Michael was born in Chicago, and studied Theatre Arts at Northwestern University where he received a B.S. in Theatre Arts and an M.A. in Oral Interpretation. Following graduation he served two years in the Army, the latter months at Headquarters Company, II Field Force, Vietnam .
Michael eventually arrived on Broadway in “Butterflies Are Free” opposite Gloria Swanson, and worked extensively Off Broadway and in various regional theatres. While touring "The Day After The Fair" opposite Deborah Kerr, he met his future wife, British actress Vickery Turner, and they set up home in London and Los Angeles.
Television and film highlights include, the starring role of Major Kiley in the war time series “We’ll Meet Again” opposite Susannah York, the Sci-fi series, "Future Cop" with Ernest Borgnine, Helen Mirren’s lover, in “Prime Suspect 3”, Jack Daniels in “A Very Peculiar Practice”, Carl in the cult series “Rock Follies”, “Little Shop of Horrors” , directed by Frank Oz, “The Author of Beltraffio”, directed by Tony Scott, “Nightwatch” with Pierce Brosnan, “Fatherland” with Rutger Hauer, "American Gun" with Donald Sutherland, and the action series “Riker” for NBC. He also starred in several mini-series including “Poor Little Rich Girl” with Farrah Fawcett, as well as numerous guest starring appearances, most recently “Boston Legal”, “Brothers & Sisters”, "The Riches", and "Endeavour". A short show reel of his work can be accessed by going to the Spotlight Link on this website. Theatre highlights include “The Price “ at the Leicester Haymarket, the British premiere of Arthur Kopit’s “The End of the World” (Nuffield, Southampton), Murray in “A Thousand Clowns” at the Palace, Watford and Tobias in ”A Delicate Balance” at the Nottingham Playhouse with Eleanor Bron. In London he played leads in the London premiere of AR Gurney’s, “The Dining Room” , “The Glass Menagerie”, “Artichoke”, "Darrow for the Defense" Watching with Lincoln" and most recently, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" at the "Apollo".
In Los Angeles Michael appeared on stage as President Warren Harding in James Staley's critically acclaimed, “Everyone’s Friend” at the Whitefire Theatre, a play he also co-produced.
Michael has long combined his acting career with writing. His first play, DEROS ON THE FUNNY FARM, had staged readings at the Long Wharf in New Haven, at ACT in San Francisco, and was later produced in New York. Other plays include: "BLACK ICE ON THE WESTERN ROAD", "CO-OPS", "LIBERTY RISING", "A MORE PERFECT UNION", and "CHEKHOV ON THE PLAINS". "BLACK ICE" and "CO OPS" had staged readings in both Los Angeles and New York.
His one man play, "JFK on JFK", which he also performed, was staged at the Stella Adler theatre in Los Angeles. Hoyt Hilsman in Backstage West said, “Shannon’s memorable performance captures the soul of the late president like none other in recent memory.” An abbreviated version of that play was recently recorded and can be accessed on this website.
Michael also wrote and performed another one man play, "WATCHING WITH LINCOLN" at RADA STUDIOS in London. A dress rehearsal of this play was recently filmed and can be found on the website.
Most recently he wrote, "SENECA FALLS FOREVER", a family drama set in Seneca Falls, New York, better known as the home of the Women's Rights Movement. It covers the war years, 1917 through the end of the First World War in 1918 and beyond; exploring the effect the war had on the role of women in America and the eventual passage of the constitutional amendment which gave women the vote, ratified in 1921.
Michael has also written a wide variety of screenplays, both thrillers, comedies, romances, period pieces, bio pics, sci fi, and westerns. "AFTERMATH", one of his latest, is set in London, Philadelphia and Berlin in the late 1940s. Most recently he wrote MCQUEEN P.I.'S", "MRS SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON". "MERRY WIVES" and "MYLA".