Michael Shannon

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Michael Shannon
MichaelShannon (cropped).jpg
Michael Corbett Shannon

(1974-08-07) August 7, 1974 (age 48)
  • Actor
  • producer
  • musician
  • theatre director
Years active1992–present
Kate Arrington
(m. 2018)
Relatives Raymond Corbett Shannon (grandfather)
Awards Full list

Michael Corbett Shannon (born August 7, 1974) [1] is an American actor, producer, musician, and theater director. He has been nominated twice for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his roles in the Sam Mendes period drama Revolutionary Road (2008) and the Tom Ford psychological thriller 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 the Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's 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 such as 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), The Night Before (2015), The Shape of Water (2017), Knives Out (2019), and Bullet Train (2022). He played Superman's Kryptonian adversary General Zod in Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and is set to reprise the role in The Flash (2023). 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. In 2021, he had a main role in the Hulu drama miniseries Nine Perfect Strangers .

Early life

Shannon was born in Lexington, Kentucky, to Donald Sutherlin Shannon, an accounting professor at DePaul University, and Geraldine Hine, a lawyer. [2] [3] [4] His paternal grandfather was entomologist Raymond Corbett Shannon. [5]

After Shannon's parents divorced, he alternated time with them, living with his mother in Lexington, Kentucky, and in Chicago, Illinois, with his father. [6] [7] He even attended high schools in both states: New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, Illinois, for two years; then in Kentucky for his junior year; returning to Chicago for his senior year, where he attended Evanston Township High School for a semester before dropping out. [8]

Acting career

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 fund A Red Orchid Theatre, where he still regularly performs. [5] He has since worked with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Northlight Theatre, and other acting companies. [9] 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. [7]

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. [11] 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. [12]

Shannon (far right) with Robert Davi and Stephen Dorff at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival RobertDaviStephenDorffMichaelShannonTIFFSept2012.jpg
Shannon (far right) with Robert Davi and Stephen Dorff at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

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, [13] [14] [15] [16] and won the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture [17] and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. [18] 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. [20] Shannon had previously performed the show in 2009 at A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago. [21]

In 2011, Shannon starred in the drama film Take Shelter . He received rave reviews for his performance, [22] [23] 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, [25] 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 . [26] Shannon portrayed music icon Elvis Presley alongside Kevin Spacey as President Richard Nixon in Elvis & Nixon . [27]

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 a double homicide garnered him critical acclaim, [30] [31] [32] [33] and he received his second nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. [34]

In 2017, Shannon played Col. Richard Strickland in Guillermo del Toro's romantic fantasy film The Shape of Water , co-starring with Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer. [35] The film had its world premiere at the 74th Venice International Film Festival, [36] where it won the Golden Lion. [37] [38] 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. Lucero's frontman, Ben Nichols, is the older brother of frequent Shannon collaborator, Jeff Nichols. [39] Shannon also contributed spoken world vocals to Lucero's "Back To The Night", also from Among The Ghosts. [40]

In 2019, Shannon portrayed Walt Thrombey in Rian Johnson's mystery film Knives Out , which featured an ensemble cast starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, and Christopher Plummer. [41]

In 2021, Shannon played Napoleon Marconi in the Hulu miniseries Nine Perfect Strangers , based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, which features Nicole Kidman in the lead role, alongside Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, Samara Weaving, Asher Keddie, and Bobby Cannavale. [42]

In December 2021, Warner Bros. announced that Shannon would be reprising his role as General Zod in the upcoming Flash film. [43]

Music career

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. [44] 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. [45]

Personal life

Shannon married actress Kate Arrington in 2018, whom he had dated since 2002. They have two daughters born 2008 and born 2011. They live in the neighborhood of Red Hook located in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. [46]


