Michael Richards


Miami Vice Character
Pagone ("The Fix")
July 24, 1949, Culver City, California
Cathleen Lyons (1974-92), one daughter

Michael Anthony Richards (born July 24, 1949) is an American actor and comedian, who appeared in the show Miami Vice as Pagone, a ruthless bookie who loaned gambling money to Judge Roger Ferguson (played by Bill Russell) who wanted the Judge to have his son Matt (played by Bernard King) throw his playoff game to square their account in the episode "The Fix".


Richards was born in Culver City, California. After graduating from Evergreen State College, he had a short-lived comedy routine with Ed Begley, Jr., before beginning his comedy career with a stand-up routine, which caught the attention of Billy Crystal, who included Richards in one of his cable specials, then was added to the show Fridays (ABC's version of Saturday Night Live) in 1980, and was involved in the infamous Andy Kaufman "refuse to do lines" episode where Kaufman threw his drink in Richards' face after Richards brought the cue cards to Kaufman. He left Fridays in 1982 and appeared in his first movie, Young Doctors In Love. Some of his 1980's appearances include five episodes of St. Elsewhere (where he was reunited with Begley, Jr.), Cheers, Scarecrow & Mrs. King (episode with Jack Thibeau), and the movie UHF (with David Proval). His appearance in The Seinfeld Chronicles led him to be cast in his most famous role, as "Cosmo Kramer" in the series Seinfeld, for which he won three Emmy Awards, the most of any of the Seinfeld cast. Some of his other appearances in the 1990s include the movies Coneheads, So I Married an Axe Murderer (with Amanda Plummer), Airheads, and Trial and Error (with Austin Pendleton). In 2000 Richards got his own show, The Michael Richards Show, but its' ratings and reviews were poor, and was cancelled after seven episodes, leading many to consider the failures of Seinfeld's cast to succeed after the show was ended a Seinfeld Curse, which appears to have been broken by Julia Louis-Dreyfus' success in The New Adventures of Old Christine. After Richards' series failure, he went back to stand-up comedy.

Laugh Factory IncidentEdit

On November 17, 2006, during a performance at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood, California, a cell phone video captured Richards shouting "Shut up" to a heckler in the audience, followed by repeated shouts of the N-word to the rest of the audience (using the word six times altogether), and also making a reference to lynching. He was addressing a pair of black hecklers, who retorted by calling Richards a "cracker" and "f-----g white boy." Richards made a public apology for his remarks, during a satellite appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, when Jerry Seinfeld was the guest. He described going into a rage and said, "For me to be at a comedy club and to flip out and say this crap, I'm deeply, deeply sorry." He said he was trying to defuse heckling by being even more outrageous, but that it had backfired. After the incident, Richards retired from stand-up comedy, and returned to television and movies, appearing in Bee Movie and the TV shows Curb Your Enthusiasm and Kirstie.

Personal lifeEdit

Richards married former casting director Cathleen Lyons in 1974, and they had a daughter, Sophia, before their divorce in 1992.

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