Happy Birthday to Michael Moriarty! This Chicago-rooted American actor, jazz musician, essayist and patriot is a thoughtful critic of American folly and powerful voice for the unborn. I am very proud to correspond with this wonderful man of principle, wit and courage. I first witnessed this man's talents at the Chicago Theatre in 1973, when he starred along with Robert De Niro in the poetic baseball film Bang the Drum Slowly. Mr. Moriarty portrayed a self-interested pitcher who restored his soul by caring for a dying catcher whose career had been notable only for his being the butt of jokes, pranks and ridicule for his team mates. At the end of the film Moriarty narrates a closing sentiment that is one of most heart-wrenching epiphanies in film - " From here on in, I rag nobody."
Michael Moriarty (born April 5, 1941 in Detroit, Michigan) is an Emmy winning American actor. Tall and lanky, this 6'4" actor is known most for his role as Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Stone on the long running TV series Law & Order. He attended the University of Detroit Roman Catholic High School, and then matriculated at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire in 1963, where he was a theatre major.
After he received his degree, he left for London, where he enrolled in the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, after receiving a Fulbright Scholarship.
In 1973, Moriarty was cast to play the egocentric Henry Wiggen in Bang the Drum Slowly, a film about friendship between two unlikely baseball teammates (the second being Robert De Niro, a slow thinking catcher who becomes terminally ill). Moriarty had a strong baseball background on which to draw for the role, as his grandfather George Moriarty had been a third baseman, umpire and manager in the major leagues for nearly 40 years.
In 1973, Moriarty starred in a TV movie adaptation of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie with Katharine Hepburn. Coincidentally, the film also featured Sam Waterston (who replaced Moriarty as the Executive Assistant District Attorney on Law & Order in 1994.) Moriarty's role in Menagerie won him an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Supporting Actor of the Year (see ).
Moriarty's career on the screen was slow to develop, while his theater career was flourishing. He starred as a Nazi bureaucrat who degenerates into a coldblooded murderer in the miniseries Holocaust (which earned him another Emmy). Through the 1980s, Moriarty starred in such Larry Cohen movies as Q, The Stuff, It's Alive 3, and A Return to Salem's Lot, as well as Clint Eastwood's Pale Rider and Hanoi Hilton.
From 1990 to 1994, he starred as Ben Stone on Law & Order. He ended up leaving the show in 1994, alleging that his departure was a result of his threatening a lawsuit against then-Attorney General Janet Reno, who had cited Law & Order as offensively violent. He moved to Canada, declaring himself a political exile, and lived for a time in Halifax and Toronto before settling in Vancouver. Recent projects he has acted in include Courage Under Fire, Along Came a Spider, Shiloh, Emily of New Moon and James Dean, for which he won his third Emmy.
Moriarty today lives in British Columbia, where he still acts and has become politically active, describing himself as a "centrist", which will prove questionable (see http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/1105/1105eugenics.htm]]) to the reader of Enter Stage Right or MMUUUHP (Michael Moriarty Unofficial, Unauthorized, Unsanctioned Home Page).
Moriarty has recently announced his intention to run for President of the United States in 2008. He also has been a frequent contributor of numerous political columns to the ESR (Enter Stage Right) on-line Journal of Conservativism.
He has a website, the allegedly unauthorized MMUUUHP, and his recent blogs there and on ESR contain scathing denunciations of Bill Clinton, Thanaticism, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, anti-Catholicism, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, George W. Bush, both major U.S. political parties, Halliburton, the College of Cardinals, and most of Catholic theology, although he states that he had a Jesuit Catholic upbringing.
[ Visit the complete Wikipedia entry for Michael Moriarty ]
Michael Moriarty is also a fine jazz pianist and a cat of quality:
He sees, why Nature plants in man aloneAlexander Pope Essay on Man
Hope of known bliss, and faith in bliss unknown:
(Nature, whose dictates to no other kind
Are given in vain, but what they seek they find)
Wise is her present; she connects in this
His greatest virtue with his greatest bliss;
At once his own bright prospect to be blest,
And strongest motive to assist the rest.
Self-love thus pushed to social, to divine,
Gives thee to make thy neighbour’s blessing thine.
Is this too little for the boundless heart?
Extend it, let thy enemies have part:
Grasp the whole worlds of reason, life, and sense,
In one close system of benevolence:
Happier as kinder, in whate’er degree,
And height of bliss but height of charity.
God loves from whole to parts: but human soul
Must rise from individual to the whole.
Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake,
As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake!
The centre moved, a circle straight succeeds,
Another still, and still another spreads;
Friend, parent, neighbour, first it will embrace;
His country next; and next all human race
Henry Wiggins - "From here on in, I rag nobody."