skip navigation
John Barrowman

John Barrowman

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

John Barrowman - NOT AVAILABLE

Find what your looking for faster use the search field below to shop for titles.

SEARCH TCM.COM/SHOP


OR ... Click here to VOTE > for this person to be released on Home Video



Also Known As: Died:
Born: March 11, 1967 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: United Kingdom Profession: actor, singer, TV host

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A charismatic performer who made his mark on the musical stage, actor and occasional singer John Barrowman earned legions of fans with a number of acclaimed theatrical performances in London and on Broadway before becoming a huge star on British television as Captain Jack Harkness on both "Doctor Who" (BBC1, 2005- ) and "Torchwood" (BBC, 2006- ). Prior to his small screen success, Barrowman had a wide range of stage roles, playing Billy Crocker in an acclaimed revival of "Anything Goes" (1989), Raoul in a West End production of "The Phantom of the Opera," and Joe Gillis opposite Betty Buckley's Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard" (1994). After a short-lived run as the assistant district attorney from a wealthy political family on the primetime soap "Central Park West" (CBS, 1995-96), he shined in a featured role in the Stephen Sondheim review "Putting It Together" (1998). Barrowman moved on to play the titular prince-turned-monster in "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" (1999), while returning to the small screen for another brief run on "Titan" (NBC, 2000-01). Following a pair of forgettable big screen appearances, Barrowman became Jack Harkness on "Doctor Who," earning a legion of fans that helped...

A charismatic performer who made his mark on the musical stage, actor and occasional singer John Barrowman earned legions of fans with a number of acclaimed theatrical performances in London and on Broadway before becoming a huge star on British television as Captain Jack Harkness on both "Doctor Who" (BBC1, 2005- ) and "Torchwood" (BBC, 2006- ). Prior to his small screen success, Barrowman had a wide range of stage roles, playing Billy Crocker in an acclaimed revival of "Anything Goes" (1989), Raoul in a West End production of "The Phantom of the Opera," and Joe Gillis opposite Betty Buckley's Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard" (1994). After a short-lived run as the assistant district attorney from a wealthy political family on the primetime soap "Central Park West" (CBS, 1995-96), he shined in a featured role in the Stephen Sondheim review "Putting It Together" (1998). Barrowman moved on to play the titular prince-turned-monster in "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" (1999), while returning to the small screen for another brief run on "Titan" (NBC, 2000-01). Following a pair of forgettable big screen appearances, Barrowman became Jack Harkness on "Doctor Who," earning a legion of fans that helped spawn the critically hailed spin-off "Torchwood." The popularity of both series won the attention of Hollywood and shipped Barrowman off to the U.S. for "Torchwood: The New World" (Starz, 2011- ), which poised the actor to become an even bigger star.

Born on March 11, 1967 in Glasgow, Scotland, Barrowman was raised by his father, who worked as a salesman for Caterpillar, a heavy machinery manufacturer, and his mother, a singer and clerk at a record store. In 1976, his family moved to Illinois when his father's job was transferred to the United States. Initially teased because of his thick Scottish burr, Barrowman quickly learned to adapt, sowing the seeds for a budding career as an actor. As a child, he performed in nursing homes and sang in his church choir, while later he performed in stage productions of "Hello, Dolly!" among others at Joliet West High School. After graduating, Barrowman briefly performed at Opryland USA, while also making short stops at the University of Iowa and DePaul University in Chicago. In 1989, he went back to his native United Kingdom, where he soon established himself as a musical leading man. Barrowman made his British stage debut when he replaced American Howard McGillan in the role of Billy Crocker for the acclaimed revival of "Anything Goes" (1989). He went on to tour Ireland as Alex in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Aspects of Love," while playing Che in a Norwegian production of "Evita" and Chris in a London staging of "Miss Saigon."

After starring opposite Stephanie Powers in an ill-fated production of "Matador" (1991) in the West End, Barrowman assumed the role of Raoul in "The Phantom of the Opera" (1992), which staged at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. In a change of pace, he undertook a rare dramatic stage role alongside Anthony Head and Alexis Denisof in a staging of "Rope" (1993) at the Chichester Festival. After briefly reprising the male lead in "Miss Saigon" in London, Barrowman landed the leading role of Claude in the 25th anniversary staging of "Hair" (1993) in London. He was next tapped to star as screenwriter Joe Gillis to Betty Buckley's Norma Desmond in the London production of "Sunset Boulevard" (1994), a role that earned him a considerable amount of critical praise. At the time, Barrowman did double duty as a presenter on the British children's television series "Live & Kicking" (BBC1, 1993-2001) and as host of "The Movie Game" (BBC1, 1988-1996). Barrowman was woefully underutilized in a rather bland role in the American primetime soap opera "Central Park West" (CBS, 1995-96). The much-hyped show failed to garner much of an audience and was summarily cancelled after two seasons.

Barrowman was back on the boards and made his Broadway debut in a two-week stint reprising Joe Gillis opposite Buckley in "Sunset Boulevard" (1996). The actor returned to London to co-star in the world premiere of "The Fix" (1997), which marked the first original musical directed by Sam Mendes. The following year, Barrowman was back in the U.S for a featured role in "Putting It Together" (1998), a review of Stephen Sondheim songs that starred Carol Burnett and staged at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Back on the British stage, he took on the role of the Beast in "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" (1999), while "Putting It Together" remounted with minor cast changes on Broadway. Having conquered the stages of London and New York, Barrowman set his sights on screens both big and small. Playing against type, he seemed set to achieve stardom as the nefarious son of a wealthy Beverly Hills family fractured by divorce on "Titans" (NBC, 2000-01), only to watch the Aaron Spelling-produced show get the ax in the middle of its first season.

