Sean Hayes is an American actor and comedian best known for his role as Jack McFarland in the television sitcom Will & Grace, credited in 186 episodes from 1998-2006.
Hayes was born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended high school in Glen Ellyn, Illinois at Glenbard West High School.
He studied piano performance and conducting at Illinois State University but left before graduating. He worked as a classical pianist and served as a music director at the Pheasant Run Theater in St. Charles, Ill.
He also composed original music for a production of Antigone at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. He participated in The Second City improvisational comedy troupe.
Hayes moved to Los Angeles in 1995, where he found work as a stand-up comedian, stage actor and as an actor in television commercials, including a 1998 Doritos ad featuring model Ali Landry.
As a teenager, he was an extra in Winona Ryder's first movie, Lucas (1986), which was filmed at his high school, Glenbard West.
His professional film debut was in the independent film Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss (1998), which brought him wide attention and caught the attention of executives who cast him in the NBC comedy television series Will & Grace, as frequently unemployed gay aspiring actor Jack McFarland.
The show became a hit, and Hayes' performance as Jack McFarland earned him seven consecutive Emmy Award nominations from 2000 - 2006. Hayes won the Emmy for his first nomination as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 2000.
His success has led him to film appearances in Cats & Dogs (2001), as Jerry Lewis in Martin and Lewis (2002), Pieces of April (2003), The Cat in the Hat (2003) and Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! (2004).
He has also guest starred in television programmes, including Scrubs and 30 Rock.
In 2005, Hayes executive produced Situation: Comedy for Bravo, a reality show like Project Greenlight for sitcoms. He also executive produced the two winning scripts, chosen by NBC: The Sperm Donor and Stephen's Life.
In 2006, he guest-starred in the Adult Swim cameo-filled show Tom Goes to the Mayor. He also had guest roles on Lovespring International and Campus Ladies.