In 1993 Michael Rapaport made his film debut in “Zebrahead,” receiving critical acclaim for his genuine and confident portrayal of a Jewish teenager growing up in a predominantly African-American Detroit neighborhood. The performance garnered him an Independent Spirit Award nomination and the film itself won the 1993 Sundance Film Festival’s Filmmaker’s Trophy. Rapaport is familiar to FOX audiences for his role in the comedy series “War At Home” and David E. Kelley’s “Boston Public.” Rapaport most recently played a recurring role on the hit comedy series “My Name Is Earl.” He also appeared as a recurring guest on the hit series “Friends” as “Phoebe”‘s (Lisa Kudrow) boyfriend.
Rapaport will next be seen again at Sundance in the film “The Sophomore” (aka “Assassination of a High School President”) alongside Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton and Melonie Diaz. In 2006, his film “Special” also premiered at the festival to critical acclaim. He also appeared in the feature films “Only in New York” and “The Saints of Mt. Christopher.”
Rapaport co-starred in the romantic comedy “Hitch” opposite Will Smith, as well as the comedy “Live Free or Die.” Prior to that, he starred in the dramatic thriller “29 Palms” and the independent dark comedy “Comic Book Villains.” He also starred opposite Woody Allen and Hugh Grant in the comic-caper “Small Time Crooks,” gave a controversial performance opposite Damon Wayans and Jada Pinkett-Smith in the Spike Lee comedy “Bamboozled,” starred in the period drama “Men of Honor” with Robert DeNiro and Cuba Gooding Jr., co-starred with John Travolta in the Nora Ephron comedy/drama “Lucky Numbers” and appeared in the sci-fi thriller “The 6th Day” with Arnold Schwarznegger.
From his dramatic roles in John Singleton’s “Higher Learning” and Barbet Schroeder’s “Kiss of Death” to his comedic turns in Woody Allen’s “Mighty Aphrodite” and Ted Demme’s “Beautiful Girls,” Rapaport has exhibited a unique versatility throughout his career. Additional film credits include “Metro,” “A Brother’s Kiss,” “Cop Land,” “Kicked in the Head,” “True Romance,” “The Pallbearer,” “Illtown,” “Palmetto” and “Deep Blue Sea.”
Rapaport also has his own production company, Release Entertainment. When not working, he divides his time between New York and Los Angeles.