Michael Newman

Biography: Michael Newman is a real L.A. county lifeguard, fireman and also joins the cast of Baywatch. If Michael Newman seems comfortable in his role as a lifeguard on the hit television show Baywatch, it's because his real life profession is the same, a lifeguard. Dual careers are nothing new to the handsome California native who plays the role of "Newmy" on the popular show. He has been a Los Angeles County lifeguard for 18 years and has been an integral part of the Baywatch show since its inception in 1989. A devotion to saving lives has opened many doors for Michael. "It's very gratifying to know that what I bring to the show can actually help save lives," says the actor/athlete. "It's almost like an outreach program that goes beyond the beach to the TV screen with a positive message." Michael is the only actively-working lifeguard appearing in front of the camera, and because of this training, his involvement extends behind the scenes, too. As a member of the all star cast, asMichael Newman is a real L.A. county lifeguard, fireman and also joins the cast of Baywatch. If Michael Newman seems comfortable in his role as a lifeguard on the hit television show Baywatch, it's because his real life profession is the same, a lifeguard. Dual careers are nothing new to the handsome California native who plays the role of "Newmy" on the popular show. He has been a Los Angeles County lifeguard for 18 years and has been an integral part of the Baywatch show since its inception in 1989. A devotion to saving lives has opened many doors for Michael. "It's very gratifying to know that what I bring to the show can actually help save lives," says the actor/athlete. "It's almost like an outreach program that goes beyond the beach to the TV screen with a positive message." Michael is the only actively-working lifeguard appearing in front of the camera, and because of this training, his involvement extends behind the scenes, too. As a member of the all star cast, as well as a technical consultant, Michael has helped make Baywatch a showcase for ocean lifeguards around the world. Numerous situations on the show are taken directly from real life rescues that Michael has been involved in. A diversely talented man, he approaches his acting and his action-packed rescues with dedication and discipline that makes it all look so easy. His fan mail is especially touching when people the world over share their stories of how they saved a loved one's life by applying what they learned from watching the show. Newman and the show's entire cast were recently acknowledged by the American Red Cross with the 1995 "Spirit Award" given to outstanding individuals who have demonstrated by example a sense of commitment and concern for their fellow man. Michael commands respect on the Baywatch set because cast members recognize that when it comes to physical challenges, there is not much beyond his reach. "I have to be ready for anything," he says. "With the variety of situations I can get into between the show, and my work as a lifeguard and a firefighter, my physical fitness requires a broad base of disciplines." He also serves as a national spokesman for MET-Rx, a total nutrient system. Michael, 37, is revered as one of the top watermen in the country, having won last summer's National Ironman Championship, a kind of decathlon of lifeguarding. Extremely competitive, he has represented the United States around the world and won competitions in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, to name a few. Involving expertise in three skills, the Ironman competition is the most demanding and respected Lifeguard competition, a grueling swim followed immediately by a skillful paddleboard leg and then a single man dory through the surf and back to the finish. One could say that lifeguarding ran in the Newman family. When he was 19, inspired by his brother who was a Los Angeles County lifeguard, Michael began an intense twice-a-day swimming workout regime to ensure a place in the training process. His passion for swimming ultimately led to the chance meeting of his wife Sarah when they were both competing on swim teams. The couple live in Pacific Palisades, California, and have two children Chris, 6 and Emily, 3. Michael Newman, who starred in the fifteen-minute presentation reel used to sell the series concept of Baywatch to NBC, has held four national titles for lifeguarding competitions. His most recent national title is for the Ironman competition - a combinatioin of swimming, paddleboard and dory races - a victory won over many lifeguards some ten and twenty years his junior. So what's it like to be a fireman, lifeguard and actor all rolled into one? "Being a lifeguard and a firefighter is what I pretend to be when I'm working on Baywatch. Firefighting and lifeguarding are very similar. Both are rescue work. I have a tower at the beach for lifeguarding, and the fire station where I work is at the beach, so in essence I have a tower there also. Both lifeguarding and firefighting are action-packed, beach emergencies in fireridden, flood-ravaged Malibu. Then when I go to work as an actor on Baywatch, I can recreate everything I do in real life!" Michael Newman, the "lifeguard's lifeguard," has the best of both worlds, or is it three? Newman, who portrays himself on Baywatch, played a lifeguard and a fireman in one of the Baywatch episodes. He was actually able to incorporate all three of his careers into one memorable, action-packed Baywatch episode, aptly titled "Hot Stuff". What has been Newman's most frightening expenence as a lifeguard? "I would have to say my first day of lifeguarding my rookie year, I was alone in my tower, no other guards within a half mile to the north or south ... and I knew that everyone on that