June 26, 1970– Sean Hayes is a talented, award-winning, cutie-pie actor & producer, & he is an out & proud gay man.
Some of you kids are probably too young, but I found true solace, pride & lots of laughs by having gay characters appearing in a primetime sitcom, even if his Will & Grace character, Jack McFarland, generated controversy & a some push back by the LGBT community for being “too gay”. For me, there really is no such thing. It took a while for him to open that closet door, but in 2010, Hayes told The Advocate:
“I am who I am. I was never in, as they say. Never. I feel like I’ve contributed monumentally to the success of the gay movement in America, & if anyone wants to argue that, I’m open to it.”
“I feel like I’ve contributed monumentally to the success of the gay movement in America, and if anyone wants to argue that, I’m open to it.”
Hayes won a bunch of statues for awards shelf for his turn as the scene-stealing sidekick on Will & Grace (1998-2006), part of NBC’s Thursday night “Must See TV” powerhouse line-up, including an Emmy & 4 SAG Awards. Will & Grace shared NBC’s Thursday night with Friends & Seinfeld. I used to tape all 3 using a device called a VCR.
Chicago born Hayes was raised by his mother after his father abandoned spit when Hayes was just 5 years old. He claims that humor was a big part of his growing up with his 4 older siblings play pranks, including frieghtning friends with his mother’s prosthetic eye. Always creative, he was drawn to music during high school. He studied voice & acting at Illinois State University, & took gigs as a pianist to make money. He began performing at Chicago’s Second City improv group, along with Tina Fey, Steve Carell & Amy Sedaris.
I first took note of Hayes in the sweet, funny, gay-themed indie film Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss (1998). His work as gay photographer Billy Collier brought him the role on Will & Grace. He held his own with seasoned comedic co-stars Debra Messing & Eric McCormack, & had red hot chemistry with Megan Mullally as Karen Walker.
Hayes kept working after Will & Grace said goodbye in 2006. On TV he had guest roles on NBC’s 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, & IFC’s Portlandia (I don’t watch it, I live it). In 2010, he starred on broadway in the musical Promises, Promises with Kristin Chenoweth, earning a Tony Award nomination. Playing real life people, Hayes was SAG nominated for his excellent work as Jerry Lewis in the TV film Martin & Lewis (2002), & he portrayed Larry Fine in the feature film The Three Stooges (2012), which was a bit of a mixed bag, not Haye’s fault. He had a swell story arc on the much missed Smash in 2013, reuniting with Messing & NBC. Hayes produced & starred in Sean Saves The World which lasted just 15 episodes in 2013, but let’s not discuss it on his birthday. He has better luck as executive producer series Hollywood Game Night, Grimm & Hot In Cleveland.
Always intensely reserved about his private life, Hayes married his adorable, slightly bearish BF, music producer Scott Icenogle last winter. They make an adorable couple. They make funny, sweet videos for YouTube. Happy looks good on Hayes. I think he is adorable.