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Michael Shannon - Biography

American Actor Michael Shannon started out in theatre before making his mark on Hollywood 

Close up of Michael Shannon at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations event in June 2023
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Michael Shannon's Early Life 

Born on August 7, 1974, in Lexington, Kentucky, Michael Shannon first came to prominence on the Chicago stage scene, helping found A Red Orchid Theatre and appearing in productions mounted by the prestigious Steppenwolf Theatre Company, which is where he met his wife Kate Arrington.

Michael Shannon's Personal Life

Michael and his wife Kate share two daughters, Sylvia (born in 2008) and Marion Shannon. Of fatherhood, the actor admitted: “You don’t understand until it actually happens. Your imagination can’t prepare you for what a powerful experience it is. It’s literally like a new nerve is inserted into your body and it runs straight into your heart, and it’s directly related to this other person.”

Michael Shannon's Rise to Fame

Michael may have started out with a respectable stage career, but he's since made his mark on the big screen.  In 2001 he had substantial roles in Pearl Harbour and the Tom Cruise flick Vanilla Sky. Six years later his career received a major boost with his turn as a paranoid loner who finds love with Ashley Judd in the drama Bug

Then came Revolutionary Road, in which Michael shared the screen with Kate and Leonardo DiCaprio in the tale of a failing marriage. Although his character, Kathy Bates' emotionally unstable son, had only two scenes, he ended up scoring a nod for best supporting actor at the 2009 Academy Awards. The film also brought more work, specifically in indie fare such as My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done with Chloe Sevigny, and the Mickey Rourke movie 13, as well as Boardwalk Empire, Martin Scorcese's TV drama series chronicling the rise of casino mecca Atlantic City.

After stealing endless scenes as a supporting actor, Michael eventually transitioned to bigger roles. Among his best loved, in 2013 Zach Snyder cast the star as the villainous General in Zod in his Superman movie, Man of Steel (2013). Michael has continued to reprise his role in various DC movies, including Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and The Flash (2023).  He's also held his own in critically-acclaimed flicks and big-budget blockbusters like The Shape of Water (2017),  Knives Out (2019), Bullet Train (2022) and Amsterdam (2022). 

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