Michael Stewart Stuhlbarg (// STOOL-barg; born July 5, 1968) is an American actor. He is known as a character actor having portrayed a variety of roles in film, television and theatre. He has received two Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Drama Desk Award. He has also received numerous award nominations including for two Primetime Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, and a Golden Globe Award.
|Born||July 5, 1968|
Long Beach, California, U.S.
|Education||University of California, Los Angeles|
Juilliard School (BFA)
He rose to prominence as troubled university professor Larry Gopnik in the 2009 dark comedy film A Serious Man, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Stuhlbarg has since become known as a character actor and has appeared in numerous films and television series portraying real life figures, such as George Yeaman in Lincoln (2012), Lew Wasserman in Hitchcock (2012), Andy Hertzfeld in Steve Jobs (2015), Edward G. Robinson in Trumbo (2015), Abe Rosenthal in The Post (2017), and Stanley Edgar Hyman in Shirley (2020). His other supporting roles include Hugo (2011), Men in Black 3 (2012), Blue Jasmine (2013), Pawn Sacrifice (2014), Arrival (2016), Call Me by Your Name, and The Shape of Water (both 2017). He joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe appearing as Nicodemus West in Doctor Strange (2016), and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).
Stuhlbarg's most notable roles in television include his performances of Arnold Rothstein in HBO's Boardwalk Empire (2010–2013), Richard A. Clarke in The Looming Tower (2018), and as Richard Sackler in Dopesick (2021), for which he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie. His other television appearances include FX's Fargo (2017), Showtime's Your Honor (2020–present), and HBO's The Staircase (2022). On stage, Stuhlbarg has acted in numerous productions including the 2005 debut of Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman on Broadway, for which he won a Drama Desk Award and received a Tony Award nomination.
Stuhlbarg was born in Long Beach, California, the son of Susan and Mort Stuhlbarg, philanthropists. He was raised as a Reform Jew. He has said, "It's more of a spiritual resonance as opposed to particularly of Judaism." Stuhlbarg trained at The Juilliard School in New York City, where he was a member of the Drama Division's Group 21 (1988–1992). He graduated from Juilliard with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1992.
Stuhlbarg also studied acting at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Vilnius Conservatory in Lithuania, the British American Drama Academy at Oxford, and the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain at the University of London. He also studied mime with Marcel Marceau. Stuhlbarg is married to Mai-Linh Lofgren.
Stuhlbarg began his career appearing in stage productions. In a 1993 production of Saint Joan, Stuhlbarg portrayed Charles VII of France; however, UPI critic Frederick M. Winship thought that Stuhlbarg was miscast in the production. The following year, he portrayed the title character in a production of Richard II. Writing for The New York Times, theater critic David Richards dubbed Stuhlbarg a "promising young actor", yet felt his portrayal of Richard came across as a "blend of Rasputin and an odious rent collector is altogether unavoidable, but I'd like to believe it's not his fault." He starred in the two character play Old Wicked Songs throughout late 1995. For his role in the 1996 production of the Eugene O'Neill play Long Day's Journey into Night, Stuhlbarg won the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actor in a large company production. In a 1997 production of Henry VIII, Stuhlbarg played multiple roles, including Thomas Cranmer.
Stuhlbarg made his film debut in the 1998 drama A Price Above Rubies, which starred Renée Zellweger. In the 1999 Studio 54 production of the musical Cabaret, Stuhlbarg played Ernst Ludwig, a German who in the course of the production is revealed to be a Nazi. Stuhlbarg played the dual role of both Time and Clown in a 2000 production of William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale; The New York Press critic Jonathan Kalb praised his "endearing stutter and hopping gait". In the Tim Blake Nelson-directed war drama The Grey Zone (2001), Stuhlbarg played a Jewish Hungarian who becomes a Sonderkommando in the Nazi Germany Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. Stuhlbarg had previously appeared in the play of the same by Nelson in 1996. Following appearances in productions of Cymbeline, Twelfth Night, and The Persians, Stuhlbarg gave a critically acclaimed performance in the 2005 Broadway production of the Martin McDonagh play The Pillowman. He played Michal, a mentally damaged man who has suffered years of abuse from his parents and gained 50 pounds for the role. Ben Brantley of The New York Times praised Stuhlbarg for "boldly and expertly" capturing "both the innocence and ugliness of Michal". Stuhlbarg won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play and received his first Tony Award nomination for his performance.
