Michael Emerson was born in 1954 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and grew up in nearby Toledo. He attended Drake University in Iowa, graduating in 1976 with a degree in Theatre Arts and moved to New York City, New York. Unable to find work as an actor, Emerson took retail jobs and worked as a freelance illustrator for publications like The Boston Globe and The New York Times. In 1986, he moved to Jacksonville, Florida and acted in local productions through 1993. In 1993, Emerson enrolled in the Alabama Shakespeare Festival's University of Alabama-sponsored Master of Fine Arts/Professional Actor Training program. Graduating in 1995, he returned to New York and appeared in the annual Alabama Shakespeare Festival showcase. Divorced once, Emerson married actress Carrie Preston in September of 1998.
While acting in regional theater productions, Michael Emerson got his big break in 1997 when he starred as Oscar Wilde in the off-broadway play, Gross Indecency: The Trials of Oscar Wilde. The following year he acted in the off-Broadway production of The Misanthrope with Uma Thurman and in 1999's The Iceman Cometh with Kevin Spacey. In 2000 to 2001, Emerson moved into television, playing a confessed serial killer in several episodes of The Practice for which he won a 2001 Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. A few years later he then appeared in the 2004 horror movie Saw as Zep Hindle. He currently plays Benjamin Linus on ABC's Lost.
|Lost||Benjamin "Ben" Linus||2006–2010||3||4||5||6|
|Person of Interest||Harold Finch||2011–||1||2||3||4||5|
Guest Starring Roles
|Orpheus Descending||Clown||September 24, 1990|
|Grace & Glorie||Arnold Dudley||December 13, 1998||Hallmark Hall of Fame (specials)|
Awards and Accolades
(3 Nominations, 2 Wins)
- Nominated: Best Guest Actor or Actress in a Drama Series (2005-06)
- Won: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2006-07)
- Won: Readers' Choice Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2006-07)
(2 Wins in 5 Nominations)
- Won: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (2001)
- Won: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2009)