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 began his career in commercials and on stage as a child, and made his screen debut in 1980. His films with director-screenwriter John Hughes, beginning with the popular 1984 coming-of-age comedy Sixteen Candles, shaped his early career. Hall's next movies with Hughes were the teen classics The Breakfast Club and Weird Science, both in 1985. His performances as lovable geeks in these three films connected his name and face with the stereotype for an entire generation.
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. He had the leading role in the USA Network series The Dead Zone, from 2002 to 2007. During its run, the show was one of the highest-rated cable television series.
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 another actor named Michael Hall was already a member of the Screen Actors Guild.