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Michael Shannon
Shannon in 2023
Michael Corbett Shannon

(1974-08-07) August 7, 1974 (age 49)
Occupation Actor, producer
Years active 1992–present
Kate Arrington
(m. 2017)
Children 2
Relatives Raymond Corbett Shannon (grandfather)
Awards Full list

Michael Corbett Shannon (born August 7, 1974) is an American actor. He is a frequent collaborator with director Jeff Nichols, having appeared in Nichols' films Shotgun Stories (2007), Take Shelter (2011), Mud (2012), Midnight Special and Loving (both 2016), and The Bikeriders (2023). Shannon received two Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nominations, for Revolutionary Road (2008), and Nocturnal Animals (2016). He received Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for his role in 99 Homes (2014).

Shannon's film debut was in Groundhog Day (1993). He has also appeared in 8 Mile (2002), Bad Boys II (2003), Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007), The Iceman (2012), Premium Rush (2012), The Night Before (2015), Elvis & Nixon (2016), The Shape of Water (2017), Knives Out (2019), Bullet Train (2022), and Amsterdam (2022). He played General Zod in the DC Extended Universe films Man of Steel (2013) and The Flash (2023).

Shannon made his Broadway debut in the 2012 play Grace. He returned to Broadway playing James Tyrone Jr. in the revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night (2016), earning a Tony Award nomination. His television roles include a role as Nelson Van Alden in the HBO period drama series Boardwalk Empire (2010–2014) for which he was nominated for three Screen Actors Guild Awards. He starred in Hulu's Nine Perfect Strangers (2021), and Showtime's George & Tammy (2022), for which he received a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award.

Early life

Shannon was born on August 7, 1974, in Lexington, Kentucky, to Donald Sutherlin Shannon, an accounting professor at DePaul University, and Geraldine Hine, a lawyer. His paternal grandfather was entomologist Raymond Corbett Shannon.

After Shannon's parents divorced, he alternated time with them, living with his mother in Lexington and in Chicago, Illinois, with his father. He attended New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, Illinois for two years before moving to Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky for his junior year. While in Lexington, he participated in the Lexington Children's Theatre summer camp and played bass in his first band, The Jehovah Suspects. He returned to Chicago for his senior year at Evanston Township High School, where he dropped out after a semester.


Shannon's first film role was the main character in the music video for the Every Mother's Nightmare song "House of Pain", where he played a troubled teenager who had run away from his abusive home. Shannon performed on stage in Chicago, where he helped found A Red Orchid Theatre. He worked with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Northlight Theatre. Shannon originated the role of Peter Evans in Bug in 1996 and starred in the 2006 film adaptation. His roles in Bug and Killer Joe were written by Steppenwolf ensemble member Tracy Letts.

In 1993, Shannon made his film debut in Groundhog Day as a wedding groom. He had roles in Jesus' Son, Pearl Harbor, 8 Mile, Vanilla Sky, Kangaroo Jack, Bad Boys II, and a role in Grand Theft Parsons as hippie Larry Oster-Berg.

Shannon appeared in Let's Go to Prison in 2006, where he portrayed Lynard, the leader of a prison white supremacist group. He appeared in a production of Woyzeck in the West End in London, under the direction of Sarah Kane. In 2008, Shannon was featured in the off-Broadway production of Stephen Adly Guirgis's The Little Flower of East Orange, presented by LAByrinth Theater Company and The Public Theater, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman.

In 2008, he starred in the romantic drama film Revolutionary Road, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. His performance as the clinically insane son earned him universal acclaim, and won the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In 2010, he portrayed Doc Cross Williams in the film adaptation of Jonah Hex. Shannon played Federal Prohibition agent Nelson Van Alden in the HBO television show Boardwalk Empire, which began in 2010. In November of that year, he began starring in the one man play Mistakes Were Made at the Barrow Street Theatre in New York City, with performances having run through February 27, 2012. Shannon had performed the show in 2009 at A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago.

Shannon (far right) with Robert Davi and Stephen Dorff at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

In 2011, Shannon starred in the drama film Take Shelter. He received rave reviews for his performance, and a Saturn Award for Best Actor. In 2012, he played a corrupt cop in the film Premium Rush, written and directed by David Koepp, and appeared on Broadway along with Paul Rudd and Ed Asner in Grace written by Craig Wright. In 2013, he starred as legendary mob hitman Richard Kuklinski in The Iceman, which was distributed in May 2013. Also in 2013, Shannon portrayed General Zod, the main antagonist in Zack Snyder's film Man of Steel. Shannon portrayed music icon Elvis Presley alongside Kevin Spacey as President Richard Nixon in Elvis & Nixon.

