Michael Downend is an actor for stage, television and film including narrations and voice-overs as well as a scriptwriter and novelist. A member of the ASMP, his photography has been shown in numerous exhibitions and is in many collections including that of the late actor, Jason Miller. He was honored for his photo and narrative coverage of the March for Soviet Jewry in Washington, DC.
Downend studied with screenwriter Eleanor Perry (THE SWIMMER, DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE). Although he's played serious roles onstage he's best known or perhaps infamous for playing JORN in THE ROBOT HOLOCAUST featured on Comedy Central and later in the first season of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (MST3K). MGM bought TRH for its permanent library.
He's a member of The Authors Guild, Dramatists Guild, PEN, The Playwrights' Center, The American Society of Media Photographers (AMSP), and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He flew one of the planes from the movie, TORA, TORA, TORA in a Marine Corps reunion airshow in 1990.
Downend also writes as Liam Tracey. He is featured in SO FAR, SO CLOSE, a book about American writers for universities in South America published in 2014.
A former US Marine, he also attended the British Royal Marine Commando School and is an honorary member of the Buckingham Palace Guard. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
His TV mystery series in progress, WORLDLY GOODS, features Detective Inspector Henry Gargan, a morose Irish-American policeman in love with Molly, a lawyer who tries constantly to get her work-obsessed police officer lover to relax a bit and stop taking murder on his watch as a personal affront.
Downend wrote and narrated the award-winning PBS documentary, A JOURNEY TO THE ENDLESS MOUNTAINS, Frank Lloyd Wright FALLING WATER and other programs.
MIN, his play commissioned by public radio and broadcast on NPR, is the first in a series about women—ordinary and heroic. MIN was directed by Don Wildman of The Travel Channel. OCCOQUAN, the story of the imprisonment of the Suffragettes is a script in progress.
AN AMERICAN WIFE (Heartland Plays), a stage play written in collaboration with his late wife, novelist, playwright and poet, Karen Blomain, premiered with an Equity production to sold-out performances at The Electric Theatre Company directed by David Zarko. Nora Hussey produced and directed AN AMERICAN WIFE in Boston in spring 2012.
He received Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Playwriting Fellowships and a Rockefeller Grant for his play, THE MOLA MOLA FISH.
Among his other plays are SWIMS AND LOVES TO DANCE, THE HOUSE ON BUFFALO STREET, AREN’T YOU BONNIE BEDELIA, THE LIGHT FROM DISTANT OBJECTS, THE WATERSHOPS POND INCIDENT, GOING OUT NOISY, THE PLOVERS, THE COVERT MOTEL, MERCY STREET, THE OLD FOLKS AT HOME, THE HAZARD, SYLVAN BEACH, HIGH THIN CIRRUS (sold out at New York's Westbeth Theatre), WOMAN AT THE HOCKNEY EXHIBITION, HONEY, THE VALLARTA TANGO - A Musical, RATTLESNAKE ROUNDUP, CITY AND STATE, and THE PIG KILLERS.
MIN, his play for radio about Min Lurye Matheson who helped found the ILGWU, is being developed as a full-length film script.
His poetry has been published by the University of Chicago Press, the Endless Mountains review and others. Downend has also produced book covers (including the cover art for THE SEASON OF LOST CHILDREN, Karen Blomain’s novel), one-man and group shows.
Accepting international assignments for writing and photography. Has contacts ranging from Moscow to Mexico.