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Cheyenne Jackson

Jackson at 2009 GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles
Born July 12, 1975 (1975-07-12) (age 34)
Newport, Washington, U.S.
Occupation Actor/Singer
Years active 2002–present
Official website

Cheyenne Jackson (born July 12, 1975) is an American actor and singer.[1] He started in regional theater when he moved to Seattle and after moving to New York City made his 2002 Broadway theatre debut understudying both male leads in the Tony Award-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. In 2005, he originated his first Broadway leading role in All Shook Up earning him a Theatre World Award for "Outstanding Broadway Debut".

In films, Jackson portrayed 9/11 victim and hero Mark Bingham in the 2006 Academy Award nominated United 93 which earned him the Boston Society of Film Critics 2006 award for "Best Ensemble Cast". He has also appeared in the films Curiosity and Hysteria. On television, he is a recurring series regular, portraying Jack/Danny Baker on NBC's 30 Rock. He also guest starred on several series including; Lipstick Jungle, Life on Mars, and Ugly Betty. In 2008, Jackson was cast as the series lead Sebastian Kinglare, and filmed the Lifetime Television pilot Family Practice opposite Anne Archer and Beau Bridges.[2 ] The series was not picked up for distribution. [3]

Jackson has starred in several notable webisode series and in 2009 starred in a sold out one man show, "Back to the Start."[3] In 2008, he was named Out magazine's Entertainer of the year. He is an international ambassador for amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) [4] and a national ambassador and spokesperson for The Hetrick-Martin Institute .[5]


Early life

Jackson was born in Idaho and was named by his father after the 1950s Western series.[3] The third of four children, he was raised along a "teeny mill town" of about 1,200 people in a rural area on the Washington-Idaho border.[3] Most people worked at either the paper mill or the sawmill.[3] The family lived on 40 acres next to the river between the two states. Their home initially had no indoor plumbing.[3] His father is a Native American and a Vietnam vet, Jackson characterizes him as the "manliest man in the West."[3][6]

His mom taught Jackson, his sister and two brothers to sing and regularly played music from Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Elvis; singing was a big part of their lives.[3] So was religion; his parents were evangelical born-again Christians and this caused tension when he came out to them as gay at 19 after he had moved to Spokane, Washington.[3] They didn't speak for a while and religion interfered with communicating.[3] His brother is a pastor who preached on the 700 Club.[3] Eventually the family accepted his being gay.[3]

Later he moved to Seattle, where he worked as an ad executive at a magazine and did some theater on the side earning his Equity card.[3] "As soon as I found out what theater was, what Broadway was, I thought, Oh, that's what I'll do with my life. Just a matter of getting all the pieces in place."[3] Inspired to rethink his career after both a death in his family and the 9-11 attacks he moved to New York despite being in a committed relationship.[3] He felt the risk was worth it and began auditioning for roles.[3]


Early in his career, Jackson worked as a back up singer for Vanessa Williams, Heather Headley, and Liza Minnelli.[7][8] Regionally, Jackson has appeared as Tony in West Side Story, as Joey in The Most Happy Fella, as Cain in Children of Eden, as Berger in Hair, as Billy Bigelow in Carousel, as Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees, as Rocky in The Rocky Horror Show, and as The Poet in Kismet, among many other productions.

Jackson made his Broadway debut understudying both male leads in the Tony Award-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. He later served as the standby for the character of Radames in Aida, then originated the role of Matthew in the off-Broadway production of Altar Boyz. In 2005, he originated his first Broadway leading role in the musical tribute to Elvis Presley, All Shook Up. His performance as Chad earned him much critical praise, the Theatre World Award, as well as nominations from the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor.[9] In 2006, he starred off-Broadway in playwright Nicky Silver's The Agony and The Agony with Victoria Clark. In June 2007, less than a week before the scheduled opening night, Jackson assumed the lead role of Sonny on Broadway in Xanadu. He replaced actor James Carpinello who had been injured during rehearsal. Previous workshop productions of the musical starred Jackson and Jane Krakowski. However, both Jackson and Krakowski opted out of the initial Broadway run, citing schedule conflicts.[10] His performance as Sonny would go on to earn him nominations from the Drama League and Drama Desk for Outstanding Lead Actor. Xanadu had several Tony Award nominations including "Best New Musical" for which Jackson and the cast performed on the 62nd Tony Awards show.[11]

