Michael Shannon was a versatile American actor who was best known for his riveting performances in films like "The Shape of Water" (2017), "Take Shelter" (2011), "99 Homes" (2014), and "Revolutionary Road" (2008), the latter of which earned Shannon his first Oscar nod. Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Shannon's parents divorced when he was a young boy, so he spent time living in both Lexington and Chicago (his father was a professor at Chicago's DePaul University). Shannon eventually stayed in Chicago and became drawn to the Windy City's thriving theater scene. He started acting in his late teens, and at 19 helped co-found A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago. Although theater acting was Shannon's first love (he also performed regularly at Chicago's iconic Steppenwolf Theatre), by the mid-90s he began gravitating towards film and acting work. Shannon made a cameo as a groomsman in the 1993 Bill Murray comedy "Groundhog Day" (1993), and appeared in two films in 1997: "The Ride" and "Chicago Cab." By the 2000s Shannon's acting career really began to pick up steam. In addition to appearing in Michael Bay's blockbuster action film "Pearl Harbor" in 2001, Shannon would go on to earn praise for his performances in "8 Mile" (2002), "Bug" (2006), and "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" (2007). In 2008 Shannon played a highly intelligent academic, who's also clinically insane, in the period drama "Revolutionary Road." The film, which also starred Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, earned Shannon his first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In the years that followed his role in "Revolutionary Road," Shannon continued earning raves for his performances in films like "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" (2009), "Take Shelter," "Mud" (2012), and "99 Homes." In 2010 he also began earning raves for playing a prohibition-era government agent on HBO's gangster series "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO, 2010-14). With his acting career on the rise, Shannon earned his second Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actor in 2017 for his role in director Tom Ford's "Nocturnal Animals" (2016). 2017 was also the year Shannon co-starred in Guillermo del Toro's fantasy drama "The Shape of Water," which would go on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The following year, in 2018, Shannon starred in two TV mini-series: "Waco" (Paramount Network, 2018) and "The Little Drummer Girl" (AMC, 2018). By 2019 Shannon had already amassed an impressive body of film and television acting work, but showed no signs of slowing down. That same year he appeared in director Rian Johnson's crime comedy "Knives Out" (2019). That film, which centers on an investigation into the death of a family patriarch, was released in late 2019.
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