Within four years of his film debut in Zebrahead (1993), Michael Rapaport (born March 20th, 1970) became one of Hollywood's hardest-working and most versatile supporting/character actors. He began as a standup comedian, but turned to acting after landing a guest-starring role in a 1990 episode of the ABC television drama China Beach. Rapaport's portrayal in Zebrahead of a Jewish teen struggling to survive in an African-American-dominated Detroit neighborhood while romantically involved with a black girl earned him considerable acclaim and a nomination for an Independent Feature Project Spirit Award. After that, he did a bit more television work and his career remained low-key until the following year, when he suddenly burst back onto the screen in four major films: True Romance, Point of No Return, Money for Nothing, and Poetic Justice. Some of Rapaport's notable subsequent roles include that of a college student who mistakenly attempts to find his niche by becoming a skinhead in John Singleton's Higher Learning (1995) and that of a slightly dim prizefighter set up for a blind date with a goodhearted hooker in Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite (1995). In 1998, Rapaport co-starred in the Showtime cable network's black comedy series about the zany world of substance abuse recovery programs Rude Awakening. That year, Rapaport also appeared in the films Palmetto and Some Girls. Rappaport worked in film sporadically throughout the 2000, but found some success in Metro, Deep Blue Sea, and Higher Learning. However, the actor is much more recognized for his work in the television shows Boston Public, Prison Break, and the War at Home.
Biography by Sandra Brennan
- Garnered an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his first movie, 1992's Zebrahead.
- Idolized Eddie Murphy as a teen and eventually worked with him on the 1997 film Metro.
- Directed an episode of Boston Public, in which he played teacher Danny Hanson.
- Has done voice work for video games, including Scarface: The World Is Yours and Grand Theft Auto III.
- A hip-hop fan, he made his movie directorial debut with the 2011 documentary Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest.