Jon Cryer

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Jon Cryer
Cryer at his ceremony on September 19, 2011
BornJonathan Niven Cryer
(1965-04-16) April 16, 1965 (age 49)
New York City, New York, U.S.
OccupationActor, screenwriter, director, producer
Years active1984–present
Spouse(s)Sarah Trigger (1999–2004; 1 child)
Lisa Joyner (2007–present; 1 adopted child)
ParentsGretchen Cryer
David Cryer
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For the British politician, see John Cryer.
Jon Cryer
Cryer at his ceremony on September 19, 2011
BornJonathan Niven Cryer
(1965-04-16) April 16, 1965 (age 49)
New York City, New York, U.S.
OccupationActor, screenwriter, director, producer
Years active1984–present
Spouse(s)Sarah Trigger (1999–2004; 1 child)
Lisa Joyner (2007–present; 1 adopted child)
ParentsGretchen Cryer
David Cryer

Jonathan Niven "Jon" Cryer (born April 16, 1965) is an American actor, screenwriter, film director, and film producer. He is the son of Gretchen and David Cryer. Cryer made his motion picture debut in the 1984 romantic comedy No Small Affair, but found greater fame in the 1986 John Hughes-written film Pretty in Pink. In 1998, he wrote and produced the independent film Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by Five.

Although Cryer gained fame by starring in these films, it took several years to find success on television. The shows in which Cryer starred, such as The Famous Teddy Z, Partners, and The Trouble With Normal, did not last long. In 2003, Cryer was cast as Alan Harper on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, for which he won two Primetime Emmy Awards in 2009 and 2012.[1][2] Cryer received a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame for Television in 2011.

Early life[edit]

Cryer was born in New York City, New York. His mother, Gretchen (née Kiger), is a playwright, songwriter, actress, and singer; his father, Donald David Cryer, is an actor and singer who originally studied to be a minister.[3][4][5] Cryer's paternal grandfather, Rev. Dr. Donald W. Cryer, was a well-known Methodist minister. He has two sisters, Robin and Shelly. He also has a step-sister, Hannah Douglas-Cryer.[6]

When Cryer was twelve years old, he decided that he wanted to become an actor.[7] When his mother heard this, she thought he should have a backup plan, and joked: "Plumbing is a pretty good career."[6] Cryer attended Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center for several summers as a teenager,[8] and is a 1983 graduate of the Bronx High School of Science. He was classmates with screenwriter and film director Boaz Yakin.[9] To his mother's "great disappointment", Cryer skipped college and went to study acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, United Kingdom.[10]


Cryer's first professional acting effort was as David in the Broadway play Torch Song Trilogy, replacing Matthew Broderick, whom he "closely resembled".[11] Cryer was later an understudy and replacement for Broderick in Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs in 1989.

At age 19, Cryer appeared in the 1984 romantic comedy film No Small Affair, in the lead role as Charles Cummings, after the original production with Matthew Broderick was shut down due to a heart attack by director, Martin Ritt.[12] He went on to have small roles in films and television movies, and he made his breakthrough as Phil "Duckie" Dale in the John Hughes-scripted film Pretty in Pink.[13] In an interview with the Daily News, Cryer's mother said that after Pretty in Pink, she started getting calls from teenage girls from all over the world, who would leave hysterical, giggling messages on her answering machine.[6] In 1989, he got the lead role in the TV comedy series, The Famous Teddy Z. His performance gained poor reviews[14] and the show was canceled after the first season.[14]

A year later, he starred with Charlie Sheen in the Jim Abrahams comedy Hot Shots!,[7] which was received very positively.[15] Cryer is frequently linked to the Brat Pack.[16] In a March 2009 interview on Anytime with Bob Kushell, Cryer stated that he had auditioned for St. Elmo's Fire but was not cast in a role.[17] In 1993, he was asked to audition for the role of Chandler Bing on Friends, while doing a play in London. His reading was videotaped by a British casting agent but the tape failed to arrive in the U.S. before the network had made its final decision.[7]

In 1995, he was cast as Bob in the sitcom Partners, which, like his prior show The Famous Teddy Z, was canceled after its first season. In an interview with Time Out New York he stated, "Hey, every show I'm in goes down. Think about this: George Clooney was in 28 pilots, or something. It means nothing".[6] After guest starring on shows such as Dharma & Greg and The Outer Limits, he successfully wrote and produced the film, Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by Five. It debuted in 1998 at the Los Angeles Film Festival and gained positive reviews from critics.[18] Leonard Maltin from Playboy Magazine called it "A breath of fresh air".[19] In 2000, he was cast as the lead in a comedy series called The Trouble With Normal. For the third time, Cryer starred in a show which was canceled after its first season.[20]

