Michael Emerson (I)

Michael Emerson (I)


9/7/1954, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA

Birth Name

Michael Emerson



Also Known As

Mike, Mikey
  • Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson on Pers...
  • Michael Emerson as Ben on Lost.
  • Lost stars Michael Emerson as Ben.
  • Michael Emerson of Lost.
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Michael Emerson was born in 1954 and is now a famous actor who is mostly assosciated with his amazing stage work, but has appeared in several television series including popular hits like The Practice and Lost. Some of his more recent movie credits include his co-star role opposite…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 2009, Michael won another Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series playing Ben Linus on Lost.

    • In 2004, Michael Emerson played the loyal "Alfred Pennyworth" like butler to Guy Stone, in the comedy film Straight-Jacket.

    • Michael Emerson currently spends most of his time in Honolulu, HI filming Lost, however he makes the trip back to his current residence in New York City to see his family.

    • Michael Emerson and his wife, Carrie Preston, have had roles in movies together since getting married in 1998. The list of movies in which they both appear in includes Straight-Jacket, Grace & Glorie and The Journey. She also appeared as the mother Michael Emerson's character (Benjamin Linus) on Lost, in episode "The Man Behind the Curtain.

    • Michael Emerson is a long-time supporter of the charities that are connected to the Theater community such as Actors Fund, Broadway Cares, Gay Men's Health Crisis and Off-Off Broadway, as well as publicly supported radio stations, and Habitat.

    • Michael Emerson was originally hired to appear in just three episodes of Lost, but was so impressive that producers made him into a key character in the third season.

    • Once he moved to New York City, Michael Emerson was unable to find work as an actor right away. Emerson took retail jobs and worked as a freelance illustrator for newspapers like The Boston and The New York Times.

    • Aside from playing the villain all the time, Michael Emerson also has a soft side. He played the role of a clown in the made for TV movie, Orpheus Descending in 1990.

    • Michael Emerson narrated the audio book CD of Robert Penn Warren's novel All the King's Men in 2005.

    • Michael Emerson co-narrated a version of James Patterson's novel, Four Blind Mice , with Peter J. Fernandez.

    • Michael Emerson has always been a big hit on stage. He has displayed his talents opposite stars such as Uma Thurman. They both started in the off-Broadway production of The Misanthrope

    • Michael Emerson played the character Arnold Dudley in the 1998 television mini-series Grace & Glorie.

    • Michael Emerson considered giving up acting in favor of a more stable career as a teacher, but opted to stick with acting when he found an interesting MFA program to continue to improve his acting.

    • Michael Emerson was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; however grew up in Toledo, Iowa.

    • Michael Emerson played the character Frank Nelson in the drama movie "Jumping Off Bridges" in 2006.

    • Michael Emerson's name on ABC's hit series Lost was originally "Henry Gale". It wasn't until many episodes later we learned his real name to be "Ben Linus".

    • Michael Emerson won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for playing William Hinks on The Practice in the year 2001.

    • Michael Emerson appeared in the horror movie Saw as a character named Zip.

    • In 1976, Michael Emerson graduated from Iowa's Drake University where he had majored in theatre and minored in art.

    • Michael Emerson was the narrator of the radio play adaptation of Neil Gaiman's short story, Murder Mysteries.

    • Michael Emerson was on of the co-narraters of the audio book CD of James Patterson's novel, Four Blind Mice. The other narrater was Peter J. Fernandez.

    • Michael Emerson narrated the audio book CD of The Amalgamation Polka by Stephen Wright, which was published in February of 2006.

    • Michael Emerson was the voice of George Washington in a 2003 experimental documentary film about the relationship between George Washington and Alexander Hamilton called Favorite Son.

    • Some of Michael Emerson's theatre credits include: The Importance of Being Earnest, Amadeus, The Iceman Cometh, Hedda Gabler, Frequency Hopping, Tartuffe, Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, Hamlet and Bach at Leipzig.

    • Some of the more famous films Michael Emerson has acted in are The Laramie Project, Saw and The Legend of Zorro.