In 2006, Stuhlbarg appeared in the plays Measure for Pleasure and The Voysey Inheritance. He played a recurring role on Aaron Sorkin's television series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip from 2006 to 2007, which aired for one season. His first film appearance of 2008 was the independent drama Afterschool, in which he played a "sanctimonious" high school principal and he had a one-line scene in Ridley Scott's Body of Lies as a lawyer. Also in 2008, Stuhlbarg portrayed Prince Hamlet in Oskar Eustis' production of William Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Delacorte Theater. In August of that year, Stuhlbarg was cast as the lead character in the Coen brothers film A Serious Man. The dark comedy, in which he portrayed troubled Jewish university professor Larry Gopnik, was released in October 2009. In his review of the film, Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert felt that "Much of the success of A Serious Man comes from the way Michael Stuhlbarg plays the role. He doesn't play Gopnik as a sad-sack or a loser, a whiner or a depressive, but as a hopeful man who can't believe what's happening to him. He was nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance in the film. Cold Souls, his other release of 2009, featured Stuhlbarg in a smaller role as a hedge fund consultant, and he also guest starred in the episode "There's No Place Like Mode" of the comedy series Ugly Betty.
Beginning in September 2010, Stuhlbarg portrayed organized crime boss Arnold Rothstein in Terence Winter's HBO crime drama series Boardwalk Empire. The character was written off after the show's fourth season in 2013. Martin Scorsese directed the pilot episode of the show, after having previously directed Stuhlbarg in the short film The Key to Reserva (2007). In Scorsese's historical adventure film Hugo (2011), Stuhlbarg played René Tabard, a film historian. Stuhlbarg appeared in the science fiction comedy sequel Men in Black 3 (2012) as Griffin, an alien with clairvoyant abilities who helps Agent J (played by Will Smith) and K (played by Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin) on their mission. The film's director, Barry Sonnenfeld, said that after seeing Stuhlbarg's script and notebook filled with "tiny scribbles, notes, diagrams" that “It made me suspect that perhaps I had actually cast an alien. To Michael, all his little notations made sense. To me, they were scary and indecipherable.” Later in the year, Stuhlbarg briefly appeared as a hitman alongside his Boardwalk Empire co-star Michael Pitt in the opening scene of Martin McDonagh's dark comedy Seven Psychopaths. His third release of 2012 was the historical drama Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln. In the film, he portrayed Democratic Congressman George Yeaman, representative of Kentucky. The Alfred Hitchcock biopic Hitchcock was his final release of the year, with Stuhlbarg portraying talent agent and studio executive Lew Wasserman. In Woody Allen's comedy-drama Blue Jasmine (2013), starring Cate Blanchett, Stuhlbarg appeared as a dentist who makes unwanted sexual advances to Blanchett's character.
Stuhlbarg played chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer's manager, Paul Marshall, in the 2014 film Pawn Sacrifice, starring Tobey Maguire as Fischer. In Danny Boyle's 2015 Steve Jobs biopic, Stuhlbarg portrayed computer scientist Andy Hertzfeld, who was a member of the original Mac team. He appeared in two more biographical films in that year – Trumbo, based on the life of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (played by Bryan Cranston), featured Stuhlbarg portraying actor Edward G. Robinson, who was accused of having ties to the Communist Party during the Hollywood blacklist and Stuhlbarg played a supporting role in Don Cheadle's Miles Ahead, based on the life of Miles Davis. Stuhlbarg played a CIA agent in the science fiction drama Arrival (2016), appearing alongside Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker as they attempt to translate communications from an extraterrestrial craft. In the same month, Stuhlbarg played Nicodemus West, colleague and rival to the titular character (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) in the superhero film Doctor Strange. In his final release of the year, the political thriller Miss Sloane, Stuhlbarg featured as an Irish lobbying firm head battling against gun control. Brian Truitt of USA Today praised his "superb" performance and declared him "One of the best in Hollywood right now".
