Born on November 6, 1960 in Bethesda, Maryland, US, he is an American actor and singer, best known for his role in Fringe (2008) and his many appearances on Broadway theatre stages. His father, also called Michael Cerveris, was a professor of music and his mother, Marsha (née Laycock), was a dancer. He grew up in Huntington, West Virginia with his brother Todd Cerveris, who is also an actor. In 1979 he graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and in 1983 he graduated from Yale University, majoring in theater studies. The same year he debuted Off-Broadway as Malcolm in "Macbeth". His 1993 Broadway debut as Tommy/The Narrator in "The Who's Tommy" brought him his first Tony Award nomination. He continued his Broadway career as well as went to play in the West End, where he debuted in 2000 as the eponymous transsexual rock singer in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch". 2004 marked his first Tony Award, which he won for the role of John Wilkes Booth in "Assassins", the same year he also released his first solo album "Dog Eared". In 2008 he begun to appear as the Observer in Fringe (2008), which is probably his best known television role. In 2015 he won his second Tony Award for the role of the family man and closeted gay Bruce Bechdel in "Fun Home". He continues to appear in theatre productions and concerts, as well as in smaller roles in movies and television shows.
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