Who is Cory Michael Smith?
Cory Michael Smith was born on 14 November 1986, in Columbus, Ohio, USA, and is an actor, best known for his work in the television series “Gotham” in which he portrayed the villain Edward Nygma, better known under the guise of The Riddler. His character is one of the many villains opposite the DC character Batman.
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The Riches of Cory Michael Smith
As of mid-2020, Cory Michael Smith’s net worth is estimated to be over $1 million, earned through a successful career in the acting profession, working consistently since 2009. Aside from his television projects, he’s also known for his work both on stage and in films.
Early Life, Education, and Career Beginnings
Cory Michael grew up in Columbus, and at a young age he wanted to pursue many interests, dreaming of various career paths, imagining himself from working as a concert pianist to being inspired to pursue a career as a lawyer. He attended Hilliard Darby High School located in nearby Hilliard, and after matriculating, he enrolled at Otterbein University where he began to develop an interest in the performing arts. The university is named after Philip William Otterbein, the founder of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ.
He realized that he could play various roles through acting, essentially living out some of his childhood dreams or fantasies.
He majored in art musical theatre, and minored in jazz piano, as he still had a strong interest in being a professional pianist. At university, he appeared in numerous stage plays – one of his first projects was “The Scene”, written by Theresa Rebeck. He also worked on “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, “Tartuffe” and “The Caucasian Chalk Circle”.
Professional Acting Career
For some time during his student years, he felt a little discouraged and even considered leaving acting behind for a course in pre-law, but he eventually determined to complete his major.
After graduating, he moved to New York City where he quickly became involved in the stage scene, first joining Playwrights Horizons. His debut play appearance was in “The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World”, which led him to star in the stage play “The Fantasticks”, which originated in 1960 though it is inspired by the Edmond Rostand play “The Romancers”.
In 2013, he made his way to Broadway, in a production of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” which is based on the novella of the same name written by Truman Capote. He also worked on plays for “Cock”, and following his role there, he ventured into on-camera projects.
The following year, he made his feature film debut in “Camp X-Ray”, which starred Kristen Stewart, and is based on the titular camp located in Guantanamo Bay. He also worked on the short film “Dog Food”, alongside Amanda Seyfried.
Rise to Fame – Gotham
Later in 2014, Cory Michael was cast in the series “Gotham”, intended as a prequel to the Batman comics, and following the life of James Gordon. The show became known for its dealing with the origin stories of many villains, including Penguin, Scarecrow, Solomon Grundy, Ra’s al Ghul, the Mad Hatter, and Poison Ivy.
He was cast as Edward Nygma, showcasing his path to madness as he eventually becomes The Riddler. The show gained a lot of positive reviews, particularly for the production value and the performance of its actors.
However, its ratings went on a steady decline over the years, but he stayed with the show until its final season in 2019.
A lot of the show’s fans enjoyed his character’s development, as they saw him as the awkward, nervous, and charming man who loves riddles. With his struggle for acceptance, he slowly turns insane and eventually makes a mistake, leading him to begin a path of killing.
He was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for his performance as Nygma, and which resulted in several film projects offered to him.
One of the films he was in while working on “Gotham” was “Carol”, which is based on the Patricia Highsmith novel, “The Price of Salt”, also starring Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson and Cate Blanchett. In 2017 he worked on “Wonderstruck”, a film adaptation of the novel of the same name written by Brian Selznick, who was also deeply involved with the creation of the film. He was a supporting character in the film, alongside Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams.
During the same year, he returned to the stage with the production “Assassins”, in which he portrayed Lee Harvey Oswald who’s known for his assassination of US President John F. Kennedy. The play dealt with various assassins throughout history, who succeeded or failed to assassinate US Presidents. In 2018, he worked on a couple of films including “1985” and “First Man”, the latter based on the James R. Hansen book “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong”, a biography of the first man on the moon. In 2019, it was also announced that he would be joining the cast of the series “Utopia”, which is based on a British show of the same name.
Filming has been completed though the show has not yet been released.
There have been no reports regarding any of Cory Michael’s past or present relationships. There were rumors that he was possibly bisexual or gay, due to his character’s love stories while in “Gotham” – since he was a part of “Gotham” for many years, he’s grown close to many of the show’s cast members. He confirmed the rumors in 2018, when he announced through a publication that he identifies as a queer. He also identifies as a geek, as he loves comic book culture.