Michael Jeter was born and raised in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. He attended Memphis State University, originally majoring in medicine, before deciding to switch his major to acting. Michael first started his career in plays, and won a Tony for his performance in the musical Grand Hotel. Michael got his big break in television when he was cast in the role of Herman Stiles on Evening Shade. He was nominated for four Emmys in that role, and won in 1992. Michael was diagnosed with HIV and died from complications of the disease in 2003.