|Lostpedia has conducted an interview with Michael Emerson. To read this interview, please see here.|
Background and personal life
Emerson was born September 7, 1954 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and grew up in the nearby town of Toledo, Iowa. In 1976, Emerson graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he studied theater and art. After graduation, he moved to New York City, looking for a job in acting. However, he was unable to find a job in this industry, so he took up retail jobs, becoming a freelance illustrator as well. In 1986, Emerson moved with his first wife to Jacksonville, Florida, where he appeared in and directed local stage productions, and also worked as a teacher until 1993.
In the early nineties, Emerson's marriage with his first wife ended. Emerson continued his studies of acting at the University of Alabama's Fine Arts Program. In 1998, Emerson married Carrie Preston, a fellow actress, whom he had met while performing Hamlet in Alabama.
After finishing his studies of acting at the University of Alabama's Fine Arts Actor Training Program, Emerson participated in the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. However, Emerson's first well-known stage work was as Oscar Wilde in the 1997 off-Broadway play, Gross Indecency: The Trials of Oscar Wilde. In 1998, he appeared alongside actress Uma Thurman in The Misanthropist, another off-Broadway play. He appeared in many more stage productions, including The Iceman Cometh with Kevin Spacey, and Give Me Your Answer, Do! with Kate Burton.
Emerson's first major television acting role was on The Practice in 2001, where he had a recurring role as a serial killer, William Hinks. This performance garnered him an Emmy Award as "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series." Emerson also portrayed the mysterious Zepp Hindle in Saw, a film which also featured Ken Leung.
In 2006, Emerson took the role of the enigmatic Henry Gale, a character who lied to the survivors. The character's name was later revealed to be Benjamin Linus. Emerson received much critical praise for his role as Linus, being called "a genius in [the] role" by Entertainment Weekly. For his role as Linus, Emerson was nominated for an Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy in 2007 (which he lost to fellow Lost actor Terry O'Quinn), and again in 2008. Emerson was also the narrator in the clipshows "Lost: A Tale of Survival", "Lost: Past, Present and Future" and "Lost: A Journey in Time".
|Ready? OK!||Movie||Charlie New||2008|
|Lost: Via Domus||Video game||Benjamin Linus||2008|
|Lost||Television series||Benjamin Linus||2006-|
|The Legend of Zorro||Movie||Harrigan||2005|
|Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Television series||Allan Shaye||2004|
|The X-Files||Television series||Oliver Martin||2002|
|The Laramie Project||Movie||Reverend||2002|
|The Practice||Television series||William Hinks||2000-2001|
- Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (for playing "William Hinks" on The Practice), 2001
- Nominated for a Saturn Award for Lost
- Nominated for an Emmy Award at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards for Lost
- Won a 2007 Saturn Award for Lost.
- Nominated for an Emmy Award at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards for Lost.
Emerson has appeared as a talk show guest, host, or was interviewed in the following:
- January 15, 2007 - e-Talk Daily (S3 E9)
- May 25, 2007 - Best Week Ever (S5 E26)
- February 14, 2008 - The View - (S11 E108)
- January 29, 2008 - The Primetime Emmy Awards: The 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
- January 29, 2008 - e-Talk Daily (S4 E110)
- June 22, 2008 - I Love the New Millenium: 2000 (VH1)
- June 24, 2008 - I Love the New Millenium: 2002 (VH1)
- In "The Man Behind the Curtain," Emerson's wife, Carrie Preston, played his character's mother.
- Appeared in The Laramie Project which also featured Clancy Brown, Nestor Carbonell, and Jeremy Davies.
The following websites are dedicated to Michael Emerson:
- Biography - at ABC Medianet
- ABC Upfront (Lost-Media) - Emerson at a Lost publlicity media event
- Federal Bureau of Prisons educational video - an early acting job for Emerson
- Death, Dear Ones and the Monster: Michael Emerson Talks Lost