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Michael Richards

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael Richards
Michael Richards (1993).jpg
Richards at the 45th Primetime Emmy Awards on September 19, 1993
Born
Michael Anthony Richards

(1949-07-24) July 24, 1949 (age 69)
Alma materThe Evergreen State College
OccupationActor, writer, television producer, comedian
Years active1979–present
Spouse(s)
Cathleen Lyons (m. 1974–1993)
[2][3]
Beth Skipp (m. 2010)
[4][5]
Children2

Michael Anthony Richards (born July 24, 1949) is an American actor, writer, television producer and comedian, widely known for his portrayal of Cosmo Kramer on the television sitcom Seinfeld, for which he received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series three times.

Richards began his career as a stand-up comedian, first entering the national spotlight when he was featured on Billy Crystal's first cable TV special. He went on to become a series regular on ABC's Fridays. Prior to Seinfeld, he made numerous guest appearances on a variety of television shows, such as Cheers. His film credits include So I Married an Axe Murderer, Airheads, Young Doctors in Love, Problem Child, Coneheads, UHF, and Trial and Error, one of his few starring roles. During the run of Seinfeld, he made a guest appearance in Mad About You. After Seinfeld, Richards starred in his own sitcom, The Michael Richards Show, which lasted less than one full season.

When Seinfeld ended in 1998, Richards returned to stand-up comedy. He incited media furor while performing at the Laugh Factory comedy club in late 2006 after a cell phone video was published of him launching into an expletive-laced racist tirade after earlier interruptions from a group of late-arriving audience members.[6] Subsequently due to significant media coverage of the event he announced his retirement from stand-up early in 2007. He appeared as himself in the seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2009, acting alongside his fellow cast members for the first time since Seinfeld's finale, as well as lampooning his incident at the Laugh Factory. In 2013, Richards returned to television when he played the role of Frank in the sitcom Kirstie.[7]

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  • ✪ Actors Who Ruined Their Career In A Matter Of Seconds

