Michael A. Goorjian

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Michael A. Goorjian
Born (1971-02-04) February 4, 1971 (age 53)
Occupation(s)Actor, film director, writer
Years active1991–present

Michael A. Goorjian (born February 4, 1971)[1] is an American actor, filmmaker, and writer. Goorjian won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special for his role as David Goodson in the television film David's Mother (1994). He is also known for his role as Justin, Neve Campbell’s love interest on the series Party of Five (1994–2000), as well as Heroin Bob in the film SLC Punk! (1998) and its sequel, Punk's Dead (2016). As a director, Goorjian achieved recognition for his first major independent film, Illusion (2004), which he wrote, directed and starred in alongside Kirk Douglas.



Goorjian was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. His father, Peter, is Armenian, with his paternal grandparents being survivors of the Armenian genocide; his mother, Sarah, is of Scottish-American descent.[2] Goorjian grew up in Oakland, California, and attended Bishop O'Dowd High School, which had a strong drama program.[3] At the age of 14, he decided to audition for a local theatre company, thinking it was a ‘cool way’ to skip class; after successfully landing the lead role in a 'not-so-cool' play called Computer Crazy, Goorjian soon found out that the rest of the cast were all senior citizens and that he would have to perform the play at his own junior high school. Despite this seemingly rather humiliating experience, Goorjian stuck with acting, eventually training at UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film and Television.[4]

Goorjian won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special for the TV movie David's Mother (starring Kirstie Alley).[5] Ray Loynd commented that Goorjian contributed "a wealth of physical and emotional detail that underscores the familial havoc".[6]

Goorjian’s first big Hollywood break came as a dancer when, in 1992, he was cast as ‘Skittery’ in the Disney film Newsies (starring Christian Bale and Robert Duvall). What followed were roles in numerous subsequent films, including Chaplin (with Robert Downey Jr.), Forever Young (with Mel Gibson), the Oscar-nominated Leaving Las Vegas, Hard Rain (with Morgan Freeman and Christian Slater), SLC Punk! (with Devon Sawa), The Invisibles (with Portia de Rossi), Broken (with Heather Graham) and Conversations with God.[2]

Goorjian has also guest-starred in a number of television series, including Lie to Me, House, Alias, Monk, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Without A Trace, and Chicago Hope, as well as a recurring role on Life Goes On (as Ray Nelson). He also appeared in the 2005 TV film Reefer Madness, a satirical musical adaptation of the anti-marijuana propaganda film from the 1930s.


Goorjian is a founding member of the Los Angeles-based theater group Buffalo Nights, and starred in the West Coast-premiere of Dennis McIntyre’s drama Modigliani (which won him an L.A. Weekly Theater Award nomination for Best Lead Actor). He played the title roles in both productions of The Apollo of Bellac (by Jean Giraudoux) and J.B. (by Archibald MacLeish). Goorjian also won at the L.A. Critics’ Choice Awards and the Garland Backstage West Awards for his original choreography for the L.A. production of the musical Reefer Madness.[7]


Goorjian made his first real foray into directing with the mock-documentary Oakland Underground, a comedy about an underground occult music scene in Oakland, CA. From there, Goorjian made Illusion with Kirk Douglas, which was released theatrically in 2006 after racking up over a dozen festival awards, including Best Screenplay at The Hampton’s International Film Festival, Best Feature at the Lake Tahoe International Film Festival and The Audience Award at the Sonoma International Film Festival. With Illusion Goorjian was critically lauded for his ability to blend great filmmaking with philosophical depth. Soon after Illusion, Goorjian began collaborating with the publishing company Hay House to produce and direct a number of films including the documentary You Can Heal Your Life (2007), starring metaphysical author and teacher, Louise L. Hay and The Shift, starring author Dr. Wayne Dyer, along with Michael DeLuise and Portia de Rossi. His most recent work with Hay House is an original film anthology called Tales of Everyday Magic, which explores meaningful philosophical ideas through intimate character-driven stories.

Additional directing credits include the short film Players’ Club, which swept the 2006 Elevate Film Festival in Los Angeles, including Best Director and The War Prayer, an adaptation of Mark Twain’s short story by the same title starring Jeremy Sisto. Occasionally, Goorjian also moonlights directing a circus/cabaret show in Eastern Europe called Palazzo.[7]


Goorjian debuted as a novelist with his work What Lies Beyond the Stars, the first book in an intended trilogy commissioned by Hay House Publishing. The second book in the series, Beyond the Fractured Sky, will be released in the fall of 2018.[8]




