Michael Boatman, though born in Colorado Springs the son of an army officer and a job supervisor for the handicapped, was raised in Chicago. His initial interest in acting as a teen was purely mercenary, a way to meet girls. With time, he developed a real interest for the art that led him to enroll in Western Illinois University's theatre program, where he played leads in a variety of classic dramas that included Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Purlie in Purlie Victorious and The Seagull. Boatman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986 and an Alumni Achievement Award in 1997. During his student years he was a member of the student sketch comedy troupe Shock Treatment, which performed at local bars and nightclubs, and his senior year he showed his great potential when he won the Best Supporting Actor Award for a performance in the Irene Ryan National Competition at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C..
Michael returned to Chicago, where he studied acting with Jane Brody, a popular acting teacher and casting director, which eventually led him to the role of Motown in the critically acclaimed Vietnam action drama Hamburger Hill.
From there, he moved to New York City for 18 months establishing his acting credentials in a series of off-Broadway productions. In 1988 he auditioned for the pilot episode of the Vietnam era television drama China Beach and was lured to Los Angeles when he got the role of Private Samuel Beckett, the caustic but funny soldier who ran the morgue; he remained on the show for its entire run.
Later he co-starred on The Jackie Thomas Show and the short-lived series Muscle, until 1996, when he landed a role on the sitcom Spin City, playing New York City mayoral aide Carter Heywood, the irascible, openly gay minority affairs liaison; he was nominated for several NAACP Image Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and won the GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Association Against Defamation) award for Best Actor.
Right away he was cast as sports agent Stanley Babson in the long-running comedy series Arli$$ and again got several nominations for the NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
He spent part of 2005 at Culver-Stockton College mentoring students and acting in the British comedy Noises Off. A long string of notable guest star parts would follow in series such as Less Than Perfect, Yes, Dear, Scrubs, CSI: Miami, Grey's Anatomy, Criminal Minds and Warehouse 13. Five episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and his character reappearance for two more in Law & Order, with other recurring roles in The Game, Sherri and The Good Wife complete, to date, his résumé.
Boatman is also a screenwriter and novelist. He sometimes writes in the horror genre, and his short stories are included in the multi-author anthologies Until Someone Loses an Eye, Sages and Swords and Badass Horror and magazines such as Weird Tales, Horror Garage and Red Scream. His first collection of short stories, God Laughs When You Die, was published in 2007 and his humorous horror novel, The Revenant Road, in 2009.
- Three Chris's (2010) - Walter Wayne
- The Good Wife - 4 episodes (2009-2010) TV episodes - Julius Cain
- Sherri - 8 episodes (2009) TV episodes - Dr. Randolph Gregg.
- The Pool Boys (2009) - Donovan Tucker
- Warehouse 13 - Pilot (2009) TV episode - Professor Marzotto
- Killing of Wendy (2009) - Detective Blake
- The Game - Punk Ass Chauncey, Take a Bow and The Third Legacy (2009) TV episodes - Chauncey
- Criminal Minds - Soul Mates (2009) TV episode - William Harris
- Hannah Montana - Hannah in the Streets with Diamonds (2008) TV episode - Randall Harrison
- And Then Came Love (2007) - Ted
- Grey's Anatomy - My Favorite Mistake (2007) TV episode - Doug Kendry
- Law & Order - House Calls (2003) and Remains of the Day (2007) TV episodes - Dave Seaver
- Frangela (2007) - Adam
- Traveling in Packs (2007) - Bob
- Kalamazoo? (2006) - Special Angel Albert
- Huff - Maps Don't Talk (2006) TV episode - Art
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - 5 episodes (2003-2006) TV episodes - Dave Seaver
- Once Upon a Mattress (2005) - The Jester
- Scrubs - My Roommates (2005) TV episode - Ron Laver
- Play Dates (2005) - Stewart
- Yes, Dear - Couples Therapy (2004) TV episode - Adam
- CSI: Miami - Not Landing (2004) TV episode - Wes Gallagher
- Woman Thou Art Loosed (2004) - Todd
- Educating Lewis (2004) - Joe
- Less Than Perfect - The Umbrella and Choices (2003) TV episodes - Ted Elliot
- Arli$$ - 32 episodes (1996-2002) TV episodes - Stanley Babson
- Spin City - 145 episodes (1996-2002) TV episodes - Carter Heywood
- Walking to the Waterline (1998) - Marshall the Mover
- The Peacemaker (1997) - CPN Beach
- Muscle (1995) TV series - Garnet Hines (unknown episodes, 1995)
- Living Single - Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow... Dammit (1995) TV episode - Brent Washington
- The Larry Sanders Show - I Was a Teenage Lesbian (1995) TV episode - Greg
- The Glass Shield (1994) - Johnny 'J.J.' Johnson
- Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994) (scenes deleted) - Clinic Nurse
- House of Secrets (1993) - Sgt. Joe DuBois
- The Jackie Thomas Show (1992) TV series - Grant Watson (unknown episodes)
- Quantum Leap - Nowhere to Run - August 10, 1968 (1992) TV episode - Sergeant Billy Johnson
- In the Line of Duty: Street War (1992) - Robert Dayton
- Unbecoming Age (1992) - Robert
- China Beach - 61 episodes (1988-1991) TV episodes - Pvt. Samuel Beckett
- Shades of LA - Line of Fire: Part 2 (1991) TV episode - Dr. Robinson
- Fourth Story (1991) - Sgt. Teal
- Donor (1990) - Arnold
- Running on Empty (1988) - Spaulding
- Hamburger Hill (1987) - Pvt. Ray Motown
- Joe - Tiny Mommy - Playwrights HorizonsTheatre - New York City, 1987-88
- Willie - Master Harold ...and the Boys - Royale Theatre, 2003
- Tom - The Glass Menagerie - Lorraine Hansberry Theatre - San Francisco
- Something about That Face - Manhattan Theatre Club.
- Good Laughs When You Die - short stories collection - 2007
- The Flinch - short story, part of the anthology Dark Delicacies III - 2008
- The Revenant Road - novel - 2009
- For an up-to-date Filmography: imdb.com/Michael Boatman