Transcription

When you're in the business of show, any bad moment can be potentially career ending. If you're an actor and your private transgressions happen to go public, you’d better be prepared to look for a new line of work, like these actors who ruined their careers in a matter of seconds. Michael Richards Actors that dabble in the minefield of stand-up comedy need to know how to avoid the influence of hecklers. When Seinfeld's Michael Richards found himself in fight with a member of his audience during a show in 2006, he made a split-second decision that destroyed his career in an instant. In a video widely circulated by TMZ, Richards responded to the man's criticism with a series of racial slurs. (Michael Richards going ham) Richards left the stage without finishing his routine, but later appeared via satellite on the Late Show with David Letterman to apologize for his outburst in an incredibly awkward video. "I’ve already heard you make some jokes about it, and that's okay you know, but I'm really busted up over this, and I'm very very sorry." It didn't do him any good, however, as his career since has never reached Seinfeld levels again, and he himself became the punchline to a few jokes. "Every time I see this backdrop, I think about Kramer f---ing up." Mel Gibson When it comes to career-ending outbursts, apparently 2006 was a popular year. Actor Mel Gibson was arrested in Los Angeles after officers in Malibu caught him speeding with an open bottle of booze. When Gibson was cuffed and detained, he went off on a tirade, letting loose with a barrage of anti-Semitic remarks. Gibson buried his career once again in 2010 when a phone call with then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, again making racist remarks, was leaked to the public, and he was dropped by his agency. "I don’t need medication. You need a f---ing bat to the side of the head." Ten years later, Gibson is looking to make a comeback. His violent daddy-daughter thriller Blood Father has been positively received by critics, and his return to the director's chair with his so-called atonement piece Hacksaw Ridge has gone down equally well, getting a 10 minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. Tila Tequila Remember MySpace? Tila 'Tequila' Nguyen dominated the social media platform until she became one of the most-hated TV personalities in history. In 2007, MTV capitalized on her online fanbase by giving her a dating show, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. She also made her first film appearance that same year, though it all came crashing down in 2013 after she made a bizarre post on her website, titled Why I Sympathize with Hitler. Tequila wrote that she had "learned the truth about the war and what Hitler truly did," insisting that "he was not a bad person." If that weren't enough, Tequila posted photos of herself superimposed over Auschwitz, dressed as a bad Halloween version of a sexy Nazi. Tequila attempted to get her career back on track in 2015 when she appeared as a housemate on Celebrity Big Brother, but she was quickly removed from the house once showrunners became aware of her past. She apologized, but she was at it once again in 2016, launching an attack on Jewish conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro, whom she said "should be gassed and sent back to Israel." She also claims that she can “quantum hop” to parallel dimensions to visit other versions of herself. Maybe she can find a Tila that isn’t pure garbage and trade places. Lindsay Lohan After being cast in the surprisingly successful 1998 remake of The Parent Trap, Lindsay Lohan became a teen sensation for nearly a decade, finding more success in 2003's Freaky Friday, 2004's Mean Girls, and 2005's Herbie: Fully Loaded. But the public’s perception of her as an up-and-coming talent would abruptly change after her 2007 car accident. Lohan was charged with DUI, possession of cocaine, and misdemeanor hit and run. Just two months later, she’d be arrested on identical charges, revealing a serious problem to the world. Hollywood producers also took notice and became hesitant to cast her in anything, especially after she withdrew from multiple productions at the time, unable to hide her addictions. Many said that they “would not hire her until she proved herself healthy and reliable.” Lohan would continue to appear in films and TV, but now, in smaller productions and often as a parody of herself. Her most prominent role in the past ten years? As herself, but with a really weird accent. "And that's all he is, is my friend and business partner. But his mother became a very close person to me." Brendan Fraser It’s one of those names that’s almost always followed by a question about whether or not he’s even still alive. American-Canadian Brendan Fraser graduated from a character actor to a bona fide movie star when he appeared as the swashbuckling Rick O'Connell in The Mummy, the first film in a trilogy that has come to define him. The 2008 fantasy adventure Journey to the Center of the Earth returned huge box office profits, reaffirming Fraser's position as a genuine leading man. But then Fraser took a wrong turn. He rejected the chance to reprise his role in 2012's Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and let the role fall to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Content with the work he had done in Extraordinary Measures and Furry Vengeance, Fraser felt comfortable letting the role go, though most actors wouldn’t hedge their careers on a film where an otter drives a car. When those two films became two of the biggest box office bombs of 2010, it became clear that he’d made a huge mistake. Journey 2 went on to surpass the original, raking in $335 million from a budget of $79 million, and leaving Fraser to slowly fade away. Paul Reubens Bow-tied, lovable weirdo Pee-wee Herman was huge during late ‘80s, the subject of two feature films as well as an Emmy-winning children's TV series. But during a visit with his parents in Sarasota, Florida, in 1991, Reubens was arrested for indecent exposure at an adult movie theater, which was pretty bad news for the children’s entertainer. "There are a lot of things about me you don't know anything about—Dottie—things you wouldn't understand. Things you couldn't understand. Things you shouldn't understand." The actor pleaded no contest. Pee-wee toys were pulled from shelves across the nation and Reubens retreated from the public eye for the remainder of the '90s, despite a huge outpouring of public support. He remained active both in front of and behind the camera, but in 2002, Reubens got caught up in a child porn sting involving fellow Tim Burton alumni Jeffrey Jones. Officers seized thousands of items from Reubens’ collection of vintage erotica, but found nothing. Due to the nature of the charges against him, he was forced to keep his most popular character buried. Pee-wee finally returned in 2016, starring in critically acclaimed Netflix film Pee-wee's Big Holiday. The positive response to his comeback is little consolation decades of lost time for the lovable, and profitable, man-child. Thanks for watching! Click the Looper icon to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Plus check out all this cool stuff we know you'll love, too!

Contents

Early life

Richards was born in Culver City, California, to a Catholic family.[8] He is the son of Phyllis (née Nardozzi), a medical records librarian of Italian descent and William Richards, an electrical engineer of Scottish and English descent.[9] His father died in a car crash when Michael was two and his mother never remarried.[2]

Richards graduated from Thousand Oaks High School. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1970. He trained as a medic and was stationed in West Germany.[10] After being honorably discharged he used the benefits of the G.I. Bill to enroll in the California Institute of the Arts, and received a BA degree in drama from The Evergreen State College in 1975.[11] He also had a short-lived improv act with Ed Begley, Jr.. During this period, he enrolled at Los Angeles Valley College and continued to appear in student productions.

