Michael Lorenzo Urie (born August 8, 1980) is an actor, producer and director. He is best known for his portrayal of Marc St. James on the ABC dramedy series Ugly Betty.
Urie attended Plano Senior High School, Vines High School and Haggard Middle School, all in Plano, Texas.
In 1998, he won a Dramatic Interpretation award for Confessions of a Nightingale by Charlotte Chandler at the National Forensic League National Tournament in St. Louis, Missouri. Urie graduated from the Juilliard School, class of 2003.
While still a student at Juilliard, Urie performed in the world premiere of Love and Happiness (2001) at the Consolati Performing Arts Center, starring as a sixteen-year-old trying to get rid of his mother's boyfriend. In addition to this, he appeared in student productions of Sylvia (1998) and Locked Away (1999) at Quad C Theatre.
Urie played the central character in the stage play WTC View as well as in the film adaptation. He is currently finishing a short documentary film, Two Down that centers on high school speech and debate tournaments, for Frontal Lobe Productions.
He is on the board of Plum Productions and serves as its casting director. With the same company he has produced and appeared in Prachtoberfest and lowbrow (and a little bit tacky). As a freelance producer, he has worked on Like The Mountains and The Fantasticks (Four Players Theatre). He also directed the latter production.
When Urie landed the role of "Marc St. James" on Ugly Betty, his character was supposed to be a recurring regular, but Urie was billed as guest starring in the credits, which was due to contractual disputes. After these issues were resolved, Urie was made a full time regular. Patti LuPone played Marc's mother in at least one episode. He and the cast were nominated for Screen Actors Guild awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 2007 and 2008.
During the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike Urie hosted TLC's reality-based series "Miss America Reality Check." The program followed the contestants participating in the 2008 Miss America Pageant.
Urie returns often to his theater roots, including his recent direction of a one-night celebrity performed staging of Howard Ashman's unproduced musical "Dreamstuff". The musical was re-imagined by Howard's partners Marsha Malamet and Dennis Green and performed one night only at Los Angeles' Hayworth Theatre as part of the Bruno Kirby celebrity reading series. Eden Espinosa starred in the show along with Fred Willard, Vicki Lewis, David Blue (actor) and Luke MacFarlane.
In a December 2006 issue of dot glbt news magazine, it was reported that Urie is openly gay, though in an article for USA Today he said that, even though he is single, he did not want to divulge any information on his sexual orientation or his love life: "It's not black and white; I'm still young, still figuring my life out," he says. "I love the mystery. I'm not going to lie, but I'm not going to talk about it."
Later, the website OutinHollywood.com had an interview with Urie discussing his sexuality. When asked if he was "out", Urie said "no" and handled the conversation "gracefully" by explaining that he was not and noted that dot glbt news had retracted the article that had originally outed him.
Just like on Ugly Betty, Urie is best friends with fellow cast member Becki Newton. Both of them are the hosts of the official podcast of the show.