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Michael Richards

Michael Richards

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Also Known As: Michael Anthony Richards Died:
Born: July 24, 1949 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Culver City, California, USA Profession: actor, comic

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

For some actors, creating a timeless character who ends up so universally beloved; so undeniably unique, that no one can imagine another actor in that part, would be a dream realized. For other actors, becoming too connected in the public conscience with said character and having that formidable shadow loom over every future project, could be a frustrating battle with the past and the fans who simply can not let it go. Few television actors - save Carroll O'Connor, Lucille Ball, Henry Winkler, et al - have experienced this type of blessing-turned-curse career arc more than comedian Michael Richards. As Cosmo Kramer, the gangly, perpetually amped, mooch of a neighbor to stand-up Jerry Seinfeld on the legendary sitcom, "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1990-98), Richards so inhabited his loony alter-ego, that when the show famously wrapped, he - more than any of his co-stars - found it the most difficult to start anew. After adding fuel to the fire of a supposed "Seinfeld" curse, following the cancellation of his post-"Seinfeld" sitcom, "The Michael Richards Show" (NBC, 2000-01), a resigned Richards quietly left the scene to focus on his stand-up and other pursuits. Unfortunately, he was suddenly and shockingly thrust...

For some actors, creating a timeless character who ends up so universally beloved; so undeniably unique, that no one can imagine another actor in that part, would be a dream realized. For other actors, becoming too connected in the public conscience with said character and having that formidable shadow loom over every future project, could be a frustrating battle with the past and the fans who simply can not let it go. Few television actors - save Carroll O'Connor, Lucille Ball, Henry Winkler, et al - have experienced this type of blessing-turned-curse career arc more than comedian Michael Richards. As Cosmo Kramer, the gangly, perpetually amped, mooch of a neighbor to stand-up Jerry Seinfeld on the legendary sitcom, "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1990-98), Richards so inhabited his loony alter-ego, that when the show famously wrapped, he - more than any of his co-stars - found it the most difficult to start anew. After adding fuel to the fire of a supposed "Seinfeld" curse, following the cancellation of his post-"Seinfeld" sitcom, "The Michael Richards Show" (NBC, 2000-01), a resigned Richards quietly left the scene to focus on his stand-up and other pursuits. Unfortunately, he was suddenly and shockingly thrust back into the spotlight after letting fly a stream of racial slurs during a 2006 comedy club appearance, resulting in charges of racism after the meltdown was leaked onto the internet.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Bee Movie (2007)
3.
 Trial and Error (1997) Richard Rietti
4.
 Good Money (1996)
5.
 Neil Simon's "London Suite" (1996) Mark Ferris
6.
 Unstrung Heroes (1995) Danny Lidz
7.
 Airheads (1994) Doug Beech
8.
 So I Married An Axe Murderer (1993) Obituary Employee
9.
 Coneheads (1993) Motel Clerk
10.
 Problem Child (1990) Martin Beck
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Milestones close milestones

1979:
Started performing as a stand-up comic
1979:
Made TV debut in Billy Crystal's first cable TV special
1980:
Was a regular on the late-night variety series "Fridays" (ABC); also starred Larry David
1982:
Made feature debut in Garry Marshall's "Young Doctors in Love"
1989:
Played Cosmo Kramer on the hit NBC sitcom, "Seinfeld"; re-teamed with Larry David, who co-created the show with Jerry Seinfeld; earned Emmy (1995) and SAG (1996, 1997, 1998) nominations for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
1993:
Acted in the comedy feature "Coneheads"
1995:
Offered a semi-dramatic turn as an eccentric in "Unstrung Heroes"
1997:
Starred as a bumbling lawyer in the comedy feature "Trial and Error"
2000:
Returned to series TV headlining the short-lived NBC sitcom, "The Michael Richards Show"; also penned episodes
2003:
Played mobster Jonathan Brewster in "Arsenic and Old Lace" at the Strand Theatre in London
2007:
Voiced the character Bud Ditchwater in the animated film, "Bee Movie"; film was produced, written by and starred Jerry Seinfeld
2009:
Re-teamed with "Seinfeld" co-creator, Larry David, and the other three principal "Seinfeld" cast members, to appear as himself on several episodes of David's HBO series, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
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Education

Thousand Oaks High School: Thousand Oaks , California - 1967
California Institute of the Arts: Valencia , California - 1973
The Evergreen State College: Olympia , Washington - 1975

Notes

"I can get broad, I can get big, but it's all got to be based in truth. Otherwise it's an empty box." --Richards on his performance as Kramer in "Seinfeld" (US, November 1993).

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Cathleen Richards. Divorced; married 18 years.
companion:
Ann Talman. Actor. Appeared on "Seinfeld".

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Phyllis Richards. Medical records librarian.
father:
William Richards. Electrical engineer. Died when Richards was two.
daughter:
Sophia Richards. Born c. 1975.

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