Career

Richards got his big TV break in 1979, appearing in Billy Crystal's first cable TV special. In 1980, he began as one of the cast members on ABC's Fridays television show, where Larry David was a writer. This included a famous instance in which guest Andy Kaufman refused to deliver his scripted lines, leading Richards to bring the cue cards on screen to Kaufman, causing him to throw his drink into Richards's face before a small riot ensued (Richards later claimed he was in on the joke).[12] The film Man on the Moon featured a re-enactment of the Andy Kaufman incident in which Richards was portrayed by actor Norm Macdonald (although he is never referred to by name so he could be seen as a composite character taking the place of Richards).[13][14]

In 1989, Richards had a supporting role in "Weird Al" Yankovic's comedy film UHF as janitor Stanley Spadowski. On television, Richards also appeared in Miami Vice (as an unscrupulous bookie), Cheers (as a character trying to collect on an old bet with Sam Malone), and made several guest appearances with Jay Leno as an accident-prone fitness expert.

According to an interview with executive producer David Hoberman, ABC first conceived the series Monk as a procedural police comedy with an Inspector Clouseau-like character suffering from obsessive–compulsive disorder. Hoberman said that ABC wanted Richards to play Adrian Monk, but he turned it down.[15]

Seinfeld

In 1989, he was cast as Cosmo Kramer in the NBC television series Seinfeld, which was created by fellow Fridays cast member Larry David and comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Although it got off to a slow start, by the mid-1990s, the show had become one of the most popular sitcoms in television history. The series ended its nine-year run in 1998 at #1 in the Nielsen ratings. In the setting of Seinfeld, Kramer is usually referred to by his last name only and is the neighbor of the show's eponymous character. Kramer's first name, Cosmo, was revealed in the sixth-season episode "The Switch".

Richards won more Emmys than any other cast member on Seinfeld. He took home the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1993, 1994 and 1997.

Starting in 2004, he and his fellow Seinfeld cast members provided interviews and audio commentaries for the Seinfeld DVDs, but Richards stopped providing audio commentary after Season 5 though he continued to provide interviews.

The Michael Richards Show

In 2000, after the end of Seinfeld, Richards began work on a new series for NBC, his first major project since Seinfeld's finale. The Michael Richards Show, for which the actor received co-writer and co-executive producer credits, was originally conceived as a comedy/mystery starring Richards as a bumbling private investigator. However, after the first pilot failed with test audiences, NBC ordered that the show be retooled into a more conventional, office-based sitcom before its premiere. After a few weeks of poor ratings and negative reviews, it was cancelled.

2006 Laugh Factory incident

During a performance on November 17, 2006 at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, California Richards shouted a racist response to noise from black audience members, shouting "He's a nigger!" several times, and referring to lynching and the Jim Crow era.[6][16][17][18][19] Kyle Doss, a member of the group Richards addressed, said that the group had arrived in the middle of the performance, explaining:

[H]ere's what happened. As we walked in, we sat down and started ordering drinks. And, as we ordered drinks, I guess we're being a little loud, because there was 20 of us ordering drinks. And he said, "Look at the stupid Mexicans and blacks being loud up there." That's the first thing he said. And then he kept on with his bit. And, then, after a while, I told him, "My friend doesn't think you're funny." And then when I told him that, that's when he flipped me off and said, "F-you N-word." And that's how it all started.

— Kyle Doss, Interview on The Situation Room[20]

Richards made a public apology when he spoke via satellite on the Late Show with David Letterman, when Jerry Seinfeld was the guest, saying, "For me to be at a comedy club and to flip out and say this crap, I'm deeply, deeply sorry. I'm not a racist, that's what's so insane about this."[21] The audience initially laughed at Richards using the terms "Afromerican" and "Afro Americans" and during uncomfortable pauses in Richards' explanation and apology, unable to decide if the interview was a bit; at one point Seinfeld chided the audience, "Stop laughing, it's not funny." Richards said that he had been trying to defuse heckling by being even more outrageous, but that it had backfired. He later called civil rights leaders Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to apologize.[20][22] He also appeared as a guest on Jackson's syndicated radio show.[23] However both Doss and Sharpton have refused to accept Richards' apology, with the former saying "...if he wanted to apologize, he could have contacted somebody to one of us from the group...but he didn't. He apologized on camera just because the tape got out."[22][24]

