Michael Jeter was born in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. His mother, Virginia (née Raines; May 6, 1927), was a housewife. His father, William Claud Jeter (March 10, 1922 – March 1, 2010), was a dentist. Jeter had one brother, William, and four sisters, Virginia, Amanda, Emily, and Larie. Jeter was a student at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis) when his interests changed from medicine to acting. He performed in several plays and musicals at the Circuit Theatre and its sister theatre, the Playhouse on the Square, in midtown Memphis. He left Memphis to further pursue his stage career in Baltimore, Maryland.
His woebegone look, extreme flexibility, and high energy led Tommy Tune to cast him in the off-Broadway play Cloud 9 in 1981. Much of his work specialized in playing eccentric, pretentious, or wimpy characters, as in The Fisher King, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Drop Zone. Occasionally, Jeter was able to stay away from these types of roles for more diverse characters like those he portrayed in Jurassic Park III, Air Bud and Open Range.
Michael Jeter was a Tony– and Emmy-winning American actor of film, stage, and television. He his best known as Herman Stiles on the sitcom Evening Shade from 1990 until 1994 and for playing Mr. Noodle's brother, Mr. Noodle on Elmo's World from 2000 until 2003. His film roles include Zelig, Waterworld, Air Bud, The Green Mile, Jurassic Park III and The Polar Express. He died on March 30, 2003. Although he had HIV, he had been in good health for many years. His partner since 1995 was Sean Blue.
He was also a favorite with younger audiences in his role as Mr. Noodle's brother, Mr. Noodle on Sesame Street from 1999 to 2003. He appeared in an episode of Touched by an Angel in 1999 as Gus, an insurance salesman who arrives in Las Vegas in the episode "The Man Upstairs". His last two appearances were in the films The Polar Express and Open Range. Both films were in Post-production at the time of his death and, when released, contained a dedication to his memory.
In 1990, Jeter won a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway musical Grand Hotel. He won an Emmy Award in 1992 for his role in the television sitcom Evening Shade as math teacher and assistant football coach Herman Stiles.
The Work of an Actor by Michael Woolson
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Quite Specific Media Group Ltd (September 1, 2010)
Amazon: The Work of an Actor
Amazon Kindle: The Work of an Actor
The Work of an Actor sets a new industry standard that provides reference tools like no other. As a result, it delivers a wealth of clear, detailed instructions and inspiration for giving unforgettably captivating performances for actors of all levels. With more than twenty years of experience in acting, coaching, and directing, Michael Woolson not only shares the essential foundation and mechanics of acting in a clear and concise manner but he also demystifies sitcom technique, playing a killer, creating authentic fear, making sense of bad direction, how to audition effectively, and building layered character work. Plus, he introduces the most extensive chapter ever written on how to give believable drug-induced performances without drugs as well as the first-ever list of great dialects in films to use as research.
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