Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Michael Moriarty (born April 5, 1941 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American actor. Tall and lanky, this 6'4" actor is known most for his role as Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Stone on the long running TV series Law & Order. He attended Dartmouth in the 1960s, where he was a theatre major. After he received his degree, he left for London, where he enrolled in the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, after receiving a Fulbright Scholarship.
In 1973, Michael was cast to play the egocentric Henry Wiggen in Bang the Drum Slowly, a film about friendship between two unlikely baseball teammates (the second being Robert De Niro, a slow thinking catcher who becomes terminally ill). Moriarty had a strong baseball background on which to draw for the role, as his grandfather George Moriarty had been a third baseman, umpire and manager in the major leagues for nearly forty years.
Moriarty's career on the screen was slow to develop, while his theater career was flourishing. He starred as a Nazi bureaucrat on the miniseries Holocaust. Through the 1980s, Moriarty starred in such Larry Cohen movies as Q, The Stuff, It's Alive 3, and A Return to Salem's Lot, as well as Clint Eastwood's Pale Rider and Hanoi Hilton.
From 1990 to 1994, he starred as Ben Stone on Law & Order. He ended up leaving the show in 1994, alleging that his departure was a result of his threatening a law suit against then-Attorney General Janet Reno, who had cited Law & Order as offensively violent. He moved to Canada, declaring himself a political exile, and lived for a time in Halifax and Toronto before settling in Vancouver. Recent projects he has acted in include Courage Under Fire, Along Came a Spider, Shiloh, and James Dean.
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