Michael Lerner (actor)

Michael Lerner
Born (1941-06-22) June 22, 1941
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Brooklyn College
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Occupation Actor
Years active 1969–present
Relatives Ken Lerner (brother)
Sam Lerner (nephew)

Michael Lerner (born June 22, 1941) is an American character actor in film and television. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Barton Fink (1991).

Life and career

Lerner was born in Brooklyn, New York, of Romanian Jewish descent, the son of Blanche and George Lerner, a fisherman and antiques dealer.[1] He was raised in the Bensonhurst and Red Hook neighborhoods. His brother, Ken Lerner, is also an actor, as is his nephew, Sam Lerner.[2]

After graduating from Brooklyn College and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), Lerner began his acting career in the late 1960s at the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco. At the age of 24 he appeared as "Hieronymous the Miser" in a KPFA radio production of Michel de Ghelderode's Breugelesque play, Red Magic.

During the seventies, Lerner began making several guest appearances in television shows such as The Brady Bunch, The Odd Couple and M*A*S*H. He appeared in three episodes of The Rockford Files. In 1974, he appeared in the teleplay The Missiles of October, playing Pierre Salinger.

In 1970, Lerner made his film debut in Alex in Wonderland. He then went on to appear in supporting roles in various Hollywood movies such as The Candidate, St. Ives and the 1981 remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice. In 1991, after co-starring in Harlem Nights, Lerner played film producer Jack Lipnick in Barton Fink, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Lerner's later projects include the Christmas comedy Elf and Poster Boy, as well as appearing in television programs such as Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Entourage.

In 2002, he appeared in London's West End production of Up for Grabs with Madonna. Michael also appeared on BBC Radio Four in 2008 as a member of the cast of David Quantick's Radio Four's series One. He portrayed Senator Brickman in the Marvel Comics/Twentieth Century Fox film, X-Men: Days of Future Past.

In 2013, Lerner appeared in a Season 4 episode of Glee as Sidney Greene, an investor in the revival of Broadway musical Funny Girl. His character is on the panel of judges, watching the Rachel Berry character audition for the lead role. He reprised his role as Sidney in Season 5 in several New York-based episodes of the series, as Funny Girl opens on Broadway.[3]

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1970 Alex in Wonderland Leo
1972 The Candidate Corliss
1974 M*A*S*H (TV series) Captain Bernie Futterman 1 episode
Newman's Law Frank Acker
The Missiles of October Pierre Salinger
1975 Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic Dr. Marvin Kittredge
1976 Dark Victory Manny
St. Ives Myron Green
1977 The Other Side of Midnight Barbet
1978 Ruby and Oswald Jack Ruby
1979 Goldengirl Sternberg
1980 The Baltimore Bullet Paulie
Coast to Coast Dr. Frederick Froll
Borderline Henry Lydell
1981 The Postman Always Rings Twice Mr. Katz
Threshold Henry de Vici
1982 National Lampoon's Class Reunion Dr. Robert Young
Hart to Hart (TV series) Arthur Blue and Broken Harted
1983 Hill Street Blues (TV series) Rollie Simone 4 episodes
Strange Invaders Willie Collings
Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess Harry Cohn
1984 Movers & Shakers Arnie
1987 Anguish John Pressman
Hands of a Stranger Capt. Cirrillo
The King of Love Nat Goldberg
1988 Vibes Burt Wilder
Eight Men Out Arnold Rothstein
1989 Harlem Nights Bugsy Calhoune
1990 Maniac Cop 2 Edward Doyle
Any Man's Death Herb Denner
1991 Barton Fink Jack Lipnick Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Omen IV: The Awakening Earl Knight
1992 Newsies Weasel
The Comrades of Summer George
1993 Amos & Andrew Phil Gillman
1994 Blank Check Biderman
Radioland Murders Lieutenant Cross
The Road to Wellville Goodloe Bender
1995 Courtroom (TV series) Judge Myron Winkleman 11 episodes
No Way Back Frank Serlano
A Pyromaniac's Love Story Perry
1997 For Richer or Poorer Phillip Kleinman
1998 Godzilla Mayor Ebert
Safe Men Big Fat Bernie Gayle
Celebrity Dr. Lupus
Tale of the Mummy Professor Marcus
Desperation Boulevard
1999 The Mod Squad Howard
My Favorite Martian Mr. Channing
2000 Murder at the Cannes Film Festival Morrie Borelli
2001 Mockingbird Don't Sing Dr. Stan York
2002 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure Producer Voice only
2003 Elf Mr Greenway
2004 The Calcium Kid Artie Cohen
Poster Boy Jack Kray
2005 When Do We Eat? Ira Stuckman
Love and Other Disasters Morty
2006 The Last Time Leguzza
2007 A Dennis the Menace Christmas Mr. Souse
2008 Entourage Guest Star
Yonkers Joe Stanley
2009 A Serious Man Solomon Schlutz
Life During Wartime Harvey Wiener
2010 Pete Smalls Is Dead Leonard Proval
2011 Atlas Shrugged Wesley Mouch
2012 Mirror Mirror Baron
2013–14 Glee Sidney Greene 5 episodes
2014 X-Men: Days of Future Past Senator Brickman
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Darren Schlepping 1 episode
Ashby Entwhistle
2016 Maron (TV series) Mother's Boyfriend (Episode 4.5 Marc in Florida) 1 episode


  1. Profile, CigarAficionado.com; accessed August 23, 2014.
  2. Michael Lerner profile, Yahoo! Movies; accessed August 23, 2014.
  3. Info re Glee, latimes.com; accessed August 23, 2014.
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