Stage-trained actor Michael Tolan was born Seymour Tuchow on November 27, 1927, in Detroit, Michigan. During and following graduation from Wayne State University, he appeared in radio serials and in such classic theater productions as "Uncle Vanya," "Candida," "The Importance of Being Earnest," "Oedipus," "Coriolanus" and "The Grass Is Always Greener." He made his debut on Broadway in the 1955 hit George Axelrod comedy "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" This, in turn, led to a rise in stature with strong assignments in "A Hatful of Rain," "Romanoff and Juliet," "A Majority of One" and "The Far Country." He began on film with several bit roles between the years 1951 and 1953, but was not given the breaks to rise to feature status and quickly left the medium.
Tolan instead focused on TV as a utility player, playing a wide range of roles over a long period of time. His strong voice also proved capable for narrative projects. Following a year's stint on The Doctors and the Nurses (1962), his momentum started to pick up. He played Lazarus in the all-star Biblical epic The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), appeared in support of Dustin Hoffman on stage with "The Journey of the Fifth Horse" and in the film John and Mary (1969), and was a regular on The Bold Ones: The Senator (1970). He essayed a number of authoritative/professional roles (doctors, psychiatrists, military brass, etc.) throughout the 1970s and narrated the successful miniseries The Adams Chronicles (1976). Although his acting load has tapered off into the 1980s, he can still be seen from time to time in guest parts. He was once married to actress Rosemary Forsyth.