Cheyenne Jackson

Cheyenne Jackson
Cheyenne Jackson

Jackson at 2009 GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles
Born July 12, 1975 (1975-07-12) (age 36)
Newport, Washington, U.S.
Occupation Actor/Singer
Years active 2002–present
Spouse Monte Lapka (since 2011)[1]
Partner Monte Lapka (since 2000)[1][2][3]

Cheyenne Jackson (born July 12, 1975) 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 (2005), Hysteria (2010), The Green (opposite Julia Ormond and Illeana Douglas), and Price Check (with Parker Posey). 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.[4] The series was not picked up for distribution.[5]

Jackson has starred in several notable webisode series and in 2009 starred in a sold out one man show, "Back to the Start."[5] In 2008, he was named Out magazine's Entertainer of the Year. He is an international ambassador for amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research)[6] and a national ambassador and spokesperson for The Hetrick-Martin Institute.[7]


Early life

Jackson was born in Idaho on July 12, 1975,[8] and was named by his father after the 1950s Western series.[5] 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.[5] 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.[5]

In Seattle, he worked as an ad executive at a magazine and did some theater on the side, earning his Equity card.[5] "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."[5] Inspired to rethink his career after both a death in his family and the September 11 attacks, he moved to New York.


Jackson at a New York rally for same-sex marriage equality on May 17, 2009.

Early in his career, Jackson worked as a back-up singer for Vanessa Williams, Heather Headley, and Liza Minnelli.[9][10] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14][15][16] 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.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19]

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].[20][21]

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".[22][23][24][25][26] 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.[27][28][29][30][31] 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."[32] 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.[33] 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.[34]

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".[35]

The Power of Two, a concert reuniting Jackson and Feinstein, was presented at Carnegie Hall on October 29, 2010.[36][37] 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.[38] Joe Dziemianowicz of The New York Daily News wrote, "There, in Judy (Garland)'s spot singing Joni (Mitchell)’s song, (Cheyenne) Jackson turned the bittersweet ballad into a beautiful highlight in an evening filled with luscious moments with the New York Pops." [39]

Personal life

Jackson is openly gay and an LGBT rights supporter, as well as an ambassador for amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research)[40] and the national ambassador for The Hetrick-Martin Institute.[41][42] Jackson's husband, Monte Lapka, is a physicist; they have been together since 2000 and married on September 3, 2011 in New York.[1][2][3]


Studio albums

Year Album details Peak positions
US Heat
US Jazz
2008 The Power of Two (with Michael Feinstein)
  • Released: November 3, 2009
  • Label: Qualiton Imports, Harbinger Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
17 15
Original Broadway Cast Albums

Professional credits

Year Title Role
2011 The Green Daniel
Price Check Ernie
Smile Dr. Steve
2010 Photo Op Zig
2008 Hysteria Scott
2006 United 93 Mark Bingham
2005 Curiosity Luke
Year Title Network Role
2011 Curb Your Enthusiasm HBO Terry
2010–Present Glee FOX Dustin Goolsby (Coach of Vocal Adrenaline)
2010 It Takes a Village ABC Scott
2010 Law & Order NBC Guest Star
2009-Present 30 Rock NBC Danny (Jack) Baker
2009 Life on Mars ABC Guest Star, "Let All the Children Boogie"
2009 Ugly Betty ABC Guest Star, "Sugar Daddy"
2008 Lipstick Jungle NBC Guest Star, "Chapter Fifteen: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Prada"
2008 Family Practice Lifetime Series Lead

