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Born and raised in Canandaigua, NY, Michael Park is the second born of four children. He knew at an early age that show business was in his future when at the age of ten, he dressed up as the Wicked Witch of the West for a Halloween contest and sang You’re So Pretty. His amazingly supportive art-teacher mother rehearsed him to a win and he has been playing pretend ever since.
Recently, Michael delivered the commencement address and received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Nazareth College, where he met and eventually married his wife, Laurie. Park graduated with a degree in Studio Art. Upon graduation, Park became a part of an extremely nurturing theatre scene at The Blackfriars Theatre in downtown Rochester, NY, which became his home away from home. Shortly after his first paying gig at GeVa Theater, Park scored an opportunity to audition for a national bus and truck tour in NYC. After some much-needed encouragement from his mother, the next nine months were spent on the road traveling across the U.S. as Raoul in Ken Hill’s “Phantom of the Opera.”
Once back in NYC, Park was cast in “Hello Again,” a piece for then up-and-coming composer/lyricist, Michael John LaChiusa. It was this opportunity that helped open many doors for him in the New York theater community. This led him to being cast, later that same year, at Goodspeed Opera House in “Shenandoah” where he began to foster some lifelong friendships.
For Park, Broadway was always the goal. His opportunity came after understudying Billy Bigalow in the revival “Carousel.” Jerry Zaks made his dreams come true by casting him as one of the leads in “Smokey Joe’s Café,” which won Lieber and Stoller their first Grammy. Subsequent to Park’s successful run with SJC, he was cast in “13 Bourbon Street,” a pilot for FBC while simultaneously performing in a workshop for another up-and-coming composer, Jeanine Tesori. The show, “Violet” would become his next important theater gig.
The day following “Violet’s” opening would prove quite eventful as Michael embarked upon his 13-year journey playing the iconic role of Jack Snyder on CBS’ long-running daytime serial “As The World Turns.” Continuing to pursue his passion and live his dream of working opposite many veterans of the stage, Park garnered two Emmys as Outstanding Lead Actor (2010, 2011). His family grew as he was not only becoming very close with his on-screen peers as he had in the theatre world before, but his time on the show would also see his three beautiful children (Christopher, Kathleen, and Annabelle) born as well.
Prior to taking a break from pulling double duty, he shared the stage with Martin Short and Faith Prince in “Little Me” directed by Rob Marshall, as well as several City Center Encores! productions. Park’s recent return to the stage has been successful and varied, working with some of the genre’s brightest talent. These shows include Playwrights Horizons’ production of “The Burnt Park Boys” (Miller/Tysen, dir. Joe Calarco), Rob Ashford’s Broadway production of “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette, as well as his conception of “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” starring Scarlett Johansson. Michael then starred as the immortal father of the Tucks in “Tuck Everlasting” (Score – Miller/Tysen Book – Shere/Federle), directed by Casey Nicolaw, a role he originated.
Michael immediately followed that run with being a part of the Tony Award winning, smash success “Dear Evan Hansen” from its workshop stages with creators Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, writer Steven Levenson, and director Michael Greif, through the first two years of its run on Broadway. His role as father figure Larry Murphy has garnered the actor both a Grammy and Emmy Award, along with rave reviews.
Park’s recent notable television appearances include recurring roles in “Stranger Things” (Netflix), “Hightown” (STARZ), “Tales of the City” (Netflix), “You” (Netflix), “Mindhunter” (Netflix), “House of Cards” (Netflix), “Time Traveler’s Wife” (HBO), as well as appearances in the event television presentations of “Sound of Music: Live” (NBC) and “Peter Pan: Live” (NBC). Additionally, Michael is part of an ensemble cast including Abigail Breslin, Laverne Cox and Bette Midler directed by Trudie Styler for “Freak Show,” the timely independent feature based on the best-selling novel by James St. James.
A father enjoying vacation in a Caribbean resort with his family, until his oldest daughter disappears.