Michael Cristofer biography
Date of Birth: January 22, 1945
Born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey, Cristofer attended a Catholic University in
Washington D.C. He moved to San Francisco in 1966, where he worked in improvisational
theater, later returning to the East Coast as an actor.
After performing at a number of theaters including the Long Wharf Theater, the Arena
Stage and André Gregory's Philadelphia Theatre of the Living Arts, Cristofer turned his
talents toward writing.
After staging his first play, The Mandala, he traveled to Beirut
and studied humanities at the American University.
Returned to New York, he performed in a number of plays, then moved in 1972 to Los
Angeles where he acted under Gordon Davidson's direction.
There he also wrote The Shadow
Box which was also turned into a television film, and he followed that up with an
award-winning performance as Trofimov in The Cherry Orchard opposite Meryl Streep.
Cristofer landed a number of parts on television and film.
After small roles in television
films such as Crime Club and The Entertainer, he played Tayeh in the film The
Little Drummer Girl (1984) opposite Diane Keaton.
That same year he started working on writing feature films.
For the next decade, films
like The Witches of Eastwick (1987), The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) and
Breaking Up (1997) were written and filmed.
Cristofer won a Directors Guild of America award for his television directorial debut, the telefilm Gia (1998). This was soon followed with features Body Shots (1999) and Original Sin (2001).
Michael Cristofer Filmography