With his lanky frame and chameleon-like features Michael Shannon has a knack of stealing scenes with memorable minor parts. He did it as Eminem's terrifying stepdad in 8 Mile and then again playing a loser con to Will Smith's cop in Bad Boys II.
But despite making his screen debut in 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, it was not until his Oscar nomination for the Kate Winslet vehicle Revolutionary Road that the versatile performer really got noticed in Hollywood.
Born on August 7, 1974, in Lexington, Kentucky, the 6ft 3in actor first came to prominence on the Chicago stage scene, helping found A Red Orchid Theatre and appearing in productions mounted by the prestigious Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where he met wife Kate Arrington. The couple have a daughter, Sylvia, born in 2008.
While building a respectable stage career Michael also kept busy on the big screen. In 2001 he had substantial roles in Pearl Harbour and Tom Cruise flick Vanilla Sky. Six years later his career received a major boost with his turn as a paranoid loner who finds love with Ashley Judd in the drama Bug.
Then came Revolutionary Road, in which he shared the screen with Kate and Leonardo DiCaprio in the tale of a failing marriage. Although his character, Kathy Bates' emotionally unstable son, had only two scenes, he ended up scoring the 2009 best supporting actor Academy Award nod.
The film also brought more work. In indie fare such as My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done with Chloe Sevigny, and Mickey Rourke movie 13, as well as a role in Empire, Martin Scorcese's TV drama series chronicling the rise of casino mecca Atlantic City.