Michael Jeter (August 26, 1952 – March 30, 2003) was a Tony– and Emmy-winning American actor of film, stage, and television. His most notable television roles are as Herman Stiles on the sitcom Evening Shade from 1990 until 1994 and for playing Mr. Noodle's brother, Mr. Noodle on Elmo's World from 2000 until 2003. His film roles include Zelig, Waterworld, Air Bud, The Green Mile and The Polar Express among many others.
Michael Jeter was born in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. His mother, Virginia (née Raines; May 6, 1927), was a housewife. His father, William Claud Jeter (March 10, 1922 – March 1, 2010), was a dentist. Jeter had one brother, William, and four sisters, Virginia, Amanda, Emily, and Larie. Jeter was a student at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis) when his interests changed from medicine to acting. He performed in several plays and musicals at the Circuit Theatre and its sister theatre, the Playhouse on the Square, in mid-town Memphis. He left Memphis to further pursue his stage career in Baltimore, Maryland.
On March 30, 2003, Jeter was found dead in his Hollywood home at the age of 50. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered. Although he had HIV, he had been in good health for many years, his partner Sean Blue stated publicly Jeter died of an epileptic seizure.
The Polar Express, in which Jeter played Smokey and Steamer using motion-capture, was his final film role; the film was dedicated to his memory. The Sesame Street special "The Street We Live On" was also dedicated to Jeter.