Ebon Moss-Bachrach is an American actor, who is probably best remembered for his roles in the television series “Girls” as Desi Harperin, and “The Punisher” as David Lieberman.
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Early life and family
Ebon Moss-Bachrach was born on 19 March 1977, in New York City, USA, to parents Eric Bachrach and Renee Moss. He has a younger brother named Elan Moss-Bachrach, who was born on 4 January 1983. His father was born in Heidelberg, then West Germany to American parents, and was raised secular in a Jewish neighborhood in The Bronx, then later came a bar mitzvah. He matriculated from Manhattan’s High School of Music and Art, and graduated from Hunter College with a major in English and minor in Music. He was already ‘working’ during his college years in the late 1960’s, as he participated in protests against inequality and oppression in society.
Eric and Renee were educators in New York City public schools right after college, then they relocated to Amherst, Massachusetts when Ebon was about to start his schooling, where Renee managed a secondhand clothing store for kids. Eric established the non-profit Community Music School of Springfield (CMSS) for underprivileged children in December 1983, and became its executive director. He retired in October 2010 after 26 years with the school, but later taught at the University of Massachusetts, played violin in amateur orchestras, and continued to teach violin. In an interview Eric said, ‘I felt very lucky and privileged to do the work, and very lucky and privileged to leave the work.’
Elan is an actor, who appeared as Pete Fairman in the “Woman on the Verge” episode of the “Gossip Girl” series in 2008, and as Rick Siebert in the “Playing Dead” episode of “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” in 2009.
He was also cast in the movie “American Virgin” (2009), and the short comedy “The Best Man” (2010).
Ebon’s grandparents on his father’s side were school teachers, and after World War II his grandfather worked as an interpreter in a non-profit organization that provided assistance for the return of artworks and other items to their original owners, that were taken by the Nazis.
Ebon matriculated from Amherst Regional High School in Massachusetts and graduated from Columbia University in New York City.
His first acting experience was in the junior high school production of Thornton Wilder’s three-act play, “Our Town,” and was followed by the college production of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Ebon made his television debut with the minor role as Billy in the made-for-TV crime thriller, “Murder in a Small Town” (1999), starring Gene Wilder. From May to August in 2000, he played the role of 19‑year‑old Jimmy, who ran-off with his friend’s bored mom, Rita, in the off-Broadway play, “When They Speak of Rita,” by Daisy Foote, which premiered at Primary Stages. He debuted on the big screen as the first waiter in the Ryan Gosling-starring “The Believer,” which took home the grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001.
He has been in more than 30 movies mostly for minor or supporting roles; there were times when he was doing as many as three or four a year and times when none at all. Most of the films that he was part of didn’t break even and only a few were considered box-office hits. Some were entries to international film festivals.
Bachrach was Fredrick the bellboy in the comedy drama, “The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001), which stars Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, and Gwyneth Paltrow, and it had over $70 million gross earnings on a $21 million budget. He was Charlie Stewart in the drama, “Mona Lisa Smile” (2003), starring Julia Roberts, Julia Stiles, Kirsten Dunst, and Maggie Gyllenhaal which grossed over $140 million against the production budget of $72 million. He played the role of Henry Wyler in the romantic drama, “The Lakehouse” (2006), with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, and it had worldwide gross earnings of $115 million on a production budget of $40 million.
More recent movies that he appeared in include “Good Posture” and “Blow the Man Down” that both premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019 and were highly praised by critics.
He was also in “Tesla,” a biographical movie, which was first screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020 and scheduled for release in August 2020.
When he was just starting out as an actor on television, he had guest appearances on the police procedural series “Law & Order” franchise such as in the pilot episode of “Criminal Intent” (2001), the “Truth or Consequences” episode in “Trial by Jury” (2005), and “Informed” episode in “Special Victims Unit” (2006). He was also cast in an episode of the supernatural drama series such as “Fringe” (2008) and “Medium” (2009).
