Michael Rapaport is one of Hollywood’s well-known stars. He has featured in over 50 movies, including True Romance, Higher Learning, Deep Blue Sea, and The 6th Day. Even though his career has mostly been limited to playing supporting roles, he has nevertheless made a name for himself in the entertainment industry.
Rapaport has leveraged on his outspoken personality to forge careers in other entertainment sectors like comedy, sports broadcasting, documentary. He may not be everyone’s favorite, but his resume has made him one of the most accomplished men in the industry.
Michael Rapaport’s Early Life and Path to Fame
Michael David Rapaport was born on the 20th of March 1970 in New York City. He grew up in Manhattan and attended Erasmus Hall High School as well as The Martin Luther King High School. Upon graduating from high school, Rapaport moved to L.A. to pursue his career in earnest in 1989.
For Michael, his path to fame was not so much a journey as it was a walk. With the help of his stepfather, Mark Lonow, who owned The Improv, he got a leg up in the world of stand-up comedy.
Comedy gave Rapaport the standing to cross over to acting, where he tasted his first dose of success. He landed his debut role on the TV show, China Beach, in 1990. It was an appearance in the episode, One Small Step, as Kravitis.
Two years after, he began making a series of appearances that eventually made him a familiar face on television and turned him into a star of the medium.
Michael Rapaport is not acting superstar. But what he lacked in one or two roles to make him into one, he has made up for in roles in more than 116 films and TV shows. He has landed appearances in other TV series such as Murphy Brown, Middle Ages, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, E.R., and Friends.
In 2001, Michael Rapaport landed a recurring role on the Fox drama, Boston Public. The show focused on the happenings at a public high school, and Rapaport played the role of a teacher in 57 episodes.
Since Boston Public, Rapaport has appeared in other TV series such as Prison Break, where he played the Homeland Security Agent, Don Self. Other significant works in his filmography include Atypical, White Famous, Public Morals, Justified, and The Mob Doctor.
Michael Rapaport’s acting career is not just in TV shows. He has also appeared in some movies. His very first movie was the 1992 thriller, Zebrahead. In it, he played the role of a Jewish teen who fell in love with a black girl.
Impressively, the actor has worked in every year since 1992, building one of the longest filmographies in Hollywood as a prominent actor.
His Other Career Pursuits
In addition to being a busy and accomplished actor, Michael has explored other creative ventures in other entertainment sectors, specifically comedy, music, and sports. He has worked as a music documentary filmmaker, sports commentator, and podcaster.
Michael the Filmmaker
Although Michael Rapaport is an established actor, he took an interest in the behind the scenes work of the filming process. In October 2008, he announced he would be directing a documentary about the iconic hip hop act, A Tribe Called Quest.
Before directing the project, he had only directed an episode of Boston Public. Still, he completed the project, with the title, Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest. It was successful, and it opened the doors for other directorial projects for the actor.
So far, he has directed other works like ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary, When the Garden Was Eden, and the short documentary, Hard Lovin’ Woman. Others are Coors Light: For the Love of the Game, American Giant: Wild Card Boxing, and an episode of the Let It Play.
He has also worked as a producer, on works like Alekesam, Flagrant, 29 Palms, and All Rapaport Everything.
The Sports Commentator
Leveraging on his platform as an actor, his outspoken nature, and knowledge of sports, Michael Rapaport has also forged a career as a sports commentator. While he doesn’t have a traditional career as one, he has made several appearances as a pundit.
Michael also works for the WWE Network, as a narrator for its WWE 365 series. In addition, we have seen him as a reporter for Fox Sports, covering the BIG3 basketball league created by Ice Cube.
He has taken his commentary role to podcasts and worked for Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take. Unfortunately, the outspoken quality which helped him secure the gig led to his sacking after he made rude comments towards the show’s fanbase. Michaels’s other podcast appearances include The Bill Simmons Podcast, The BS Report, and The Dirty Sports Podcast.
His other works in sports include featuring in the NBA All-Star Weekend Celebrity Game in 2010. He won the MVP award for his performance.