In 2008, Jackson re-teamed with Jane Krakowski and Sean Hayes in the New York City Center's Encores! production of Damn Yankees. He returned to Encores! in 2009, playing Woody Mahoney in the staged concert of Finian's Rainbow which was praised by critics.[12][13][14] Jackson also starred in the development workshop of the musical with the working title of Mormon Musical by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez (who co-wrote the music for Avenue Q); the musical will be about Mormons and has a planned 2009 opening.[15]

He has guest starred on television series including; Lipstick Jungle, Life on Mars, Ugly Betty, and has a recurring role on the award winning NBC series, 30 Rock.

Jackson has starred in several notable webisode series including; "Cubby Bernstein" opposite Nathan Lane, "Legally Brown" with Allison Janney , and "The [title of show] Show" from the meta-fictional Broadway musical [Title of show].[16 ][17 ]

In March 2009, Jackson made his nightclub debut at Feinstein's at Lowes Regency with a sold out one man show titled "Back to the Start". He later teamed up with Michael Feinstein to create a nightclub act titled "The Power of Two". The show was praised by the New York Times, Variety, and the New York Daily News among others.[18][19][20][21][22] A CD of the show was released on November 3, 2009.

In October 2009 Jackson opened on Broadway to positive critical reviews reprising the role of Woody Mahoney in the Broadway revival of the 1947 musical Finian's Rainbow at the St. James Theatre, costarring with Jim Norton and Kate Baldwin.[23][24][25][26][27] The Wall Street Journal raved, "The way that [Kate Baldwin] and Cheyenne Jackson sing "Old Devil Moon" is the stuff best-selling cast albums are made of."[28] He was a featured performer on the New York Daily News float and telecast of NBC's coverage of the 83rd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade singing "Play To Win", composed by Michael Feinstein and William Schermerhorn.[29] Along with the company of Finian's Rainbow, he recorded the Broadway revival cast album in early December 2009, with a release date scheduled for early 2010.[30]

Personal life

He is openly gay and an LGBT rights supporter, as well as an international ambassador for amfAR (The foundation for AIDS Research and the national ambassador / spokesperson for The Hetrick-Martin Institute .[31][32] Jackson's partner, Monte, is a physicist; they have been together since 1999.[6]


Studio albums
  • The Power of Two (2009)

Professional credits

Year Title Role
2008 Shifting the Canvas Leo Prudence
Hysteria Scott
2006 United 93 Mark Bingham
2005 Curiosity Luke
Year Title Network Role
Life on Mars ABC Guest Star
Ugly Betty ABC Guest Star
Life on Mars ABC Guest Star
Lipstick Jungle NBC Guest Star
Family Practice Lifetime Series Lead
2009 30 Rock NBC Danny Baker
New York theater
Year Title Role Notes
2010 Finian's Rainbow Woody St. James Theatre
2009 Finian's Rainbow Woody New York City Center Encores!
2008 Damn Yankees Joe Hardy New York City Center Encores!
2007 Xanadu Sonny Malone (Original) Helen Hayes Theatre
2006 The Agony and The Agony Chet Vineyard Theatre
2005 The 24 Hour Plays Kevin American Airlines Theatre
On the Twentieth Century "Life is Like a Train" Porter New Amsterdam Theater
All Shook Up Chad (Original) Palace Theatre
2004 Altar Boyz Matthew Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre (NYMF production)
2003 Aida Radames (Replacement) Palace Theater
2002 Thoroughly Modern Millie Jimmy Smith/ U/S Trevor Graydon (Replacement) Marquis Theater
Regional theater
Year Title Role Company
The Rocky Horror Show Rocky 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle
Hair Berger 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle
West Side Story Tony Village Theatre
Beowulf Beowulf Seattle Repertory Theatre
Damn Yankees Joe Hardy Civic Light Opera
Carousel Billy Civic Light Opera
South Pacific Lt. Cable Carousel Players