crowded summer beach was relying on me, entrusting their lives to me. The enormity of the responsibility hit me as I sat there alone. No amount of working out with the seasoned guards or hearing stories about lifeguarding from them really prepared me for that feeling. It was terrifying." Michael Newman is a big, strapping, strong man. But one of his greatest assets as a lifeguard and a fireman is his gentleness. He's not a big, tough guy when he's helping people. He sees people at their lowest points, when they don't always need muscle as much as they need gentleness and caring. It is important, when dealing with families of victims, to comfort them. "He's gonna be alright... this is what we do ... he's got the best care imaginable right now," says Newman. This is what people need to hear. There are victims other than the ones injured, and they need emotional help. One could say that Michael Newman was one of those children who was destined to be a Lifeguard. He started his career as a Lifeguard at the age of 10, when he was a Santa Monica Junior Lifeguard. He displayed excellent swimming ability, which helped him to excel at water sports. Michael later attended Pacific Palisades High School. He was a real water athlete, and used his talents as a member of the school's Swimming and Water polo teams. Michael achieved 'All-American' Status a member of a national record setting relay team. Michael was a real 'California Surfer Boy' while in high school and would spend weekends and summers on the road, traveling up and down the coast from Mexico to Santa Cruz in his Volkswagen Van, searching for the best waves. He also liked skin diving and skateboarding. Michael continued his education by attending college at the University of California at Santa Barbara, which had a reputation as a real surfer school. Michael majored in advertising. Michael's older brother was a Los Angeles County Lifeguard. At the age of 19 Michael followed in his brother's footsteps by starting an intense swimming workout routine twice a day to ensure a place in the training process. He was a member of the swimming team in college, and won 'All American' Status for four years straight. Michael remained undefeated in the 200m in his senior year. Swimming competitively enabled Michael to meet his future wife Sarah, as she was also a swimming team member. Michael took the Los Angeles Firefighter's exam while waiting to get hired as a full-time Lifeguard. He adapted quickly and found similarities between Firefighting and Lifeguarding. Lifeguard Greg Bonann was a friend and helped Michael get his idea to do a television series about Lifeguards sold. Greg promised to give him work on the pilot if it prove successful. After 'Panic on Malibu Pier' the movie and pilot for the show, the idea came on NBC as TV's 'Baywatch.' It was cancelled after the first season, the worst move on NBC's part. Not wanting to 'can' the show, the star (and now one of the executive producers), David Hasselhoff got together with others associated with 'Baywatch' to get foreign backers and it was back on in syndication. 'Baywatch' became the most popular television show in the world. Michael not only serves as a technical consultant to ensure that scenes are done correctly, but as one of the Lifeguards. The situations on the show are taken from real-life rescues in which Michael has been involved. 'The 'American Red Cross' with the 1995 Spirit Award acknowledged Baywatch's entire cast! This is an award given to individuals who have demonstrated by example a sense of commitment and concern for their fellow man. Before the show's 7th season (1996-1997), the cast made an appearance on 'Oprah' as she did a show on 'Baywatch.' Oprah actually went behind the scenes and even met most of the new cast members. She interviewed Pamela Lee, David Hasselhoff and Jeremy Jackson. She took one of the tank swimsuits that actually belonged to one of the cast member's wardrobe for the show. This was the year that Michael was going to be added to the regular cast in the opening credits. The exposure of the show has made him an international star over the years. On the competitive side, Michael won his share of Lifeguard Competitions; including the '1996 National Ironman Championship' that was held that Summer. It involves a grueling swim, followed immediately by a paddleboard leg and finally the single man dory race through the surf and back to the finish. Michael has represented the United States around the world, winning competitions in places like New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. Michael is the only regular cast member that is an actively working Senior Lifeguard. His international fame has sparked tons of fan mail from around the world and his own official fan club. Michael and his wife Sarah live in Pacific Palisades, California with their two children Chris, and Emily. Expand

Michael Newman's Scores

  • TV
Average career score: 35
Highest Metascore: 35 Baywatch: Season 1
Lowest Metascore: 35 Baywatch: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1
1 tv review
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
tbd Baywatch: Season 10 Sep 20, 1999 Mike "Newmie" Newman (Seasons 7-10, 1996-2000; Recurring Seasons 1-6) tbd
tbd Baywatch: Season 9 Sep 21, 1998 Mike "Newmie" Newman tbd
tbd Baywatch: Season 8 Sep 22, 1997 Mike "Newmie" Newman 7.0
tbd Baywatch: Season 7 Sep 23, 1996 Mike "Newmie" Newman 8.0
tbd Baywatch: Season 6 Sep 25, 1995 Mike "Newmie" Newman 8.0
tbd Baywatch: Season 5 Sep 26, 1994 Mike "Newmie" Newman 8.0
tbd Baywatch: Season 4 Sep 20, 1993 Mike "Newmie" Newman 8.0
tbd Baywatch: Season 3 Sep 14, 1992 Mike "Newmie" Newman 8.0
tbd Baywatch: Season 2 Sep 23, 1991 Mike "Newmie" Newman 8.0
35 Baywatch: Season 1 Apr 23, 1989 Mike "Newmie" Newman 7.0