As a Comedian
Comedy was Michael Rapaport’s first foray into the world of entertainment. And while he has exploded onto the scene in the manner of other comedy big names, it has been a steady creative outlet for the veteran entertainer.
Since the comic, Mark Lonow, gave him his first opportunity on stage at The Improv, Michael has continued his comedy act. He has toured the country several times, performing at different venues.
He has also worked with other comedians and also featured in their podcasts. They include Bill Burr, Marc Maron, and Adam Carolla.
In service of his other career endeavors, Michael Rapaport has appeared in several podcasts. However, he is a podcaster, with a successful show, I Am Rapaport Stereo Podcast. On the podcast, he shared his often strong, funny, and offensive opinions on various subjects.
Tomorrow September 4th is officially National I AM RAPAPORT PODCAST DAY! We’re celebrating with a brand new podcast. Leave your favorite memory, how you started listening to the podcast and/or who introduced you to the Show Duke! @michaelrapaport @GeraldMoody1560 pic.twitter.com/EFmnrBm0Lr
— IAMRAPAPORTPODCAST (@iamrapaport) September 3, 2018
Hosting the show alongside his childhood friend, Gerald Moody, he covers topics across music, sports, film, and politics. The popular podcast is also hosted on CBS Local radio network, and he has gone on club shows around the country and Canada.
Career Achievements and Accolades
His performance in Zebrahead earned him a nomination for Best Male Lead at the 1993 Independent Spirit Award. It was his first award recognition, and he has received fourteen more, including two Teen Choice Award nominations for his role in The War at Home.
His other acting awards include a Best Vocal Ensemble award from Behind the Voice Actors for Pound Poppies and OFTA Television Award for a guest role in ER. Most of his award recognitions, however, have come from his work in documentaries.
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest has earned Michael Rapaport eight awards from different award organizations. They include Black Reel Awards, Grammy Awards, Los Angeles Film Festival, and Producers’ Guild of America Awards.
Additionally, he received a Jury Award from the Tribeca Film Festival for his documentary, Hard Lovin’ Woman. So far, Michael Rapaport has won five of his award nominations, including the Enzian Award from the Florida Film Festival for Artistic Achievement. He also won the Black Reel awards for Best Documentary.
He is Worth $12 Million
An acting career and a loudmouth have earned Michael Rapaport a fortune worth $12 million. Beyond income from comedy and acting gigs, podcasts, and sports commentary, he has also made money voicing video games. He has voiced characters in several video games such as Grand Theft Auto III, Saints Row, Saints Row 2, and Scarface: The World is Yours.
Dissecting Michael Rapaport’s Family Life
Rapaport hails from a family of four. His father’s name is David Rapaport, while his mother’s name is June Brody. His parents both worked at radio stations. David was a general manager, and his mom was an on-air personality (OAP). His father was the manager of the All-Disco format at the New York radio station, WKTU Disco 92.
His parents got divorced, and his mom remarried, to Mark Lonow. Rapaport has a brother named Eric, a professor. As of May 2017, he worked in the School of Planning at Dalhousie University and lives in Halifax.
Michael also has a half-sister named Claudia, his father’s daughter from an earlier marriage. Claudia is an actress and a comedian as well as a writer and producer. She is best known for appearing in the CBS series, Knots Landing. She has written and produced shows like How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life), Rude Awakening, and Friends with Benefits.
He has been Married Twice
Michael Rapaport has been married on two occasions, first to Nichole Beattie, in 2000. It spanned nearly seven years before their divorce in 2007. Their union produced two sons – Julian Ali (b. 2000) and Maceo Shane (2002).
Rapaport is now married to a lady named Kebe Dunn. They reportedly dated in the 90s but later went their separate ways. Michael and Kebe reconnected in the 2000s, probably after Rapaport’s divorce, and commenced a relationship.
They tied the knot in 2016. Dunn is also an actress and has appeared in a few movies, like Love for Rent and In Session with Jonathan Pessin.
Interestingly, while he is outspoken about a lot of things, the comedian/actor has mostly kept his personal life away from the media.