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Paul Sparks

Paul Sparks

American actor
The basics
Quick Facts
Occupations Actor Stage actor Film actor Television actor
Countries United States of America
Gender male
Birth October 16, 1971 (Lawton)
Education New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
The details

Paul Sparks (born October 16, 1971) is an American actor. He is known for his role as Mickey Doyle in the HBO period drama series Boardwalk Empire and for his Primetime Emmy Award-nominated role as Thomas Yates in the Netflix political drama series House of Cards. He has also appeared in the films Deception (2008), Afterschool (2008), The Missing Person (2008), Mud (2012), Parkland (2013), and Stealing Cars (2015).

Early life and career

Sparks was born and raised in Lawton, Oklahoma, to Mike Sparks, a high school football coach, and an elementary school teacher mother. He attended Marlow High School, where his father coached, graduating in 1990. Sparks earned a scholarship to Oklahoma State University to study chemistry, but later transferred to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drama in 1995.

In 2010, Sparks began portraying the regular role of Mickey Doyle on HBO's drama series Boardwalk Empire, which was created by Terence Winter and executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Mark Wahlberg. The series ended in 2014, after completing five seasons.

Personal life

Sparks is married to actress Annie Parisse, after meeting in 2005. Their first child, a son named Emmett, was born in October 2009. The couple are also parents to a daughter, whose name and birth date have not been disclosed. Sparks suffers from diabetes mellitus type 1 and works with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He is good friends with fellow actor Michael Shannon; the two have worked together on a number of projects including The Missing Person, Mud, Boardwalk Empire, and Midnight Special.



Year Title Role Notes
2005 Headspace Jason
2006 The Treatment Andre
2007 Blackbird Baylis
2008 Synecdoche, New York Derek
2008 Rachel Getting Married 12 Step Member
2008 Deception Detective Burke
2008 Afterschool Detective Eclisse
2008 The Missing Person Gus Papitos
2008 The Understudy Bobby
2010 Please Give Blind Date
2010 Edge of Darkness Police Detective
2011 Return Ed
2012 Forgetting the Girl Tanner
2012 Mud Carver
2012 Sparrows Dance Wes
2013 Trust Me Ray
2013 Parkland Harry McCormick
2015 Stealing Cars Conrad Sean Lewis
2016 Midnight Special Agent Miller
2016 All the Birds Have Flown South Stephen
2016 In the Radiant City Michael Yurley
2017 Thoroughbred Mark


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Trinity Rod Episode: "In a Yellow Wood"
2000 Law & Order Paul Luterik Episode: "Panic"
2001 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Marvin Posey Episode: "Manhunt"
2005 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Keith Durbin Episode: "Shibboleth"
2006 Brotherhood Aaron 3 episodes
2010–2014 Boardwalk Empire Mickey Doyle 36 episodes
2011 Mildred Pierce Ted Hobey Episode: "Part Five"
2012–2013 Underemployed Guy Doyle 3 episodes
2013 M.Y.C. Mickey Mothstein Television short
2013 Person of Interest Wilson Episode: "Relevance"
2014 Believe Karl McKenzie Episode: "Bang and Blame"
2015–present House of Cards Thomas Yates 15 episodes
2016–present The Girlfriend Experience David Tellis 12 episodes
2016 The Night Of Don Taylor 6 episodes


Year Title Role Location/Company
2000 Coyote on a Fence Bobby Reyburn Urban Stages
2003–2004 Take Me Out Jason Chenier Walter Kerr Theatre
Shane Mungitt
Kippy Sunderstrom
2004 Blackbird Baylis Edge Theater Company
2005 Orange Flower Water Brad Youngquist
2006 Landscape of the Body Marvin Holahan Signature Theatre Company
2007 Essential Self-Defense Yul Carroll Edge Theater Company
2009 Hedda Gabler Ejlert Lovborg American Airlines Theatre
2010 Dusk Rings a Bell Ray Atlantic Theater Company
2016 Buried Child Tilden The New Group

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Work Result
2000 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Actor in a Play Coyote on a Fence Nominated
2004 Blackbird Nominated
2005 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Orange Flower Water Nominated
2007 Outstanding Actor in a Play Essential Self-Defense Nominated
2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Boardwalk Empire Won
2011 Won
Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Actor in a Play Dusk Rings a Bell Nominated
2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Boardwalk Empire Nominated
2013 Nominated
Film Independent Spirit Awards Robert Altman Award Mud Won
2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Boardwalk Empire Nominated
2016 Lucille Lortel Awards Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Buried Child Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series House of Cards Nominated

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