Year Title Role Notes
1991 Shelf Life Adam Short film
1992 Newsies Skittery
1992 Forever Young Steven
1992 Chaplin Charles Chaplin Jr
1995 Leaving Las Vegas College Boy #1
1997 Screening Short film
1998 Hard Rain Kenny
1998 SLC Punk! Bob
1998 Art House Danny Farthing
1999 The Invisibles Jude Also producer
1999 Something More Sam
1999 Do Not Disturb Billy Boy Manson
1999 How to Get Laid at the End of the World Michael
1999 Here Lies Lonely Sid
1999 Deal of a Lifetime Henry Spooner
2001 Amerikana Peter
2002 The Mesmerist Coroner #1 Also writer
2002 Go for Broke Rome / Romie
2003 Leisure Barney Direct-to-DVD
2004 Happily Even After Stuart
2004 Illusion Christopher Also director, producer, and writer
2005 Pomegranate Jack
2006 Conversations with God Roy the Morning Boy
2006 Broken Thomas
2008 Around June Mr. Lewis
2014 Green Thumb Dad Short film
2014 My Eleventh
2016 Punk's Dead Bob
2018 Pin-Up Guy Short film
2022 Amerikatsi Charlie Also director, producer, and writer


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Growing Pains Hank Miller Episode: "Like Father, Like Son"
1991 Never Forget Chuck Television film
1991–1993 Life Goes On Ray Nelson 8 episodes
1993 The Flood: Who Will Save Our Children? Scott Chapman Television film
1994 David's Mother David Goodson Television film
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special
1994 Blind Justice Soldier #1 Television film
1994 Sweet Justice Jimmy 2 episodes
1994 Under Suspicion Johnny Episode: "Arson/Murder Story"
1994–2000 Party of Five Justin Thompson 44 episodes
1997 Touched by an Angel Budd Glaser Episode: "Charades"
1998 Chicago Hope Jacob Joffe Episode: "Austin Space"
1999 Life in a Day Dr. Peter Hamilton Television film
2001 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Aaron Pratt Episode: "Caged"
2004 Without a Trace Ricky Wilson Episode: "Two Families"
2005 Alias Andre Sterescu Episode: "Nocturne"
2005 Monk Jacob Carlyle Episode: "Mr. Monk and the Kid"
2005 Reefer Madness Mickey Druther Television film
2005 House Sean Randolph Episode: "Babies & Bathwater"
2005 Killer Instinct Rafe Bradford Episode: "Who's Your Daddy"
2006 CSI: Miami John Stockman Episode: "Darkroom"
2007 Company Man Jeff Greenwald Television film
2007 Eyes Bobby Creech Episode: "Innocence"
2009 Lie to Me Franko James Vincent / Glen Welsh Episode: "Secret Santa"
2014 Covert Affairs Borz Altan 3 episodes
2016 Code Black Emanuel Episode: "The Fifth Stage"
2016 Lucifer Elliot Richards Episode: "Liar, Liar, Slutty Dress on Fire"
2017 The Wizard of Lies Dan Horwitz Television film


  • Blood Drips Heavily on Newsies Square (1991) (Short video)
  • Oakland Underground (1997)
  • Call Waiting (1998) (Short film)
  • Illusion (2004)
  • Players' Club (2006) (Short video)
  • The War Prayer (2007) (Short film)
  • You Can Heal Your Life (2007) (Documentary)
  • The Shift (2009) (Direct-to-DVD)
  • Entanglement (2012) (Television film)
  • The Magic Hand of Chance (2012)
  • Tales of Everyday Magic (2012)
  • Painting the Future (2012)
  • My Greatest Teacher (2012)
  • Amerikatsi (2022)


  • Oakland Underground (1997)
  • The Mesmerist (2002)
  • Illusion (2004)
  • Tales of Everyday Magic (2012)
  • My Greatest Teacher (2012)
  • Amerikatsi (2022)


  • Oakland Underground (1997)
  • The Invisibles (1999)
  • Part Time Fabulous (2011)
  • Amerikatsi (2022)


  1. ^ Rose, Mike (February 4, 2023). "Today's famous birthdays list for February 4, 2023 includes celebrities Alice Cooper, Natalie Imbruglia". Cleveland.com. Retrieved February 4, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Arakelyan, Syune (May 15, 2015). "EXCLUSIVE: Hollywood actor Michael Goorjian about playing chess with Morgan Freeman and destroying a real Marc Chagall Painting at Kirk Douglas' House". NEWS.am Style. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  3. ^ Bergman, Anne (September 7, 1994). "Emmy Nominee in Good Company at Sunday's Show". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  4. ^ "20th Century Screenwriters: Michael Goorjian". Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance. Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  5. ^ "THE 46TH ANNUAL EMMY AWARDS : Who Won What: The List of Winners on TV's Annual Night of Nights". Los Angeles Times. September 12, 1994. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  6. ^ Loynd, Ray (April 9, 1994). "'David's Mother' Hides Behind Jokes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Hamilton-Guarino, Elizabeth (January 14, 2017). "Michael Goorjian - What Lies Beyond the Stars". Best Ever You. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  8. ^ "The Book". Michael A. Goorjian - The Official Website. Retrieved March 16, 2018.

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