    • In 1993, Michael Emerson considered giving up acting for teaching but instead decided to find an MFA program that would help introduce him to professionals in theater and a higher grade of directors.

    • When Michael Emerson married his first wife in 1986. He moved with his wife to Jacksonville, Florida to live after they tied the knot.

    • After Michael Emerson earned a degree at Iowa's Drake University for Theatre Arts in 1976, he moved to New York to live and persue a carrer in acting.

    • Michael Emerson married his first wife in 1986, however, they later divorced in 1993.

    • Michael Emerson worked as a freelance illustrator for publications such as The Boston Globe and The New York Times before becoming an actor.

    • In 1995, Michael Emerson graduated from the prestigious Professional Actor Training M.F.A. program at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

    • Michael Emerson married Carrie Preston in September of 1998. They are still married to this day.

    • Michael Emerson is 5 feet 8 inches tall. This is also 1.73 meters.

    • In the year 2001, Michael Emerson won an Emmy in the "Outstanding guest actor in a drama series" category by his terrifying Michael Hinks portrayal (a cold-blooded sociopath murderer) on The Practice.

  • Quotes

    • Michael Emerson: The head of the makeup department, Steve LePorte, built this amazing prosthetic out of latex and other unknown materials. It looks so real, it's complete with rubber veins and nerves and a latex tumor. It has plumbing inside it so that blood can well up in there. It's amazing. (Talking about his makeup on Lost)

    • Michael Emerson: Yeah, it's funny, working on a show with as large a cast as we have here, your work gets sort of compartmentalized. There's still about half the cast that I've never had a scene with but I have missed working with Terry. I think there might be something coming up where we get to do some scene work together. (Talking about the cast on Lost)

    • Michael Emerson: I have thought right along that Benjamin Linus and his people are rebels or renegades or freedom fighters of some sort and that they are at war with whoever the real powers were that built and control the island. But I don't have a lot of evidence for that either. That's just sort of a feeling I have. I do feel like there are worse people out there than the others. I don't know if worse is the right word. That implies a sort of value judgment. Maybe I should say there are scarier people out there than the others. (His theory of the show Lost)

    • Michael Emerson: Oh, I don't know that he's any more a villain than he ever was, to tell you the truth. I'm still holding out hope that when the details of his real mission are revealed, we're going to think he's a little more heroic than we have. (Talking about his character in Lost being a villan or not)

    • Michael Emerson: I know my wife likes Locke, but she likes Sayid too. I don't know - there's so many likeable characters to choose from. You've got to love Locke, though; he's a sturdy fellow and you feel sympathy with him. You feel like you're in good hands. (Talking about his favorite character in Lost)

    • Michael Emerson: It was on every Wednesday in our home because my wife is a Lostaholic, but I would watch most of them. I would be doing housework and stuff passing through the living room, so I was pretty well caught up on it, but once I got the job then of course I had to cram a little bit. (Talking about his interest in Lost before joining the cast)

    • Michael Emerson: I don't know. Hubris? Arrogance? Over-education? I don't know what it could be. (Talking about what he thinks his character on Lost is guilty of)

    • Michael Emerson: I've played villains on stage — you know, the Iagos and so on — but I think of myself as a funny person. I mostly did comedies before I did TV work.

    • Michael Emerson: Things that are sparsely played, and have an empty quality to them, I find very appealing. (Referring to his role on ABC's Lost)

    • Michael Emerson: A better question might be what is it about those characters that appeals to audiences, or an even better question is why do audiences perceive them as creepy? I don't know if it's something in me. I don't know if it's in the playing of it or the perceiving of it. It's an interesting issue, though. (On portraying 'creepy characters')

    • Michael Emerson: It worries me a little bit the reach and power of TV. More people saw me in The Practice than will ever see me in all the stage plays I ever do. Which is sort of humbling. Or troubling. Or both.

    • Michael Emerson: I've been blessed by doing classic plays on Broadway, which was one of my great dreams forever.

    • Michael Emerson: You work four days, and then one line is left when you see it. Demoralizing. (About doing movies)