Cryer's long run of unsuccessful TV projects finally ended three years later. Against the wishes of CBS executives (who were aware of his past failures), he was cast in 2003 to portray Alan Harper on the hit comedy series Two and a Half Men. To date, he has earned seven Primetime Emmy Award[21] nominations and two wins[1] for his acting work on the show.[2] In a comment on the show's high ratings, he said: "When you’re on a show that's fighting for survival every week, you stop trusting your instincts, because you think, ‘My instincts haven't worked so far.’ But when people clearly like the show and are watching it in great numbers, it takes a huge amount of pressure off you. It allows you to trust your instincts and go with what has worked for you before."[7] After former co-star Charlie Sheen's departure from the series, Cryer's character has since become the show's central character, mainly due to the show's retooled plot. Before being cast for Two and a Half Men, Cryer auditioned for the role of Gaius Baltar on the Sci-Fi Channel's reimagined Battlestar Galactica, but the role went to James Callis.[22] In 2008, Cryer appeared with Laurence Fishburne and James Cromwell in the film Tortured,[23] and in 2009 co-starred with James Spader in the film Shorts.[24]

Cryer made a guest appearance on the sitcom series Husbands in its second season.[25] He was initially cast to voice the lead character in the DisneyToon Studios animated film Planes, a spin-off of Pixar's Cars franchise,[26] but later dropped out and was replaced by Dane Cook.[27][28] Cryer did however receive a credit on the film for "additional story material."[29]

Personal life[edit]

Cryer with wife Lisa Joyner in September 2011

Cryer married British actress Sarah Trigger in 1999, with whom he has a son, Charlie Austin.[6] The pair divorced in 2004. In February 2007, on an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he announced that he would marry entertainment reporter Lisa Joyner; the couple married in Mexico[6] in June 2007.[30][31] On September 29, 2009, Jon and Lisa announced that they adopted a baby girl, whom they named Daisy.[32][33]

Cryer addressed his sexuality in a 2014 interview, saying his middle- and high-school classmates assumed he was gay because he was into theatre. Cryer invoked his character from Pretty In Pink, saying Duckie "was what I was, which was an effeminate heterosexual dork", and joked that he had never been propositioned. "Fellas, you're dropping the ball."[34]

During the 2008 presidential election campaign, Cryer attended a fundraiser hosted by the McCain campaign and, according to most news reports, endorsed Senator John McCain.[35][36] Cryer's spokeswoman, Karen Sanfilippohis, stated: "Jon is not a Republican. The mistake was made because in 2008 he attended events for both parties. It seems the Republican Party was very quick to align him with their group of supporters. He did attend events for both parties, because he wanted to hear what both sides had to say. He's not really political."[37]


1984No Small AffairCharles Cummings
1985Noon WineTeenage Herbert
1985O.C. and StiggsRandall Schwab Jr.
1986Pretty in PinkPhil "Duckie" Dale
1987Morgan Stewart's Coming HomeMorgan Stewart
1987Superman IV: The Quest for PeaceLenny Luthor
1987Hiding OutAndrew Morenski
Max Hauser
1988Rap Master Ronnie: A Report Card
1989Penn & Teller Get KilledFrat boy
1991Hot Shots!Jim "Wash Out" Pfaffenbach
1993The WaiterTommy Kazdan
1993HeadsGuy Franklin
1996The Pompatus of LoveMarkWriter
1996Cannes ManHimself
1997Plan BStuart Winer
1998Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by FiveDanielWriter and producer
1998Holy ManBarry
2001GlamJimmy Pells
2003The Metro ChaseMr. Stamm
2008Unstable Fables: 3 Pigs and a BabyRichard PigVoice
2009Weather GirlCharles
2009ShortsDad Thompson
2009Stay CoolJavier
2010Due DateAlan HarperCameo
2013Ass BackwardsDean Morris
2013Planesn/aAdditional story material
2014Hit by LightningRicky Miller


1986Amazing StoriesPhilEpisode: "Miscalculation"
1989–1990The Famous Teddy ZTeddy Zakalokis
1996The Outer LimitsTrevor McPheeEpisode: "Vanishing Act"
1997It's Good to Be KingMort
1997Dharma & GregBrianEpisode: "Shower the People You Love with Love"
1998Getting PersonalSam WagnerProducer
Episode: "Sam I Am"
1998Hercules: The Animated SeriesThe Winged WolvesVoice
Episode: "Hercules and the Underworld Takeover"
1998Mr. Show with Bob & DavidDuckieEpisode: "It's Perfectly Understandishable"
1998Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza PlaceJustinEpisode: "Two Guys, a Girl and a Thanksgiving"
2000Family GuyKevin SwansonVoice
Episode: "A Hero Sits Next Door"
2000–2001The Trouble With NormalZack Mango
2002Andy Richter Controls the UniverseLemuel PraegerEpisode: "Gimme a C"
2002Practice, TheThe PracticeTerry PenderEpisode: "Of Thee I Sing"
2003BeckerRogerEpisode: "Chris' Ex"
2003Hey JoelJoel SteinVoice
2003–presentTwo and a Half MenAlan Harper246 episodes; (Season 1-present)
Lead role; Directed three episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (2009)
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (2012)
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011)
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series (2011)
2005Danny PhantomFreakshowVoice
Episode: "Control Freaks"
2006American Dad!QuackyVoice
Episode: "It's Good to Be The Queen"
2006Danny PhantomFreakshowVoice
Episode: "Reality Trip"
2008CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationHimselfUncredited Cameo
2010Hannah MontanaKenneth TruscottEpisode: "The Wheel Near My Bed (Keeps on Turnin')"
2010Family GuyHimselfVoice
Episode: "Brian Griffin's House of Payne"
2011Hannah MontanaKenneth TruscottEpisodes: "I Am Mamaw, Hear Me Roar!"
2012HusbandsVic Del ReyEpisodes:
"The Straightening"
"A Better Movie of What We’re Like"
2013MomCustomerEpisode: "Pilot"
2013Mom-Director of Episode: "Corned Beef and Handcuffs"


