"Ladies, your viewing figures just went up!" He's really wired
, MBE, was born on 11 March 1967 in Glasgow, Scotland (no, he's not to our knowledge a Violent Glaswegian
). His family moved to Aurora, Illinois when he was 8, and his father was relocated there by Caterpillar. He picked up an American accent to avoid the torment other kids were leveling at him. Went to Joliet West High School as a teen where he performed in many school productions. Made his name as a Musical Theatre
actor/singer (there's an official recording of him as Raoul de Chagny in The Phantom of the Opera
available); in 1998 he received an Olivier Award nomination for playing Calvin Chandler in The Fix
(he lost to co-star Philip Quast). He also presented UK kids' TV show Live And Kicking
. He had several minor TV and film roles, including Soap Operas
such as Central Park West
. He also appeared in the laughably terrible
movie Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
, in which he uttered the infamous "line"
(not safe for work!).
His biggest break was landing the role of Capt. Jack Harkness in the revival of one of his favorite childhood shows, Doctor Who
. This character, an omnisexual
time-traveling con-man, was so popular he got his own show, Torchwood
. He's also popped back to Doctor Who
for the end of the third series and for the fourth series finale, as well as a cameo in David Tennant's final episode, and in the 50th anniversary comedy special The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot
He was also a judge for three Talent Shows
(How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?
, Any Dream Will Do
and I'd Do Anything
) looking for new Musical Theater
stars. According to Denise Van Outen, he went skinny dipping in Andrew Lloyd Webber
's swimming pool.
He has a penchant for getting a certain organ out in front of his co-stars. About the only person he hasn't (successfully) done it to is Lis Sladen
. He apologised
to the UK for doing so during a live radio broadcast. There was a webcam, although said bit was not shown on-line.
He also took part in a talent show as a contestant - ITV's Dancing On Ice
, series 1; he was voted off surprisingly early and many feel he was robbed.
In 2008, his helming of the quiz show The Kids Are All Right
at around the same time he was on Doctor Who
and I'd Do Anything
, as well as his tendency to pop up in a lot of other places have led to "theories" of an army of Barrowman clones running around.
Also in 2008, he featured in Hotel Babylon
, where he played a Hollywood producer.
In 2010, he had a part on Desperate Housewives
as Patrick, a Neo-Terrorist. Just... don't expect him back. He was blown up.
In 2012, he's appearing in the Green Arrow
tv show Arrow
as the Season One Big Bad
, Malcolm Merlyn, the Dark Archer and leader of the Undertaking.
He's released several CDs, mostly of Broadway standards. He also has two autobiographical books out: Anything Goes
and I Am What I Am
, alongside working in fiction with his sister Carole, a Captain Jack story called Exodus Code
, and a children's series called Hollow Earth.
He's openly gay, though he acknowledges women can be attractive (even if he dislikes the idea of sex with them). He and his long-term partner Scott Gill were joined in a civil partnership
on 27 December 2006 and got married in the state of California on 2 July 2013 (incidentally, Barrowman has stated that he took one look at Scott and knew he was the one
He was actually considered for the role of Will from Will and Grace
, but since Reality Is Unrealistic
, he wasn't considered "gay enough
" by producers and the role was given to a straight actor.
His appeal has reached the level of internet memes, both as a Memetic Sex God
and in original flavor. Thanks to an appearance by David Tennant
on Never Mind the Buzzcocks
, it's become standard procedure for Whovians to blame any random thing that's bothering them on BARROWMAN! *shakes fist*
He used to have a dog called Tegan (after a companion of the Fifth Doctor), and he currently has a dog named Captain Jack.
Tropes associated with this actor include:
- Genre Throwback: In concert he's a throwback to the great "easy listening" showmen of the '60s, '70s, and '80s like Dean Martin or Andy Williams — WITH SHOWTUNES!