Anthony Michael Hall biography
Born on April 14, 1968 in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, Anthony Michael Hall starred in the ‘80s John Hughes teen films Sixteen Candles, Weird Science and The Breakfast Club before landing a role on Saturday Night Love. He was featured in ‘90s movies like Edward Scissorhands and Six Degrees of Separation and later had the lead role in the TV series The Dead Zone, adapted from a Stephen King novel.
Actor Anthony Michael Hall was born Michael Anthony Thomas Charles Hall on April 14, 1968, in Boston, Massachusetts. After a successful film career in the 1980s, Anthony Michael Hall has found a second act for his career in television. The son of a singer, he got his start in show business at an early age. Spending much of his childhood in New York City, Hall started out in commercials and landed his first important stage role at the age of eight. He played a younger version of comedian Steve Allen in The Wake.
His first film, Six Pack (1982), failed to make much of an impact at the box office. But his second movie helped him become of the most popular young comedic actors of the decade. Hall starred in Vacation (1983) as Rusty Griswold, and held his own against well-known comedic talents of Chevy Chase, playing his son.
The film follows the misadventures of the Griswold family as they drive cross-country to an amusement park called Walley World. The screenplay was written by John Hughes who would go on to create some of Hall’s other memorable film characters.
Hughes picked Hall for his teenage romantic comedy, Sixteen Candles (1984). Hall played a girl-crazy geek known as Farmer Ted, who spent much of the film chasing after Molly Ringwald’s character. Both Hall and Ringwald reunited with Hughes on the popular teen drama, The Breakfast Club (1985). Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Emilio Estevez rounded out the rest of the cast. The five portrayed teens representing different parts of school culture-the geek, the jock, the rich girl, the wacko, and the criminal. These stereotypes started to break down as they served in-school detention together. Hall continued to play an overachiever with his next big role in Weird Science (1985).
Hall was considered by the media to be part of the “Brat Pack” - a label given to a group of up-and-coming young actors that included his cast members from The Breakfast Club and several others. Also around this time, he was a cast member of the late night comedy show, Saturday Night Live, but he only lasted for one season. Despite his popularity, his personal and professional life began to take a nosedive as the decade neared its end. Hall made several poorly received films, including Out of Bounds (1986) and Johnny Be Good (1988), and developed a drinking problem.
'The Dead Zone'
While he continued to act in films and on television, Hall's career was relatively quiet for some time.
His next big break came in 1999. He earned strong reviews for playing computer software titan Bill Gates in the television movie Pirates of Silicon Valley. Taking on the world of sports, Hall played the legendary pitcher Whitey Ford in the HBO baseball film 61* in 2001.
The next year he began working on his first television series, The Dead Zone, based on a Stephen King novel. For six seasons, Hall has portrayed Johnny Smith, a school teacher who awakes from a coma to discover he has special powers. In addition to playing the lead character, he serves as a producer on the show.
In addition to his work on television, he started the Anthony Michael Hall Literacy Club to help at-risk youth. He lives in Los Angeles.