Anthony Michael Hall was born in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. His parents are Mercedes Hall, an actress-blues and jazz singer, and Larry Hall, who owned an auto body shop. His stepfather is a show-business manager. His sister, Mary Christian, is also a performer. He has Irish and Italian ancestry. Hall’s given name was Michael Anthony Thomas Charles Hall, but he adopted the Anthony Michael moniker upon finding that another Michael Hall was already a member of the Screen Actors’ Guild.
Hall began acting in commercials at the age of seven, and his breakthrough role was as Rusty Griswold in National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) alongside Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo. Following the success of National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), Hall entered the defining period of his career, starring in three John Hughes classics: Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985) and Weird Science (1985). Wanting to avoid being typecast, Hall turned down roles in two subsequent 1986 Hughes films, Pretty in Pink (1986) and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986). His early television credits include the Emmy Award-winning “The Gold Bug”, in which he played the young Edgar Allan Poe, as well as the TV movie Rascals and Robbers: The Secret Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn (1982), and specials “The Body Human” and “Orphans, Waifs and Wards”. On stage, he appeared in the Lincoln Center Festival’s production of “St. Joan of the Microphone”.
Following a one-year stint on Saturday Night Live (1975), excessive drinking and partying threatened to sidetrack Hall’s career. However, he was able to regain control and has been sober since 1990, the year he played the role of Jim in Edward Scissorhands (1990). After a series of minor roles in the 1990s, he starred as Microsoft chairman Bill Gates in the television movie Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999). Since that time, Hall has focused on television work, including an 81-episode run on Stephen King’s The Dead Zone (2002), but has managed to take on film projects as well, including the role of Mike Engel in The Dark Knight (2008).
In addition to acting, Hall has also pursued his musical talents, as songwriter and lead singer of his band, Hall of Mirrors, which was formed in 1998. Hall helps at-risk youth via the Anthony Michael Hall Literacy Club and lives in Los Angeles, Caifornia.
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