The incident was later parodied on several TV shows, including MadTV, Family Guy, South Park, and Extras. In an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Richards appeared as himself and poked fun at the incident. In a 2012 episode of Seinfeld's web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Richards admitted that the outburst still haunted him, and was a major reason for his withdrawal from performing stand-up.[25]

Cameo roles, guest appearances, and film roles

Richards played himself in Episode 2 of Season 1 "The Flirt Episode" (1992) of the HBO series, The Larry Sanders Show. Richards also played a cameo role in the comedy thriller film So I Married an Axe Murderer, credited as "insensitive man". Richards played radio station employee Doug Beech in Airheads and co-starred with Jeff Daniels as an actor pretending to be a lawyer in 1997's Trial and Error. He also made guest appearances on Miami Vice, Night Court and Cheers. In 2007, Richards voiced character Bud Ditchwater in the animated film Bee Movie, which starred, and was produced by, Jerry Seinfeld. In 2009, Richards and the other main Seinfeld cast members appeared in the seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.[26] In 2012, Richards appeared in comedy web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, hosted by Jerry Seinfeld.[27] In 2014, Richards appeared as the president of Crackle in a trailer for Season 5. Seinfeld has said that the storyline of the trailer will be expanded upon in one of the episodes.

Richards played the role of Frank in the sitcom Kirstie, costarring Kirstie Alley and Rhea Perlman, premiering on TV Land on December 4, 2013.[7] The show was canceled after airing one season.[28]

Personal life

Richards was married to Cathleen Lyons, a family therapist, for 18 years. They have one daughter, Sophia (b. 1975). Richards and Lyons separated in 1992 and divorced a year later.[2][3] In 2010, Richards married longtime girlfriend Beth Skipp. They have been together since 2002 and have one son.[4]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1982 Young Doctors in Love Malamud Callahan
1984 The House of God Dr. Pinkus
1985 Transylvania 6-5000 Fejos
1986 Whoops Apocalypse Lacrobat
1989 UHF Stanley Spadowski
1990 Problem Child Martin Beck
1993 Coneheads Motel clerk
1993 So I Married an Axe Murderer Insensitive Man
1994 Airheads Doug Beech
1994 The Flintstones Paper Man
1995 Unstrung Heroes Danny Lidz Nominated—American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
1997 Redux Riding Hood The Wolf Voice
Short film
1997 Trial and Error Richard 'Ricky' Rietti
2007 Bee Movie Bud Ditchwater Voice
2013 Walk The Light Lester Short film

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1980–1982 Fridays Various roles 54 episodes; also writer
1982 Faerie Tale Theatre King Geoffeey Episode: "The Tale of the Frog Prince"
1983 Herndon Dr. Herndon P. Stool Television film
1984 Faerie Tale Theatre Vince Episode: "Pinocchio"
1984 At Your Service Rick the gardener Television film
1984 Night Court Eugene Sleighbough Episode: "Take My Wife, Please"
1984 The Ratings Game Sal Television film
1985 Tall Tales & Legends Sneaky Pete Episode: "My Darlin' Clementine"
1984–1985 St. Elsewhere Bill Wolf 5 episodes
1985 Cheers Eddie Gordon Episode: "Bar Bet"
1985 Scarecrow and Mrs. King Petronus Episode: "Car Wars"
1985 Slickers Mike Blade Television film
1985 It's a Living Hager Episode: "Desperate Hours"
1985 Hill Street Blues Special Agent Durpe Episode: "An Oy for an Oy"
1986 Miami Vice Pagone Episode: "The Fix"
1986 A Year in the Life Ronnie 3 episodes
1986 Fresno 2nd henchman 5 episodes
1987 Jonathan Winters: On the Ledge Various roles Television special
1987–1988 Marblehead Manor Rick 11 episodes
1989 Camp MTV Stanley Spadowski Television film
1989–1998 Seinfeld Cosmo Kramer 178 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1993–94, 1997)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (1995, 1997–98)
Nominated—American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Male in a Television Series
Nominated—American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Male in a Television Series (shared with Jason Alexander)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1995–96)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series (1996–98)
1992 Dinosaurs Director Voice
Episode: "Wesayso Knows Best"
1992 Mad About You Cosmo Kramer Episode: "The Apartment"
1992 The Larry Sanders Show Himself Episode: "The Flirt Episode"
1996 London Suite Mark Ferris Television film
2000 David Copperfield Mr. Wilkins Micawber Television film
2000 The Michael Richards Show Vic Nardozza 7 episodes; also co-creator and executive producer
2009 Curb Your Enthusiasm Michael Richards 3 episodes
2014 Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Michael Richards 3 episodes
2013–2014 Kirstie Frank 12 episodes

