1. Michael Anthony Richards is an American actor, writer, television producer and retired comedian, widely known for his portrayal of Cosmo Kramer on the television sitcom Seinfeld, for which he received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series three times.
2. Prior to Seinfeld, he made numerous guest appearances on a variety of television shows.
3. His film credits include So I Married an Axe Murderer, Airheads, Young Doctors in Love, Problem Child, Coneheads, UHF, and Trial and Error, one of his few starring roles.
4. During the run of Seinfeld, he made a guest appearance in Mad About You.
5. After Seinfeld, Richards starred in his own sitcom, The Michael Richards Show, which lasted less than one full season.
6. He incited media furor while performing at the Laugh Factory comedy club in late 2006 after cell phone video was published of him launching into an expletive laced racial tirade primarily directed at a heckling audience member. Subsequent to significant media coverage of the event he announced his retirement from stand-up early in 2007.
7. In 2013, Richards played the role of Frank in the sitcom Kirstie, co-starring Kirstie Alley and Rhea Perlman.
8. Richards was born in Culver City, California, the son of Phyllis , a medical records librarian, and William Richards, an electrical engineer.
9. He trained as a medic and was stationed in West Germany. He also had a short-lived improv act with Ed Begley, Jr. during this period.
10. Enrolled at Los Angeles Valley College, he continued to appear in student productions.
11. On television, Richards also appeared in Miami Vice , and made several guest appearances with Jay Leno as an accident-prone fitness expert.
12. According to an interview with executive producer David Hoberman, ABC first conceived the series Monk as a procedural police comedy with an Inspector Clouseau-like character suffering from obsessive–compulsive disorder.
13. Hoberman said that ABC wanted Richards to play Adrian Monk, but he turned it down.
14. In 1989, he was cast as Cosmo Kramer in the NBC television series Seinfeld, which was created by fellow Fridays cast member Larry David and comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
15. Although it got off to a slow start, by the mid-1990s, the show had become one of the most popular sitcoms in television history.