Michael Boatman

Michael Boatman Headshot

Actor • Writer

Birth Name: Michael Patrick Boatman

Birth Date: October 25, 1964

Age: 59 years old

Birth Place: Colorado Springs, Colorado

A popular and prolific character actor on television, Michael Boatman essayed an array of diverse roles, from a mournful Army mortician to an acerbic political liaison on such popular programs as "Spin City" (ABC, 1996-2002), "The Good Wife" (CBS, 2009-2016) and "The Good Fight" (CBS All Access, 2017- ). Born Michael Patrick Boatman on October 25, 1964 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he was raised by his parents - an army officer father and a mother who served as a job supervisor for disabled clients - in Chicago, Illinois.

There, he developed an interest in acting, and chose it as his major at Western Illinois University. Before graduating in 1986, Boatman won the Best Supporting Actor Award in the Irene Ryan National Competition at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Almost immediately afterwards, he earned his first feature film roles, playing a U.S. Army soldier in John Irvin's Vietnam War drama "Hamburger Hill" (1987) and a supporting turn in Sidney Lumet's Oscar-nominated drama "Running on Empty" (1988).

He then segued into a three-year run as Army mortician Samuel Beckett on the critically acclaimed Vietnam War series "China Beach" (ABC, 1988-1991). When that series ran its course, Boatman joined the cast of two short-lived series - the darkly comic "Jackie Thomas Show" (ABC, 1992-93), with Tom Arnold, and the primetime soap opera parody "Muscle" (The WB, 1995) - and starred in Charles Burnett's independent drama "The Glass Shield" (1994) as a police officer caught up in a department cover-up over a murder case involving black suspect Ice Cube.

From there, he moved into a remarkably busy schedule of television and film work, starring on two popular shows at the same time - on "Spin City," he played the openly gay minority affairs liaison to New York City deputy mayor Michael J. Fox, and on "Arliss," he was the fiscally conservative advisor to sports agent Robert Wuhl - while also appearing as an Army lieutenant in the thriller "The Peacemaker" (1997) with George Clooney and Nicole Kidman.

For his work on "Spin City," Boatman won the GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Association Against Defamation) Award for Best Actor and netted five NAACP Image Award nominations, while "Arliss" earned him an additional four Image nominations. When both series concluded, Boatman settled into steady work as a guest player on numerous series, including multiple appearances "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ) as defense attorney Dave Seaver, and a turn as the Jester in a "Wonderful World of Disney" (ABC, 1995-2005) production of the musical "Once Upon a Mattress" with Carol Burnett and Tracey Ullman.

During this period, Boatman also launched a second career as an author, specializing in dark horror fiction; his first collection of short stories, God Laughs When You Die, was published in 2007, with a debut novel, The Revenant Road, arriving two years later at approximately the same time Boatman launched into a new cycle of consistent recurring television roles. He segued from the short-lived "Sherri" (Lifetime, 2009), starring Sherri Shepard to a six-year run as lawyer Julius Cain on "The Good Wife." Between these efforts, he also played vengeful businessman Russell Thorpe on "Gossip Girl" (The CW, 2007-2012), reunited with former "Spin City" co-star Charlie Sheen as his hapless neighbor on "Anger Management" (FX, 2012-2014) and starred opposite Tia Mowry-Hardricht in the Nickelodeon/TV Land comedy "Instant Mom" (2013-2015). In 2017, he reprised Julius Cain for multiple episodes of the "Good Wife" spin-off series, "The Good Fight."

Credits

Would I Lie to You?

Guest
Reality
2022

My Secret Billionaire

Actor
Lawrence
Movie
2021

Second ActStream

Actor
Edward Taylor
Movie
2018
44%

The Good FightStream

Actor
Julius Cain
Series
2017
95%

The Good FightStream

Guest Star
Julius Cain
Series
2017
95%

Anything

Actor
Charles
Movie
2017

Like.Share.Follow

Actor
Norman
Movie
2017

The Homeless Billionaire

Actor
Movie
2016

Madam SecretaryStream

Guest Star
FBI Director Keith Doherty
Series
2014

Instant MomStream

Actor
Charlie
Series
2013

Anger ManagementStream

Guest Star
Michael
Series
2012

Bad Parents

Actor
Gary
Movie
2012

Patricia Cornwell's Hornet's Nest

Actor
Richard Panessa
Movie
2012

Access Hollywood Live

Guest
Show
2010

Three Chris's

Actor
Walter Wayne
Movie
2010

White CollarStream

Guest Star
Russel Smith
Series
2009
96%

The Good WifeStream

Guest Star
Julius Cain
Series
2009
93%

The Killing of Wendy

Actor
Detective Blake
Movie
2009

My Father's Will

Actor
Lorence
Movie
2009

Gossip GirlStream

Guest Star
Russell Thorpe
Series
2007
84%

And Then Came Love

Actor
Ted
Movie
2007

The GameStream

Guest Star
Series
2006

Hannah MontanaStream

Guest Star
Randall Harrison
Series
2006

Kalamazoo?

Actor
Special Agent Albert
Movie
2006

Criminal Minds: EvolutionStream

Guest Star
Series
2005

Grey's AnatomyStream

Guest Star
Series
2005
84%

Once Upon a Mattress

Actor
The Jester
Movie
2005

Woman Thou Art Loosed

Actor
Todd
Movie
2004

Celebrity Mole Hawaii

Self
Show
2003

Less Than PerfectStream

Guest Star
Series
2002

CSI: MiamiStream

Guest Star
Series
2002

ScrubsStream

Guest Star
Ron
Series
2001
83%

Yes, Dear

Guest Star
Series
2000

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitStream

Guest Star
Dave Seaver
Series
1999
78%

The Daily Show With Jon StewartStream

Guest
Talk
1999

Walking to the Waterline

Actor
Marshall the Mover
Movie
1998

The PeacemakerStream

Actor
CPN Beach
Movie
1997
46%

Spin CityStream

Actor
Carter Heywood
Series
1996
69%

Arli$$Stream

Actor
Stanley Babson
Series
1996
62%

Muscle

Actor
Show
1995

Barrera de Cristal

Actor
Movie
1994

The Glass Shield

Actor
Johnny `'J.J.'` Johnson
Movie
1994

Living SingleStream

Guest Star
Series
1993

House of Secrets

Actor
Sgt. Joe DuBois
Movie
1993

The Jackie Thomas Show

Actor
Grant Watson
Show
1992

In the Line of Duty: Street War

Actor
Robert Dayton
Movie
1992

Deadly Identity

Actor
Sgt. Teal
Movie
1991

Fourth Floor

Actor
Movie
1991

Fourth Story

Actor
Sgt. Teal
Movie
1991

Law & OrderStream

Guest Star
Series
1990

Donor

Actor
Arnold
Movie
1990

Quantum LeapStream

Guest Star
Sergeant Billy Johnson
Series
1989

China Beach

Actor
Pvt. Sam Beckett
Series
1988

Hamburger HillStream

Actor
Pvt. Ray Motown
Movie
1987
100%

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