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Jefferson Mays

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jefferson Mays
Lewis Jefferson Mays

(1965-06-08) June 8, 1965 (age 58)
EducationYale University (BA)
University of California, San Diego (MFA)
Years active1988–present
(m. 2003)

Lewis Jefferson Mays (born June 8, 1965) is an American actor. He is the recipient of numerous accolades, including a Tony Award, a Helen Hayes Award, a Lucille Lortel Award, two Drama Desk Awards, two Outer Critics Circle Awards and three Obie Awards.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Jefferson Mays Moves from The Music Man to A Christmas Carol
  • A Christmas Carol with Jefferson Mays Christmas Past
  • Meet the Eight Characters of Jefferson Mays in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
  • Jefferson Mayes on D'Ysquith Character Preparation


Life and career

Mays was raised in Clinton, Connecticut, with his parents, a naval intelligence officer and a children's librarian, and his siblings.[1] Mays graduated from Yale College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, and the University of California, San Diego, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts from the graduate acting program.[2][1] He appeared at La Jolla Playhouse,[3] Long Wharf Theatre,[4] the Williamstown Theatre Festival,[5] and Playwrights Horizons.[6]

Mays appeared on Broadway in I Am My Own Wife, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Doug Wright, from November 2003 (previews) to October 31, 2004.[7] He had appeared in the play Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in May 2003,[6] and at the La Jolla Playhouse in July 2001.[3] Mays won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, the 2004 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show, an Obie Award, and a 2004 Theatre World Award for his solo performance.[7] He also won the 2007 Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Play for seasons of I Am My Own Wife in Australia in 2006.[citation needed]

Mays starred in two Broadway revivals in 2007. He appeared as Henry Higgins in Pygmalion,[8] in which he won critical praise. The TheaterMania reviewer called him "pitch-perfect", and the production an "excellent revival".[9] He appeared in a revival of Journey's End in February to June 2007, in which he starred as Private Mason.[10] Ben Brantley, in The New York Times, called the production "acutely staged and acted."[11] The TheaterMania reviewer wrote: "Mays is a reliable, obliging Mason."[12]

In August 2009, Mays appeared at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Quartermaine's Terms by Simon Grey.[5][13]

Mays starred in the 2013 Broadway musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, in which he played nine roles. He performed in the musical from October 2013 (previews) until closing on January 17, 2016.[14][15][16] He won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.[17] He was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical[18] and tied for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (with Neil Patrick Harris).[16][19] Mays played Terje Rød-Larsen in the Broadway play Oslo, for which he received a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play nomination. Mays played Mayor George Shinn in the 2022 Broadway revival of The Music Man.[20]

Mays also narrates audiobooks, including The Expanse series and The Invention of Sound by Chuck Palahniuk.[citation needed]

Mays has appeared in several television programs as well; he notably appeared in several episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as cross-dressing murderer Carl Rudnick, and as Black Dahlia suspect George Hodel in the Turner Network Television miniseries I Am the Night. His television credits include Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie and The Americans.[citation needed]

Personal life

Mays is married to Australian actress Susan Lyons.[2]



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1993 Ghost Brigade Martin Bradley
1994 Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade Gerry Woolridge Short film [21]
1995 The Low Life Hollywood Mogul [22]
1997 Hudson River Blues Eric
1998 Cousin Bette Stidmann [23]
1999 The Big Brass Ring Garne Strickland [24]
2004 Kinsey Effete Man's Friend [25]
2004 Alfie Dr. Miranda Kulp [26]
2005 The Notorious Bettie Page Little John [27]
2006 Memoirs of My Nervous Illness Daniel Schreber
2008 How to Lose Friends & Alienate People Bill Nathanson
2014 The Giver Community (voice)
2014 Inherent Vice Dr. Theeply
2014 Ned Rifle Dr. Ford [28]
2015 I Am Michael Preacher Teacher
2017 Rebel in the Rye William Maxwell
2018 The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Gilbert Longabaugh Segment: "The Gal Who Got Rattled"
2021 The Tragedy of Macbeth Doctor


