Saturday, March 24, 2018

Happy Birthday to 'Big Bang Theory' Star Jim Parsons

James Joseph "Jim" Parsons was born today, March 24, in 1973. He is an actor best known for playing Sheldon Cooper in the sitcom The Big Bang Theory. He has received several awards for his performance, including four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy.

In 2011, Parsons made his Broadway debut portraying Tommy Boatwright in the play The Normal Heart, for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination. He reprised the role in the film adaptation of the play, and received his seventh Emmy nomination, this time in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie. In film, Parsons played a supporting role in the period drama Hidden Figures (2016).

Jim Parsons was born at St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, Texas, and was raised in one of its northern suburbs, Spring.  
After playing the role of the Kola-Kola bird in a school production of The Elephant's Child at age six, Parsons was determined to become an actor. Parsons points to a role in Noises Off during his junior year as the first time "I fully connected with the role I was playing and started to truly understand what it meant to be honest on stage."

After graduating from high school, Parsons received a bachelor's degree from the University of Houston. He was prolific during this time, appearing in 17 plays in 3 years. He was a founding member of Infernal Bridegroom Productions and regularly appeared at the Stages Repertory Theatre. Parsons enrolled in graduate school at the University of San Diego in 1999. He was one of seven students accepted into a special 2-year course in classical theater, taught in partnership with the Old Globe Theater. 
Parsons graduated in 2001 and moved to New York.

In New York, Parsons worked in Off-Broadway productions and made several television appearances. In a much-discussed 2003 Quiznos commercial, Parsons played a man who had been raised by wolves and continued to nurse from his wolf "mother." He had a recurring role on the television show Judging Amy and appeared on the television series Ed. Parsons also had minor roles in several movies, including Garden State and School for Scoundrels.

Parsons has estimated that he auditioned for between 15 and 30 television pilots, but on many of the occasions when he was cast, the show failed to find a television network willing to purchase it. The exception came with The Big Bang Theory. After reading the pilot script, Parsons felt that the role of Sheldon Cooper would be a very good fit for him. Although he did not feel any sort of relationship with the character, he was enchanted by the dialogue structure, the way the writers "brilliantly use those words that most of us don't recognize to create that rhythm. And the rhythm got me. It was the chance to dance through that dialogue, and in a lot of ways still is."

Television critic Andrew Dansby compares Parsons's physical comedy to that of Buster Keaton and other silent film stars. Show creator Chuck Lorre praises Parsons' instincts, saying that "You can't teach that." Lorre describes Parsons' "great sense of control over every part of his body, the way he walks, holds his hands, cocks his head, the facial tics as 'inspired'." Reviewer Lewis Beale describes Parsons' performance as "so spot-on, it seems as if the character and the actor are the same person." 

In 2011, Parsons appeared with Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Steve Martin, and Rashida Jones in the comedy film The Big Year. It was released in October. That same year, he appeared as the human alter ego of Walter, the newest Muppet introduced in The Muppets. On May 18, 2012, Parsons began appearing on Broadway as Elwood P. Dowd in a revival of Harvey.

Parsons received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 11, 2015. He voiced Oh, one of the lead roles in the DreamWorks Animation comedy film Home (2015), alongside Rihanna. On January 29, 2015, it was announced that Parsons would star as God in the Broadway production of An Act of God, a new play by David Javerbaum and directed by Joe Mantello. The play began previews at Studio 54 on May 5, 2015, and closed August 2, 2015, to positive reviews.

In 2017, Parsons started hosted his own SiriusXM talk show, Jim Parsons Is Too Stupid for Politics.

In 2018, Parsons was one of the actors who voiced the audiobook A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, the gay bunny book from Last Week Tonight.

From Playbill: Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, and Matt Bomer will star in a limited Broadway engagement of The Boys in the Band, directed by two-time Tony winner Joe Mantello. Mart Crowley’s groundbreaking 1968 play is scheduled to play the Booth Theatre April 30–August 12, 2018. The production, from Ryan Murphy and veteran Broadway producer David Stone, marks the comedic drama's Broadway premiere.

On May 23, 2012, an article in The New York Times noted that Parsons is gay and had been in a relationship for the last ten years. His husband is art director Todd Spiewak. In October 2013, Parsons called their relationship "an act of love, coffee in the morning, going to work, washing the clothes, taking the dogs out—a regular life, boring love." Parsons and Spiewak wed in New York in May 2017. 

Parsons lives in New York City neighborhood of Gramercy Park while also maintaining a residence in Los Angeles. 
Jim Parsons and husband, Todd Spiewak. (Photo: Jason LaVeris, FilmMagic)

1 comment:

Sooo-this-is-me said...

I love Jim Parsons, I can't see anyone else doing the character Sheldon the way he does.