Michael Ealy has been red-hot, jumping from TV to film and back to TV, seamlessly. Most recently, he was seen in the thriller “The Perfect Guy” for Sony Screen Gems, which hit theaters September 2015. Prior to that, he starred opposite Kevin Bacon as the chilling serial killer Theo on “The Following” on Fox where he was hailed by the media as “the new face of evil.” Now, he will star as Eric Warner, a smart, well-educated heir apparent to his family’s private equity firm on the second season of the hit ABC drama “Secrets and Lies” opposite Juliette Lewis. He seems to have it all, including a beautiful accomplished wife, until one night his wife is murdered, and life, as he knows it, is over.
Previously, Ealy starred in the JJ Abrams’ produced sci-fi television series “Almost Human,” for which he earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Leading Actor in a Drama Series. He also co-starred in “Think Like A Man Too,” the sequel to the smash-hit feature-film, “Think Like A Man,” opposite Kevin Hart, for Sony Screen Gems. Prior to that, Ealy starred in the remake of “About Last Night” (the original starred Demi Moore and Rob Lowe), which was released earlier this year, also through Sony Screen Gems.
In 2012, Ealy starred in the USA TV series “Common Law” and completed multi-episode arcs on CBS’ hit series “The Good Wife,” and Showtime’s critically acclaimed series “Californication” while concurrently shooting the feature adaptation of the renowned theatre production “For Colored Girls Only, Who Consider Committing Suicide When The Rainbow IsNot Enough,” for Tyler Perry Studios and Lionsgate Films. He also starred opposite Kate Beckinsale in “Underworld: Awakening”for Sony Screen Gems. Previously, he was a lead in “Seven Pounds” for Sony Pictures, opposite Will Smith, who handpicked Ealy to play the pivotal role of Smith’s younger brother in this dark drama. Additionally, Ealy starred in Spike Lee’s World War II picture, “The Miracle at St. Anna” for Walt Disney Pictures. His riveting performance was lauded in this true story of four Buffalo Soldiers who risked their lives to save a young Italian boy while in enemy territory. A student of history and supporter of education, Ealy also participated in the docu-mini-series “The People Speak,” based on Howard Zinn’s acclaimed book on History Channel. One of the historical figures he portrayed was “Malcolm X”. Other star-studded performances in the docu-mini-series included Matt Damon, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Don Cheadle, to name a few.
One of Ealy’s most lauded and captivating roles was his starring turn in the Showtime mini-series “Sleeper Cell” where he portrayed Darwyn, a Muslim FBI agent sent undercover to infiltrate a terrorist cell in Los Angeles. “Sleeper Cell” quickly went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Miniseries and an AFI Honor for Best Program of the Year. Ealy also earned a nomination for a Golden Globe for his lead performance in the mini-series. Ealy was chosen by Oprah Winfrey to star opposite Halle Berry in the ABC and Harpo Films television movie “Oprah Winfrey Presents: Their Eyes Were Watching God.” The special received rave reviews and was viewed by over 26 million people. Ealy earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for his portrayal of “Teacake.” Ealy also starred in a Sundance selection, the film noir “Never Die Alone,”opposite DMX, for Fox Searchlight Pictures.
A native of Silver Spring, Maryland, Ealy graduated college with a degree in English. Shortly after, Ealy headed to New York where he performed in several stage productions, including the Off-Broadway hits “Joe Fearless” and “Whoa Jack,” for which he earned an Adelco Award nomination for his performance. It would not be long before Michael nabbed guest-starring roles in NBC’s “Law & Order,” Showtime’s hit series “Soul Food”and then cast in the critically acclaimed film “Kissing Jessica Stein” for Fox Searchlight and “Bad Company for producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
While visiting his friends in Los Angeles, Michael heard about auditions for “Barbershop.” He landed the role of Ricky Nash,a two-strike offender working at the local barbershop. The film earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture, as well as a People’s Choice Award nomination for Favorite Comedy Motion Picture.
Ealy was named one of People’s “On the Verge” actors in the magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” 2002 and 2013 issue. He was also named one of E! Entertainment Television’s “Sizzlin’ 16” of 2004 and appeared on the cover of Essence magazine’s “Hollywood Screen Gems” for their April 2004 issue.
Michael resides in Los Angeles.