Despite his sterling stage credits, Barrowman made a rather inauspicious film debut with a role in the straight-to-video sequel "Shark Attack 3: Megalodon" (2002). Following a small supporting part in "De-Lovely" (2004), a musical biopic of Cole Porter (Kevin Kline), he was the Lead Tenor Stormtrooper in a filmed version of the musical "The Producers" (2005). That same year, Barrowman landed the role he became most identified with, playing Captain Jack Harkness in the reboot of the time-traveling series "Doctor Who" (BBC, 2005- ). A morally ambiguous, openly homosexual, former con man from the distant future who eventually becomes immortal through death and leads a fight on Earth to combat alien threats, Harkness quickly became one of the show's more popular figures which led to a spin-off series, "Torchwood" (BBC, 2006- ). As the star of that show, Barrowman's character joined a team of specialists and led the continued fight against both humans and aliens threatening Earth. "Torchwood" was a huge ratings hit in Britain, though the first series earned mixed critical reviews. But over time, the show earned high marks for artistic merit, while branching out into other mediums like Torchwood Magazine, a number of webcasts and web series, radio plays and even novels. Of course, Hollywood wanted in on the action and developed "Torchwood: The New World" (Starz, 2011- ), with Barrowman retaining his Harkness character. Meanwhile, the actor appeared on a number of American series, including having a recurring role during the sixth season of "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2004- ).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
2.
 Producers, The (2005)
3.
 De-Lovely (2004) Musical Performer ("Night And Day")
4.
 Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002) Ben Carpenter
5.
 Putting It Together (2001) Younger Man
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Glasgow, Scotland
1977:
Moved with family from Scotland to Illinois
:
As a child, performed in nursing homes and sang in a church choir
:
Briefly performed at Opryland USA
1989:
Moved to London
1989:
Made British stage debut replacing Howard McGillan as Billy Crocker in revival of "Anything Goes," starring Elaine Paige
1990:
Assumed role of Chris in London production of "Miss Saigon"
1991:
Starred opposite Stephanie Powers in the musical "Matador"
1991:
Released first record, the single "I was Born to Be Me/I'll Dress You in Mourning"
1992:
Cast as Raoul in London production of "The Phantom of the Opera"
1993:
Co-starred with Anthony Head and Alexis Denisof in a staging of "Rope" at Chichester
1993:
Played leading role of Claude in 25th anniversary staging of "Hair" in London
1993:
Briefly reprised Chris in "Miss Saigon"
1993:
Presented "Electric Circus" as part of BBC weekly chidren's series "Live and Kicking"
1994:
Starred as Joe Gillis to Betty Buckley's Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Sunset Boulevard"; Elaine Paige replaced Buckley when she became ill
1994:
Hosted the British TV series "The Movie Game"
1995:
Cast as assistant DA Peter Fairchild on CBS primetime serial "Central Park West/C.P.W."
1996:
Made Broadway debut recreating his role of Joe Gillis opposite Betty Buckley's Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Sunset Boulevard"
1997:
Created a leading role in musical "The Fix," which premiered at London's Donmar Warehouse under Sam Mendes' direction
1997:
Played Che in a Norwegian production of "Evita"
1997:
Toured Ireland as Alex in Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Aspects of Love"
1998:
Performed a number from "The Fix" in the televised tribute "Hey, Mr. Producer! The Musical World of Cameron Mackintosh"
1998:
Featured in musical revue of Stephen Sondheim's work "Putting It Together"; premiered at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum
1999:
Starred as the Beast in London stage musical of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast"
1999:
"Putting It Together" remounted with minor cast changes on Broadway
2000:
Featured on NBC drama serial "Titans" as a ruthless mogul
2002:
Starred as Bobby in Kennedy Center production of "Company"
2005:
Appeared in feature adaptation of musical comedy "The Producers," starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick
2005:
Landed breakthrough role on BBC's "Doctor Who" as time traveler Captain Jack Harkness
2006:
Reprised Capt. Harkness for his own spin-off series "Torchwood" (BBC)
2008:
Published memoir <i>Anything Goes</i>
2010:
Guest starred on ABC's "Desperate Housewives"
2012:
Made cameo in Kathryn Bigelow directed "Zero Dark Thirty"
2012:
Joined cast of The CW's "Arrow" as villain Malcolm Merlyn/Dark Archer
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Iowa: Iowa City , Iowa -
DePaul University: Chicago , Illinois -
United States International University: San Diego , California -
Joliet West High School: Joliet , Illinois - 1986

Notes

His official website is located at www.johnbarrowman.com

"There's an innocence about John that's hard to find in leading men. Tom Cruise had that quality in the beginning of his career." --Darren Star, creator and producer of "Central Park West", to US, October 1995

"There is apparently a fan club for my bum in the U.K. I mooned somebody out of my dressing-room window. They photographed it and started sending it to people. I have appeared nude onstage in Britain twice, so I have no qualms about nudity. I think people should be very proud of their bodies." --John Barrowman to George Wayne in Vanity Fair, November 1995

"I learned to speak with an American accent because kids used to make fun of my Scottish accent. It's like a defense mechanism. I'm more comfortable speaking Scottish. Whe I speak with my family, I speak Scottish. On television in England, I speak American. It's like being bilingual. But there are some words I've have to think about before I pronounce them." --Barrowman to US, April 1996

"My goal was to be a musical theatre performer but also to be respected in the straight acting field because I feel they are one and the same thing." --John Barrowman to Playbill On-Line, March 12, 1997

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute