Mar. 11th, 1967
Mount Vernon, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
John Barrowman's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
John Scot Barrowman, MBE (born March 11, 1967), is a Scottish-American actor, singer, dancer, presenter and writer who holds both British and American citizenship. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, he emigrated to the United States with his family in 1975. Encouraged by his high school teachers, Barrowman studied performing arts at the United States International University in San Diego before landing the role of Billy Crocker in Cole Porter's Anything Goes at London's West End.
Barrowman is best known in the UK for his role in the BBC science fiction drama Doctor Who. When the series was revived in 2005, Barrowman came on board as recurring guest character Captain Jack Harkness, an omnisexual time traveller from the 51st century. His first appearance as Harkness was in the two-part story "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances". He went on to appear in the next three episodes, "Boom Town", "Bad Wolf" and "The Parting of the Ways". Jack became so popular, he was given his own show – Torchwood, a Doctor Who spin-off series featuring a team of alien hunters based in modern day Cardiff, which premiered in 2006.
American film and television critic Ken Tucker describes Barrowman's role on Torchwood as "dashing", "utterly fabulous", "celestially promiscuous", and "like 'Tom Cruise' with suspenders, but minus the Scientology". In the show, Jack "tracks down—and occasionally beds—ETs with the help of his quartet of bedazzled groupies—slash—Experts in Their Fields: One's a doctor, one's a cop, one's a scientist, and one... makes coffee and late nights piping hot. It's like the Justice League of Extended-Pinkie Nerds".
Barrowman continued to guest star in Doctor Who in 2007, appearing in "Utopia", "The Sound of Drums", and "Last of the Time Lords". He also participated in a Doctor Who special on the BBC's The Weakest Link. In 2008, Barrowman appeared in the two-part 2008 series finale, "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End" and reprised the role of Captain Jack Harkness in the Doctor Who: Tonight's the Night special. In 2010, Barrowman returned to Doctor Who with a cameo in The End of Time along with other previous stars. Series 3 of Torchwood was broadcast in July 2009 as a miniseries of five episodes called Children of Earth. Filming of Series 4 called Torchwood: Miracle Day began on January 11, 2011 primarily in Los Angeles, and in and around Cardiff, Wales. The first episode of Miracle Day aired on Starz Network in the USA on July 8, 2011 and was broadcast on BBC One in the UK on July 14, 2011. Both Doctor Who and Torchwood became popular in the United States on the BBC America network. In November 2013 he appeared in the one-off 50th anniversary comedy homage The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.
Barrowman is openly gay: he met his husband, Scott Gill, during a production of Rope at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 1993, after Gill came to see Barrowman in the play. The couple have houses in London, England, Cardiff, Wales, and Palm Springs, California. Barrowman and Gill entered into a civil partnership on December 27, 2006. A small ceremony was held in Cardiff with friends and family, with the cast of Torchwood and executive producer Russell T Davies as guests. The pair were legally married in the state of California on July 2, 2013, following the United States Supreme Court's decision to deny an appeal to overturning California Proposition 8 in Hollingsworth v. Perry.
- He has classified his voice as being a "lyric baritone with a low baritone bottom and a tenor top.".
- According to his autobiography, when the part of Will in "Will & Grace" came down to him and Eric McCormack, the producers decided to go with Eric because, as they told John, he (John) was "too straight-acting." John, meanwhile, is openly gay, and they went with a straight actor for the role.
- Partner of British architect Scott Gill.
- Presented a children's TV show in the UK called _"Live & Kicking" (1993)_ (qv). Played the Beast in the London Musical of the Disney animated film _Beauty and the Beast (1991)_ (qv) at the Dominion Theatre in central London.
- Spent some time in Los Angeles chasing movie and TV roles. Made final three in casting for the role of Will in _"Will & Grace" (1998)_ (qv). When he didn't get the part, he demanded an explanation and found he had been rejected as "not gay enough.".
- Played Mr. Bumble in Joliet West High School's 1983 production of Oliver! alongside Anthony Rapp (as Oliver) and Andy Dick (as Dr. Grimwig).
- He was joined in a civil partnership (a commitment ceremony which accords gay couples many of the same rights as heterosexual couples in the UK) to his longtime love, architect Scott Gill, at a ceremony in Cardiff Bay on Wednesday 27 December 2006.
- He recently flew in a Hawker fighter jet representing the Royal Air Force, because Captain Jack (his character in _"Torchwood" (2006)_ (qv)) is in the RAF.