Dagger-14-plain.pngDenotes works that have not yet been released


1993 Groundhog Day Fred
1996 Chain Reaction Flower Delivery Man
1997 Chicago Cab Crack Head
1999 Jesus' Son Dundun
The RideJimmy
2000 The Photographer Maurice
Tigerland Sergeant Filmore
Cecil B. Demented Petie
MullittPhil KunzShort film
2001 Pearl Harbor Lt. Gooz Wood
New Port South John Stanton
Vanilla Sky Aaron
2002 High Crimes Troy Abbott
8 Mile Greg Buehl
2003 Kangaroo Jack Frankie Lombardo
Bad Boys II Floyd Poteet
Grand Theft Parsons Larry Oster-Berg
2004WaterBobby Matherson
Criminal Gene
Dead Birds Clyde
Zamboni ManWalt, Zamboni ManShort film
The Woodsman Rosen
2006 Bug Peter Evans
World Trade Center Dave Karnes
Let's Go to Prison Lynard
Marvelous John
2007 Shotgun Stories Son Hayes
Blackbird Murl
Lucky You Ray Zumbro
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead Dex
2008 Revolutionary Road John Givings, Jr.
2009 The Missing Person John Rosow
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Mundt
The Greatest Jordan Walker
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? Brad McCullum
2010 The Runaways Kim Fowley
Herbert WhiteHerbert WhiteShort film
13 Henry
Jonah Hex Dr. Cross Williams
2011 Take Shelter Curtis LaForche
Return Mike
The Broken Tower Emile Opffer
Machine Gun Preacher Donnie
2012 Mud Uncle Galen
Premium Rush Bobby Monday
The Iceman Richard Kuklinski
Happy HourJust MikeShort film
2013 Man of Steel General Zod
The Harvest Richard Young
2014 Young Ones Ernest Holm
They Came Together SpikeCameo
She's Funny That Way Policeman Macy'sCameo
99 Homes Rick Carver
2015 Freeheld Dane Wells
The Night Before Mr. Green
2016 Complete Unknown Tom
Frank & Lola Frank Reilly
Midnight Special Roy Tomlin
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice General ZodCredit only [N 1]
Wolves Lee Keller
Poor Boy Blayde Griggs
Elvis & Nixon Elvis Presley Also executive producer
Loving Grey Villet
Salt and Fire Matt Riley
Nocturnal Animals Det. Bobby Andes
2017 The Shape of Water Col. Richard Strickland
The Current War George Westinghouse
Pottersville Maynard Greiger
2018 12 Strong CWO. Hal Spencer [47]
What They Had Nicky EverhardtAlso executive producer [48]
State Like Sleep Edward
2019 Knives Out Walt Thrombey [49]
2020 The Quarry Chief MooreAlso executive producer [50]
Echo Boomers Mel Donnelly [51]
2021 Heart of Champions Jack MurphyAlso producer
2022Night's EndIsaac Dees
Abandoned Renner
Bullet Train White Death
Amsterdam Henry Norcross
2023 The Flash Dagger-14-plain.pngGeneral ZodPost-production
TBA Shriver Dagger-14-plain.pngShriverPost-production
TBA Eric Larue Dagger-14-plain.pngDirector
TBA The Bikeriders Dagger-14-plain.pngFilming


1992OverexposedYoung ManTelevision film
Angel StreetPatrick MulliganTelevision film
1998, 1999 Early Edition Merle / Mr. Andrews2 episodes
1999 Turks Man #1Episode: "Pilot"
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Avery ShawEpisode: "Quarry"
2009 Delocated MarkEpisode: "Sick of It!"
2010–2014 Boardwalk Empire Nelson Van Alden/George Mueller 35 episodes
2017–2020 At Home with Amy Sedaris Various3 episodes
2018 Waco Gary Noesner6 episodes; also executive producer
Fahrenheit 451 Captain Beatty Television film
The Little Drummer Girl Martin Kurtz6 episodes
Our Cartoon President Narrator (voice)Episode: "Election Special 2018"
Room 104 NathanEpisode: "Swipe Right"
2021 Nine Perfect Strangers Napoleon Marconi8 episodes
2022 Little Demon Unshaven Man (voice)6 episodes
2022 George & Tammy George Jones 6 episodes


1991Loving Little EgyptHumberhillGriffin Theatre Company
1992Fun and NobodyDennyNext Theatre Company
1993–1994 Killer Joe Chris SmithNext Theatre Company, EFF
1995 Victims of Duty The Detective A Red Orchid Theatre
1996 Bug Peter Evans Gate Theatre
1998 Killer Joe Chris SmithSoho Playhouse
1999 The Killer BerengerA Red Orchid Theatre
1999The IdiotParfyon Rogozhin Lookingglass Theatre
2001 Bug Peter EvansA Red Orchid Theatre
2002Finer Noble GasesLynch Actors Theatre of Louisville
2004–2005 Bug Peter Evans Barrow Street Theatre
2005 Gagarin Way EddieA Red Orchid Theatre
2006 The Pillowman Michal Steppenwolf Theatre Company
2006 Hunger and Thirst DirectorA Red Orchid Theatre
2006GraceSamNorthlight Theatre
2007LadyKennyNorthlight Theatre
2008The Little Flower of East OrangeDanny The Public Theater
2008The Metal ChildrenTobin Falmouth Vineyard Theatre
2008LadyKenny Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
2009Mistakes Were MadeFelix ArtifexA Red Orchid Theatre
2010 Our Town Stage ManagerBarrow Street Theatre
2010–2011Mistakes Were MadeFelix ArtifexBarrow Street Theatre
2012 Uncle Vanya Mikhail Lvovich Astrov Soho Repertory Theatre
2012–2013GraceSam Cort Theatre
2013 Simpatico Lyle CarterA Red Orchid Theatre
2014 The Killer BerengerTheatre for a New Audience
2015Pilgrim's ProgressJim McKeeA Red Orchid Theatre
2016 Long Day's Journey into Night James Tyrone Jr. American Airlines Theatre
2017 Simpatico Lyle CarterMcCarter Theatre Center
2018TraitorA Red Orchid TheatreAs director
2018 Victims of Duty The DetectiveA Red Orchid Theatre
2019 Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune Johnny Broadhurst Theatre
2022–2023Des MoinesTBA Theatre for a New Audience

Awards and nominations

See also


  1. The corpse of Zod in Batman v Superman was made using a physical replica and Shannon did not film any scenes for the film.

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