In the third season of the crime anthology television series Fargo, Stuhlbarg played Sy Feltz, loyal and dedicated business partner to Ewan McGregor's character Emmit Stussy. The season premiered in April 2017. In November, Stuhlbarg co-starred as Samuel Perlman, an archaeology professor, whose son Elio (played by Timothée Chalamet) develops a relationship with his father's assistant (played by Armie Hammer), in the romantic drama Call Me by Your Name. Stuhlbarg was moved by Perlman's "sense of generosity and love and understanding" and director Luca Guadagnino said he cast Stuhlbarg because he wanted "someone who could carry a sort of softness and warmth and at the same time communicate a great knowledge and great culture". Perlman's consoling speech given to his son in the film was described by Huffington Post writer Nell Minow as being "one of the most moving scenes ever filmed." For Guillermo del Toro's fantasy drama The Shape of Water, released in December 2017 to critical and box office success, Stuhlbarg was required to speak Russian to play Dr. Robert Hoffstetler, a Soviet spy. His final performance of 2017 and second release of December, was as The New York Times executive editor A. M. Rosenthal, in Steven Spielberg's political thriller The Post, which starred Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep and depicts the publishing of the Pentagon Papers by journalists from The Washington Post and The Times. With his performances in Call Me By Your Name, The Shape of Water, and The Post, he became the sixth actor to appear in three films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in the same year.
Stuhlbarg was due to appear as Gore Vidal's domestic partner Howard Austen in the biopic Gore, starring Kevin Spacey as Vidal, but the film was withdrawn from release during post-production amid ongoing sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey. He appeared in the 2018 miniseries The Looming Tower as counter-terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke, for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.
|Denotes works that have not yet been released|
|1999||The Hunley||Wicks||Television film|
|2006||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Marcel Costas||1 episode|
|2006–2007||Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip||Jerry||2 episodes|
|2006–2010||The American Experience||Various Characters||4 episodes|
|2007||Damages||Dr. Bernard Herschenfeld||1 episode|
|2008||Law & Order||Timothy Pace||1 episode|
|2009||Ugly Betty||Heinrich||1 episode|
|2010–2013||Boardwalk Empire||Arnold Rothstein||Main role, 32 episodes|
|2017||Fargo||Sy Feltz||Recurring role, 9 episodes|
|2018||The Looming Tower||Richard Clarke||Miniseries, 8 episodes|
|2019||Traitors||Rowe||Miniseries, 5 episodes|
|2020–2021||Your Honor||Jimmy Baxter||Main role, 10 episodes|
|2021||Dopesick||Richard Sackler||Miniseries, 8 episodes|
|2022||The Staircase||David Rudolf||Miniseries, 8 episodes|
|1992||Woyzeck||Barker / Soldier / Apprentice||The Public Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|1993||All's Well That Ends Well||Gentleman||Delacorte Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|1993||Saint Joan||Dauphin, Charles VII||Lyceum Theatre, Broadway|
|1993||Three Men on a Horse||Al / Radio Announcer||Lyceum Theatre, Broadway|
|1993||Timon of Athens||The Old Athenian / Bandit||Lyceum Theatre, Broadway|
|1993–1994||The Government Inspector||Ivan Shpekin||Lyceum Theatre, Broadway|
|1994||Richard II||King Richard II||Anspacher Theater, Off-Broadway|
|1995||Old Wicked Songs||Stephen Hoffman||Playhouse 91, Off-Broadway|
|1996||The Grey Zone||Hoffman||MCC Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|1996||Taking Sides||Lieutenant David Wills||Brooks Atkinson Theatre, Broadway|
|1997||Henry VIII||Surveyor for Buckingham
Archbishop of Canterbury
|Delacorte Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|1997||The Dybbuk||Khonen||The Public Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|1999||Cabaret||Ernst Ludwig||Studio 54, Broadway|
|2000||The Winter's Tale||Time / Clown||Delacorte Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|2001||The Invention of Love||Alfred W. Pollard||Lyceum Theatre, Broadway|
|2002||Cymbeline||Posthumus Leonatus||Lucille Lortel Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|2002||Twelfth Night||Sir Andrew Aguecheek||Delacorte Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|2003||The Persians||Xerxes I||National Actors Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|2004||The Mysteries||Jesus/Issac/Lucifer||CSC Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|2004–2005||Belle Epoque||Francois||Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|2005||The Pillowman||Michal||Booth Theatre, Broadway|
|2006||Measure for Pleasure||Will Blunt||Anspacher Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|2006||The Voysey Inheritance||Edward Voysey||Linda Gross Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|2008||Hamlet||Hamlet||Delacorte Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|2019||Socrates||Socrates||The Public Theater, Off-Broadway|
Awards and nominationsEdit
- Wloszczyna, Susan (October 11, 2009). "Michael Stuhlbarg: Coen brothers get their 'Serious Man'". USA Today. Retrieved December 16, 2009.
