American actor Paul Sparks is most widely recognized as the imposing Mickey Doyle on the period drama "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO, 2010- ). After beginning his screen career with a few one-off TV-show appearances, the tall performer was involved in the 2003 Broadway production of the baseball play "Take Me Out." Returning to television in 2005, Sparks was featured on an episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (NBC, 2001-2011) and later had his first recurring role on the crime drama "Brotherhood" (Showtime, 2006-08). He subsequently focused on film productions, turning up in small parts in the 2008 independent dramas "Synecdoche, New York" and "Rachel Getting Married." In 2010, Sparks was cast as Doyle on "Boardwalk Empire," marking a major step forward in his career. The following year, he had a small part in the HBO production of "Mildred Pierce," reinforcing his effectiveness in dramas set in the past and positioning him as an actor just warming up to roles that fit his talent.