Joan of Arcadia's Brother
"I always thought it'd be fun to go to a sci-fi convention, watch a bunch of Klingons walking around, all of that kind of stuff." Michael Welch.
Young Artist Award-winning actor Michael Welch received praised for his performances as Artim, the Ba'ku child befriended by Lt. Commander Data (played by Brent Spiner), in his film debut, "Star Trek: Insurrection" (1998), and later as Luke Girardi, the younger brother to Amber Tamblyn's title role, on CBS fantasy/family drama series "Joan of Arcadia" (2003-2005).
The actor who first appeared on screen at age 10 with a guest spot as the younger version of David Hyde Pierce's Dr. Niles Crane in an episode of "Frasier," has guest starred in such TV shows as "Veronica's Closet," "Chicago Hope," "7th Heaven," "Walker, Texas Ranger," "The Drew Carey Show," "Malcolm in the Middle," "The X Files," "Touched by an Angel," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Stargate SG-1," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," and "Numb3rs." He now plays Ike on FX Golden Globe Award- and Emmy Award-nominated serial drama "The Riches" (2007-Present), alongside Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver.
On the big screen, the 5' 10" actor could be seen in the films "Straight Right" (2000), "Delivering Milo" (2001), "The Angel Doll" (2002), "The United States of Leland" (2003), "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane" (2006), "An American Crime" (2007), "Choose Connor" (2007), "The Beautiful Ordinary" (2007), "American Son" (2008), and "The Grind" (2008). Next, he will star in the upcoming films "The Thacker Case," "Twilight," and "Lost Dream."
Childhood and Family:
In Los Angeles, California, Michael Welch, nicknamed “Mike,” was born on July 25, 1987. He has an older sister, Sarah, who is an Optometrist working in a VA Hospital, and a nephew named Paul. His family owns a dog named Charley.
Welch is a skilled drummer and played drums in a band with another actor, Joey Zimmerman. He is close friends with his "Joan of Arcadia" (2003) co-star Chris Marquette and Aaron Himelstein, who played the recurring character Friedman on that series. Although he and Himelstein had known each other for several years, they did not become good friends until the series began in 2003.
Welch's favourite TV show is "Family Guy" (1999) and his favourite films are “Ferris Bueller's Day Off” (1986) and “The Matrix” (1999). He got his first car, a Toyota Prius, in October 2004.
At the age of 10, Michael Welch began his acting career with a guest spot as the younger version of David Hyde Pierce's Dr. Niles Crane in a January 1998 episode of NBC sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer, "Frasier." He followed it up with more guest roles on the NBC sitcom starring Kirstie Alley, "Veronica's Closet," and in the CBS medical drama "Chicago Hope."
He also made his film debut with "Star Trek: Insurrection" (1998), Jonathan Frakes-directed science fiction feature based on the "Star Trek" television series in which he portrayed Artim, the Ba'ku child befriended by Lt. Commander Data (played by Brent Spiner). His performance in the film received praise and won him a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor.
Welch played the recurring roles of Michael Rush (1998-1999) on ABC sitcom "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" and Gabe (1999) on NBC sitcom starring Christina Applegate, "Jesse." Meanwhile, he guest-starred in an episode of WB/CW family drama "7th Heaven," CBS western/police dramatic series starring Chuck Norris, "Walker, Texas Ranger," and ABC sitcom "The Norm Show." He also provided his voice in the video game "Villains' Revenge."
The new millennium saw Welch in director P. David Ebersole's independent boxing drama film starring Brent Smith, "Straight Right," and in the romantic comedy TV movie starring Valerie Bertinelli and Jeffrey Nordling, "Personally Yours." He was also spotted as a guest in an episode of the CBS sitcom starring Alfred Molina, "Ladies Man," UPN sitcom "Shasta McNasty," NBC drama "The Pretender," and ABC long-running sitcom "The Drew Carey Show."
From 2001 to 2002 Welch voiced Pinocchio on ABC animated series "House of Mouse." During this time, he appeared in the films "Delivering Milo" (2001), a comedy by Nick Castle starring Anton Yelchin, Albert Finney, and Bridget Fonda, and "The Angel Doll" (2002), Alexander Johnston's big screen adaptation of Jerry Bledsoe's novel. He also starred in the TV movie version of Karen Cushman's novel, "The Ballad of Lucy Whipple" (2001; with Jena Malone in the title role), as well as lent his voice in the animated TV movies "Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse" (2001) and "Rocket Power: Race Across New Zealand" (2002).
