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Cheyenne Jackson (1975)

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  Summary  

Cheyenne Jackson is an American actor and singer. 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 , Hysteria , The Green , and Price Check . On television, he is a recurring series regular on NBC's 30 Rock, portraying Danny Baker, and on Fox's Glee as Vocal Adrenaline coach Dustin Goolsby. He has also guest starred on several series including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Lipstick Jungle, Life on Mars, Law & Order, and Ugly Betty. In 2008, Jackson played series lead Sebastian Kinglare for the Lifetime Television pilot Family Practice opposite Anne Archer and Beau Bridges. The series was not picked up for distribution.

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

  Biography  

 early life
Jackson was born in Idaho on July 12, 1975, and was named by his father after the 1950s Western series. The third of four children, he was raised in Newport, Washington, a "teeny mill town" of about 1,200 people in a rural area on the Washington-Idaho border. His father is a Native American and a Vietnam veteran.

His mother taught Jackson, his sister and two brothers to sing and regularly played music from Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Elvis. He moved to Spokane, Washington as a teenager and came out to his parents as gay at age 19. His parents were evangelical born-again Christians and his brother is a pastor who has preached on The 700 Club. They eventually accepted his sexuality.

In Seattle, he worked as an ad executive at a magazine and did some theater on the side, earning his Equity card. "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." Inspired to rethink his career after both a death in his family and the September 11 attacks, he moved to New York.

 career
Early in his career, Jackson worked as a back-up singer for Vanessa Williams, Heather Headley, and Liza Minnelli. In regional theaters, 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 All Shook Up, a tribute to Elvis Presley. His performance as Chad earned him much critical praise, the Theatre World Award, and nominations from the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor. 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, replacing 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. His performance as Sonny earned 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.

In 2008, Jackson joined 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 critics praised. Jackson also starred in the development workshop of Book of Mormon by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez, who co-wrote the music for Avenue Q.

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. On March 15, 2010, Jackson made his guest-starring debut on the long-running NBC series, Law & Order in an episode entitled Innocence. Jackson filmed a sitcom pilot for ABC-TV called It Takes A Village co-starring Christopher Sieber and Leah Remini, which was not picked up for the fall 2010 season.


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

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 well-received nightclub act titled "The Power of Two". 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. The Wall Street Journal raved, "The way that and Cheyenne Jackson sing "Old Devil Moon" is the stuff best-selling cast albums are made of." The show closed on January 17, 2010.

Jackson 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. Along with the company of Finian's Rainbow, he recorded the Broadway revival cast album in early December 2009, with a release date of February 2, 2010.

Jackson is scheduled to be featured in a prominent guest role during Season 8 of Curb Your Enthusiasm. His character "Terry" is the personal trainer to Larry David and Wanda Sykes.

Jackson was recently cast in Glee to play Dustin Goolsby, the coach of "Vocal Adrenaline," the main rival of "New Directions".

The Power of Two, a concert reuniting Jackson and Feinstein, was presented at Carnegie Hall on October 29, 2010. Jackson was the guest artist performing with the New York Pops in concert, "Cheyenne Jackson's Cocktail Hour: Music of the Mad Men Era," at Carnegie Hall on November 18, 2011. Joe Dziemianowicz of The New York Daily News wrote, "There, in Judy 's spot singing Joni ’s song, Jackson turned the bittersweet ballad into a beautiful highlight in an evening filled with luscious moments with the New York Pops."

 personal life
Jackson is openly gay and an LGBT rights supporter, as well as an ambassador for amfAR and the national ambassador for The Hetrick-Martin Institute. Jackson's husband, Monte Lapka, is a physicist; they have been together since 2000 and married on September 3, 2011 in New York.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Cheyenne Jackson", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.