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OLSHANSKY, Michael "Mike"
#4416 (Brick Row Home)
Philadelphia, PA

Michael is a cab driver. He is tall, Polish, Catholic and divorced. Once a decorated Philadelphia police officer, Mike lost his job on corruption charges for stealing money ("hazard pay") from a narcotics crime scene. Ever since, Michael has tried to redeem himself by helping those in need - many of whom he meets while driving his cab (No. P2626) for the South Side Taxi Exchange.

David Morse as Mike Olshansky
Michael "Mike" Olshansky

Michael especially wants the respect of his ex-wife, Heather. Now remarried, she lives in Gladwyne with their 11-year-old son, Michael "Mikey" Olshansky, Jr who once thought his dad a hero.

Mike's friend Marcellus Washington was his partner on the police force Both Mike and Marcellus were dirty cops, but Mike never turned him in during the investigation. So now Mike is on the street as a cabbie and Marcellus still works as a cop but helps Mike recover from his disgrace.

When Marcellus thinks he is dying of cancer, he relies on Mike's friendship to give him strength, Luckily, his illness is short-lived and Marcellus is given a clean bill of health, but then is shot by a drug dealer. Mike protects his former partner until the shooter is apprehended. Marcellus temporarily moved in with Mike when his marriage begins to have problems.

Mike and Marcellus
Mike and Detective Washington

Mike's other friends included Liz Garza, his attractive next-door neighbor (#4418), a former nun turned probation officer who operates the Washington House, a shelter for battered women; Jamie Farrell, a 22-year-old ex-con trying to go straight who lives with Michael and tries to reconcile with his wealthy father; romantic interest Faith O'Connor who intervened to bring Mike and his father Bill together before he died from a damaged heart; and Father Tom "Grizz" Grzelak, a portly Catholic priest at Saint Vincent's who is Mike's close buddy and drinking partner. Tom has a gambling problem (he steals money from the collection plate to feed his addiction). Mike arranged to pay off his gambling debt, and soon after Grizz, who rekindled a relationship with a female friend, began to doubt his calling. He later transferred to New Orleans.

Grizz and Mike
Father Grizz Counsels Mike

Meanwhile, armed with a baseball bat and years of experiences as a tough street cop, Mike travels in his taxi and helps the underdogs whenever he can. Not hindered by all the rules and regulations of a normal law enforcement officer, Mike can work on the fringes of the law as an urban vigilante. His interventions have included helping a minister find a runaway teenage daughter; aiding a battered wife fleeing from her abusive cop husband; protecting a woman terrorized by a stalker; convincing the police that a former burglar is not guilty of a recent crime; coming to the aid of an innocent man falsely accused of terrorism by an F.B.I. agent; helping an amnesiac regain her memory to uncover who marked her for murder; protecting a young girl who witnessed a murder by a corrupt cop now seeking to kill her; and tracking down stolen babies from an illegal adoption ring.

Mikey Olshansky, Jr
Mike's Son, Mikey, Jr.

For a short time, Mike hired out as a chauffeur for a local loan shark, but soon quit after he realized his job duties (like roughing up a man to collect on a debt) were leading him down a slippery slope.

And just when things seem to be settling down, Mike was kidnapped by Johnny Scanlon who threatened to execute him at the exact same time as Johnny's brother Jimmy was to be executed by the state. Years earlier Mike was involved in the chain of events which led to Jimmy's killing a cop. Taxi anyone?

TRIVIA NOTE: David Morse first became known for his role as Dr. Jack "Boomer" Morrison in the NBC drama series ST ELSEWHERE. Morse made his Broadway debut in the role of Father Barry in the theater adaptation of On the Waterfront. He made his film debut in Inside Moves and continued in such movies as Bait, Brotherhood of the Rose, Contact, Crazy in Alabama, Dancer in the Dark, Desperate Hours, Diary of a City Priest, Extreme Measures, The Getaway, The Good Son, The Green Mile, Hearts in Atlantis, The Long Kiss Goodnight, The Negotiator, Personal Foul, Proof of Life, The Rock, Stephen King's 'The Langoliers, Tecumesh: The Last Warrior and Twelve Monkeys.

His other television credits include series roles in the made-for TV movie OUR FAMILY BUSINESS (1981) and the sitcom BIG WAVE DAVE'S/CBS/1993. 

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David Morse as Mike Olshansky
Andre Braugher as Marcellus Washington
George Dzundza as Grizz Grzelak
Matthew Borish as Michael Olshansky, Jr.
Jacqueline Torres as Liz Garza
Donna Murphy as Heather Olshansky
Matt Czuchry as Jamie Farrell
Bebe Neuwirth as Faith O'Connor
Cindy Katz as  Bettina Corwin
Gregg Edelman as Ryan Ambrose
Lindsay Crouse as Beth Kulvicki
Mark Margolis as Nicolai Zosimov
Paul Adelstein as Aldo Rossi, Marcellus' partner
Brian Smiar as Bill Olshansky, Mike's dad

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