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1988 Dynaman Dynabeige (voice)
1991 A Week in Joe's Basement Alex Episode: "Remote Control"
1997 Liberty! The American Revolution James Madison 6 episodes
2002 Benjamin Franklin Elkanah Watson 3 episodes
2005 The Closer Dr. Easton Episode: "Fatal Retraction"
2008 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Keifer Gates Episode: "Legacy"
2009 Law & Order Attorney Olsen Episode: "Pledge"
2009 Fringe Nicholas Boone Episode: "Midnight"
2010 Nurse Jackie Tim Episode: "P.O. Box"
2010 God in America Jeremiah Moore Episode: "A New Adam/A New Eden"
2010 Lie to Me Sidney Carlton Episode: "Double Blind"
2010 Detroit 1-8-7 Dr. Roger Kosowski 2 episodes
2011 Mildred Pierce Man in Blue Coat Episode: "Four"
2011 The Good Wife Diplomat Van Buskirk Episode: "Affairs of State"
2012 My America Performer Episode: "Fire in Dreamland"
2014–2016 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Dr. Carl Rudnick 7 episodes
2015 The Americans Walter Taffet 4 episodes [29]
2015 The Knick Attorney Whitting Episode: "You're No Rose" [30]
2015–2016 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Daddy 2 episodes [31]
2019 I Am the Night George Hodel 6 episodes
2019 The Blacklist Norman Devane Episode: "Norman Devane (No. 138)"
2020 Westworld Liam Dempsey Sr. Episode: "Genre"
2020 Perry Mason Virgil Sheets 5 episodes
2021 Hacks T.L. Gurley Episode: "Primm"
2022 Julia P. Albert Duhamel 4 episodes


Jefferson Mays & Terje Rød-Larsen
Jefferson Mays, who plays the part of Terje Rød-Larsen in Oslo, with International Peace Institute (IPI) President Terje Rød-Larsen, at a special performance of the play hosted by IPI.
Year Title Role Venue Ref.
1992 Bella, Belle of Byelorussia Sergei/Vladivostok Jimmy WPA Theatre, Off-Broadway
1994 Moe's Lucky Seven Mokie Playwrights Horizons, Off-Broadway
1995 Quills Abbé de Coulmier New York Theatre Workshop, Off-Broadway
1998 Culture of Desire Diana Vreeland New York Theatre Workshop, Off-Broadway
2000 Lydie Breeze, Parts I & II Jeremiah Grady New York Theatre Workshop, Off-Broadway
2003 I Am My Own Wife Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, et al. Playwrights Horizons, Off-Broadway
2003 Lyceum Theatre, Broadway
2007 Journey's End Private Mason Belasco Theatre, Broadway
2007 Pygmalion Henry Higgins American Airlines Theatre, Broadway
2010 Measure for Measure Duke Vincentio The Duke on 42nd Street, Off-Broadway
2011 Blood and Gifts Simon Craig Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, Off-Broadway [32]
2012 The Best Man Sheldon Marcus Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, Broadway [33]
2012 A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder The D'Ysquith Family Hartford Stage
2013 Old Globe Theatre
2013 Walter Kerr Theatre, Broadway [34]
2016 Oslo Terje Rød-Larsen Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, Off-Broadway
2016 The Front Page Roy V. Bensinger Broadhurst Theatre, Broadway
2017 Oslo Terje Rød-Larsen Vivian Beaumont Theater, Broadway
2018 A Christmas Carol Various Characters Geffen Playhouse
2021 The Music Man Mayor George Shinn Winter Garden Theatre, Broadway
2022 A Christmas Carol Various Characters Nederlander Theatre, Broadway


Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2004 Tony Award Best Actor in a Play I Am My Own Wife Won [35]
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Solo Performance Won
Theatre World Award Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Solo Performance Won
2012 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Blood and Gifts Nominated [36]
Outer Critics Circle Award Best Featured Actor in a Play Nominated [37]
2014 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder Nominated [38]
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Won
2017 Tony Award Best Actor in a Play Oslo Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated


