Michael James Esper
December 1, 1976
Esper was born in Manhattan and raised in Montclair, New Jersey. He is the son of acting teachers William and Suzanne Esper, of the William Esper Studio. He attended Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn Heights. He attended Rutgers University after attending Oberlin College for one year.
Esper has appeared on Broadway in Sting's The Last Ship, A Man for All Seasons, Green Day's American Idiot and The Lyons He also starred in the Off-Broadway premieres of Leslye Headland's Assistance, Nicky Silver's The Lyons, and Tony Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures.
After a break from stage work, he returned to New York theater in February 2014 with David Grimm's new play Tales from Red Vienna off-Broadway, opposite Nina Arianda. He followed that by starring in Sting's new musical The Last Ship. The Last Ship began previews on Broadway in September 2014 and ran through January 24, 2015. Esper also appeared in David Bowie and Enda Walsh's new musical Lazarus at New York Theatre Workshop. He was nominated for a 2016 Outer Critics Circle Award for his performance in Lazarus. Esper has also appeared in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2016 and again at the Duke of York's Theatre in London, which ran until April 29, 2017.
Film and television
Esper starred as Dr. Kenneth Jordan on 2013 NBC series Do No Harm. He has had recurring roles on Nurse Jackie , Person of Interest, Shades of Blue, and The Family, as well as guest roles on several other shows. His notable film appearances include: The Drop, Frances Ha, All Good Things, A Beautiful Mind, and Runner Runner. His voice is included on American Idiot: The Original Broadway Cast Recording.
The New York Daily News described him as a "rising star", and said, "He acts with an emotional openness and authenticity that's as striking as it is uncommon. Esper's talent is evident whether he's punking out on Broadway in the Green Day musical "American Idiot" or assuming the cadence and carriage of 16th-century England in "A Man for All Seasons."
|1995||Dying is Easy||Albert Matson|
|2001||A Beautiful Mind||Young John Nash|
|2007||Light and the Sufferer||Paul|
|2009||Bunker Hill||Pete Walsh||TV pilot|
|2010||All Good Things||Daniel Marks|
|2012||Watching TV with the Red Chinese||Billy|
|2012||Crazy Love||Joey||Short film|
|2013||Runner Runner||Billy Petricoff|
|2018||For George on His 30th Birthday||George Dougherty||Short film|
|2018||Ben Is Back||Clayton|
|2009||Law & Order||David Sutton||Episode: "Take-Out"|
|2013||The Good Wife||Gregory Steck||Episode: "The Wheels of Justice"|
|2013||Do No Harm||Dr. Kenneth Jordan||13 episodes|
|2013–14||Person of Interest||Jason Greenfield||2 episodes|
|2014||Believe||Jack Callahan||Episode: "Sinking"|
|2014–15||Nurse Jackie||Gabe||7 episodes|
|2014||Halt and Catch Fire||Ron Cane||Episode: "Close to the Metal"|
|2015||Elementary||Donald Pruitt||Episode: "The Cost of Doing Business"|
|2016||Shades of Blue||Donnie Pomp||11 episodes|
|2016||The Family||Doug/Pocked-Marked Man||12 episodes|
|2016||BrainDead||Noah Feffer||2 episodes|
|2018||Trust||John Paul Getty Jr.||10 episodes|
|2019||Ray Donovan||Adam Rain||6 episodes|
|2019||The Outsider||Kenneth Hayes||4 episodes|
- Blank, Matthew. "Playbill.com's Cue & A: Intelligent Homosexual's Guide Star Michael Esper". Playbill. Retrieved January 4, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Michael Esper – Broadway Theatre Credits, Photos, Who's Who – Playbill Vault". Retrieved January 4, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Dziemianowicz, Joe. "Spotlight: Hometown actor Michael Esper now on Broadway in the comedy 'The Lyons'|". The New York Daily News.
- Spaner, Whitney. "Curtain Cutie: Michael Esper". Papermag.
- Brantley, Ben. "Martyr Me a Little (the Perils of Thomas)" The New York Times. October 8, 2008 
- Isherwood, Charles. "Stomping Onto Broadway With a Punk Temper Tantrum" The New York Times. April 21, 2010
- "Michael Esper". The Broadway League.
- Isherwood, Charles. "Heads Will Roll When Calls Don't in This Office Culture Gone Wild". The New York Times. The New York Times.
- Brantley, Ben. "The Curse of Kinship, but a Fear of Isolation". The New York Times. The New York Times.
- Brantley, Ben. "Debating Dialectics and Dad's Suicide Plan" The New York Times. May 5, 2011
- "Complete Cast Announced for MTC World Premiere of David Grimm's Tales From Red Vienna". TheaterMania. Retrieved January 23, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Gans, Andrew. "Michael Esper, Jimmy Nail, Aaron Lazar, Sally Ann Triplett and More Will Star in Sting's The Last Ship on Broadway". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Brantley, Ben. "Review: David Bowie Songs and a Familiar Alien in 'Lazarus'". The New York Times. The New York Times.
- "American Psycho and She Loves Me Lead 2016 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations". TheaterMania.com. TheaterMania.com. Retrieved April 19, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Broadway.com staff. Zoe Kazan and Michael Esper Win 2008 Clarence Derwent Awards Broadway.com May 16, 2008 
- "Michael Esper". Lortel Archives. Archived from the original on September 21, 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Michael Esper". IMDb.
- Jones, Kenneth. "Idiot's Delight! American Idiot Cast Album Wins Grammy Award" Playbill.com February 13, 2011 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Dziemianowicz, Joe. "Spotlight: Hometown actor Michael Esper now on Broadway in the comedy 'The Lyons' New York Daily News. April 20, 2012
- Desk, BWW News. "Michael Urie, Nikki M. James, Among Complete Casting of The Public's A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved September 26, 2019.