I'm just glad I found what I should be doing. We all know people who struggle to find what's right for them. At the risk of sounding like I'm on Oprah, I think the answer is within.—Jim Parsons, on his decision to become an actor
Born March 24, 1973 in Houston, Texas, Jim Parsons began his acting career on the stage of the University of Houston, where he was a founding member of a theater troupe known as Infernal Bridegroom Productions. By the time he had earned his master's degree in Fine Arts at the University of San Diego, his list of theater credits was staggering -- Endgame, What Happened Was, Guys and Dolls, and The Balcony are only a few he appeared in. Parsons toiled for a few years after moving to Hollywood, getting small parts in commercials (Fed Ex, Quiznos, Stride gum, etc.), TV shows (Judging Amy, Ed) movies (Garden State, School For Scoundrels), and
fifteen three axed TV pilots for the FOX network.
Then, sometime in 2006, Parsons stumbled upon a character named Sheldon Cooper.
Sheldon wasn't a resident of FOX -- he was going to be a supporting character on a new CBS sitcom called The Big Bang Theory. He was supposedly a post-doc string theorist with an astronomical IQ and an ego to match.
Parsons auditioned for the part -- and so blew series creator Chuck Lorre away that he asked him back for a second audition to make sure it wasn't a fluke.
Today, Parsons has earned critical acclaim and three consecutive Best Comedy Actor Emmy nominations; he won for the second and the third time. He has also made fans on a global scale for his portrayal of Sheldon, and his performance has been praised as the main reason for The Big Bang Theory's success.
A few other things you should know about Jim Parsons:
- Played the same role in The Balcony that Leonard Nimoy played in the 1963 movie adaptation.
- Plays piano exceptionally and has a wonderful singing voice.
- Doesn't really consider himself a nerd. Theater geek, however, yes. He made his Broadway debut in April 2011 as self-proclaimed "Southern bitch" Tommy Boatwright in The Normal Heart.
- Scored a whopping 68 on the Mary Sue Litmus Test.
This actor contains examples of:
- Adorkable: Goes without saying.
- American Accents: Jim has a lovely Texas Drawl when he's not being Sheldon.
- But I Play One on TV: Jim often gets asked if he is really as smart as Sheldon, or if he understands all the things Sheldon says. He's mentioned that he had tremendous difficulty memorizing Sheldon's rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock speech.
- Greater Houston
- Innocent Blue Eyes
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Sort of, since Sheldon isn't technically mean.
- Nice Guy: Jim's sweet-bordering-on-wholesome demeanor, which is almost unheard of in Hollywood, is praised to no end by his fans.
- Older Than They Look: He's 39!!
- One-Scene Wonder: As the human version of Walter in The Muppets.
- The best part? His cameo was the only one in the film that was not announced before it premiered.
- Sesame Street Cred: He recently appeared in a "Word Of The Day" segment in which he presented the word arachnid with a Muppet spider. Presumably did so for his nephew, about whom he speaks frequently and adorably.
- Southern Gentleman: Oh, yes. He even says "bless your heart" a lot.
- Straight Gay: Not many people realize it, but Parsons is in a same-sex relationship with art director Todd Spiewak.
- Debatable; he was often viewed as in a Transparent Closet as he seldom discusses his sexuality, to the point that when he "officially" came out in a recent interview, few were surprised, despite People magazine's attempt to play it as breaking news.