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Robert Michael Jeter
August 26, 1952
Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, U.S.
|Died||March 30, 2003 (aged 50)|
|Alma mater||Memphis State University|
Robert Michael Jeter (August 26, 1952 – March 30, 2003) was an American character actor of film, stage, and television. His television roles included Herman Stiles on the sitcom Evening Shade from 1990 until 1994 and Mr. Noodle's brother, Mister Noodle on the Elmo's World segments of Sesame Street from 2000 until 2003. Jeter's film roles include Zelig, Tango & Cash, The Fisher King, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Waterworld, Air Bud, Mouse Hunt, Patch Adams, The Green Mile, Jurassic Park III, Welcome to Collinwood, Open Range, and The Polar Express.
Jeter was born Robert Michael Jeter in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee on August 26, 1952. His mother, Virginia (née Raines; May 6, 1927 – May 21, 2019), 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 midtown Memphis. He left Memphis to further pursue his stage career in Baltimore, Maryland.
Jeter's woebegone look, extreme flexibility, and high energy led Tommy Tune to cast him in the off-Broadway play Cloud 9 in 1981. Much of his work specialized in playing eccentric, pretentious, or wimpy characters, as in The Fisher King, Waterworld, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Green Mile and Drop Zone. Occasionally, Jeter was able to stray away from these types of roles for more diverse characters like those he portrayed in Jurassic Park III, Air Bud, and Open Range. Jeter is perhaps most known for his role as convicted felon Eduard Delacroix in The Green Mile, a role for which he was nominated along with the rest of the cast for a Screen Actors Guild Award. He played Rudy in Patch Adams as well.
In The Fisher King Jeter portrayed "an unnamed homeless cabaret singer", and "shimmies across the screen with boundless confidence, turning what might have been a grotesque, or at least merely humorous, part into something noble, even indomitable... In a film unafraid of big acting, Jeter goes bigger than anyone."
He also played Mr. Noodle's brother, Mister Noodle, on Sesame Street from 2000 to 2003. He appeared in an episode of Touched by an Angel in 1999 as Gus, an insurance salesman who arrives in Las Vegas in the episode "The Man Upstairs". His last two appearances were in the films Open Range and The Polar Express. Both films were in post-production at the time of his death and, when released, contained a dedication to his memory.
In 1990, Jeter won a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway musical Grand Hotel. He won an Emmy Award in 1992 for his role in the television sitcom Evening Shade as math teacher and assistant football coach Herman Stiles. He also received an Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, and the Clarence Derwent Prize.
Jeter was openly gay and met his partner, Sean Blue, in 1995; they were together until Jeter's death in 2003.
On March 30, 2003, Jeter was found dead in his Hollywood home at the age of 50. Although he was HIV positive, he had been in good health for many years. His partner Sean Blue said Jeter died of complications after an epileptic seizure.