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
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Joseph 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. ^ a b c Grindley, Lucas (September 3, 2011). "Just Married: Cheyenne Jackson Weds Longtime Partner in New York". The Advocate. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Healy, Patrick (2009-11-15). "Breaks of the Game". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ a b The Advocate, issue 1006 (April 22, 2008).
  4. ^ "Anne Archer Joins Cable Pilot". Reuters. 2007-09-13. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g 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.
  6. ^ "Light for Rights: World AIDS Day 2009; February Release Planned". 2009-12-12. 
  7. ^ "Out Magazine 2008 Entertainer of the Year". Out. 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  8. ^ "The Official Cheyenne Jackson Website". Cheyenne Jackson. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  9. ^ Swanson, Carol (2004). "Vanessa Williams: Silver and Gold". Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  10. ^ 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!"" 
  11. ^ Archerd, Army (2003-03-28). "Shaking up B'way". Variety. Retrieved 2007-01-29. 
  12. ^ Cheyenne Jackson (2007-07-08). Interview with Katie Riegel. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  13. ^ Gans, Andrew (2008-05-13). "2007–2008 Tony Nominations Announced; In the Heights Earns 13 Noms.". Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  14. ^ Isherwood, Charles (2009-03-28). "An Irish Immigrant in Missitucky With the Lowdown on High Finance". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  15. ^ Scheck, Frank (2009-03-28). "Brief Dazzling Vision". New York Post. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  16. ^ Suskin, Steven (2009-03-28). "Finian's Rainbow". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  17. ^ Adams, Guy (2008-11-19). "Mormons to get 'South Park' treatment". Independent (London). 
  18. ^ . Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  19. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (2010-03-26). "Cheyenne Jackson Gets His Profile – Sort Of". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  20. ^ Zimmerman, Kevin (3 August 2008). "[title of show is totally title of show"]. Chelmsford Independent. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  21. ^ Boroff, Philip (17 July 2008). "'[title of show' Kicks Broadway's Big-Spending Habit"]. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  22. ^ Holden, Stephen (2009-03-06). "What Secret Hearts? Let the Sunshine In". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  23. ^ Suskin, Steven (2009-06-27). "Cabarets Change". Variety. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  24. ^ "The Power of Two". 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  25. ^ "Life Is Still a Cabaret, Vow Feinstein, Jackson". 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  26. ^ Dziemianowicz, Joe (2009-12-06). "Odd Couple Take Over City Cabaret". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  27. ^ "A Pot of Sunny Gold in Those Green Hills". New York Times. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  28. ^ "Finian's Rainbow". Theatremania. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  29. ^ "Finian's Rainbow". Curtain Up. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  30. ^ "Gold, Romance Merge in Sparkling ‘Finian’s Rainbow’". Bloomberg. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2009-10-30. /
  31. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (2009-07-22). "Cheyenne Jackson Follows 'Finian's Rainbow' to Broadway". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  32. ^ "It's Funny But Is It Art?". Wall Street Journal. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2009-10-30. [dead link]
  33. ^ "Alan Cumming, Cheyenne Jackson, Jane Krakowski, Cyndi Lauper, et al. Set for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade". 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  34. ^ "Finian's Rainbow Will Get a Cast Album; February Release Planned". 2009-11-25. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  35. ^ "Glee: Meet Vocal Adrenaline's New Coach". 
  36. ^ "Michael Feinstein and Cheyenne Jackson to Reprise Power of Two at Carnegie Hall". 2010-08-24. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  37. ^ "Review: Cheyenne Jackson and Michael Feinstein Have A Ball at Carnegie Hall". 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  38. ^ "NY Pops: Cheyenne Jackson's Cocktail Hour: Music of the Mad Men Era". Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  39. ^ "Cheyenne Jackson, of Broadway, "Glee" and "30 Rock," Shines in Carnegie Hall Concert Tribute to 'Mad Men' With New York Pops". 2011-11-19. http:// Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  40. ^ "Light for Rights: World AIDS Day 2009" (Press release). amfAR. 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  41. ^ "Biography". Official Cheyenne Jackson Website. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  42. ^ "amfAR Honoring with Pride" (Press release). amfAR. 2007-05-06. Retrieved 2006-09-04. 
  43. ^ "Michael Feinstein Album & Song Chart History: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 28, 2010. 
  44. ^ "Michael Feinstein Album & Song Chart History: Jazz Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 28, 2010. 
  45. ^ "Theater World Awards 2005 Winners". 
  46. ^ "Boston Society of Film Critics 2006 Winners". [dead link]
  47. ^ "55th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards Nominations 2004–2005 Season". [dead link]
  48. ^ "71st Annual Drama League Awards Nominees". 
  49. ^ "2007 / 2008 Drama Desk Awards Nominees". 
  50. ^ "74th Annual Drama League Awards Nominees". 
  51. ^ "2010 / 2010 Drama Desk Awards Nominees". 

External links

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