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Michael Moriarty

Michael Moriarty

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: April 5, 1941 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan, USA Profession: actor, composer, playwright, novelist, pianist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A stage, screen and TV actor, Michael Moriarty came to prominence with his sensitive performance as baseball pitcher Henry Wiggen in the acclaimed 1973 drama, "Bang the Drum Slowly". Not all of Moriarty's subsequent work has lived up to that early promise, nor has he proven to be "box office", yet he has remained in demand for stage and TV roles. Additionally, he has branched out as a composer and jazz pianist. Moriarty has worked extensively on the stage, beginning soon after his graduation from Dartmouth in 1963. He was Octavius Caesar in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of "Antony and Cleopatra", then went to London to study acting on a Fulbright Scholarship at LAMDA. On his return, Moriarty did additional Shakespearean roles, and won a Tony for originating the role of the homosexual Julian Weston in "Find Your Way" (1974). By that time, he had established himself in films on TV, earning an Emmy Award as Jim, the gentleman caller, in Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" (ABC, 1973), starring Katharine Hepburn. While most of his other feature film roles have generally been in forgettable films, save "Report to the Commissioner" (1975), Moriarty has excelled on TV. He is remembered...

A stage, screen and TV actor, Michael Moriarty came to prominence with his sensitive performance as baseball pitcher Henry Wiggen in the acclaimed 1973 drama, "Bang the Drum Slowly". Not all of Moriarty's subsequent work has lived up to that early promise, nor has he proven to be "box office", yet he has remained in demand for stage and TV roles. Additionally, he has branched out as a composer and jazz pianist.

Moriarty has worked extensively on the stage, beginning soon after his graduation from Dartmouth in 1963. He was Octavius Caesar in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of "Antony and Cleopatra", then went to London to study acting on a Fulbright Scholarship at LAMDA. On his return, Moriarty did additional Shakespearean roles, and won a Tony for originating the role of the homosexual Julian Weston in "Find Your Way" (1974). By that time, he had established himself in films on TV, earning an Emmy Award as Jim, the gentleman caller, in Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" (ABC, 1973), starring Katharine Hepburn. While most of his other feature film roles have generally been in forgettable films, save "Report to the Commissioner" (1975), Moriarty has excelled on TV. He is remembered as Erik Dorf, the unemployed German who becomes a Nazi to feed his family and evolves into the administrator of the extermination policies in "Holocaust" (NBC, 1978). He was Wilbur Wright in "The Winds of Kitty Hawk" (NBC, 1978), Major Daniels in "Tailspin: Behind the Korean Airliner Tragedy" (HBO, 1989) and won kudos opposite Blythe Danner in "Too Far to Go" (NBC, 1979), based on the John Updike stories that traced the dissolution of a marriage over twenty years. In 1990, Moriarty became a series regular for the first time as Ben Stone, deputy district attorney of "Law & Order" (NBC), but was fired from the series in 1994, a year before the end of his contract. Moriarty claimed his outspoken attack on US Attorney General Janet Reno's attempts to curb violence and, in Moriarty's view, "censor" Hollywood contributed to his departure from the series. He immediately bounced back replacing Richard Chamberlain as Henry Higgins in the ill-fated Broadway revival of "My Fair Lady" and starring in the Civil Rights miniseries "Children of the Dust" (CBS, 1995). He also returned to features after a six year absence in "Courage Under Fire" (1996), as Denzel Washington's superior officer.

Moriarty is also a playwright; his "Flight to the Fatherland" was produced in Rochester, NY, in 1982, the same year The New York Shakespeare Festival offered a production of his "The Ballad of Dexter Creed". He has pursued a music career more diligently. A jazz pianist with his own group that has performed in New York City, he has also contributed a songs to the films "Q" (1982) and "The Secret of the Ice Caves" (1990) and his "Symphony for String Orchestra" has been performed publicly. Moriarty also released jazz albums in 1990 and 1991.

n 2001, Moriarty returned to acting with two back-to-back father roles. In "Along Came a Spider," he portrayed a US Senator desperately searching for his abducted daughter and in the TNT biopic "James Dean," he was cast as James Dean's father, Winton -- a role which earned him a 2002 Emmy nomination.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 12 Hours to Live (2006)
2.
 Neverwas (2005)
3.
 Swimming Upstream (2004) Morris Bird Ii
4.
 Children of My Heart (2001) Rodrigue Emyard
5.
 House of Luk (2001) Mr Kidd
6.
 Mindstorm (2001) Schmidt
7.
 James Dean (2001) Winton Dean
8.
 Along Came a Spider (2001) Senator Hank Rose
9.
 Art of Murder, The (2000) Cole Sheridan
10.
 Becoming Dick (2000) Director/ Mirkin
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1963:
Stage debut as Octavius, "Antony and Cleopatra" at the New York Shakespeare Festival
1971:
Film debut, "Glory Boy"
1973:
Henry Wiggen in "Bang the Drum Slowly"
1973:
TV movie debut, "A Summer Without Boys"; Jim in "The Glass Menagerie"
1974:
Julian Weston, "Find Your Way Home", Brooks Atkinson Theatre, NY
1978:
Erik Dorf, "Holocaust" miniseries
1979:
Debut as playwright, "Flight to the Fatherland"
1982:
Contributed song, "Evil Dream" to feature "Q"
1984:
Symphony for String Orchestra" performed in NY
1990:
Starred as Ben Stone in "Law & Order"
1990:
Album "Reaching Out" released
1994:
Replaced Richard Chamberlain as Henry Higgins in revival of "My Fair Lady" on Broadway
1995:
Starred in miniseries, "Children of the Dust"
1996:
First feature in six years, "Courage Under Fire"
1996:
Wrote and acted in one-person show, "Special Providence"
1997:
Joined the cast of the synidcated series "The PSI Factor"
2001:
Cast as James Dean's father in the TNT biopic "James Dean"
2002:
Cast in the television miniseries "Living With The Dead"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art: -
Dartmouth College: Hanover , New Hampshire - 1963

Notes

He was awarded honorary doctorate from Fairleigh Dickenson University.

After his departure from "Law & Order" in 1994, Moriarty took out a full-page advertisement in Daily Variety claiming he was, essentially, being blacklisted for his stand againt Attorney General Janet Reno's assault on Hollywood, and that he would be leaving the country because he could not find work here. He started a foundation and asked for contributions.

Moriarty faced court proceedings in Vancouver for allegedly striking his common-law wife Margaret Brychka in November 2000. The actor told the Vancouver Sun in December 2000 that he's an alcoholic. The court stayed the assault charge on the condition that he stay away from Brychka when he is drinking.

"I get involved in things that, ordinarily, people say, 'Don't get involved in that. It's ruining your career, dahling!' And I said, "I dont' care. I'm doing roles that I would do otherwise.' So, I've been very lucky in being able to not have to worry about good taste. I don't mind bad taste occasionally. It's fun." --Moriarty in Daily News, January 25, 1995.

Moriarty's roommate at Dartmouth was actor Stephen Macht.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Francoise Martinet. Married in 1966; divorced; mother of Matthew.
wife:
Anne Hamilton Martin. Divorced.
wife:
Suzana Cabrita. Met during the filming of the TV-movie "Calm at Dawn"; married in October 1988; separated.
companion:
Margaret Brychka. Common-law wife; Moriarty reportedly assaulted her in an incident that occurred in 2000.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
George Moriarty.
mother:
Elinor Paul Moriarty.
son:
Matthew Christopher Moriarty.

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