Jesse Tyler Ferguson
|Jesse Tyler Ferguson|
Ferguson in 2014
October 22, 1975 |
|Spouse(s)||Justin Mikita (m. 2013)|
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (born October 22, 1975) is an American actor best known for portraying Mitchell Pritchett on the ABC sitcom Modern Family, which has earned him five nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Previously, he played the role of Richie Velch in the CBS sitcom The Class.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson was born in Missoula, Montana, the son of Anne Ferguson (née Doyle) and Robert "Bob" Ferguson. His parents divorced when he was 18 years old. Ferguson has a brother, Ben Ferguson, and sister, Kelly Ferguson.
His family moved when he was young to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was raised. At age eight he decided to become an actor, and joined the Albuquerque Children's Theater, where he was a member for six years. On his childhood beginnings: "My mom took me to a few productions. I remember sitting in the audience and watching these kids perform and thinking, 'I want to be on the other side of the floodlights.' It looked like fun up there. It came as a shock to my mom because I was such a shy kid. I didn’t have that many friends in school. The group of people I met, first through the Albuquerque Children’s Theatre and later through the Albuquerque Civic Light Opera, really became my good friends in Albuquerque. It was a great outlet for me to be social."
At Albuquerque's St. Pius X High School, Ferguson played Albert Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie and General Bullmoose in Li'l Abner. He participated on the speech and debate team and graduated in 1994. He worked as a dancer/singer at Cliff's Amusement Park.
In New York City, Ferguson worked mainly in Off-Broadway and Broadway theatre, including the Tony Award-winning The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, where he originated the role of Leaf Coneybear. In the summer of 2007 Ferguson starred in the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
In March 2012, Ferguson was featured as Dr. Ilan Meyer in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play 8, a staged reenactment of Perry v. Brown, the federal trial that overturned California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, a non-profit organization funding the plaintiffs' legal team and sponsoring the play.
Television and film
Since 2009, he has played the role of Mitchell Pritchett, the openly gay lawyer on the ABC sitcom Modern Family. For his performance, Ferguson has received four consecutive Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. He has also appeared as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance.
Tie The Knot
In September 2012, Ferguson and his lawyer husband, Justin Mikita, started Tie The Knot. The non-profit charity is an effort to raise funds in support of marriage equality for same-sex couples, using bow ties sold retail. They officially launched it as their engagement announcement in an online video where they explain only seven states at the time had marriage equality. In an interview Ferguson stated that he wanted to do something that was smaller and manageable in case it didn't work out as a business model.
The foundation sells limited-edition bow ties with "proceeds going to organizations nationwide that are working toward marriage equality." Their collections are designed by the couple plus guest designers, and is sold by The Tie Bar, a Naperville, Illinois-based online men's neckwear company.
In January 2013, the couple was recruited by Lieutenant Governor of Illinois Sheila Simon to lobby legislators to pass SB10 which would allow same-sex marriage. The bill passed both legislative houses, and Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill into law, going into effect on June 1, 2014.
In October 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union named Ferguson the celebrity ambassador for the LGBT community. He participated heavily in the ACLU's "Out for Freedom" campaign and also runs a charity known as Tie The Knot. They noted that Ferguson travelled to New Mexico, his home state, to take part in same sex marriage efforts. New Mexico does not explicitly permit or prohibit same-sex marriage; it is the only state lacking a statute or constitutional provision explicitly addressing same-sex marriage. The couple’s non-profit made a grant of $10,000 to the ACLU of New Mexico for same sex efforts.
In November 2013, a pop-up retail store for Tie The Knot was located at the Los Angeles Beverly Center featuring the fourth collection from the couple, including professional athlete designs with Scott Fujita and Chris Kluwe, and Brittney Griner.
Ferguson said that he "didn't know how to tie a bow tie until I started TieTheKnot.org."
Ferguson uses his full name as there was an actor named Jesse Ferguson in the actor's union when he joined. In July 2014, when appearing on the TV series Who Do You Think You Are?, researching his family, he found out that "I'm not only named after my paternal grandmother, Jessie, but also after my paternal great-grandfather Jesse."
Ferguson is openly gay and, in September 2012, he announced his engagement to lawyer Justin Mikita, his boyfriend of nearly two years. They married in New York City on July 20, 2013  with the screenwriter Tony Kushner officiating at their wedding. On how he met his husband: "I met my husband at the gym, but we always tell people it was through some 'mutual friends.'"
On the process of coming out, Ferguson said he had to tell his father three times between ages 17, 19 and 21: "It's a coming out process for them as well" and it takes time. His sister, Kelly, is a lesbian.
