Jul. 24th, 1949
Culver City, California, USA
Michael Richards' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Immortalized as Cosmo Kramer on the classic American sitcom Seinfeld (1990), L.A. comedy star Michael Richards, born in Culver City, California, developed an early interest in acting in high school. He attended the California Institute of the Arts and graduated at Evergreen State College in Washington with his BFA in drama. Around this time, he founded an improv company with Ed Begley Jr. although it didn't last long. Michael interrupted his fledgling career with a two-year stint in the Army and lived a rather wanderlust lifestyle until finally grounding himself again in theater. First performing with the San Diego Repertory Company, he subsequently returned to L.A. where he developed a stand-up comedy act.
Inspired by the physical comedy of such legends as Charles Chaplin and Jacques Tati, he paid his dues on the comedy circuit until comedian Billy Crystal noticed him and gave him a break on one of his comedy specials. Michael earned a regular spot on the sketch comedy series Fridays (1980), where he created the character of Battle Boy who liked to blow up army soldiers. He also appeared in such minor slapstick films as Young Doctors in Love (1982) and Transylvania 6-5000 (1985).
Everything finally came together for the elastic-faced comedian in 1989, after being cast as Cosmo Kramer, Jerry Seinfeld's convulsive, frizzy-mopped neighbor and pal on Seinfeld (1990). The frenzied character earned him three Emmy awards and instant cult status. What can be a blessing, however, can also be a curse. So strongly identified with the Kramer character, Michael has major concerns once the series ended in 1998.
Despite great comedy work in the films Unstrung Heroes (1995) and Trial and Error (1997), he didn't nab a strong career in film. Meanwhile, a subsequent sitcom vehicle The Michael Richards Show (2000), in which he served as creator, co-writer, and co-executive producer, went down the tubes quickly after his character was criticized as too one-note and "Kramer-esque" in style. Like other similar actors before him, such as Carroll O'Connor, the versatile Michael is smartly riding out the Kramer storm until he finds the right time to resurface. That time to resurface was in late 2006. However, it was for all the wrong reasons. He was caught on tape at a Los Angeles comedy club, delivering a racist tirade directed at two African-American hecklers. Although he has repeatedly apologized through the media, it is unknown what damage this may do to his career.
- Most renowned for his role as Cosmo Kramer on _"Seinfeld" (1990)_ (qv).
- Is the only cast member on _"Seinfeld" (1990)_ (qv) who has never hosted _"Saturday Night Live" (1975)_ (qv).
- Michael Richards wore the same shoes for The Seinfeld Arc of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (2000) as he did on Seinfeld.
- Was the actor 'Andy Kaufman (I)' (qv) threw water on during a skit on _"Fridays" (1980)_ (qv). In the Kaufman biopic _Man on the Moon (1999)_ (qv), Richards' character was played by 'Norm MacDonald (I)' (qv).
- Is a Vietnam-era Army Veteran. He was drafted and served for two years in West Germany.
- Auditioned for the role of Al Bundy on _"Married with Children" (1987)_ (qv).
- He once acted in a driver's education video about insurance rates, playing the role of an irate and reckless driver confused about his insurance.
- Cosmo Kramer, his character in _"Seinfeld" (1990)_ (qv), always wore clothes one size too big to make him appear to be laid back and loose.