In the critically acclaimed psychological thriller, “Damages,” starring Glenn Close and Rose Byrne, Ebon played the role of Nick Salenger and appeared in eight episodes in 2010.
He had a recurring role in season three of the comedy drama, “Girls,” in which he played the unlikeable character of Desi Harperin then he became part of the main cast in seasons four through six and appeared in a total of 25 episodes (2014-2017). The series received positive reviews from critics for the duration of its run, and it was nominated in various categories by several award-giving bodies and even won a few of them including the Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical at the 70th Golden Globe Awards in 2012.
His big break on television came in 2016 when he was cast as a series regular in the “The Punisher,” which was based on the Marvel Comics character of Punisher/Frank Castle played by Jon Bernthal. Ebon’s character was that of a former NSA (National Security Agency) analyst named David “Micro” Lieberman.
The first season of this web TV series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was released in Netflix on 17 November 2017 and the second season on 18 January 2019, and then the series was cancelled after that.
He was cast in 2018 as a series regular for the role of Christopher McQueen in the supernatural horror, “Nos4A2,” which is a story about Victoria McQueen, played by Ashleigh Cummings, who is a young artist with a supernatural ability of tracking down the evil immortal, Charlie Manx, played by Zachary Quinto. This series from AMC premiered in June 2019 and the second season started airing in June 2020.
Aside from being busy with movie and television work, he also found time to perform in Off-Broadway plays such as “36 Views” (2002), “Fifth of July” (2003), “On the Mountain” (2005), and “Three Sisters” (2011).
Ebon met the Ukrainian photographer, film director, and painter, Yelena Yemchuk, through a mutual friend in 2004.
He has two daughters with her, namely Sasha, who was born in 2007, and Mirabelle, who was born in 2009. They are all currently residing in a loft in Brooklyn.
Who is Yelena Yemchuk?
Yelena Yemchuk was born on 22 April 1970, in Kiev, then Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic, and was 11 when her family immigrated to the US and settled in Brooklyn, New York City. Her interest in photography began when her father gave her a 35 mm Minolta Camera on her 14th birthday. She went to study at Parsons, a private art and design school in Greenwich Village, and at the non-profit Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
As a professional photographer specializing in portraiture and fashion, she worked on advertising campaigns of both luxury and ready-to-wear clothing brands, as well as contributed to various fashion magazines including “The New Yorker,” “W,” “Italian Vogue,” and “Japanese Vogue.”
She also worked on the albums of the Australian pop duo Savage Garden, American-Canadian singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, and the alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins, providing the cover artworks for singles and albums. She also co-directed the music video of “Thirty-Three”, and directed the “Zero” MV. Incidentally, she dated the band’s frontman Billy Corgan from 1995 until 2004.
Her paintings were exhibited at the Dactyl Foundation. Her first book, “Gidropark,” was published in 2011, with photos of the recreational park she used to frequent when she was young, especially during summer time, as it became a playground where people of all ages came to just relax and enjoy its waterfronts. She called it ‘the soviet version of Coney Island’, and was able to capture all of these in the photos she took over three summers, 2005-2008.
Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Desi Harperin on HBO's Girls.
Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
- He was in his teens when he played the piano as a member of a jazz quartet.
- Ebon said that his cooking got him his part in “Girls.” His family was on a weekend getaway, and stayed at the beach house of Jesse Peretz, an old friend and also the director-producer of “Girls.” He met Jenni Konner, one of the executive producers of the series, who was also there with her family, and they bonded over his cooking of Spanish Tortilla, and who later said that she was going to write him a part. He said that he often hears that but it never happens; however, a year later, his agent got a call for him to play the role of Desi.
He is 5ft 10ins (1.78m) tall, weighs 160lbs (73kg), and has a slim build with chest measuring at 41 inches and his waist at 32 inches. He has brown hair and blue eyes.
As of July 2020, Ebon Moss-Bachrach has an estimated net worth of over $2 million according to sources.