Harry Connick, Jr. is an American singer, pianist and actor. His music encompasses jazz, some of it very much in the style of the crooners of the 1940s and early 1950s, funk and blues.
He is best known to television audiences for his recurring role as Leo Markus in the sitcom Will & Grace, from 2002-2006; and for being a judge on American Idol.
A New Orleans native, Connick began his career as a performer at the age of five. At 19, he signed with Columbia Records. His stunning piano technique and vivid musical imagination was easily recognised on his debut, self-titled album.
Soon after, he released his follow-up album, 20, and then found multi-platinum success with the soundtrack to When Harry Met Sally.
Connick's continued musical success has spanned over the course of many albums, with sales totaling many millions of worldwide units.
In addition to his burgeoning music career, Connick also began acting professionally. Among his feature film credits are Little Man Tate, Copycat, Hope Floats, Memphis Belle, Independence Day, Life without Dick, Mickey, Basic, P.S. I Love You, New in Town and Dolphin Tale.
His voiceover skills also were featured in My Dog Skip and The Iron Giant. He can be seen in Dolphin Tale 2, the sequel to 2011's No. 1 hit family film.
On television, Connick is perhaps best known for his recurring role on Will & Grace. He also appeared in an arc of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and has graced audiences with his musical talents in several primetime specials, including Harry for the Holidays, the Emmy Award-winning PBS specials Only You in Concert and Harry Connick, Jr. in Concert on Broadway and the animated tale The Happy Elf.
His Broadway career boasts equal recognition, having received Tony Award nominations as both composer/lyricist for the musical Thou Shalt Not and as the lead in the Tony Award-winning revival of The Pajama Game.
He also has adapted The Happy Elf for children's theatre, starred in the Broadway revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and – on the 20th anniversary of his first Broadway concerts at the Lunt-Fontaine Theatre - brought his live show for an extended residency at the Neil Simon Theatre.
Not surprisingly, Connick has used his influence as an entertainer to further his charitable work. Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, he created, along with fellow musician and New Orleanian Branford Marsalis, the Musicians' Village in the Upper Ninth Ward.
The village provides homes for musicians and other displaced citizens, a community centre with a performance hall, recording studio and after-school facility for kids.
His contributions to the post-Katrina effort have been acknowledged by a Redbook Strength and Spirit Award, an honorary degree from Tulane University and the 2012 Jefferson Award for Public Service.