Anderson was born with a genetic bone condition osteogenesis imperfecta. He grew up in a wheelchair. In his late 20s he was the subject of a 30-minute documentary called "Little Mike" (1984), directed by Norris J. Chumley, which began as an NYU student film production. He formed the New York band Wayward Gene and the Natural Selection which played in local clubs. He also worked for NASA as a computer expert.
Anderson appeared in a few episodes of Twin Peaks. The Man From Another Place is attired in a red suit and speaks in an unusual manner. He first appears in Special Agent Dale Cooper's cryptic dream about the murder of Laura Palmer, set in a red room. Anderson's Man also materializes in Lynch's film prequel to Twin Peaks, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. His character expresses more malevolent intent in the film than he did in the series.
Among his other appearances are in the soap opera Port Charles, guest appearances like: "Peter Dreeb" in the Picket Fences episode "Mr. Dreeb Comes to Town", a hotel manager in the The X-Files episode "Humbug", Rumpelstiltskin in the "If Wishes Were Horses" episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and as a returning leprechaun in the eighth season of the supernatural dramedy series Charmed.
Anderson used phonetically reversed speaking as a secret language with his junior high school friends and then coincidentally played a character in Twin Peaks where he used the same method of speaking.