Michael Anthony Richards is an American actor, comedian, writer and television producer, best 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.
Richards began his career as a stand-up comedian, first entering the national spotlight when he was featured on Billy Crystal's first cable TV special. He went on to become a series regular on ABC's Fridays. Prior to Seinfeld, he made numerous guest appearances on a variety of television shows including Cheers, Night Court, Miami Vice and St. Elsewhere. 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. During the run of Seinfeld, he made a guest appearance in Mad About You. After Seinfeld, Richards starred in his own sitcom, The Michael Richards Show, which lasted less than one full season.
After Seinfeld ended, Richards performed stand-up comedy. After inciting media furor for losing his temper and repeatedly shouting "nigger" at an African American heckler in late 2006, Richards announced his retirement from stand-up in 2007. Richards appeared as himself in the seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2009, acting alongside his fellow cast members for the first time since Seinfeld's finale.