  1. ^ a b Silverman, Stephen M. (2009-09-20). "Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Cryer Are Emmy Night's First Winners". People ( Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  2. ^ a b "Jon Cryer Wins Emmy". Two and a Half Men Fan Site. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 2012-12-08. 
  3. ^ "Jon Cryer Biography (1965-)". Filmreference. Retrieved July 16, 2008. 
  4. ^ Thompson, Donald Eugene (1981). Indiana authors and their books, 1967-1980. Wabash College. p. 90. ISBN 99904-4-038-7. 
  5. ^ Conn, Suzy (20 February 2005). "More on Gretchen Cryer". Blogway Baby. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Jon Cryer - Profile, Latest News and Related Articles". Notes. E! Online. Retrieved 2008-08-22. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b c d Juba, Scott (26 March 2006). "Interview: Jon Cryer: Failed Friend Who Became a Man". The Trades. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  8. ^ "Alumni". Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center. Retrieved 2011-12-08. 
  9. ^ "5th Annual Report on Black/Jewish Relations in the United States". Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. 2001. Retrieved 2011-12-08. 
  10. ^ "In Step With: Jon Cryer". Parade ( 18 April 2004. Retrieved 2011-12-08. 
  11. ^ Jon Cryer — Bibliography
  12. ^ Maslin, Janet (9 November 1984). "No Small Affair (1984)". The New York Times ( Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  13. ^ Bierly, Mandi (2006-08-23). "Don't You Forget About Duckie". Entertainment Weekly ( Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  14. ^ a b Tucker, Ken (1990-05-25). "TV Review - The Famous Teddy Z". Entertainment Weekly ( Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  15. ^ "Hot Shots! (1991)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  16. ^ Lurie, Karen (2002). "Brat Pack". St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture (Gale Group). Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  17. ^ "Anytime with Bob Kushell feat. Jon Cryer". Anytime with Bob Kushell. Season 2. Episode 1. 2009-03-17.
  18. ^ "Went to Coney Island on a Mission From God... Be Back By Five (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 22, 2008. 
  19. ^ "The Cover of Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by Five". HD Magazine. Retrieved June 22, 2008. 
  20. ^ Coleridge, Daniel R. (23 July 2003). "Sheen and Cryer: Sitcom Survivors". TV Guide ( Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  21. ^ "Jon Cryer Emmy Award Nominee". Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  22. ^ Adam B. Vary (20 March 2009). "The Beginning of the End: A 'Battlestar Galactica' Oral History". Entertainment Weekly ( p. 42. Retrieved 2011-12-08. 
  23. ^ Borys Kit (15 May 2007). "Cryer, Denton "Tortured" by thriller". Hollywood Reporter (Reuters). Retrieved 2011-12-08. 
  24. ^ Hilton, Beth (2008-05-30). "Cryer, Spader join Rodriguez's 'Shorts'". Digital Spy. Retrieved June 22, 2008. 
  25. ^ Hollywood Stars Drop in on Male Newylweds in ‘Husbands’,, retrieved August 18, 2012 
  26. ^ DeMott, Rick (August 23, 2011). "Jon Cryer Leads Voice Cast For DisneyToon's Planes". DisneyToon Studio via Animation World Network. Retrieved November 5, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Disney Sets Theatrical Release Date For 'Planes'". Retrieved January 16, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Dane Cook Leads the Voice Cast for Disney's Planes". Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Planes Review". August 7, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  30. ^ April MacIntyre (17 June 2007). "Jon Cryer marries Lisa Joyner". Monstersand Critics. Retrieved 2011-12-08. 
  31. ^ Wang, Cynthia (13 April 2007). "Jon Cryer of Two and a Half Men to Wed in Summer". People ( Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  32. ^ Everett, Cristina (29 September 2009). "'Two and a Half Men' star Jon Cryer and wife Lisa Joyner adopt baby girl". Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  33. ^ "Two and a Half Men star Jon Cryer wants his ex-wife left homeless, lawyer claims". News Limited. 8 May 2010. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  34. ^ Wong, Curtis M. "Jon Cryer On His Sexuality: I'm Just an 'Effeminate Heterosexual Dork'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  35. ^ Stephen Dinan and Ralph Z. Hallow (22 August 2008). "Hollywood conservatives to rally for McCain". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2011-12-08. 
  36. ^ "Celebrity endorsements in the 2012 presidential campaign". 17 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  37. ^ Emily Goodin (17 November 2011). "Conservative celebs mostly not yet committed for 2012 presidential race". The Hill ( Retrieved 2011-12-08. 

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