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John Barrowman is a Scottish-American actor, singer, dancer, and writer who holds both British and American citizenship. Born in Glasgow, he grew up in Illinois following his family's emigration to the United States. Encouraged by his high school teachers, Barrowman studied performing arts at the United States International University in San Diego before landing the role of Billy Crocker in Cole Porter's Anything Goes at London's West End.
Since his debut in professional theatre, Barrowman has played lead roles in various musicals both in the West End and on Broadway, including Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard andMatador. After appearing in Sam Mendes' production of The Fix, he was nominated for the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical and, in the early 2000s, returned to the role of Billy Crocker in the revival of Anything Goes. His most recent West End credit was in the 2009 production of La Cage aux Folles.
Aside from his theatrical career, Barrowman has appeared in various films including the musical biopic De-Lovely (2004) and musical comedy The Producers (2005). Before venturing into British television, he featured in the American television dramas Titans andCentral Park West but he is better known for his acting and presenting work for the BBC that includes his work for CBBC in its earlier years, his self-produced entertainment program Tonight's the Night, and his BAFTA Cymru-nominated role of Captain Jack Harkness in the science fiction series Doctor Who andTorchwood. Barrowman has also had a number of guest roles in television programs both in the US and the UK. He appeared as a contestant on the first series of celebrity ice skating show Dancing on Ice while his theatrical background allowed him to become a judge on Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical talent shows How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria?, Any Dream Will Do andI'd Do Anything. In 2006, he was voted Stonewall's Entertainer of the Year.
Barrowman is also featured on more than a dozen musical theatre recordings including cover tunes found on his 2007 album, Another Side, and 2008's Music Music Music. Both albums accrued places on the UK Albums Chart, as did his self-titled John Barrowman (2010), which reached number 11, his highest chart placing to date. Furthermore, Barrowman has published two memoirs and autobiographies, Anything Goes (2008) and I Am What I Am (2009), with his sister Carole as co-author. The siblings also teamed up to write a novel, Hollow Earth (2012).