Oscar Actors: Shannon, Michael–Background, Career, Awards

Updated July 18, 2020
Michael Shannon Career Summary:

Occupational Inheritance:

Social Class: upper middle; father professor


Family: divorced



Teacher/Inspirational Figure:

Radio Debut:

TV Debut:

Stage Debut:

Broadway Debut:

Film Debut:

Breakthrough Role:

Oscar Role: Revolutionary Road, 2008; age 34

Other Noms: Nocturnal Animals, 2016, age 42

Other Awards: Tony Nom

Frequent Collaborator:

Screen Image: character actor

Last Film: N

Career Output: NA

Film Career Span: NA

Marriage: actress, married in 2018

Politics: Democrat (Obama)

Death: NA


Michael Corbett Shannon (born August 7, 1974), an American actor, producer, director, and musician, has been nominated twice for Best Supporting Actor for his roles in Revolutionary Road (2008) and Nocturnal Animals (2016). He earned Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for his role in 99 Homes (2014), and a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Long Day’s Journey into Night (2016).

Shannon made his film debut in 1993 with Groundhog Day and received widespread attention for his performance in 8 Mile (2002). He is known for his on-screen versatility, performing in both comedies and dramas. His performances include Pearl Harbor (2001), Bad Boys II (2003), Bug (2006), Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007), Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009), The Iceman (2012), Premium Rush (2012), Man of Steel (2013), The Shape of Water (2017), and Knives Out (2019). Shannon is a frequent collaborator of Jeff Nichols, appearing in all of his films: Shotgun Stories (2007), Take Shelter (2011), Mud (2012), Midnight Special, and Loving (both 2016). He is also known for his role as Nelson Van Alden in the HBO period drama series Boardwalk Empire (2010–2014), for which he was nominated for three Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Shannon was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and is a grandson of entomologist Raymond Corbett Shannon. His father, Donald Sutherlin Shannon, was an accounting professor at DePaul University, and his mother, Geraldine Hine, is a lawyer. He was raised by his divorced parents in both Lexington, Kentucky, and Chicago, Illinois.

Shannon’s first film role was as the main character in the music video for the Every Mother’s Nightmare song “House of Pain”, in which he played a troubled teenager who was running away from his abusive home.

He later became a stage actor in Chicago. He helped found A Red Orchid Theatre, where he still regularly performs.[3] He has since worked with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Northlight Theatre, and other acting companies. Shannon originated the role of Peter Evans in Bug in 1996 and also starred in the 2006 film adaptation with Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr., directed by William Friedkin. His roles in Bug and Killer Joe were written by Steppenwolf ensemble member Tracy Letts.

Shannon made his film debut with a small role in Groundhog Day in 1993 as a wedding groom.[10] Later, he had roles in Jesus’ Son, Pearl Harbor, 8 Mile and Vanilla Sky. He played the villain in Kangaroo Jack. After a role in Bad Boys II, he had a major role in Grand Theft Parsons as the hippie, Larry Oster-Berg. In 2006, he played Lynard, the leader of a prison white supremacist group, in Let’s Go to Prison. Shannon has appeared in several shows in the West End in London, including a production of Woyzeck directed by Sarah Kane. In 2008, Shannon was featured in the off-Broadway production of Stephen Adly Guirgis’s The Little Flower of East Orange, presented by LAByrinth Theater Company and The Public Theater, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and also featuring Ellen Burstyn.

In 2008, he starred in the romantic drama film Revolutionary Road, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. His performance as the clinically insane son earned him universal acclaim, and won the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture and received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

In 2010, he portrayed Doc Cross Williams in the film adaptation of Jonah Hex.[19] Shannon played Federal Prohibition agent Nelson Van Alden in the HBO television show Boardwalk Empire, which began in 2010. In November of that year, he began starring in the one man play Mistakes Were Made at the Barrow Street Theatre in New York City, with performances having run through February 27, 2012. Shannon had previously performed the show in 2009 at A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago.

In 2011, Shannon starred in the drama film Take Shelter. He received rave reviews for his performance, and a Saturn Award for Best Actor.[24] In 2012, he played a corrupt cop in the film Premium Rush, written and directed by David Koepp, and appeared on Broadway along with Paul Rudd and Ed Asner in Grace written by Craig Wright. In 2013, he starred as legendary mob hitman Richard Kuklinski in The Iceman, which was distributed in May 2013. His performance received much acclaim from critics. Also that year, Shannon portrayed General Zod, the main antagonist in Zack Snyder’s film Man of Steel. Shannon portrayed music icon Elvis Presley alongside Kevin Spacey as President Richard Nixon in Elvis & Nixon.

In 2015, he was seen in the biographical drama film Freeheld, as well as the independent drama film 99 Homes as housing agent Rick Carver, a role that earned him widespread critical acclaim, and nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.[28][29] 2015 was also the release year for The Night Before where Shannon played Mr. Green alongside Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

The following year, he starred in the psychological thriller film Nocturnal Animals, alongside Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. His performance as a detective investigating the violent incident garnered him critical acclaim, and was nominated for his second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He played Col. Richard Strickland in Guillermo del Toro’s romantic fantasy film The Shape of Water, which world premiered at the 74th Venice Film Fest, where it won the Golden Lion. In 2018, he played the lead role as Gary Noesner in Waco on Paramount Network. He also featured in the short film “Long Way Back Home”, which serves as an extended film-clip for the song of the same name by Memphis country-punk rock band, Lucero from their album Among The Ghosts. Frontman of Lucero, Ben Nichols, is the older brother of frequent Shannon collaborator, Jeff Nichols. Shannon also contributed spoken world vocals to Lucero’s “Back To The Night”, also from Among The Ghosts.

In 2002, Shannon formed the indie rock band Corporal, along with Ray Rizzo and Rob Beitzel. Shannon sings and writes lyrics for the band. In 2010, Corporal released their self-titled debut album. Following the album’s release two MP3 tracks have been released for download. The first track “Glory” was released in 2011 and the second song titled “Obama” was released in June 2012 as the band’s way of endorsing President Obama’s run for reelection.

Shannon married actress Kate Arrington in 2018; they have two daughters, Sylvie and Marion. They live in the neighborhood of Red Hook located in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.[4

In an interview with Metro on November 14, 2016 regarding the recent election, Shannon stated “These protests are so moving, but ultimately what are they going to accomplish? …Maybe you need a civil war or something. …We’re just going to have to bust this thing up.” Shannon went on to say “There’s a lot of old people who need to realize they’ve had a nice life, and it’s time for them to move on. …But if you’re voting for Trump, it’s time for the urn.” When asked how to respond if a relative voted for Trump; “F— ’em. You’re an orphan now. Don’t go home. Don’t go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Don’t talk to them at all. Silence speaks volumes.”