Awards and honors



  1. ^ "The Official Cheyenne Jackson Website". Cheyenne Jackson. Retrieved 2007-09-04.  
  2. ^ "Anne Archer Joins Cable Pilot". Reuters. 2007-09-13. Retrieved 2008-11-14.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Broadway's 'It' Boy: Out Broadway Baby Cheyenne Jackson Lends His Talents and Chops to Metro-D.C. PFLAG Doug Rule, March 19, 2009, Metro Weekly.
  4. ^ "Light for Rights: World AIDS Day 2009; February Release Planned". 2009-12-12.  
  5. ^ "Out Magazine 2008 Entertainer of the Year". Out. 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2008-11-14.  
  6. ^ a b The Advocate, issue 1006 (April 22, 2008).
  7. ^ Swanson, Carol (2004). "Vanessa Williams: Silver and Gold". Retrieved 2008-09-14.  
  8. ^ Jackson, Cheyenne (2004). "I Blame Liza ………". Retrieved 2008-09-14. ""i don’t know if you will remember this liza, but i sang backup for you with the broadway inspirational voices a couple years ago?"......."I DO REMEMBER, CHEYENNE, YOU WERE TERRIFIC!”.....she shouted out!""  
  9. ^ "Shaking up B'way". Variety. 2003-03-28. Retrieved 2007-01-29.  
  10. ^ Cheyenne Jackson. Interview with Katie Riegel. 2007-07-08. (Interview). Retrieved on 2007-09-04.
  11. ^ Gans, Andrew (2008-05-13). "2007-2008 Tony Nominations Announced; In the Heights Earns 13 Noms.". Retrieved 2008-05-13.  
  12. ^ "An Irish Immigrant in Missitucky With the Lowdown on High Finance". New York Times. 2009-03-28. Retrieved 2009-08-19.  
  13. ^ "Brief Dazzling Vision". New York Post. 2009-03-28. Retrieved 2009-08-19.  
  14. ^ "Finian's Rainbow". Variety. 2009-03-28. Retrieved 2009-08-19.  
  15. ^ Adams, Guy (2008-11-19), "Mormons to get 'South Park' treatment", Independent,  
  16. ^ Zimmerman, Kevin (3 August 2008). "[title of show is totally title of show"]. Chelmsford Independent. Retrieved 2008-08-16.  
  17. ^ Boroff, Philip (17 July 2008). "'[title of show' Kicks Broadway's Big-Spending Habit"]. Retrieved 2008-08-16.  
  18. ^ "What Secret Hearts? Let the Sunshine In". New York Times. 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  
  19. ^ "Cabarets Change". Variety. 2009-06-27. Retrieved 2009-06-27.  
  20. ^ "The Power of Two". TheaterMania. 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  
  21. ^ "Life Is Still a Cabaret , Vow Feinstein, Jackson". Huffington Post. 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  
  22. ^ "Odd Couple Take Over City Cabaret". NY Daily News. 2009-12-06. Retrieved 2009-06-22.  
  23. ^ "A Pot of Sunny Gold in Those Green Hills". New York Times. 2009-10-30.  
  24. ^ "Finian's Rainbow". Theatremania. 2009-10-30.  
  25. ^ "Finian's Rainbow". Curtain Up. 2009-10-30.  
  26. ^ "Gold, Romance Merge in Sparkling ‘Finian’s Rainbow’". Bloomberg. 2009-10-30.  /
  27. ^ "Cheyenne Jackson Follows ‘Finian’s Rainbow’ to Broadway". New York Times. 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2009-08-19.  
  28. ^ "It's Funny But Is It Art?". Wall Street Journal. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2009-10-30.  
  29. ^ "Alan Cumming, Cheyenne Jackson, Jane Krakowski, Cyndi Lauper, et al. Set for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade". 2009-11-23.  
  30. ^ "Finian's Rainbow Will Get a Cast Album; February Release Planned". 2009-11-25.  
  31. ^ Cheyenne Jackson. Interview with Michael Portantiere. AfterElton. 2007-07-07. (Interview). Retrieved on 2007-09-04.
  32. ^ amfAR (2007-05-06). "amfAR Honoring with Pride". Press release. Retrieved 2006-09-04.  
  33. ^ "Theater World Awards 2005 Winners".  
  34. ^ "Boston Society of Film Critics 2006 Winners".  
  35. ^ "55th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards Nominations 2004 - 2005 Season".  
  36. ^ "71st Annual Drama League Awards Nominees".  
  37. ^ "2007 / 2008 Drama Desk Awards Nominees".  
  38. ^ "74th Annual Drama League Awards Nominees".  

External links

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