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Michael Corbett Shannon was born on August 7, 1974 in Lexington, Kentucky and is a Tony and 2-time Academy Award-nominated actor.
Probably best known for his work on screen, Shannon made his feature film debut in 1993, appearing as Fred in Groundhog Day. He has been a regular on the Hollywood scene in both comedies and dramas, with notable roles in movies such as Pearl Harbor (2001), Vanilla Sky (2001), 8 Mile (2002), Bad Boys II (2003), Bug (2006), Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007), Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2007), The Iceman (2012), Man of Steel (2013), Elvis and Nixon (2016), and The Shape of Water (2017). Over the course of his career in film, his crowning achievements are arguably his two Oscar nominations in the category of best performance by an actor in a supporting role for 2008's Revolutionary Road and 2016's Nocturnal Animals. He also earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in the 2014 drama 99 Homes.
On television, he is best known for his role as Nelson Van Alden in the hit HBO series Boardwalk Empire, starring regularly from 2010 to 2014. More recently, he has starred in 2018's The Little Drummer Girl on the BBC and AMC and Waco on the Paramount Network.
On stage, Shannon began his career in the Chicago area, co-founding A Red Orchid Theatre and working extensively with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and the Northlight Theatre, among others. His most notable early stage credits include the Tracy Letts plays Killer Joe and Bug, eventually reprising the roles off-Broadway in 1998 and 2004, respectively. For his performance as Peter Evans in Bug, Shannon took home an Obie Award and earned a Lucille Lortel Award nomination. He made his Public Theater debut in the 2008 production of The Little Flower of East Orange and starred in the Barrow Street Theatre productions of Our Town and Mistakes Were Made in 2010, earning his first Drama Desk Award nomination for the latter in 2011. He finally made his Broadway debut as Sam in the 2012 Broadway premiere of Grace at the Cort Theatre and would return to Broadway, courtesy of Roundabout Theatre Company, to star as James Tyrone, Jr. in the 2016 Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night at the American Airlines Theatre. His performance earned him critical acclaim as well as his first Tony Award nomination (in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play) and his first Drama Desk Award win. Throughout the years, he has continued to appear for A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago and for a variety of off-Broadway venues in New York City.
Shannon returned to Broadway to star alongside Audra McDonald in the first Broadway revival of Terrence McNally's two-hander Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, running from May 4 through July 28, 2019, at the Broadhurst Theatre.