Additionally, he guest-starred in an episode of FOX critically-acclaimed sitcom starring Frankie Muniz, "Malcolm in the Middle," FOX hit sci-fi series "The X Files," Sci Fi Channel series "The Invisible Man," CBS family/drama "Touched by an Angel," CBS police drama "The District," CBS serial drama starring Amy Brenneman, "Judging Amy," The WB drama series loosely based on the DC Comics, "Birds of Prey," and CBS crime drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." He also appeared in the TV commercials for Febreze (2001) and Sylvan Learning Center (2002).
"[You have to] put your own ego aside and do what's right for the role. I've always been willing to do that. I really don't care what I look like as long as it fits with the thing I'm working on." Michael Welch.
In 2003, Welch landed his most popular TV role to date, as Luke Girardi, the younger brother to Amber Tamblyn's title role, on CBS fantasy/family drama series "Joan of Arcadia." He stayed on the show since its pilot on September 26, 2003 until its finale on April 22, 2005. His performance on the show won him a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) - Supporting Young Actor in 2004.
Regarding his performance as Luke on "Joan of Arcadia," Welch commented, "I don't feel that I'm playing it like a nerd. I've never liked to play stereotypes."
During his "Joan of Arcadia" stint, Welch co-starred with Don Cheadle, Ryan Gosling, Kevin Spacey, and Michelle Williams in Matthew Ryan Hoge's dramatic movie "The United States of Leland" (2003), in which he played a mentally retarded boy named Ryan Pollard who is killed by Gosling's character. He also played guest roles on Showtime/SCI FI military science fiction series "Stargate SG-1" (as the younger version of Richard Dean Anderson's Jack O'Neill), ABC animated series "Fillmore!," CBS FBI drama "Without a Trace," Lifetime medical drama "Strong Medicine," and CBS police procedural drama "Cold Case." Additionally, he starred in the TV commercial for Subway (2003).
Post "Joan of Arcadia," Welch was cast in the films "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane" (2006), a horror/thriller by Jonathan Levine starring Amber Heard, "An American Crime" (2007), a true story-based crime drama by Tommy O'Haver starring Ellen Page and Catherine Keener, "Choose Connor" (2007), a drama written and directed by Luke Eberl starring Steven Weber and Alex D. Linz, and "The Beautiful Ordinary" (2007), a drama/comedy by Jess Manafort featuring Amber Heard, Alexa Vega, Leighton Meester, and Melonie Diaz.
He also guest-starred in on CBS police procedural drama "Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service," NBC crime/drama starring Jill Hennessy, "Crossing Jordan," NBC cop/crime drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," CBS show "Numb3rs," and CBS crime drama "CSI: Miami."
Welch was recently seen in the 2008 films "American Son," a drama by Neil Abramson starring Nick Cannon, "Day of the Dead," a horror/thriller by Steve Miner starring Mena Suvari and Nick Cannon, and "The Grind," a crime film by Rishi Opel and starring Jamie Foreman and Freddie Connor. Meanwhile, TV viewers could catch him on FX Golden Globe Award- and Emmy Award-nominated serial drama "The Riches." In the show that stars Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver, Welch played Ike, a security guard at Edenfalls who developed a romantic relationship with Shannon Marie Woodward's Di Di.
Welch will soon complete his new films, "The Thacker Case," an indie crime/drama by Brian Jun in which Welch stars as a repeat drunk driving offender opposite Eliza Dushku, a yet-untitled David Lee Miller project in which he will team up with David Carradine and Mariel Hemingway, and "Twilight," the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's 2005 best-selling vampire novel of the same in which he will portray Mike Newton, one of Bella's (played by Kristen Stewart) new friends who vies for her attention.
He is also working on a drama film written and directed by Asif Ahmed, "Lost Dream," in which he stars as the emotionally bereft and depressed son of a corrupt Congressman who is about to graduate from a prestigious private college.
"I played a Buddhist monk on 'Chicago Hope.' I was eleven at the time. They shaved my head, and I got to be a Buddhist! It was interesting! There was also 'CSI,' which was some of the hardest acting I've ever done. It was like a three minute autopsy scene, and there's this master shot that had every actor in it. I'm dead, so I can't move or breathe for three minutes. It was so hard to do that!" Michael Welch (on some of his favorite roles).
Young Artist: Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) - Supporting Young Actor, "Joan of Arcadia," 2004
Young Artist: Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor, "Star Trek: Insurrection," 1999