|1982||Soup for One||Mr. Kelp|
|1986||The Money Pit||Arnie|
|1989||Dead Bang||Dr. Alexander Krantz|
|Tango & Cash||Floyd Skinner|
|1990||Just Like in the Movies||Vernon|
|1991||The Fisher King||Homeless Cabaret Singer|
|1993||Bank Robber||Night Clerk #1|
|Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit||Father Ignatius|
|1994||Drop Zone||Earl Leedy|
|1997||Air Bud||Norm Snively|
|Mouse Hunt||Quincy Thorpe|
|1998||Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas||Dr. Ron Bumquist|
|The Naked Man||'Sticks' Varona|
|Zack and Reba||Oras|
|1999||True Crime||Dale Porterhouse|
|Jakob the Liar||Avron|
|The Green Mile||Eduard Delacroix|
|2000||South of Heaven, West of Hell||Uncle Jude|
|The Gift||Gerald Weems|
|2001||Jurassic Park III||Udesky|
|2002||Welcome to Collinwood||'Toto'|
|2003||Open Range||Percy||Posthumous release|
|2004||The Polar Express||Smokey / Steamer||Motion capture only|
|1979||My Old Man||George Gardner||Television movie|
|1980||Another World||Arnie Gallo||Unknown episodes|
|From Here to Eternity||Private Ridgley||Unknown episodes|
|Lou Grant||Max Galt||Episode: "Dogs"|
|1981||Alice at the Palace||Caterpillar / Dormouse||Television movie|
|1986||Night Court||Confessing Crook||Episode: "The Night Off"|
|1987||Designing Women||Calvin Klein||Episode: "Old Spouses Never Die – Part 1"|
|1988||Crime Story||Senator Michael Gaspari||Episode: "The Hearings"|
|Hothouse||Dr. Art Makter||7 episodes|
|1990–1994||Evening Shade||Herman Stiles||98 episodes|
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Comedy Series (1991–93)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1991, 1993)
|1993–1995||Picket Fences||Peter Lebeck||3 episodes|
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
|1993||Tales of the City||Carson Callas||3 episodes|
|1994||Aladdin||Runtar (voice)||Episode: "StinkerBelle"|
|1995||Chicago Hope||Bob Ryan||Episode: "A Coupla Stiffs"|
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
|1996||Dream On||Dr. Enoch||Episode: "Finale with a Vengeance"|
|Suddenly Susan||Lawrence Rosewood||Episode: "Dr. No"|
|Mrs. Santa Claus||Arvo||Television movie|
|The Boys Next Door||Arnold Wiggins||Television movie|
|1997||Duckman||Dr. William Blay (voice)||Episode: "Ajax & Ajaxer"|
|Second Noah||The Chicken Man||Episode: "Diving In"|
|Murphy Brown||Vic||Episode: "You Don't Know Jackal"|
|Johnny Bravo||Lawrence The Camel (voice)||Episode: "Blarney Buddies/Over the Hump/Johnny Meets Farrah Fawcett"|
|1998–1999||The Wild Thornberrys||Biederman (voice)||4 episodes|
|1998||Veronica's Closet||Edwin Murloff||Episode: "Veronica's Blackout"|
|The Ransom of Red Chief||Bill Driscoll||Television movie|
|1999||Touched by an Angel||Gus Zimmerman||Episode: "The Man Upstairs"|
|2000–2003||Sesame Street||Mr. Noodle's Brother, Mister Noodle||Elmo's World segments|
|2002||Taken||William Jeffries||Episode: "Taken"|
|Hey Arnold!||Nate Horowitz (voice)||Episode: "Gerald's Game/The Fishing Trip"|
- "William Claude Jeter (1943)". University of Tennessee. 10 March 2010. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
- "Michael Jeter, 50, Dies; Won Acting Prizes". The New York Times. NYTimes.com. 2 April 2003. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
- "Cloud 9". Lortel Archives. Archived from the original on 2014-02-28. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
- Koresky, Michael. "Michael's Turn: Michael Jeter in The Fisher King". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved Feb 2, 2021.
- "Touched By An Angel Episode 516: "The Man Upstairs"". Touched.com. 1999-02-21. Archived from the original on 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
- Rooney, David (24 October 2004). "Review: 'The Polar Express'". Variety. variety.com. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
- Open Range film credits.
- "Michael Jeter: Biography". MSN Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
- "'Sesame Street' actor Michael Jeter dies". United Press International, Inc. Los Angeles. 1 April 2003. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
- Michael Jeter, 50; 'Mr. Noodle' on Sesame Street by Myrna Oliver, Times Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2003.
- Ferber, Lawrence (May 13, 2003). "In memoriam. Michael Jeter". The Advocate. Here Publishing (889): 62. ISSN 0001-8996.
- Cosgrove-Mather, Bootie (August 31, 2004). "Actor Michael Jeter Dead At 52". CBS News. CBSnews.com. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
- The New York Times (6 December 1999). "Healthy Despite His Hiv, Jeter Says It's Nothing To Hide". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
- "Corrections". The Advocate. Here. 17 September 2004. p. 6. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
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