f you count his first paying job at Toronto's O'Neill's Dinner Theatre (and he does) this is Eric McCormack's 28th year as a professional actor. In the years following graduation from Ryerson he appeared in theatres across this country, including five seasons with the Stratford Festival, and cut his teeth guest-starring on Street Legal, E.N.G., Katts and Dog and Hangin' In. His turn as Col. Clay Mosby on Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years (shot in Bragg Creek, Alberta) introduced him not only to a wider audience but also to his wife of almost thirteen years, Janet Holden.
But it was his performance as Will Truman on the Emmy-winning Will & Grace that changed everything, earning him a Screen Actors' Guild Award, five Golden Globe nominations, and the Emmy for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. During those heady eight seasons, he also hosted Saturday Night Live, sang both anthems at the NHL All-Star Game and made his Broadway debut as Prof. Harold Hill in The Music Man.
In the four years since that series' final bow, Eric's been busy in all media. He starred in the short-lived but critically acclaimed TNT series Trust Me, the Emmy-nominated mini-series The Andromeda Strain, Who Is Clark Rockefeller? for Lifetime, and had a memorable turn as Julia Louis Dreyfuss' new love on The New Adventures of Old Christine. He headlined Robert Goodwin's film Alien Trespass, canoodled with Rene Zellweger in My One and Only and co-stars in the upcoming Canadian feature Textuality.
Eric returned to the New York stage in 2006 to star in the American premiere of Neil LaBute's Some Girl(s) and, last spring, he headed the cast of Jason Alexander's The Fantasticks for LA's Reprise Theater. He'll be spending this summer in Vancouver, where he lives part-time with Janet and their soon-to-be-eight-year-old son Finnigan (his birthday's on Canada Day!), starring in a production of Glengarry Glen Ross.
McCormack has Cherokee and Scottish ancestry. He admits while he was growing up, he was shy and did not play sports and he attended Stephen Leacock Collegiate Institute High School in Scarborough, Ontario. There, he enrolled in theatre and performed in high school productions of Godspell and Pippin, and decided to pursue a career in acting. McCormack recalls after performing in Godspell, his feelings towards becoming an actor solidified. "...I remember after the first performance of that ... I knew where to fit in. That was the beginning of my life as an actor. It changed me in that the concept of any other options disappeared. From that moment there was no question. I knew exactly what I was going to do. I'm lucky that way." He admits that he never felt cool growing up. "I was a bit of an outsider, but I discovered theatre very early on, which got me through."He then transferred to Sir John A. Macdonald Collegiate Institute in Scarborough, where he went to school with David Furnish. He graduated in 1982.