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LGBT History Month profile: Award-winning actor Alan Cumming

via Equality Forum
Monday, October 10, 2011
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Alan Cumming, Actor
b. January 27, 1965

“We need to do everything we can to counteract hatred and shame and we need to be strong in this fight.”

Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming is an award-winning film, television and stage actor. He has appeared in more than 100 films and television series, as well as major theatrical productions in London and on Broadway.

Cumming grew up on the east coast of Scotland, the son of a forester and a secretary. As a teenager, he began appearing in high school plays and local theater productions. In 1982, he enrolled at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where he received a B.A. in dramatic studies.

After graduation, Cumming worked in Scottish theater and television before moving to London. In 1985, he married fellow acting student Hilary Lyon. The couple divorced eight years later.

In London, Cumming performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. He received two Olivier Awards, including Best Actor in a Musical for playing the Emcee in “Cabaret.” In 1998, he reprised this role on Broadway, receiving a Tony Award for his performance.

Cumming’s many film credits include “Golden Eye,” “Emma,” “Eyes Wide Shut,” “Nicholas Nickleby,” “X2,” and “Burlesque.” On television, he has appeared on “Frasier,” “The L Word,” “Sex and the City,” Logo’s “Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World,” and on the hit series “The Good Wife” as conniving campaign manager Eli Gold.

In 1998, Entertainment Weekly named Cumming one of the 100 Most Creative People in the World. In 2008, he received the Trevor Hero Award from The Trevor Project for being “a true role model for gay and questioning youth through his spectacular and highly successful career.”

Cumming and his longtime partner, Grant Shaffer, entered into a civil partnership at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London. Cumming and Shaffer live in New York City.

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