It's never easy playing a 'best friend'. You have to get your character out there and get recognized so that you can play off the lead without overshadowing them. Think Ethel in I Love Lucy. Few actors have done it successfully. Sean Hayes is one of those few.
Regarding the colorful character he portrays on “Will & Grace,” Emmy Award-winning actor Sean Hayes explains, “Jack is highly neurotic, extremely outspoken, a little bitter, maybe even borderline obsessive-compulsive. However, underneath all that, he is a caring soul and a good friend to Will (Eric McCormack).”
Season eight is bittersweet for Hayes. These are the final episodes that have made him a household name, and while W&G has made him a star he has concerns that he may be forever seen as just 'the gay buddy'.
Hollywood wears horse blinders when it looks at actors and typecasting could be Hayes worst enemy.
Recently he tried his hand at producing with Bravo's "Situation Comedy", a fly-on-the-wall perspective of the making of a sitcom pilot.
Hayes won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 2000 for “Will & Grace” - and has been nominated every year since.
Hayes was raised in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn, Illinois. A talented musician, he supported himself as a classical pianist and performed in a pop band while attending Illinois State University, where he majored in performance and conducting. He also appeared in the university’s productions of “Burn This” and “Love for Love.”
After his college experience, Hayes began working in the Chicago theater community, serving as the music director at the Pheasant Run Theatre for a few years, where he appeared in several of their productions. He composed original music for a production of “Antigone” at the Steppenwolf Theatre and appeared in the original production of “Role Play” at the Organic Theater.
An alumnus of the famed Second City improvisational comedy group, Hayes also had gigs as a standup comic, performing at the Comedy Club in Los Angeles.
While still in Chicago, Hayes won guest-starring roles in television shows including “Missing Persons,” “Silk Stalkings” and “Tough Target.”
After moving to Los Angeles, Hayes had gigs as a stand-up comic, performing at the Comedy Club, and starred in the television movie “A&P,” based on the short story by John Updike. Hayes also starred as Jerry Lewis in the television movie “The Martin & Lewis Story.”
On the big screen, Hayes was recently seen in the independent feature "Pieces of April" for writer/director Peter Hedges.
He was also featured in "The Cat in the Hat" as the voice of The Fish and in person as Mr. Humberfloob. Prior to these films, he played the title role in the gay art-house hit "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss," which won critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival, and lent his voice to the character of the diabolical Mr. Tinkles in the box-office hit "Cats and Dogs."
Hayes has also been honored with two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a TV Guide Award, an American Comedy Award and five Golden Globe nominations.
*by Meg Allen 365Gay.com TV