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John Barrowman [Torchwood]

Infamously known as Jack Harkness from Torchwood (anagram of Doctor Who), John Barrowman has seen much of both the camera and stage. Here, in this pictorial profile, we give you the very best side of this icon. Enjoy.

John Barrowman


Date of Birth

11 March 1967, Mount Vernon, Glasgow, Scotland, UK


Birth Name

John Scot Barrowman



6′ (1.83 m)


Mini Biography

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, and raised in Joliet, Illinois. He returned to the UK, for a 6 month Shakespeare semester with the United States International University of San Diego, but left to star in the musical production of “Anything Goes,” with Elaine Page. He went on to star in “Miss Saigon,” “Matador,” “Rope,” and “Hair” at London’s West End. Barrowman has homes in London and Cardiff, Wales.

John Barrowman was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and moved to the U.S. with his family when he was eight. He first lived in Aurora, Illinois, and then his family moved to Joliet. He attended Joliet West High School, where his father worked at the Caterpillar head office. He attended DePaul University for a short while, but left when he was told that he had to become an opera singer, when he wanted to be a musical-comedy performer in musical theatre.

He returned to the UK for a Shakespeare semester with United States International University of San Diego, but left to star in the musical production of “Anything Goes,” with Elaine Page. He later went on to star in “Miss Saigon,” “Matador,” “Rope,” and “Hair” at London’s West End.

Barrowman has homes in London and Cardiff, Wales with his partner of many years, Scott Gill, who is an architect.

His sister, Carole, writes for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written a book about his life with him. Their brother still lives in Aurora.



Presented a children’s TV show in the UK called “Live & Kicking” (1993). Played the Beast in the London Musical of the Disney animated film Beauty and the Beast (1991) at the Dominion Theatre in central London.

He has performed his cabaret show in New York; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; and Milwaukee.

Appeared as an extra in The Untouchables (1987) – the scene in the police academy where Sean Connery is recruiting Andy Garcia.

He was nominated for a 1998 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actor in a Musical of 1997 season for his performance in The Fix.

Partner of British architect Scott Gill.

Was 6 months from graduating from the United States International University of San Diego. He’s been asked to return, but has stated that he’s learned more by doing than any teacher could teach him.

Voted best guest actor by readers of Doctor Who Magazine for his five episodes in 2005 season.

Spent some time in Los Angeles chasing movie and TV roles. Made final three in casting for the role of Will in “Will & Grace” (1998). When he didn’t get the part, he demanded an explanation and found he had been rejected as “not gay enough.”.

He was joined in a civil partnership (a commitment ceremony which accords gay couples many of the same rights as heterosexual couples in the UK) to his long-time love, architect Scott Gill, at a ceremony in Cardiff Bay on Wednesday 27 December 2006.

He has classified his voice as being a “lyric baritone with a low baritone bottom and a tenor top.”.

He drives a high-efficiency diesel Mercedes, which is run on Sun diesel. He’s in the market for an electric car, as it is more environmentally efficient.

He recently flew in a Hawker fighter jet representing the Royal Air Force, because Captain Jack (his character in “Torchwood” (2006)) is in the RAF.

He signed a four-record deal with Sony for doing a very eclectic mix of covers of songs he really likes and things fans have asked him to sing. He wants it to reflect himself, so it will have some musical theatre numbers, some pop, and even some country. His first tour started in 2008.

Along with Freema Agyeman, Eve Myles, Naoko Mori and Gareth David-Lloyd, he is one of only five actors to play the same character (Captain Jack Harkness) in both “Doctor Who” (2005) and “Torchwood” (2006).

Played Mr. Bumble in Joliet West High School’s 1983 production of Oliver! alongside Anthony Rapp (as Oliver) and Andy Dick (as Dr. Grimwig).

According to his autobiography, when the part of Will in “Will & Grace” came down to him and Eric McCormack, the producers decided to go with Eric because, as they told John, he (John) was “too straight-acting.” John, meanwhile, is openly gay, and they went with a straight actor for the role.

He is one of only 6 actors to play the same character (Captain Jack Harkness) in both “Doctor Who” (2005) and “Torchwood” (2006). The others are Freema Agyeman, Eve Myles, Naoko Mori, Gareth David-Lloyd, and Lachele Carl.


Personal Quotes

I was gobsmacked by that. I was absolutely gobsmacked. All these things that are happening. I just sit back and . . . I can’t believe it but I love it. I’m totally enjoying it. Because I’m a fan, a sci-fi fan, they have made a young boy’s dreams come true. (after being told that his role in “Torchwood” (2006) had propelled him to “instantaneous National Treasure status”)

There’s a lot of me in Captain Jack and there’s a lot of Captain Jack in me. And there is no pun intended. (on his role as Captain Jack Harkness on “Torchwood” (2006))

I’m not the sort that likes to go out and get hammered, I’m not the “Hotel Babylon” (2006) and I let that go years ago now that I am older and wiser.

Remember that I have a family. Remember that I have teenage nieces and nephews–and younger–who do surf the Internet for stuff about their uncle. And I would appreciate if you don’t make up rumours and things about me. If you want the facts, go to my Web site. I’m truthful. I’m honest about the way I talk. If you want the truth, come to me. (on what he thinks of what is written about him on the Internet, which he refuses to read)

In the back of his mind, Captain Jack really wants to die because he’s lived a long, long time. (on his character’s immortality in “Torchwood” (2006))

Chris (Christopher Eccleston) was always grumpy. You don’t always have to be intense. There comes a point when intensity makes you miserable – I think that was the case with Chris. I much prefer working with David (David Tennant) – he likes to have a bit more fun, he’s more charismatic as a person. Chris might have been a great Doc but he was darker and had a chip on his shoulder, he was not as much fun on set as David. I will give him the credit that he was the first Doctor to bring back the series and made a damn good job of it. But I just wouldn’t go to the pub with him. On the other hand, David’s been to my house, we went to the Madonna concert with our partners – we socialise together. He’s a lot more fun.



Where Are They Now

(August 2005) Appearing in “A Few Good Men” at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.

(October 2006) Dr. Who spin-off Torchwood starts on BBC Three with Barrowman as the lead character, Captain Jack Harkness.

(May 2008) In London acting as a judge on the show “I’d Do Anything.”

(September 2008) Filming Torchwood Season 3 and preparing for release of new album: “Music, Music, Music” in November.

(December 2009) Appearing in a pantomime play called “Robin Hood – The Pantomime Adventure”, in Cardiff, Wales, UK at the New Theatre, Cardiff from 12 December 2009 through 24 January 2010.

(September 2009) Played Albin/Zaza, a lead role, in the musical “La Cage aux Folles” at the Playhouse Theatre in London’s West End from 14 September through 28 November 2009.


© The M. Celebrity 2012/ The [MKDS] Network 2012

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