Michael Moriarty Biography

Songwriter, Pianist, Theater Actor, Television Actor, Actor (1941–)
Michael Moriarty is an Emmy, Tony, and Golden Globe Award-winning actor best known for his role as Executive District Attorney Ben Stone on Law & Order.


Michael Moriarty was born on April 5, 1941 in Detroit, Michigan. He attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art on a Fulbright. He won Emmy Awards for his roles in The Glass Menagerie and the Holocaust miniseries with Meryl Streep. In 1990 he started a four-season run on NBC's Law & Order. Moriarty is an accomplished composer and jazz pianist. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


Actor, playwright, musician, composer. Born April 5, 1941, in Detroit, Michigan. Moriarty attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and graduated in 1963. After making his stage debut as Octavius in Anthony and Cleopatra at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Moriarty relocated to London to attend the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Upon his return to New York, he won an Emmy Award for his role as Jim in the television production of The Glass Menagerie and subsequently earned a Tony Award for his portrayal of homosexual Julian Weston in Find Your Own Way (1974). In 1997, he won yet another Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award for his work in the miniseries Holocaust with Meryl Streep.

A slew of television roles followed, some more notable than others, but Moriarty had trouble making a transition to the big screen. In 1990, he debuted as a series regular on NBC's Law & Order, playing Executive District Attorney Ben Stone. He remained with the show until he was fired in 1994, at which point he claimed that producers were blacklisting him for speaking out against U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno's "censorship" of Hollywood.

Despite the controversy, Moriarty continued on with his career, playing Henry Higgins in the Broadway revival of My Fair Lady and portraying Denzel Washington's superior officer in Courage Under Fire (1996). Regardless of his ups and downs, Moriarty is still considered one of the greatest character actors on television.

The multitalented Moriarty also penned the play Flight to the Fatherland, which was performed in Rochester, New York, in 1982, and is an accomplished composer and jazz pianist, having released two jazz albums in the early 1990s. He has been twice divorced and has one child, Matthew Christopher, from his first marriage to Francoise Martinet. He currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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