Michael Rainey Jr., a budding star of Hollywood, is most renowned for his recurring roles in popular television series ‘Power’ and ‘Orange is the New Black’. This young and handsome actor, who has made quite a name in the world of entertainment, started his journey in the industry featuring in both television and commercials and thereafter in music videos as a child artist. He appeared on-screen for the first time in the popular American TV series for children, ‘Sesame Street’. His breakthrough came when he grabbed the lead role in big screen film ‘Un altro mondo’ at just nine years of age. ‘Learning Uncle Vincent’, a crime drama film was his first American film. He then went on to essay the junior version of the title role in the American historical drama film ‘The Butler’ portraying the main character, Cecil, at the age of eight. His debut in the American comedy-drama web television series ‘Orange Is the New Black’ as Michael Burset and then in the American crime drama television series ‘Power as Tariq St. Patrick, earned him much fame and recognition. His other acting endeavours include comedy film ‘Barbershop 3: The Next Cut’ and TV movie ‘Second Chance Christmas’.
Michael began his career in the world of glamour as a child actor starting with commercials, both in TV and print, doing music videos and making his first appearance on-screen with the long-running American TV series for children, ‘Sesame Street’. He did commercials and print advertisements of several major giants like ‘AT&T’, ‘Target’ and ‘Toys R Us’. His big-break came in 2009 after he was spotted by Italian actor, film director and screenwriter Silvio Muccino and writer Carla Vangelista in the music video for ‘Regalo Pui Grande’ thus landing him with the lead role in big screen flick ‘Un altro mondo’ when he was just nine years old. This 2010 film saw him playing the main role of Charlie opposite Silvio Muccino for which he had to stay in Italy for a while. Preparing for his character in the film he eventually became fluent in speaking Italian.
Back to America, he garnered the role of Woody Watson starring opposite American rapper and actor Common, in the Sheldon Candis directed crime-drama flick ‘Learning Uncle Vincent’ that released at the ‘Sundance Film Festival’ on January 23, 2012 and received nomination for the ‘Grand Jury Prize’ at the festival. Moving on, he became part of the commercially and critically successful American historical drama film ‘The Butler’ that was directed and produced by Lee Daniels and starred the likes of Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda and John Cusack among others. The film released on August 16, 2013, and saw Michael playing the main character of Cecil at the latter’s youngest portrayal in the film.
He essayed the role of Michael Burset in the first three seasons of the American comedy-drama web TV series ‘Orange Is the New Black’ from 2013 to 2015. He was part of the Alton Glass directed 2014 TV1 movie ‘Second Chance Christmas’. Since 2014, he plays the character of Tariq St. Patrick in the American crime drama TV series titled ‘Power’ that airs on ‘Starz’ network. The role that he essayed in four episodes of season 1 and season 2 has become a regular one in season 3 and now in season 4, garnering him much acclaim. Meanwhile, he appeared as Jalen Palmer in the April 2016 released critically acclaimed and commercially successful comedy film ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ starring opposite Ice Cube, Eve, Anthony Anderson, Regina Hall and Cedric the Entertainer among others. His forthcoming film ‘Amateur’ will see him portraying the role of Terron Forte.
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He was born on September 22, 2000, in Louisville, Kentucky, US and was brought up in Staten Island, New York where he is presently settled. He is involved with various philanthropic activities and organisations including the Indiana based organisation ‘Find and Feed’ that aims at aiding the homeless. He shops for the needy during Christmas, feeds the less fortunate ones and buys coats for the destitute. He likes to play video games and basketball apart from spending time with his two terriers. He also has a knack for music and plays the piano and makes music too.