Cheyenne David Jackson is an American actor and singer who is mostly known for his extensive stage work. He has portrayed leading roles in a number of Broadway productions and appeared in films and TV shows as well. As a singer, he has put out three studio albums and sung at several concerts. A Washington native, Jackson grew up in Idaho. He received his first lessons in music from his mother. While living in Seattle, he performed in some plays as a side job and obtained his Equity card. Following the September 11 attacks, he relocated to New York City to become an actor. He made his Broadway debut in 2002 in the Tony-Award-winning ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’. In the ensuing years, he has established himself as one of the most prolific theatre personalities of today and earned a Grammy nomination in 2015 for ‘West Side Story’. Jackson’s screen debut was in the short film ‘Curiosity’. A year later, he made his first cinematic appearance, in the historical thriller drama ‘United 93’, which brought him and other members of the cast the Boston Society of Film Critics 2006 award for Best Ensemble Cast.
Childhood & Early Life
Born on July 12, 1975, in Spokane, Washington, USA, Cheyenne Jackson is the third of four children of David and Sherri Jackson. His father named him after the popular 1950s Western series ‘Cheyenne’.
Jackson, along with his siblings, was taught singing by his mother. He was raised in Oldtown, Idaho but went back to Spokane as a teenager.
In Seattle, Jackson had a job as an ad executive. Acting was something he did on the side. At some point during this period, he acquired his Equity card. According to him, the moment he found theatre and learned about Broadway, he knew what he wanted to do with his life.
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After 9/11, Cheyenne Jackson moved to New York City to pursue his dreams of becoming an actor. In regional theatres, he has performed in plays like ‘West Side Story’, ‘The Most Happy Fella’, ‘Children of Eden’, ‘Hair’, ‘Carousel’, ‘Damn Yankees’, ‘The Rocky Horror Show’, and ‘Kismet’.
He had his Broadway debut as an understudy for both male leads in Marquis Theatre's production of the musical ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ in 2002.
In 2005, he received the Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut for portraying Chad in the original production of the musical ‘All Shook Up’.
He is also a two-time Drama-Desk-Award and a two-time Drama-League-Award nominee. In 2019, he played Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf in Hollywood Bowl’s production of ‘Into the Woods’.
After making his screen debut in the horror drama short ‘Curiosity’, he portrayed Mark Bingham, the American public relations executive who was among the passengers who tried to take back control of the plane from the terrorists during the September 11 attacks, in the 2006 film ‘United 93’.
His other film credits include ‘Hysteria’ (2010), ‘The Green’ (2011), ‘Price Check’ (2012), ‘Splitting Image’ (2017) and ‘Hurricane Bianca: From Russia with Hate’ (2018).
Jackson had his first TV role (Sebastian Kinglare) in the 2008 telefilm ‘Family Practice’. He has since portrayed Dustin Goolsby in ‘Glee’ (2010-11), Danny Baker in ‘30 Rock’ (2009-12), Peter Burlow in ‘Full Circle’ (2013), Greg Parker in ‘American Woman’ (2018), and various characters in ‘American Horror Story’ (2015-18). He is set to star in the upcoming TV series ‘Stellar People’.
In the initial days of his career, Jackson served as the back-up singer for Vanessa Williams and Heather Headley. He has sung for at least three original Broadway cast albums: ‘All Shook Up’ (2005), ‘Xanadu’ (2007), and ‘Finian's Rainbow’ (2009).
He collaborated with Michael Feinstein on their album, ‘The Power of Two’ (2009), which is also his debut studio album.
In 2012, he put out his first single, ‘Drive’, from his album ‘I’m Blue, Skies’, along with the music video for the song. The album itself was released in 2013 through Shiny Boy Music LLC record label.
On June 3, 2016, he put out his most recent album, ‘Renaissance’, an expanded version of his solo concert ‘Music of the Mad Men Era’, through PS Classics record label.
As a concert artist, he has delivered two sold-out performances at Carnegie Hall: ‘The Power of Two’ in 2010 and ‘Music of the Mad Men Era’ in 2011. he is also a cabaret performer.
Family & Personal Life
Cheyenne Jackson started a relationship with physicist Monte Lapka in 2000. The couple exchanged wedding vows on September 3, 2011, in New York City. They made the news of their impending divorce public in July 2013 and filed for it two months later in September.
Jackson revealed through his Instagram in October 2013 that he and actor Jason Landau were dating. In February 2014, their engagement was announced. On September 13, 2014, they tied the knot in Encino, California. The couple became parents of fraternal twins Evan and Willow on October 7, 2016.
A recovering alcoholic, Jackson has been sober since 2013. He is a vocal supporter of LGBT rights and serves as an international ambassador for amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research). He has also been appointed as a national ambassador and spokesperson for the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which provides support to LGBT youths.