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John Scot Barrowman, MBEBorn: Saturday 11th March 1967 (age: 56)
John Barrowman is best known in the UK for his role as Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who and the spin off Torchwood. His first appearance as Harkness was in the two-part story "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances", going on to appear in the next three episodes, "Boom Town", "Bad Wolf" and "The Parting of the Ways". The character of Captain Jack Harkness became so popular, he was given his own show. Torchwood, which premiered in 2006.
John Barrowman was born in the Mount Vernon area of Glasgow. He lived in the city for the first eight years of his life where his mother was a singer and his father was employed by the Caterpillar heavy machinery company in Uddingston. In 1976, his father's company relocated the family to Aurora, Illinois in the United States, where his father managed the Caterpillar tractor factory.
As a freshman, Barrowman won parts in several musical productions and from 1983 to 1985 he performed in Hello, Dolly!, Oliver!, Camelot, Li'l Abner and Anything Goes. After he graduated from high school, he moved to San Diego, California to study performing arts at the United States International University (USIU). As part of an exchange programme, he returned to the United Kingdom, in 1989, to study William Shakespeare for six months.
Barrowman's professional acting career began in London's West End in 1989, playing the role of Billy Crocker in Cole Porter's Anything Goes at the Prince Edward Theatre, alongside Elaine Paige as Reno Sweeney and Bernard Cribbins as Moonface Martin. He continued to appear in West End productions for the next decade, taking the title role of Domingo Hernandez in Matador at the Queen's Theatre in 1991; as Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre in 1992; as Claude in Hair at the Old Vic Theatre in 1993; as Chris in Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1993; as Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard at the Adelphi Theatre from 1994-1995; and as Beast in Beauty and the Beast at the Dominion Theatre in 1999. Barrowman was part of the musical Godspell in 1994, and was a soloist in two songs, "We Beseech Thee" and "On The Willows". He was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical in 1998 for originating the role of Cal Chandler in The Fix, a performance he repeated in Cameron Mackintosh's 1998 gala concert Hey, Mr Producer! Barrowman played the role of Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard in the West End and, briefly, on Broadway. His only other Broadway credit is in the role of Barry in the Stephen Sondheim revue Putting It Together (1999-2000) at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre alongside Carol Burnett, George Hearn and Bronson Pinchot. In a review of Putting It Together, theater critic Tom Samiljan noted Barrowman's "fine baritone voice and suave looks". In 2002, Barrowman appeared as Bobby in Sondheim's Company in the Kennedy Center's Stephen Sondheim Celebration.
Barrowman was one of the original hosts of Live & Kicking, a children's Saturday morning variety show on the BBC. He appeared on the children's television game show, The Movie Game from 1994-1996 and was one of the regular presenters on Five channel's afternoon show 5's Company from 1997-1999.
In 2007, Barrowman was a judge on the BBC One TV series Any Dream Will Do, hosted by Graham Norton. The show searched for a new, unknown actor to play the role of Joseph in a West End revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Barrowman's television career began with several appearances in short-lived prime-time soap operas. Barrowman first starred as Peter Fairchild in Central Park West (1995). He appeared as Peter Williams in Titans (2000) alongside Yasmine Bleeth on NBC. Barrowman made a guest appearance in episode 22 of the BBC's comedy-drama show Hotel Babylon.
Barrowman appeared as Ben Carpenter in the low-budget film Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002). His musical abilities are featured in several film roles: as Jack in the Cole Porter biopic De-Lovely (2004), singing a duet with Kevin Kline on the song Night and Day; and in the role of the lead tenor Stormtrooper in The Producers (2005), singing Springtime for Hitler. Barrowman took part in the reality television series Dancing on Ice on ITV1 in January and February 2006.
In 2014 he was awarded an MBE for services to entertainment and charity.