John Michael Higgins

Active - 1989 - 2018  |   Born - Feb 12, 1963 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Nathan Southern

Born February 12, 1963, John Michael Higgins is a character player who evinced a flair for comedic portrayals of middle-aged types, actor John Michael Higgins jump-started his career with a dead-on evocation of David Letterman in the made-for-cable comedy The Late Shift -- a picture about the cutthroat war between Letterman and Jay Leno to be crowned "King of Late Night Talk." Higgins followed this auspicious and covetable assignment with small roles in Barry Levinson's scathing political satire Wag the Dog (1997) and a guest appearance as one of Elaine's issue-ridden boyfriends on Seinfeld, but made his most substantial impression as an occasional character on Ally McBeal -- that of Steven Milter, an attorney who doubled as a psychoanalyst of Ally's.

Beginning with Best in Show (2000), Higgins enjoyed a multi-film run on the big screen with Christopher Guest and his regular mockumentary collaborators that also included the farces A Mighty Wind (2003) and For Your Consideration (2006). He also had a recurring role as an attorney Wayne Jarvis on the critically acclaimed sitcom Arrested Development and supplied the voice of Mentok the Mindtaker for the animated comedy series Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. Back on the big screen, Higgins essayed two A-list supporting roles in 2007, in the Steve Carell-headlined farce Evan Almighty and the holiday-themedFred Claus starring Vince Vaughn. Higgins joined Vaughn again in Couples Retreat (2009), a romantic comedy following a group of couples who arrive on a tropical island only to find out they are required to participate in couples therapy in order to stay. He appeared on the FX television series Wilford in 2011, and joined the cast of the sitcom Happily Divorced, in which he co-stars with Fran Drescher (his real life ex-wife) as a man who amicably ended his marriage after coming to terms with his homosexuality. After working with Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz in the moderately successful comedy Bad Teacher in 2011, the actor played a small role in the 2012 adventure drama Big Miracle, which follows the plight of a journalist and volunteer who go to extreme lengths to save a beached whale.

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  • Studied literature and sang in an a cappella group at Amherst College.
  • Originated the title role in Paul Rudnick's 1993 Off-Broadway comedy Jeffrey.
  • Portrayed David Letterman in 1996's The Late Shift, an account of the battle between Letterman and Jay Leno to succeed Johnny Carson.
  • Played Kurt, Elaine's balding boyfriend, in a 1997 Seinfeld episode.
  • Earned a Drama Desk nomination as Outstanding Actor in a Play for portraying tennis legend Bill Tilden in A.R. Gurney's Big Bill in 2004.
  • Featured in a series of humorous 2008 DirecTV commercials poking fun at other cable providers.