Film and television actor Michael Joseph Kelly was born May 22, 1968, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He spent the bulk of his childhood in Lawrenceville, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, and is one of four children raised by parents, Michael and Maureen Kelly.
After graduating Brookwood High School in Snellville, Georgia, in 1987, he enrolled at Coastal Carolina University (CCU) in South Carolina, where he planned to study law. Plans changed, however, after he took an acting class.
Kelly graduated CCU in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in dramatic arts. For a time he continued to live near Myrtle Beach, waiting tables and soaking up the beach culture as he planned his next steps in life. He kept active on the stage by working for a local children's troupe.
Longing to take a real shot at making it as an actor, Kelly eventually called a family friend in LA who knew the business and asked him for advice. Soon, Kelly had bags packed and relocated to New York with less than $500 in his pocket.
In 1998, Kelly earned his first serious recognition for playing Frankie in the Sundance Film Festival winner, River Red. Other parts soon came his way in movies like Man on the Moon (1999), starring Jim Carrey, and later Clint Eastwood's The Changeling (2008), in which he played Detective Lester Ybarra, a role he has called one of his all-time favorites.
In 2013 he played Steve Lombard in the blockbuster Superman reboot, Man of Steel. More recently he portrayed the author and mountaineer, Jon Krakauer in the 2015 film, Everest, which is based on Krakauer's 1997 true life book about a group of climbers who experience severe hardships and fatalities as they attempt to climb the famed peak.
Kelly and his wife, Karyn, have two sons, Clinton and Frankie. The family lives in New York City.
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