References

  1. ^ McDermid, Charles (July 13, 2007). "Richards finds solace in Cambodia". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Michael Richards Tv's Top Jive-talking Hipster-doofus Fell for His Audience, and Vice Versa. Farewell, Cosmo, and Giddyup!". People. May 14, 1998. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
  3. ^ a b Lipton, Michael A. (March 8, 1993). "Man Overboard!". People. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Lacher, Irene (December 1, 2013). "Michael Richards goes for a drive". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  5. ^ Falls, Michelle (December 6, 2013). "First Look at Michael Richards' Adorable Son Antonio—See the Precious Pics!". E!. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  6. ^ a b TMZ Staff (2006). ""Kramer's" Racist Tirade – Caught on Tape". In The Zone. TMZ.com. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
  7. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesely (February 15, 2013). "TV Land Orders Kirstie Alley-Michael Richards Comedy to Series". The Hollywood Reporter.
  8. ^ https://www.huffingtonpost.com/martin-lewis/michael-richards-is-not-j_b_34772.html
  9. ^ "Michael Richards Biography (1949?-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2010-10-12.
  10. ^ Barbara DeMarco Barrett (June 1997). "The Spaz at Home". Orange Coast Magazine. p. 34.
  11. ^ "NewsLibrary.com – newspaper archive, clipping service – newspapers and other news sources". April 30, 1995.
  12. ^ Michael Richards 'Speaking Freely' transcript via First Amendment Center, Recorded February 28, 2002, in Aspen, Colorado Archived March 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Andy Kaufman on Fridays from FridaysFan. Funnyordie.com. February 11, 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  14. ^ "Michael Richards – First Amendment Center – news, commentary, analysis on free speech, press, religion, assembly, petition".
  15. ^ from "Mr Monk and His Origins," a special feature packaged with the Season One DVDs.
  16. ^ Mariel Concepción (2006). "Comedian Michael "Kramer" Richards Goes into Racial Tirade, Banned From Laugh Factory". News wire. VIBE.com. Archived from the original on December 31, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
  17. ^ ""Seinfeld" Comic Richards Apologizes for Racial Rant". Washingtonpost.com. November 21, 2006. Retrieved 2010-10-12.
  18. ^ "Richards 'deeply, deeply sorry' for racial slurs". CBC arts. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. November 20, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
  19. ^ ""Seinfeld" Star Richards Under Fire For Racial Outburst". News wire. Reuters. November 20, 2006. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
  20. ^ a b "The Situation Room transcript". The Situation Room. CNN. 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-04.
  21. ^ "CNN Newsroom". CNN.com. 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
  22. ^ a b "Sharpton: Comedian's apology not enough". CNN. November 23, 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
  23. ^ "Jesse Jackson Talks To Michael Richards: Jackson Says Apology For Actor's Racist Rant Is Only A Beginning Before Healing". News wire. CBS. November 25, 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
  24. ^ Kyle Doss wants reparations for Kramer calling him a nigger at YouTube
  25. ^ "Michael Richards It's Bubbly Time, Jerry – Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee by Jerry Seinfeld". Comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com. Archived from the original on May 11, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  26. ^ "'Curb Your Enthusiasm' hosts a 'Seinfeld' reunion". Zap2It.com. March 6, 2009. Archived from the original on July 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
  27. ^ "Richards appears on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee". Archived from the original on October 2, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
  28. ^ "TV Land cancels 'Kirstie'". Entertainment Weekly and Time Inc. Retrieved July 30, 2014.

External links

This page was last edited on 8 January 2019, at 02:56
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