|2000||Sally Hemings: An American Scandal||Young Tom Hemings||TV film|
|2004||Mercury in Retrograde||Duane||Short film|
|2006||Griffin and Phoenix||Student|
|2008||Untraceable||Arthur James Elmer|
|2012||The Procession||Short film|
|2012||8||Dr. Ilan Meyer|
|2013||2013 Do Something Awards||Honoree||TV film|
|2006–2007||The Class||Richie Velch||19 episodes|
|2007, 2010||Ugly Betty||Dr. Gabe Farkus||Episode: "Icing on the Cake" (2007)
Episode: "The Passion of the Betty" (2010)
|2008||Do Not Disturb||Larry||5 episodes|
|2009||The Battery's Down||Shamus McKelvy||Episode: "The Party's Over"|
|2009–present||Modern Family||Mitchell Pritchett||Main character|
|2011–2013||So You Think You Can Dance||Himself||7 episodes
|2012||Submissions Only||Jared Halstead||Episode: "Another Interruption"|
|2012||RuPaul's Drag Race||Himself||Episode: "Dads I'd Like to Frock"|
|2013||Web Therapy||Steve Olson||3 episodes|
|2013||Hot in Cleveland||Wes||Episode: "Love Is All Around"|
|2013||Project Runway||Himself||Episode: "Tie the Knot"
|2014||Backstage with Disney on Broadway: Celebrating 20 years||Himself||Host|
|1998–1999||On the Town||Chip||Broadway revival
November 19, 1998 – January 17, 1999
|The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told||Off-Broadway|
|Where Do We Live|
|A Midsummer Night's Dream||Francis Flute||Public Theater
(Shakespeare in the Park)
|The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)|
|2005–2008||The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee||Leaf Coneybear||Broadway
May 2, 2005 – January 20, 2008
|2005||On the Twentieth Century||Max Jacobs||Special concert
|2010||The Winter's Tale||Shepard's Son||Public Theater
(Shakespeare in the Park)
|2010||The Merchant of Venice||Launcelot Gobbo||Public Theater
(Shakespeare in the Park)
|2012||The Producers||Leo Bloom||Hollywood Bowl
July 27–29, 2012
|2013||A Comedy of Errors||Public Theater
(Shakespeare in the Park)
- 2005 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Ensemble Performance – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
- 2010 Screen Actors Guild Award: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series – Modern Family
- 2011 Screen Actors Guild Award: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series – Modern Family
- 2012 Screen Actors Guild Award: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series – Modern Family
- 2013 Screen Actors Guild Award: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series – Modern Family
- 2009 Screen Actors Guild Award: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series – Modern Family
- 2010 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Modern Family
- 2011 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Modern Family
- 2012 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Modern Family
- 2012 People's Choice Awards - Favorite TV Comedy Actor - Modern Family
- 2013 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Modern Family
- 2013 People's Choice Awards - Favorite TV Comedy Actor - Modern Family
- 2014 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Modern Family
- "Robert B Ferguson". United States Public Records, 1970-2009. FamilySearch. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- "Jesse Tyler Ferguson follows the trouble-filled story of his great-grandfather’s life—and draws conclusions about his ultimate legacy". Ancestry.com. August 1, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- Strohm, Emily (July 30, 2014). "Jesse Tyler Ferguson Discovers a Dark Crime While Tracing His Family Tree". People. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- "Modern Family Biography: Mitchell Played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson". ABC. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
- Allen, Steven Robert (September 19–25, 2013). "Wedding Bells for Jesse Tyler Ferguson". Alibi. V.22 No.38. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Artavia, David (21 May 2013). "Jesse Tyler Ferguson Slams His Former Catholic School for Forcing Trans Teen to Wear Women's Graduation Garb". Advocate. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2011
- "'Glee' Stars 'Touched' By Pitt & Clooney's Support of '8'". Access Hollywood. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- "'8': A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality". YouTube. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- "YouTube to broadcast Proposition 8 play live". Pink News. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- "Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson Buys Gwen Stefani's Home for $4.55 Million". Realty Today. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- Riggs, Erika (5 November 2013). "Jesse Tyler Ferguson Buys Gwen Stefani’s Former Home". Zillow. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- "'Modern Family' Star Jesse Tyler Ferguson Marries!". Entertainment Tonight. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- Interview with Ferguson by David Letterman, Late Night with David Letterman, CBS, November 20, 2013.
- "Gay marriage bill voted through Illinois House". 89 WLS AM. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Garcia, Monique; Long, Ray (5 November 2013). "Lawmakers approve gay marriage in Illinois". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Gay marriage bill passes in Illinois house, senate - on to governors desk". Chicago Sun-Times. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 5 Decrmber 2013. Check date values in:
- Garcia, Monique (20 November 2013). "Quinn signs Illinois gay marriage bill". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Geiger, Kim (5 November 2013). "Q&A on same-sex marriage". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "ACLU Ambassadors - Jesse Tyler Ferguson". aclu.olrg (American Civil Liberties Union). Retrieved 2015-01-05.
- "ACLU Names Celebrity Ambassadors for Key Civil Liberties Issues". American Civil Liberties Union. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- Ehrman-Dupre, Joseph (29 October 2013). "Jesse Tyler Ferguson Named Celebrity Ambassador For Marriage Equality By ACLU: VIDEO". Towleroad. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- Grovum, Jake (12 February 2013). "How New Mexico Legalized Gay Marriage – For 8 Hours". Statelines (Pew Charitable Trust). Archived from the original on 12 April 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Matthew Breen. "Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson releases bow tie collection". Pursuitist. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- Tschorn, Adam (18 November 2013). "Tie the Knot pops up at the Beverly Center through Jan. 10". latimes.com. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "Jesse Tyler Ferguson 25 Things You Don't Know About Me". Us Magazine. 26 July 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Chi, Paul (19 September 2012). "Jesse Tyler Ferguson Is Engaged to Justin Mikita". People. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- Rizzo, Monica (21 July 2013). "Jesse Tyler Ferguson Marries Justin Mikita". People. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
- Winfrey, Oprah (27 October 2013). "Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dan Bucatinsky and Wanda Sykes Reflect on Coming Out" (video interview). Oprah's Next Chapter. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Keith, Bill (27 March 2011). "Jesse Tyler Ferguson: A Gentleman in Full". Out. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jesse Tyler Ferguson.|
- Jesse Tyler Ferguson on Twitter
- Jesse Tyler Ferguson at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jesse Tyler Ferguson at the Internet Movie Database