Alan Cumming is an accomplished performer whose seven seasons of work as Eli Gold on The Good Wife, earned numerous accolades, including Emmy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Satellite Award, and Critics Circle Award nominations. His additional television credits include Sex and the City, Frasier, The L Word, Web Therapy, and Tin Man. Also, he is the host of PBS' Masterpiece Mystery, he wrote and starred in the British sitcom The High Life, and he appeared in several films for the BBC.
Cumming made his professional acting debut in Michael Boyd's production of Macbeth at the Glasgow's Tron Theater in 1985. He went on to work extensively in the Scottish theater before his West End debut in Conquest of the South Pole earned him his first Olivier Award nomination. He has appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company, played Romeo for the Royal National Theatre Studio and earned further Olivier Award nominations for La Bete and Cabaret. His career-defining Hamlet for the English Touring Theatre earned him critical acclaim, a TMA Best Actor award, and a Shakespeare Globe nomination. He won an Olivier Award for Accidental Death of an Anarchist at the Royal National Theatre. In 2006 he returned to the West End in Martin Sherman's Bent, and in 2007 he appeared in the National Theatre of Scotland's The Bacchae.
In 1998 Cumming made his Broadway debut when Cabaret transferred to New York, winning him a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Theatre World Award, New York Press Award, and FANY Award. He went on to appear on Broadway in Design for Living, The Threepenny Opera, and Macbeth. Off-Broadway, he appeared as the Pope in Jean Genet's Elle, which he also adapted, and as Trigorin in The Seagull opposite Dianne Wiest. From 2014-2015, he returned to Studio 54 and Cabaret once more, recreating his performance opposite the Sally Bowles of Michelle Williams, Emma Stone, and Sienna Miller.
Cumming's wide-ranging film career has seen him work with everyone from Stanley Kubrick to the Spice Girls and make appearances in the X-Men, Spy Kids, Flintstones, and The Smurfs franchises, as well as roles in the independent films Sweet Land, Titus, The Tempest, and Any Day Now, among others. He appeared in Battle of the Sexes, opposite Emma Stone and Steve Carrell, and starred in After Louie. Along with Jennifer Jason Leigh, he wrote, produced, directed, and starred in The Anniversary Party, which earned a National Board of Review Award and two Independent Spirit Award nominations.
Cumming performs regularly in concert and has performed with Liza Minnelli at New York's Town Hall in addition to appearances at the Sydney Opera House, the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, and London's Vaudeville Theatre. In 2015 he premiered his cabaret show Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs at the legendary Cafe Carlyle in New York. The show has since toured all over America, Canada, Australia, and England and was the hit of the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival. The show was filmed for a PBS special, and a live album of the same name was released in February 2016, to coincide with his sold-out debut at NYC's Carnegie Hall.
As an author, Cumming made his debut with the novel Tommy's Tale, and in 2014 he released a memoir Not My Father's Son, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller, and was the recipient of the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Award, two Audible awards, an Audie Award, and a Lambda Literary Award nomination. In 2016 Rizzoli published his book of stories and photographs, You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams, and in 2017 published a children's picture book created with his illustrator husband, Grant Shaffer, The Adventures of Honey and Leon.
For his humanitarian work, particularly in the field of LGBT rights and equality, Cumming has been honored by the Human Rights Commission, GLAAD, The Trevor Project, and The Matthew Shepard Foundation, among many others. From his homeland, he was honored with both the Great Scot and Icon of Scotland awards and was made an Order of the British Empire in the 2009 Queen's Honors List.
Cumming was born in Aberfeldy, Scotland. His birthday is Jan. 27. Follow him on Twitter at @AlanCumming.