Anthony Michael Hall was 14 when he essayed his first screen role in the Kenny Rogers vehicle Six Pack. With his cracked voice, skinny frame, and unkempt hair, Hall went on to play nerds and dweebs in such films as Sixteen Candles (1984) and The Breakfast Club (1985), working so well under the direction of John Hughes that there were those who assumed that Hughes was treating the young actor as an alter ego, reliving his own "misfit" high school years. Hall's film career temporary eclipsed in 1985, partly as the result of a disastrous personal-appearance tour during which the actor behaved in a fashion that could charitably be described as bizarre. He showed up as a regular on TV's Saturday Night Live later that year, and as he grew older, became too athletic and self-assured to continue in his previous "clueless" vein. Hall's professional second life as a character actor began with his villainous performance in Edward Scissorhands (1990). He turned to directing with the 1994 theatrical feature Hail Caesar, in which he cast himself as a relentlessly obnoxious rock star. In 2001, he starred as Whitey Ford in Billy Crystal's made-for-TV movie 61*, but his big comeback role would come in 2002, with the starring role on the seires Stephen King's Dead Zone.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Made his stage debut in a 1977 Philadelphia production of the Steve Allen play The Wake.
- Made his big-screen debut in 1982 dramedy Six Pack, starring Kenny Rogers and Diane Lane.
- Was a regular on sketch-comedy show Saturday Night Live during the 1985-86 season; at 17, he was the youngest person ever to join the cast.
- Following roles in John Hughes' popular teen comedies Sixteen Candles (1984) and The Breakfast Club (1985), reportedly turned down parts the director wrote for him in the back-to-back 1986 hits Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
- Nominated for a 2003 Saturn Award for Best Actor (Television) for sci-fi series The Dead Zone, adapted from Stephen King's novel of the same name.
- Had a cameo as a newscaster in The Dark Knight (2008) and appeared in-character in a viral-marketing campaign for the film.