  1. ^ a b Rizzo, Frank. "The Earnest Jefferson Mays" Hartford Courant, January 25, 2004
  2. ^ a b Margaret Gray (March 12, 2013). "Jefferson Mays' fractured personality". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  3. ^ a b Ehren, Christine. "La Jolla Playhouse Workshops Wright's 'I Am My Own Wife' July 10-29" Playbill, July 10, 2001
  4. ^ Ehren, Christine. "Long Wharf Meets Rosencrantz and Guildenstern c/o Wood and Mays April 25-June 3" Playbill, April 25, 2001
  5. ^ a b "Jefferson Mays Stars in 'Quartermaine's Terms' at Williamstown" Playbill, August 15, 2009
  6. ^ a b Jones, Kenneth. " 'I Am My Own Wife', Doug Wright's Tale of a European Transvestite's Life, Opens May 27 in NYC" Playbill, May 27, 2003
  7. ^ a b " 'I Am My Own Wife' Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed June 9, 2016
  8. ^ " 'Pygmalion' Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed June 9, 2016
  9. ^ Finkle, David. "Reviews. 'Pygmalion'", October 16, 2007
  10. ^ "'Journey's End' Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed June 9, 2016
  11. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Theater Review. 'Journey's End'", The New York Times, February 23, 2007, p. E3
  12. ^ Finkle, David. "Review. 'Journey's End' ", February 22, 2007.
  13. ^ Quartermaine's Terms,, accessed June 9, 2016.
  14. ^ Stewart, Zachary. "Final Bow: The 9,000 Deaths of Jefferson Mays in 'A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder'",, January 4, 2016.
  15. ^ Haun, Harry. " offers a behind-the-scenes look at opening night of the new Broadway musical 'A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder' " Playbill, November 18, 2013
  16. ^ a b " 'A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder' Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed June 9, 2016
  17. ^ Gans, Andrew. "64th Annual Outer Critics Circle Award Winners Announced; 'Gentleman's Guide' Wins Four Awards" Playbill, May 12, 2014.
  18. ^ "Tony Awards 2014: The complete list of nominees and winners" Los Angeles Times, April 28, 2014.
  19. ^ Hempstead, Pete. "Drama Desk Award Winners Led by 'A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder' ", June 1, 2014
  20. ^ "The Music Man, Starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, Sets New Broadway Dates".
  21. ^ Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade, accessed June 10, 2016
  22. ^ The Low Life, accessed June 10, 2016
  23. ^ Cousin Bette, accessed June 10, 2016
  24. ^ The Big Brass Ring, accessed June 10, 2016
  25. ^ Kinsey, accessed June 10, 2016
  26. ^ Alfie, accessed June 10, 2016
  27. ^ The Notorious Bettie Page, accessed June 10, 2016
  28. ^ Ned Rifle, accessed June 10, 2016
  29. ^ Eyerly, Alan. "'The Americans' recap: Fiery end to South African plot" Los Angeles Times, March 19, 2015
  30. ^ Leeds, Sarene. "TV Recap. 'You're No Rose'", October 23, 2015
  31. ^ Zuckerman, Esther. "Your guide to the guest stars in 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'", March 10, 2015
  32. ^ Isherwoord, Christopher. "Choosing Sides in Afghanistan: Spies Playing in the Great Game" The New York Times, November 22, 2011
  33. ^ " 'The Best Man', Starring John Larroquette and James Earl Jones, Receives Second Broadway Extension", May 16, 2012
  34. ^ "Jefferson Mays (Performer) | Playbill".
  35. ^ "Jefferson Mays profile". Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  36. ^ Bacalzo, Dan. "2012 Drama Desk Award Nominations Announced", April 27, 2012
  37. ^ Gans, Andrew. "62nd Annual Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations Announced; 'Nice Work' Receives Nine Nods" Playbill, April 23, 2012
  38. ^ "Jefferson Mays Theatre Credits and Profile".

External links

This page was last edited on 1 July 2023, at 16:39
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