Michael Emerson met his now-wife, Carrie Preston, during the mid-1990s, when they both appeared in a production of "Hamlet" at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Preston played "Ophelia" and Emerson played "Guildenstern" in the production.
In 1995, he graduated from the prestigious Professional Actor Training M. F. A. program run jointly by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and The University of Alabama Department of Theater and Dance. He turned 40 while in the program, which made him about 15 years older than the typical theater graduate student.
On "Lost" (2004), he played Ben Linus, the son of Roger Linus, played by Jon Gries, who is actually 3 years the junior of Emerson. The age difference is explicable because Roger is first seen in flashbacks to Ben's birth and childhood. Ben's mother was played by Carrie Preston, who in addition to being (like Gries) somewhat younger than Emerson, is also his real-life wife.