When casting the role of Apollo for the now-famous episode of Star Trek — “Who Mourns For Adonais?” — there was a call out for an actor who could handle Shakespeare’s dialogue while having the stature necessary for the character. Michael was appearing at the Globe Theatre at the time, and was the sole actor recommended for the part. Mike reprised his role of Apollo in the first episode of the award-winning web series Star Trek Continues (“Pilgrim of Eternity”).
Throughout the late 50s and 60s, Michael was under contract to Warner Bros. and Universal Studios. He starred or co-starred in numerous TV series of that era, while appearing on-stage in regional theatres around the country. Some of Michael’s favorites — besides Zorro with Guy Williams — include his recurring role on The Alaskans with Roger Moore; the popular Twilight Zone episode (in which he played one of three alien black leather-jacketed motorcycle riders); an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show; and a Doctor Kildare episode with Molly Picon entitled “The Eleventh Commandment.”
From 1968 to 1978, Michael lived in Rome and made films throughout Europe. Upon arrival he was immediately cast in 100 Rifles, and went on to make twenty-six films (and dubbed over 500!) while he lived in Italy. His last feature overseas was Mohammed (also known as The Messenger).
After returning to Los Angeles in 1979, Michael was asked to co-star in the film Shark Fighters with Franco Nero in Cozumel. He was subsequently contracted to play the leading role of Nick Andropolous on As the World Turns, for which he relocated to New York City. He remained there for the length of his contract (and even traveled to Greece to shoot segments of the soap opera). While living in New York, Michael was cast in the Broadway show Breakfast With Les and Bes. Finally, after a few years on The Catlins in Atlanta, Michael returned to Los Angeles where he’s worked in film, TV, stage, and voice-over on hundreds of films and animated series.
Michael is a member of Theatre 40, where he has appeared in many productions. He was recently nominated for Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama for his performance in Painting Churches.