- "Michael Stuhlbarg". Broadway.com. Retrieved September 16, 2009.[permanent dead link]
- "Michael Stuhlbarg". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
- "When Mort Stuhlbarg spoke, everyone listened: Rich Archbold". Retrieved 2017-06-27.
- "An Interview with Michael Stuhlbarg, Star of A Serious Man". DVDizzy.com. February 9, 2010. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
- "Exclusive Interview: A Serious Man Star Michael Stuhlbarg". CinemaBlend. October 2, 2009. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
- Grosz, Christy (September 13, 2009). "The Coens found Michael Stuhlbarg to be 'A Serious Man'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 14, 2009.
- "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. September 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11.
- "Notable Alumni Actors". UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
- "Michael Stuhlbarg". Back Stage. September 3, 1999. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014.
- "19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals". Getty Images. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
- Winship, Frederick M. (February 1, 1993). "Shaw's 'Saint Joan' revived for Broadway". United Press International. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Richards, David (April 1, 1994). "The Tragedy of Richard II; A Director's Stylized Vision Of Shakespeare". The New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Haun, Harry (October 15, 1996). "Music Redeems a Soul in Old Wicked Songs". Playbill. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Feeney, Mark (October 11, 2009). "His craft is 'Serious' business". Boston.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- "The 15th Elliot Norton Awards". Elliot Norton Awards. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Evans, Greg (July 13, 1997). "Henry VIII". Variety. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Hunter, Rob (December 22, 2017). "Performer of the Year: Michael Stuhlbarg". Film School Rejects. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- McGrath, Sean (June 8, 1999). "Michael Hall Starts as New Cabaret Emcee on Broadway, June 8". Playbill. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Weber, Bruce (July 7, 2010). "Where a Little Shakespearean Schmaltz Cracks Through the Scars of Time". The New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Kalb, Jonathan (July 18, 2000). "Shakespeare's Winter's Tale, in Central Park". New York Press. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Ebert, Roger (September 23, 2009). "The Grey Zone Movie Review & Film Summary". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Gerard, Jeremy (January 14, 1996). "The Grey Zone". Variety. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Taylor, Paul (November 28, 2001). "Cymbeline, The Other Place, Stratford". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-05-14. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Sterritt, David (July 26, 2002). "Slapstick humor muddles 'Twelfth Night". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Gans, Andrew (June 29, 2003). "Leaving Persia: National Actors Theatre's The Persians Ends Run June 29". Playbill. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
- Jenkins, Mark (October 16, 2009). "Michael Stuhlbarg, A 'Serious' Fellow About His Craft". NPR. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Brantley, Ben (April 11, 2015). "A Storytelling Instinct Revels in Horror's Fun". The New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
- Jones, Kenneth; Ku, Andrew (May 23, 2005). "Doubt, Spamalot, Twelve Angry Men, La Cage Win 2005 Drama Desk Awards". Playbill. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Phillips, Michael (October 26, 2017). "Michael Stuhlbarg: From 'Boardwalk' to 'Water,' an actor prepares". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Stasio, Marilyn (March 8, 2006). "Measure for Pleasure". Variety. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
- Isherwood, Charles (December 7, 2006). "Harley Granville Barker, Not Glengarry Glen Ross". The New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Siegel, Tatiana (August 18, 2009). "Coen brothers cast 'Serious' men". Variety. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Robey, Tim (August 20, 2009). "Afterschool, review". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2022-01-12. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Pulver, Andrew (October 14, 2015). "Seriously big break: how a call from the Coens changed Michael Stuhlbarg's life". The Guardian. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Feingold, Michael (June 24, 2008). "Michael Stuhlbarg's Hamlet: Jangled Out of Tune". The Village Voice. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Ebert, Roger (October 7, 2009). "A Serious Man Movie Review & Film Summary (2009)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- "Winners & Nominees 2010". GoldenGlobes.com. Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Biography Editors (August 7, 2014). "Michael Stuhlbarg". Biography. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
