Moroney) and Francis Paré, who owned print shops. His father died of leukemia when Paré was five, leaving his mother to raise their large family of children.
Paré was working as a chef in New York City when an agent, Yvette Bikoff, convinced him to try acting. Paré’s first starring role was as high school student Tony Villcana on the television series The Greatest American Hero.
His well-known film roles were as 1960s rock icon Eddie Wilson in Eddie and the Cruisers and its sequel Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives!, as well as Streets of Fire and The Philadelphia Experiment.