Michael Jeter

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Michael Jeter : biography

1952-8-26 – 2003-3-30

Television

  • From Here to Eternity (1980)
  • Lou Grant (1980); 1 episode
  • Night Court (1986); 1 episode
  • Designing Women (1987); 1 episode
  • Crime Story (1988); 1 episode
  • Hothouse (1988); 7 episodes
  • Another World (1988); 1 episode
  • Evening Shade (1990-1994); 98 episodes as Herman Stiles (cast member)
  • Picket Fences (1993-1995); 3 episodes
  • Tales of the City (1993) as Carson Callas
  • Aladdin (1994); 1 episode (voice)
  • Chicago Hope (1995); 1 episode
  • Dream On (1996); 1 episode
  • Suddenly Susan (1996); 1 episode
  • Duckman (1997); 1 episode (voice)
  • Second Noah (1997); 1 episode
  • Murphy Brown (1997); 1 episode
  • Johnny Bravo (1997); 1 episode (voice)
  • The Wild Thornberrys (1998-1999); 3 episodes (voice)
  • Veronica’s Closet (1998); 1 episode
  • Touched by an Angel (1999); 1 episode
  • Sesame Street (2000-2003) (Elmo’s World as Mr. Noodle’s brother, Mr. Noodle)
  • Taken (2002); 1 episode
  • Hey Arnold! (2002); 1 episode (voice)

Career

His woebegone look, extreme flexibility, and high energy led Tommy Tune to cast him in the off-Broadway play Cloud 9 and again on Broadway in a memorable role in the musical Grand Hotel, for which he won a Tony Award in 1990. Much of his work specialized in playing eccentric, pretentious, or wimpy characters, as in The Fisher King, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Drop Zone. Occasionally, Jeter was able to stay away from these types of roles for more diverse characters like those he portrayed in Jurassic Park III (where he was killed by a dinosaur), Air Bud and Open Range, although his character in The Green Mile could easily be described as both eccentric and wimpy. He won an Emmy Award in 1992 for his role in the television sitcom Evening Shade as math teacher and assistant football coach Herman Stiles. In the Evening Shade episode "Chip Off the Old Brick" Brian Keith plays his macho truck driver father, Brick Stiles. He was also a favorite with younger audiences in his role as Mr. Noodle’s brother, Mr. Noodle on Sesame Street from 1999 to 2003. The movies The Polar Express and Open Range are dedicated to his memory.The Polar Express film credits.Open Range film credits. He appeared in an episode of Touched by an Angel in 1999 as Gus, an insurance salesman who arrives in Las Vegas in the episode "The Man Upstairs".

Death

On March 30, 2003, Jeter was found dead in his Hollywood home at the age of 50. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered. Although he had HIV, he had been in good health for many years, and it is believed that he died of an epileptic seizure.

Tributes

The Polar Express, in which Jeter played Smokey and Steamer using motion-capture, was his final film role and the movie was dedicated to him with a statement at the very end of the credits reading, "Dedicated to the memory of Michael Jeter" with his photo next to it.The Advocate, September 2, 1997

The Sesame Street episode "The Street We Live On" was dedicated to him, with a statement that said "In Memory of Michael Jeter" following a 35-year timeline at the end of the episode.

Early life

Michael Jeter was born in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. His mother, Virginia (née Raines; May 6, 1927), was a housewife. His father, William Claud Jeter (March 10, 1922 – March 1, 2010), was a dentist. Jeter had one brother, William, and four sisters, Virginia, Amanda, Emily, and Larie. Jeter was a student at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis) when his interests changed from medicine to acting. He performed in several plays and musicals at the Circuit Theatre and its sister theatre, the Playhouse on the Square, in mid-town Memphis. He left Memphis to further pursue his stage career in Baltimore, Maryland.

Theater work

  • Once in a Lifetime
  • G. R. Point
  • Cloud 9
  • Grand Hotel
  • Alice in Concert
  • Greater Tuna