In 2015, he performed in the biographical drama Freeheld, and the independent drama 99 Homes, as housing agent Rick Carver, a role that earned him nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. Shannon played Mr. Green in The Night Before in 2015.

Shannon starred in the 2016 psychological thriller film Nocturnal Animals, with Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. His performance as a detective investigating a double homicide garnered him critical acclaim and a second nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

In 2017, Shannon played Col. Richard Strickland in Guillermo del Toro's romantic fantasy film The Shape of Water. The film premiered at the 74th Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion.

Shannon played the lead role as Gary Noesner in Waco on Paramount Network in 2018. He appeared in Long Way Back Home, an extended film clip for the song of the same name by Memphis country-punk rock band, Lucero, from its album Among The Ghosts. Lucero's frontman, Ben Nichols, is the older brother of frequent Shannon collaborator, Jeff Nichols. Shannon contributed spoken world vocals to Lucero's "Back To The Night", also from Among The Ghosts.

In 2019, Shannon joined an ensemble cast in Rian Johnson's mystery film Knives Out, portraying Walt Thrombey.

In 2021, Shannon played Napoleon Marconi in the Hulu miniseries Nine Perfect Strangers, based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty.

Shannon reprised his role as General Zod in The Flash, released by Warner Bros. in 2023.

In April 2022, a follow-up series to Waco, titled American Tragedies: Waco – The Trials was announced and was set to premiere on Paramount+ in 2023. It centers on the fallout from the Waco siege as well as the emerging patriot movement. In February 2023, the series was retitled Waco: The Aftermath and would instead premiere on Showtime on April 16, 2023. Shannon also serves as an executive producer for the show.

Personal life

In 2002, Shannon formed the indie rock band Corporal, with Ray Rizzo and Rob Beitzel, in which he sings and writes lyrics. In 2010, Corporal released its self-titled debut album. The first track, "Glory", was released in 2011 and the second song, "Obama", was released in June 2012 as the band's endorsement of President Obama's run for reelection.

Shannon married actress Kate Arrington towards the end of 2017 whom he had dated since 2002. They have two daughters, Sylvia, born in 2008 and Marion in 2011. They live in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York.



Year Title Role Notes
1993 Groundhog Day Fred
1996 Chain Reaction Flower Delivery Man
1997 Chicago Cab Crack Head
1999 Jesus' Son Dundun
The Ride Jimmy
2000 The Photographer Maurice
Tigerland Sergeant Filmore
Cecil B. Demented Petie
Mullitt Phil Kunz Short film
2001 Pearl Harbor Lt. Gooz Wood
New Port South John Stanton
Vanilla Sky Aaron
2002 High Crimes Troy Abbott
8 Mile Greg Buehl
2003 Kangaroo Jack Frankie Lombardo
Bad Boys II Floyd Poteet
Grand Theft Parsons Larry Oster-Berg
2004 Water Bobby Matherson
Criminal Gene
Dead Birds Clyde
Zamboni Man Walt, Zamboni Man Short film
The Woodsman Rosen
2006 Bug Peter Evans
World Trade Center Dave Karnes
Let's Go to Prison Lynard
Marvelous John
2007 Shotgun Stories Son Hayes
Blackbird Murl
Lucky You Ray Zumbro
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead Dex
2008 Revolutionary Road John Givings Jr.
2009 The Missing Person John Rosow
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Mundt
The Greatest Jordan Walker
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? Brad McCullum
2010 The Runaways Kim Fowley
Herbert White Herbert White Short film
13 Henry
Jonah Hex Dr. Cross Williams
2011 Take Shelter Curtis LaForche
Return Mike
The Broken Tower Emile Opffer
Machine Gun Preacher Donnie
2012 Mud Uncle Galen
Premium Rush Bobby Monday
The Iceman Richard Kuklinski
2013 Man of Steel General Zod
The Harvest Richard Young
2014 Young Ones Ernest Holm
They Came Together Spike Cameo
She's Funny That Way Policeman Macy's Cameo
99 Homes Rick Carver
2015 Freeheld Dane Wells
The Night Before Mr. Green
2016 Complete Unknown Tom
Frank & Lola Frank Reilly
Midnight Special Roy Tomlin
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice General Zod Credit only
Wolves Lee Keller
Poor Boy Blayde Griggs
Elvis & Nixon Elvis Presley Also executive producer
Loving Grey Villet
Salt and Fire Matt Riley
Nocturnal Animals Det. Bobby Andes
2017 The Shape of Water Col. Richard Strickland
The Current War George Westinghouse
Pottersville Maynard Greiger
2018 12 Strong CWO. Hal Spencer
What They Had Nicky Everhardt Also executive producer
State Like Sleep Edward
2019 Knives Out Walt Thrombey
2020 The Quarry Chief Moore Also executive producer
Echo Boomers Mel Donnelly
2021 Heart of Champions Jack Murphy Also producer
2022 Night's End Isaac Dees
Abandoned Renner
Bullet Train White Death
Amsterdam Henry Norcross
A Little White Lie Shriver
2023 Eric Larue N/A Director
The Flash General Zod
The Bikeriders Zipco
2024 The End Not yet released Filming
TBA Nuremberg Not yet released Robert H. Jackson Filming
Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Overexposed Young Man Television film
Angel Street Patrick Mulligan Television film
1998, 1999 Early Edition Merle / Mr. Andrews 2 episodes
1999 Turks Man #1 Episode: "Pilot"
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Avery Shaw Episode: "Quarry"
2009 Delocated Mark Episode: "Sick of It!"
2010–2014 Boardwalk Empire Nelson Van Alden/George Mueller 35 episodes
2017–2020 At Home with Amy Sedaris Various 3 episodes
2018 Waco Gary Noesner 6 episodes; also executive producer
Fahrenheit 451 Captain Beatty Television film
The Little Drummer Girl Martin Kurtz 6 episodes
Our Cartoon President Narrator (voice) Episode: "Election Special 2018"
Room 104 Nathan Episode: "Swipe Right"
2021 Nine Perfect Strangers Napoleon Marconi 8 episodes
2022 Little Demon Unshaven Man (voice) 6 episodes
2022–2023 George & Tammy George Jones 6 episodes
2023 Waco: The Aftermath Gary Noesner 5 episodes; also executive producer


