A graduate of Brown University and The American Film Institute, Stephen Kay began his career as an actor, playing Soldier #2 in the low budget thriller The Zero Boys (1986). After making guest appearances on TV series such as thirtysomething and Quantum Leap, his career picked up a little when he landed a small role in the big budget action flick Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. The same year he became a regular on the soap opera General Hospital, playing Reginald Jennings. But Kay had bigger aspirations.
He directed and co-wrote the 30-minute Showtime movie, Two Over Easy (1994), based on his play. The film was nominated for three CableACE Awards, including Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Dramatic Series. Hollywood producers took note and just two years later, Kay wrote and directed his first feature, The Last Time I Committed Suicide (1997), starring Thomas Jane, Keanu Reeves and Adrien Brody. After co-writing the big screen adaptation The Mod Squad (1999), Kay directed his second motion picture, Get Carter (2000) starring Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and Miranda Richardson. A remake, the film was unfortunately a bomb both at the box office and with critics.
Kay decided to try his hand at TV, and began directing episodes of the crime series The Shield, then moved on to the TV movies Wasted (2002) starring Nick Stahl and The Dead Will Tell (2004) starring Anne Heche before returning to the big screen with the horror movie Boogeyman (2005), starring Barry Watson and Lucy Lawless.
He returned to series television for several years, directing shows such as Friday Night Lights and Sons of Anarchy, but still manages to take time to helm big screen efforts such as Cell 213 2011, starring Bruce Greenwood.