A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School, Michael Stuhlbarg began his career on the stage, appearing in Broadway productions like Cabaret, Taking Sides, and The Pillow Man ( for which he earned a Tony award nomination). Stuhlbarg's career also occasionally landed him onscreen, where he made a handful of appearances in films like Body of Lies and Cold Souls. In 2009, he was cast in the lead role as a troubled professor in the Coen Brothers film A Serious Man, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination. He played a film historian in Martin Scorsese's Hugo, the time-jumping center of Men in Black 3, and Lew Wasserman in the biopic Hitchcock. On the small screen, he was memorable as the gambler Arnold Rothstein on the HBO period gangster series Boardwalk Empire.
Biography by Cammila Collar
- Became interested in acting at age 11 during a community-theater production of Bye Bye Birdie. Bored with stage crew, he improvised during rehearsal, pretending to be drunk, and was asked to act.
- Studied at the National Youth Theatre in London, England.
- Won a contest at UCLA to study mime with Marcel Marceau.
- While at Juilliard, started drawing sketches of his characters before he played them on stage.
- Appeared in the 1993 Broadway production of Three Men on a Horse alongside Tony Randall, Jack Klugman and Jerry Stiller.
- Received a Tony nomination and a Drama Desk Award for his role in the 2005 play The Pillowman.
- Got the leading role in the Coen brothers' 2009 film A Serious Man after auditioning for multiple roles because the Coens couldn't decide which part was best for him. "We would have cloned him if we could," said Joel Coen.