This tall, black, shaven-headed character actor of TV and film projects both poignancy and mischievous intelligence with ease. Michael Boatman is best recalled as Private Samuel Beckett, the soldier who ran the morgue, in the critically-acclaimed ABC series "China Beach" (1988-1991), and, more recently, as Carter, the gay mayoral advisor, on "Spin City" (ABC, 1996- ). The actor's career received a boost when he performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and won a Best Supporting Actor award in the prestigious Irene Ryan National Competition while still an undergraduate. Boatman also landed a supporting role as a grunt soldier in the Vietnam drama "Hamburger Hill" (1987). After landing in NYC and appearing in a couple of stage productions, he landed the role on "China Beach". Boatman--who has been variously billed as Michael Patrick Boatman, Michael Boatman and Michael P Boatman--has also been a regular on "The Jackie Thomas Show" (ABC, 1992-93), as a writer, on the syndicated froth "Muscle" (1995), which first teamed him with "Spin City" co-star Alan Ruck, and the HBO series "Arli$$" (1986). He had a key role as one of the youths shot on the New York subway in "The Trial of Bernhard Goetz" ("American Playhouse" PBS, 1988) and was a recent police academy graduate in Charles Burnett's "The Glass Shield" (1994) and as a US Army corporal in "The Peacemaker" (1997).