Anthony Michael Hall
Michael Anthony Hall (born April 14, 1968), known professionally as Anthony Michael Hall, is an American actor, film producer and director who starred in several teen-oriented films of the 1980s. Hall diversified his roles to avoid becoming typecast as his geek persona, joining the cast of Saturday Night Live (1985-1986) and starring in films such as Out of Bounds (1986), Johnny Be Good (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990) and Six Degrees of Separation (1993). After a series of minor roles in the 1990s, he starred as Microsoft's Bill Gates in the 1999 television film Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Anthony Michael Hall was born in West Roxbury, a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the only child of blues-jazz singer Mercedes Hall's first marriage. She divorced Hall's father, Larry, an auto-body-shop owner, when their son was six months old. When Hall was three, he and his mother relocated to the West Coast where she found work as a featured singer. After a year and a half, they returned to the East, eventually moving to New York City, where Hall grew up. Hall's ancestry is Irish and Italian. He has one half-sister, Mary Chestaro, from his mother's second marriage to Thomas Chestaro, a show business manager. His half-sister is pursuing a career as a singer under the name of Mary C. Hall uses the name Anthony, rather than Michael. He transposed his first and middle names when he entered show business because there was another actor named Michael Hall who was already a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Hall attended St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's School of New York before moving on to Manhattan's Professional Children's School. Hall began his acting career at age eight and continued throughout high school. "I did not go to college," he has said, "but I'm an avid reader in the ongoing process of educating myself." Through the 1980s, Hall's mother managed his career, eventually relinquishing that role to her second husband.
Hall started his career in commercials when he was seven years old. He was the Honeycomb cereal kid and appeared in several commercials for toys and Bounty. His stage debut was in 1977, when he was cast as the young Steve Allen in Allen's semi-autobiographical play The Wake. He went on to appear in the Lincoln Center Festival's production of St. Joan of the Microphone, and in a play with Woody Allen. In 1980, he made his screen debut in the Emmy-winning TV movie The Gold Bug, in which he played the young Edgar Allan Poe, but it was not until the release of the 1982 Kenny Rogers film Six Pack that he gained real notice.
Anthony Michael Hall as Rusty Griswold in 1983's National Lampoon's Vacation
The following year, Hall landed the role of Rusty Griswold, Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo's son, in National Lampoon's Vacation, catching the attention of the film's screenwriter John Hughes, who was about to make the jump to directing. "For to upstage Chevy, I thought, was a remarkable accomplishment for a 13-year-old kid," said Hughes. The film was a significant box office hit in 1983, grossing over US$61 million in the United States.After Vacation, Hall moved on to other projects and declined to reprise his role in the 1985 sequel.
The 2001 film Not Another Teen Movie pays tribute to Hall's numerous appearances in the teen-oriented, '80s comedy films parodied by the movie. A brief shot of the sign over the door of a high school cafeteria reveals that the facility is named the "Anthony Michael Dining Hall." In 2006, Hall was ranked # 4 in VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Teen Stars" and # 41 in "100 Greatest Kid Stars."
In June 2005, The Breakfast Club was rewarded with the "Silver Bucket of Excellence Award" at the MTV Movie Awards, in honor of the film's twentieth anniversary. MTV attempted to reunite the original cast; Sheedy, Ringwald, and Hall appeared together on stage, and Paul Gleason personally gave the award to his former castmates. Estevez could not attend because of family commitments, and Nelson appeared earlier on the red carpet but left before the on-stage reunion for reasons unknown. Hall joked that the two were "in Africa with Dave Chappelle."