His London stage appearances include Hamlet, the Maniac in Dario Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist, for which he received an Olivier Award, the lead in Martin Sherman's Bent, and as Dionysus in The National Theatre of Scotland's The Bacchae. On Broadway he has appeared as Mac the Knife in The Threepenny Opera, the Emcee in Cabaret, for which he won the Tony in 1998, and Design for Living. Cumming also introduces Masterpiece Mystery! for PBS. He currently appears as Eli Gold on The Good Wife, for which he has been nominated for two Emmys, two SAGs, a Satellite Award and Critics' Circle Award.
He has also written a novel, Tommy's Tale, had a cable talk show (Eavesdropping with Alan Cumming) and produced a line of perfumed products labelled "Cumming". He has contributed opinion pieces to many publications and performed a cabaret show I Bought A Blue Car Today. Retaining his British citizenship, Cumming became a naturalized U.S. citizen on November 7, 2008.
Alan Cumming, OBE (born 27 January 1965), is a Scottish stage, television and film actor, singer, writer, director, producer and author. Cumming lives in New York City with his husband, graphic artist Grant Shaffer, and their dogs, Honey and Leon. The couple dated for two years before entering into a civil partnership at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London, on January 7, 2007. Cumming and Shaffer remarried in New York on January 7, 2012, the fifth anniversary of their London union.
Photo by Grant Shaffer
Cumming was born in Aberfeldy, in Perthshire, Scotland, the son of Mary (née Darling), an insurance company secretary, and Alex Cumming, a forester. He has stated that his father was physically and emotionally abusive towards him. He has two older brothers, Tom and Alan, and a niece and two nephews. Brought up in Angus, Cumming attended Monikie Primary School and Carnoustie High School. Following graduation, he spent a year and a half employed as an editor and columnist for the pop and TV magazine TOPS before entering the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. On graduation from Drama school he married fellow student, Hilary Lyon; they divorced eight years later and had no children.
Cumming lives in New York City with his husband, graphic artist Grant Shaffer, and their dogs, Honey and Leon. The couple dated for two years before entering into a civil partnership at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London, on January 7, 2007. Cumming and Shaffer remarried in New York on January 7, 2012, the fifth anniversary of their London union.
Once described as "a frolicky pansexual sex symbol for the new millennium", Cumming has stated that he considers himself bisexual, "although the pendulum has obviously swung". Previous relationships include an eight-year marriage to actress Hilary Lyon, a two-year relationship with actress Saffron Burrows, and a six-year relationship with theater director Nick Philippou. After his civil partnership with Shaffer, when asked if he was monogamous, he stated "I don't believe that monogamy is feasible". In 2006, Cumming stated that he "would dearly like to adopt a child", but that his life was "too hectic" for children.
Cumming used to be a member of the Church of Scotland until his mother received a letter from them saying they had "read something about me being an atheist and would I like to leave". He said he had attended out of tradition, but realized being a part of it was "only condoning and validating lots of things I disapprove of: oppression, guilt, shame, etc".
Since coming out as bisexual in 1998, Cumming has promoted LGBT rights, MC-ing and attending fundraisers for organizations such as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), as well as several AIDS charities, including the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR) and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Cumming is also a patron of NORM-UK, an English-registered charity concerned with foreskin health and matters related to circumcision; he has condemned the practice of non-religious routine infant circumcision, particularly in the United States where the procedure is common. In 2013 his book entitled May the Foreskin Be With You: Why Circumcision Makes No Sense and What You Can Do About It will be published.
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 HRC'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.
On November 7, 2008, Cumming became a dual-national and was sworn in as a citizen of the United States of America at a ceremony in New York City.
In 2007, Alan Cumming was honored with the Excellence in Acting Award at the Provincetown International Film Festival.
Tommy's Tale : A Novel by Alan Cumming
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: It Books (October 21, 2003)
Amazon: Tommy's Tale : A Novel
Tommy is twenty-nine, lives and loves in London, and has a morbid fear of the c word (commitment), the b word (boyfriend), and the f word (forgetting to call his drug dealer before the weekend). But when he begins to feel the urge to become a father, and the pressure from his boyfriend to make a real commitment to their relationship, Tommy starts to wonder if his chosen lifestyle can ever make him happy.
More Spotlights at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels
More LGBT Couples at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance
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