Cristofer performing in Captors in 2011
January 22, 1945 |
Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.
|Notable work(s)||The Shadow Box|
|Notable award(s)||Pulitzer Prize
Life and career
Cristofer was born Michael Procaccino in Trenton, New Jersey, the son of Mary (Muccioli) and Joseph Peter Procaccino. He started his theatrical career as an actor, primarily on stage. He also started writing plays. He has also written numerous screenplays for film.
Cristofer was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award for the Broadway production of his play, The Shadow Box (1977). After New York, the play was produced in every major American city and worldwide from Europe to the Far East. Other plays include Breaking Up at Primary Stages; Ice at Manhattan Theatre Club; Black Angel at Circle Repertory Company; The Lady and the Clarinet starring Stockard Channing, produced by the Mark Taper Forum, Long Wharf Theater, Off-Broadway and on the London Fringe; and Amazing Grace (1996) starring Marsha Mason, which received the American Theater Critics Award as the best play produced in the United States during the 1996-97 season.
Cristofer's film work includes the screenplays for The Shadow Box, directed by Paul Newman (Golden Globe Award, Emmy nomination); Falling in Love, with Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro; The Witches of Eastwick, with Jack Nicholson, adapted from the novel by John Updike; The Bonfire of the Vanities, adapted from the novel by Tom Wolfe and directed by Brian De Palma; Breaking Up starring Russell Crowe and Salma Hayek, and Casanova starring Heath Ledger.
His directing credits include Gia, for HBO Pictures starring Angelina Jolie, Mercedes Ruehl and Faye Dunaway, which was nominated for five Emmys and for which he won a Directors Guild Award. He next directed Body Shots, starring Sean Patrick Flanery, Jerry O'Connell, Amanda Peet and Tara Reid; and Original Sin, starring Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas, which was released in 2001. He is currently preparing to direct Fade Out from his own screenplay.
For eight years he worked as artistic advisor and finally co-artistic director of River Arts Repertory in Woodstock, New York, a company which produced new plays by writers such as Richard Nelson, Mac Wellman, Len Jenkin, Eric Overmeyer and many others, including the American premiere of Edward Albee's Three Tall Women, a production which later moved to Off-Broadway. Also at River Arts, he wrote stage adaptations of the films Love Me or Leave Me and the legendary Casablanca. He directed Joanne Woodward in his own adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts. His most recent work for the theater, The Whore and Mr. Moore, premiered at Dorset Theatre Festival's 2012 summer season in Dorset, Vermont. Other plays include Pop, Tabarja and Eyes Wide Open.
He collaborated with trumpeter Terence Blanchard, writing the libretto for Champion, a jazz opera based on the life of prize fighter Emile Griffith. It premiered in June 2013 at Opera Theater of St. Louis.
After a 15-year hiatus, Cristofer returned to his acting career, appearing in Romeo and Juliet (New York Shakespeare Festival), Trumpery by Peter Parnell, Three Sisters (Williamstown Theater), Body of Water with Christine Lahti, and the acclaimed Broadway revival of A View from the Bridge with Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson. He recently appeared in The Other Woman with Natalie Portman, and created the role of Gus in Tony Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures at the Public Theater. In 2010, Cristofer was a cast member on AMC's Rubicon, in which he played Truxton Spangler. In 2012, he played Jerry Rand on NBC's TV series, Smash, husband to Anjelica Huston's character Eileen.
- Breaking Up, produced by Primary Stages
- Ice produced by Manhattan Theatre Club
- Black Angel, produced by Circle Repertory Company
- The Lady and the Clarinet
- Amazing Grace
- The Whore and Mr. Moore
- Eyes Wide Open
- The Shadow Box directed by Paul Newman (Golden Globe Award, Emmy nomination)
- Falling in Love, with Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro
- The Witches of Eastwick with Jack Nicholson,
- The Bonfire of the Vanities directed by Brian De Palma, starring Tom Hanks, Melanie Griffith and Bruce Willis
- Breaking Up directed by Robert Greenwald, starring Russell Crowe and Salma Hayek
- Casanova starring Heath Ledger
- Georgia O'Keeffe (2009)
- Gunsmoke: "The Guns of Cibola Blanca: Part 2" (1974)
- Lincoln (1974) (TV)
- The Crazy World of Julius Vrooder (1974)
- Crime Club (1975) (TV)
- Knuckle (1975) (TV)
- The Rookies: "Someone Who Cares" (1975)
- Kojak: "Over the Water" (1975) TV episode
- The Entertainer (1976) (TV)
- The Last of Mrs. Lincoln (1976) (TV)
- The Andros Targets: "The Surrender" (1977) TV episode
- An Enemy of the People (1978)
- The Little Drummer Girl (1984)
- Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
- Love and Other Impossible Pursuits (2009)
- Rubicon (2010)
- Smash (2012-2013)
- Emoticon ;) (2012)
- Ray Donovan (2013)
- American Horror Story: Coven (2013)
- The Girl in the Book (2014)
- Gia, for HBO Pictures starring Angelina Jolie, Mercedes Ruehl and Faye Dunaway, which was nominated for five Emmys and for which he won a Director’s Guild Award
- Body Shots starring Sean Patrick Flanery, Jerry O'Connell, Amanda Peet, and Tara Reid
- Original Sin starring Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas
- Fade Out
- Aucoin, Don (February 6, 2012). "A familiar face in Smash". Boston Globe.
- "Emoticon ;)". IMDb.
- Michael Cristofer at the Internet Broadway Database
- Michael Cristofer at the Internet Movie Database