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- Gans, Andrew (February 12, 2009). "Bernadette Peters to Reprise Role on Feb. 19 and 26 Episodes of "Ugly Betty"". Playbill. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Sepinwall, Alan (September 2, 2014). "'Boardwalk Empire' creator Terence Winter previews final season, jump forward in time". HitFix. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- Patterson, John (September 20, 2010). "Boardwalk Empire: does it live up to the hype?". The Guardian. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- "The Key to Reserva (2007)". British Film Institute. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Sarkisian, Jacob (December 30, 2017). "Michael Stuhlbarg movies: 10 greatest films include 'Call Me By Your Name,' 'A Serious Man, 'Steve Jobs'". GoldDerby. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Brody, Richard (2013). ""Men in Black 3": The Uses of the Past". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Grove, Lloyd (May 21, 2012). "Michael Stuhlbarg's Breakout Year: Men in Black & Lincoln". Newsweek. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Debruge, Peter (September 8, 2012). "Seven Psychopaths". Variety. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Eblen, Tom (November 25, 2012). "Tom Eblen: In 'Lincoln,' forgotten Kentucky congressman plays a pivotal role". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- Zwecker, Bill (December 11, 2017). "Michael Stuhlbarg found his true calling as a Northwestern 'cherub'". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Zacharek, Stephanie (July 24, 2013). "Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine Returns to a World That's Not Quite Earth". Village Voice. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
- Cusumano, Katherinme (September 18, 2015). "'Pawn Sacrifice' Actor Michael Stuhlbarg On Appearing In Every Biopic Ever". Bustle. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Weintraub, Steve (October 16, 2015). "Watch the 'Steve Jobs' Cast, Sorkin, and Boyle Talk Memorable Moments from Filming". Collider. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Prigge, Matt (November 11, 2016). "Michael Stuhlbarg on 'Arrival' and staying optimistic". Metro. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
- Sampson, Mike (November 2, 2015). "Michael Stuhlbarg Joins the Cast of Marvel's 'Doctor Strange'". ScreenCrush. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Truitt, Brian (November 24, 2016). "Review: Jessica Chastain brings icy goodness to 'Miss Sloane'". USA Today. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
- Fienberg, Daniel (May 17, 2017). "'Fargo' Star Michael Stuhlbarg on Sy's Precarious Position, Mustache and Jewishness". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- Ford, Rebecca; Galuppo, Mia; Lee, Ashley (November 15, 2017). "What This Year's Awards Contenders Can Teach About Parenthood". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- Zuckerman, Esther (November 29, 2017). "How Call Me by Your Name Created One of the Year's Most Powerful Scenes". GQ. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- Minow, Nell (December 31, 2017). "Michael Stuhlbarg: December 2017 MVP of the Movies". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- Zuckerman, Esther (November 27, 2017). "The Shape of Water's Michael Stuhlbarg on Playing in Guillermo del Toro's Imagination". GQ. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- Eng, Joyce (January 23, 2018). "2018 Oscars: Michael Stuhlbarg is the sixth actor to appear in three Best Picture nominees in the same year". GoldDerby. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- Merry, Stephanie (January 23, 2018). "Michael Stuhlbarg won't win an Oscar, but he's still the best supporting actor of our dreams". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- Malkin, Marc (November 16, 2017). "Kevin Spacey's 'Gore' Co-Star Michael Stuhlbarg Weighs In on Dropped Netflix Movie". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- Stanhope, Kate (February 17, 2017). "Hulu's 'The Looming Tower' Enlists Michael Stuhlbarg, Bill Camp (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- Michael Stuhlbarg to Play Title Role in New Tim Blake Nelson Play, 'Socrates'