Who is Cory Michael Smith?
Born on November 14, 1986 in Columbus, Ohio, USA, Cory Michael Smith is an actor, best known for his work on the television series “Gotham”, playing the villain Edward Nygma, better known under the guise of The Riddler. His character is one of several villains opposite the DC character Batman.
The Wealth 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 where he has worked consistently since 2009. In addition to his television projects, he is also known for his work both on stage and in films.
Beginning of early life, education and career
Cory Michael grew up in Columbus, and at a young age wanted to pursue many interests, dreamed of different career paths, envisioned working as a concert pianist until inspired to pursue a career as a lawyer. He attended Hilliard Darby High School in nearby Hilliard, and after graduating from college, enrolled at Otterbein University, where he began to take 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 a variety of roles through acting, essentially living out some of his childhood dreams or fantasies.
He studied art music theater and jazz piano as a secondary subject, as he still had a strong interest in becoming a professional pianist. In college he acted in numerous 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 college days, he felt a bit discouraged and even considered leaving acting for a pre-law course, but eventually decided to complete his major.
After graduating, he moved to New York City where he quickly became involved in the stage scene, first with Playwrights Horizons. His stage debut was in “The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World”, which led him to star in the 1960 play “The Fantasticks”, although it was inspired by the play “The Romancers” of Edmond Rostand.
In 2013, he made his way to Broadway, in a production of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, based on the novella of the same name written by Truman Capote. He also worked on plays for “Cock”, and after his role there, he ventured into projects on camera.
The following year, he made his feature film debut in “Camp X-Ray,” starring Kristen Stewart, and is based on the titular camp at Guantanamo Bay. He also worked on the short film “Dog Food” with 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 follows the life of James Gordon. The show became known for 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 and demonstrated his path to madness as he eventually becomes The Riddler. The show received many positive reviews, mainly due to its production value and the performances of the actors.
However, ratings steadily declined over the years, but he stuck with the show until it did last season in 2019.
Many fans of the show enjoyed the development of his character, seeing him as the clumsy, nervous, and charming guy who loves riddles. With his struggle for acceptance, he slowly goes insane and eventually makes a mistake, starting a path of murder.
He was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for his performance as Nygmaand which resulted in several film projects being offered to him.
One of the films he starred in while working on “Gotham” was “Carol”, based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel, “The Price of Salt”, also starring Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson and Cate Blanchett. In 2017 he worked on “Surprised”, a film adaptation of the novel of the same name written by Brian Selznick, who was also heavily involved in the making of the film. He was a supporting character in the movie, alongside Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams.
In the same year he returned to the stage with the production “Killers‘, portraying Lee Harvey Oswald who is known for his assassination of US President John F. Kennedy. The play dealt with various assassins throughout history, who may or may not succeed in assassinating US presidents. In 2018, he worked on a number 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, although the show has not yet been released.
There are no reports of Cory Michael’s past or current relationships. He was rumored to be possibly bisexual or gay, due to his character’s love stories in “Gotham” – having been a part of “Gotham” for many years, he has 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 queer. He also identifies as a nerd, as he loves comic book culture.