List of stage roles
Year Title Role Company Notes
1991 Loving Little Egypt Humberhill Griffin Theatre Company
1992 Fun and Nobody Denny Next Theatre Company
1993–1994 Killer Joe Chris Smith Next Theatre Company, EFF
1995 Victims of Duty The Detective A Red Orchid Theatre
1996 Bug Peter Evans Gate Theatre
1998 Killer Joe Chris Smith SoHo Playhouse
1999 The Killer Berenger A Red Orchid Theatre
1999 The Idiot Parfyon Rogozhin Lookingglass Theatre
2001 Bug Peter Evans A Red Orchid Theatre
2002 Finer Noble Gases Lynch Actors Theatre of Louisville
2004–2005 Bug Peter Evans Barrow Street Theatre
2005 Gagarin Way Eddie A Red Orchid Theatre
2006 The Pillowman Michal Steppenwolf Theatre Company
2006 Hunger and Thirst Director A Red Orchid Theatre
2006 Grace Sam Northlight Theatre
2007 Lady Kenny Northlight Theatre
2008 The Little Flower of East Orange Danny The Public Theater
2008 The Metal Children Tobin Falmouth Vineyard Theatre
2008 Lady Kenny Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
2009 Mistakes Were Made Felix Artifex A Red Orchid Theatre
2010 Our Town Stage Manager Barrow Street Theatre
2010–2011 Mistakes Were Made Felix Artifex Barrow Street Theatre
2012 Uncle Vanya Mikhail Lvovich Astrov Soho Repertory Theatre
2012–2013 Grace Sam Cort Theatre
2013 Simpatico Lyle Carter A Red Orchid Theatre
2014 The Killer Berenger Theatre for a New Audience
2015 Pilgrim's Progress Jim McKee A Red Orchid Theatre
2016 Long Day's Journey into Night James Tyrone Jr. American Airlines Theatre
2017 Simpatico Lyle Carter McCarter Theatre Center
2018 Traitor N/A A Red Orchid Theatre As director
2018 Victims of Duty The Detective A Red Orchid Theatre
2019 Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune Johnny Broadhurst Theatre
2022–2023 Des Moines Father Michael Theatre for a New Audience
2023 Waiting for Godot Estragon Theatre for a New Audience
2024 Turret Green A Red Orchid Theatre

Awards and nominations

The Chicago City Council passed a resolution designating August 7, 2023, as "National Michael Shannon Day" in Chicago.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Michael Shannon para niños

  • List of actors with Academy Award nominations
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