Biography

Though frequently cast in Jewish roles, actor Michael Constantine was actually of Greek extraction. The son of a steel worker, Constantine studied acting with such prominent mentors as Howard DaSilva. The prematurely balding Constantine was playing character roles on and off Broadway in his mid-twenties (he was the Darrow counterpart in the original production of Compulsion), supplementing his income as a night watchman and shooting-gallery barker. In 1959, slightly weary of being ignored by callous Broadway producers and casting directors, Constantine appeared in his first film, The Last Mile (1959), thereby launching a cinematic career that has endured into the mid-1990s. Michael Constantine is perhaps best known for his extensive TV work, notably his four-season (1969-1974) stint as long-suffering high school principal Seymour Kaufman on Room 222 and his starring appearance as night-court magistrate Matthew J. Sirota on the brief 1976 sitcom Sirota's Court. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi