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Barrowman, John (b. 1967)  
 
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He also participated in a well-received concert version of William Finn's song cycle Elegies in London in 2004.

Although Barrowman's singing had been included on many cast albums and compilation recordings, he launched his solo recording career in 1998 with a mini-CD, John Barrowman: Aspects of Andrew Lloyd Webber. His first full-length album, John Barrowman: Reflections from Broadway (2000), is a compilation of songs from the shows in which he has appeared.

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On his next album, John Barrowman Swings Cole Porter (2004), he gave an accomplished and nuanced interpretation of Porter's compositions. Barrowman was touched by the poignancy of Porter's writing about his love for other men in his songs, and his performances of the works are rendered with great sensitivity and imagination.

The release of the Porter album coincided with Barrowman's appearance in Irwin Winkler's film biography of Porter, De-Lovely. In it Barrowman had a role as one of the composer's lovers and sang "Night and Day" with Kevin Kline, who starred as Porter.

Barrowman's cinematic work also includes Susan Stroman's film of Mel Brooks's The Producers (2005), in which, wearing blue contact lenses and with his hair bleached blond, he fronts the "Springtime for Hitler" number.

Among Barrowman's recent theatrical roles is that of the Beast in Beauty and the Beast (book by Linda Wolverton, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice). He commented that the part "was a thrill because the kids were enthralled by it"--an echo of his early enchantment with theater upon seeing Peter Pan.

An accomplished ice skater, Barrowman was one of ten celebrities who accepted a 2006 challenge to compete on Britain's ITV television program, Dancing on Ice. Partnered with a professional skater and coached by the legendary Olympic team of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Barrowman and his partner Olga Sharutenko were expected to do very well. However, they were eliminated from the competition fairly early on.

Barrowman scored a hit on British television in 2006 in Torchwood, a spin-off of the science-fiction series Doctor Who, in which he appeared as Captain Jack Harkness, a time-traveller from the 51st century who was posing as an R.A.F. pilot during the London Blitz where he met the other characters (also time travellers) who were also visiting the same time period.

Of his character, Barrowman said, "Jack's a bit of a player. The writer, Russell T. Davies, joked that Jack would sleep with anybody. He doesn't differentiate between the Doctor or Rose--or aliens!"

Barrowman is a strong supporter of organizations that encourage young people to become involved in the arts. He is a member of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme in the United Kingdom and a driving force in the Dreamers Workshops in the United States. In the workshops, Barrowman stated, "We try to teach kids life skills though theater skills. It helps make children more motivated, as well as more accepting of other people's culture, race, creed, whatever."

Barrowman also vigorously supports glbtq rights. He has stated that he realized that he was gay when he was eight or nine years old but only came out to his parents at twenty-two. The entire family was extremely supportive, and Barrowman continues to enjoy a very close relationship with his parents, his siblings, and their children.

In his show business career, Barrowman has always been completely honest about his sexuality. As he told Gay Times interviewer Rupert Smith in 2004, "There's a received idea that being openly gay in the TV industry will limit your ability to get work, but I decided early on that I wouldn't hide anything. If you lie about yourself, then people are going to work very hard to expose that lie. If you're honest, it's not an issue and you can just get on with your life. . . . As far as the public goes, they see me playing different characters, some straight, some gay. They can make their own assumptions."

Ironically, he lost one coveted television role because he was perceived as "too straight." He was turned down for the role of Will in the NBC sitcom Will and Grace. Heterosexual actor Eric McCormack was cast in the role.

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