Michael was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on September 7, 1954 and was raised in Toledo, Iowa. He graduated from Drake University with a degree in Theater in 1976 and moved to New York City where he worked as a magazine illustrator for many years. A relocation to Florida revived his interest in acting and he pursued it as a career in the South during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. He eventually attended the Masters program at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, graduating in 1995. He is married to actress Carrie Preston and they live in New York City with a little gray dog named Chumley.
MICHAEL EMERSON made his New York stage debut playing Oscar Wilde in Moises Kaufman’s GROSS INDECENCY. He has appeared on Broadway in THE ICEMAN COMETH with Kevin Spacey and HEDDA GABLER opposite Kate Burton. Off-Broadway and regional work includes plays by Shakespeare, Moliere, Friel and LaGarce at The Roundabout, Arena Stage, McCarter, Huntington and many other theaters. Film credits include THE IMPOSTERS, PLAYING BY HEART, STRAIGHT JACKET, SAW, and THE LEGEND OF ZORRO. On television he has played a number of damaged or sinister characters on programs like THE X-FILES, the LAW AND ORDERs, WITHOUT A TRACE, THE INSIDE and many others, including a turn as the might-be serial-killer William Hinks on THE PRACTICE for which he received a 2001 Emmy Award. In 2006 Michael became a regular on the ABC series LOST, playing Benjamin Linus, dangerous leader of the “Others”. For this role he was nominated for the Emmy four times, winning it in 2009. Currently, he plays the character Finch on PERSON OF INTEREST.