Michael Boatman is an American actor best known for his roles as Sam Beckett on the drama series China Beach (1988-1991), and as Carter Haywood on the sitcom Spin City, from 1996-2002.
He also had a recurring role as Stanley Babson on Arli$$, from 1996-2002.
Boatman was born in Colorado Springs but grew up in Chicago, the oldest of three children. He first became involved in theatre to meet girls at school, and later became a member of the speech team, participating in competitions.
He studied theatre at Western Illinois University, playing major roles in plays ranging from Purlie Victorious to The Seagull and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
He performed at the Kennedy Center in the Irene Ryan National Competition, for which he won the Best Supporting Actor Award.
After graduation, he worked for a casting director for a month and was then cast as Motown in Hamburger Hill, which was shot in the Philippines and which, he notes, was the first film job for nearly every actor in the movie, including himself.
Upon completion of Hamburger Hill, Boatman moved to New York, where he performed off-Broadway and worked various jobs. He then relocated to Los Angeles for ABC's dramatic series China Beach.
Boatman's television career took off, and his roles since have included Muscle, in which he co-starred with Alan Ruck, as well as The Jackie Thomas Show.
He has guest-starred on The Larry Sanders Show, Living Single, Quantum Leap, Less Than Perfect, CSI: Miami, Scrubs, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Huff, Law & Order and Grey's Anatomy, amongst others.
He has also been in numerous made-for-TV movies, including Fourth Story for cable, In the Line of Duty: Street War, and the PBS special, The Trial of Bernard Goetz.
Boatman's other films include The Peacemaker, The Glass Shield, Sidney Lumet's Running On Empty, and the independent film, Unbecoming Age.
His theatre work includes The Glass Menagerie in San Francisco, and the off-Broadway Tiny Mommy at the Playwright's Horizons.
Boatman's second love is writing, and he has written two science fiction-oriented novels. He has also been an avid comic-book collector since the third grade.
He has been married to Myrna Forney since 28 November 1992. The couple spend their time in both Los Angeles and New York, with their four children.