Michael Lombardi grew up outside of New York City near Danbury, CT. He immersed himself in a diverse range of influences growing up, with parents who were artists and an uncle who got him started playing drums when he was just eight years-old - a hobby he continued to enjoy throughout his life. He always had an interest in acting, but did not pursue it seriously until a life-changing semester at sea when a whole new world literally opened up to him and he decided to take his chances. He enrolled at the Connecticut Conservatory of Performing Arts and then moved to New York City, where he studied at the William Esper Studio - one of the most respected acting studios in the country and one grounded in teaching the Sanford Meisner technique of acting. During that time, Lombardi (sometimes credited as Mike Lombardi) sought out roles in independent films and theater to gain experience, making his TV debut as an uncredited extra on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975-) in 2000. In 2002, his career got a significant boost when he landed a guest spot on Denis Leary's acclaimed but short-lived cop sitcom, "The Job" (ABC, 2001-02). The two stayed in touch, partly due to their shared love of hockey, with the ever loyal Leary casting Lombardi in his Comedy Central mockumentary, "Contest Greenlight" (Comedy Central, 2002). The four-episode series spoofed HBO's reality talent search "Project Greenlight," staging a fictitious contest where young, obnoxious, wannabe directors pitched TV show ideas. Lombardi emerged as the victor with his idea for a show about five people living in New York's Shew's Building, called "Shews." He also got punched in the face. And fellow cast member Peter Gallagher got hit and killed by a car, which set afire rumors of Gallagher's death by viewers who did not realize the show was fake.Leary boosted the young actor's career to new heights in 2004 when he cast him in a regular role on "Rescue Me," his gritty, comedic drama about New York firefighters. Lombardi underwent firefighting training to take on the character of Mike "Probie" Siletti, a probationary firefighter fresh out of training, and the lowest man on the totem pole at the Engine 62 firehouse. Probie, as he was called, was forever trying to prove his worth to his peers, especially to the dangerously unbalanced but highly-respected veteran firefighter Tommy Gavin (Leary). As the dark, startlingly realistic show evolved, Probie had more to deal with than constant hazing and being the butt of firehouse jokes. His insecurity on the job and constant quest for respect led to a series of unhealthy relationships, including one where he aggressively stalked a rejecter and a series of ambiguously bi-sexual encounters that he was at a loss to understand or define.In 2006, Lombardi co-starred opposite up-and-coming actress, Taryn Manning, in "Banshee," an original action-thriller for the Oxygen network that aired on television in the U.S. and was slated for theatrical release in Europe.