Saturday, January 27, 2018

Happy Birthday to Actor, Singer, Author Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming, OBE was born today, January 27, 1965. He is a Scottish-American actor, singer/performer, author, and activist who has appeared in numerous films, television shows, and plays. His London stage appearances include Hamlet, the Maniac in Accidental Death of an Anarchist (for which he received an Olivier Award), the lead in Bent, and the National Theatre of Scotland's The Bacchae. On Broadway, he has appeared in The Threepenny Opera, as the master of ceremonies in Cabaret (for which he won a Tony Award), Design for Living and a one-man adaptation of Macbeth

His best-known film roles include his performances in Emma, GoldenEye, the Spy Kids trilogy, Son of the Mask, and X2. Cumming also introduces Masterpiece Mystery! for PBS and appeared on The Good Wife, for which he has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and a Satellite Award. His new series, Instinct, will premiere on CBS in March, where he plays an out former CIA operative  trying to catch a serial killer.

A filming of his Las Vegas cabaret show, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs, aired on PBS stations in November 2016.

Cumming has written a novel, Tommy's Tale, and an autobiography, Not My Father's Son: A Memoir, had a cable talk show called Eavesdropping with Alan Cumming, and produced a line of perfumed products labelled "Cumming." He has also contributed opinion pieces to many publications and performed cabaret shows, I Bought a Blue Car Today and Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs.

Cumming was born in Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland. In his autobiography Not My Father's Son, Cumming describes emotional and physical violence his father inflicted on him in childhood. His mother found it impossible to obtain a divorce until she was financially independent. Cumming said that after he reached his early 20s, he did not have any communication with his father until just before the filming of his episode of the series Who Do You Think You Are? He then found out that his father had believed that Cumming was not his biological son. Later, Cumming and his brother took DNA tests that proved they were indeed his biological children.

Cumming said that his difficult childhood taught him how to act by "needing to suppress my own emotions and feelings around him [his father] when I was a little boy."

In March 2005, Cumming received the Vito Russo Award at the 16th Annual GLAAD Media Awards for outstanding contributions toward eliminating homophobia. In July of the same year, he was also presented with the Human Rights Campaign's Humanitarian Award in San Francisco, also for his LGBT public stance. In November 2006, Cumming received a Doctor of Arts honorary degree from the University of Abertay Dundee. He also is a patron of the Scottish Youth Theatre, Scotland's National Theatre 'for and by' young people. Cumming was appointed an OBE in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to film, theatre and the arts, and activism for LGBT rights.

Previous relationships include an 8-year marriage to actress Hilary Lyon, a 2-year relationship with actress Saffron Burrows, and a 6-year relationship with theatre director Nick Philippou. In 2006, Cumming stated that he "would dearly like to adopt a child," but that his life was "too hectic" for children.

Cumming is bisexual. He lives in Manhattan with his husband, illustrator Grant Shaffer, and their dogs, Jerry and Lala. The couple dated for two years before becoming civil partners at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London, on 7 January 2007. Cumming and Shaffer legally married in New York on 7 January 2012, the fifth anniversary of their London union.

No comments: