Immortalized as Cosmo Kramer on the classic American sitcom Seinfeld (1989), L.A. comedy star Michael Richards was born in Culver City, California, to Phyllis (Nardozzi), a records librarian, and William Richards, an electrical engineer. He is of British and Italian descent. He developed an early interest in acting in high school. He attended the California Institute of the Arts and graduated at Evergreen State College in Washington with his BFA in drama. Around this time, he founded an improv company with Ed Begley Jr. although it didn't last long. Michael interrupted his fledgling career with a two-year stint in the Army and lived a rather wanderlust lifestyle until finally grounding himself again in theater. First performing with the San Diego Repertory Company, he subsequently returned to L.A. where he developed a stand-up comedy act.Inspired by the physical comedy of such legends as Charles Chaplin and Jacques Tati, he paid his dues on the comedy circuit until comedian Billy Crystal noticed him and gave him a break on one of his comedy specials. Michael earned a regular spot on the sketch comedy series Fridays (1980), where he created the character of Battle Boy who liked to blow up army soldiers. He also appeared in such minor slapstick films as Young Doctors in Love (1982) and Transylvania 6-5000 (1985).Everything finally came together for the elastic-faced comedian in 1989, after being cast as Cosmo Kramer, Jerry Seinfeld's convulsive, frizzy-mopped neighbor and pal on Seinfeld (1989). The frenzied character earned him three Emmy awards and instant cult status. What can be a blessing, however, can also be a curse. So strongly identified with the Kramer character, Michael has major concerns once the series ended in 1998.Despite great comedy work in the films Unstrung Heroes (1995) and Trial and Error (1997), he didn't nab a strong career in film. Meanwhile, a subsequent sitcom vehicle The Michael Richards Show (2000), in which he served as creator, co-writer, and co-executive producer, went down the tubes quickly after his character was criticized as too one-note and "Kramer-esque" in style. Like other similar actors before him, such as Carroll O'Connor, the versatile Michael is smartly riding out the Kramer storm until he finds the right time to resurface. That time to resurface was in late 2006. However, it was for all the wrong reasons. He was caught on tape at a Los Angeles comedy club, delivering a racist tirade directed at two African-American hecklers. Although he has repeatedly apologized through the media, it is unknown what damage this may do to his career.
Won 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 20 nominations.
|Kirstie||Frank Baxter 12 episodes, 2013-2014||2013-12-04|
|Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee||Unknown||2012-07-19|
|Pioneers of Television||Kramer - Seinfeld||2008-01-02|
|Curb Your Enthusiasm||Unknown||2000-10-15|
|The Daily Show||Unknown||1996-07-22|
|The Tonight Show with Jay Leno||Unknown||1992-05-25|
|The Larry Sanders Show||Unknown||1992-08-15|
|Mad About You||Unknown||1992-09-23|
|Seinfeld||Kramer / ... 170 episodes, 1989-1998||1989-07-05|
|The Oprah Winfrey Show||Unknown||1986-01-07|
|Scarecrow and Mrs. King||Unknown||1983-10-03|
|Faerie Tale Theatre||Unknown||1982-09-11|
|Hill Street Blues||Unknown||1981-01-15|