Gay Celebrities Wiki
John Barrowman
Actor, musical performer
Doctor Who, Torchwood
Barrowman met his partner, Scott Gill, in 1991. The couple had a civil partners ceremony in 2006.

Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness in a publicity photo for Torchwood.

Barrowman and Gill on their wedding day.

Captain Jack, after his clothes are "defabricated" in the 2005 Doctor Who episode "Bad Wolf".

John Barrowman (b. March 11, 1967) is a Scottish-American actor, musical performer, dancer, singer, and TV presenter who has lived and worked both in the United Kingdom and the United States. He currently lives in the UK with long-term partner Scott Gill.

Barrowman is best known on British television for playing Captain Jack Harkness on the 2005 revival of Doctor Who headed by Queer As Folk creator Russell T. Davies. Barrowman now stars in the Doctor Who spinoff, Torchwood. He has also appeared in light entertainment shows such as Live & Kicking, Any Dream Will Do and How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, as well as appearing on the celebrity ice skating show Dancing on Ice.

Openly gay, he was voted the 2006 Stonewall "Entertainer of the Year". [1]

Barrowman is signed to write his autobiography, Anything Goes, which will be published by Michael O'Mara Books in the spring of 2008. [2]

Early life

Barrowman was born in Mount Vernon, Glasgow, where he spent the first eight years of his life. His mother worked in a record shop and his father worked for the Caterpillar heavy machinery company in nearby Uddingston. In 1976, the family was relocated to America by the company his father was working for. [3].

He spent the next few years of his life in Joliet, Illinois, where his father was a manager at the Caterpillar tractor factory. Barrowman graduated from Joliet West High School in 1985. While still in high school, he won parts in several musical productions even as a freshman. He also spent a summer working for an Illinois power company, a job arranged by his father to give him experience of manual labor. [4] He attended college in San Diego, and returned to the United Kingdom in 1990.


Barrowman's professional debut was in the 1989 London West End production of Cole Porter's Anything Goes, playing Billy Crocker, a role that he reprised in Trevor Nunn's 2003 West End revival. He has also appeared in the West End productions of Miss Saigon, Beauty and the Beast, Matador, Hair, Grease!, Sunset Boulevard and The Phantom of the Opera.

On film, Barrowman sang a duet with Kevin Kline in the Cole Porter biopic De-Lovely, and "Springtime for Hitler" in the 2005 film The Producers.


In the United States, Barrowman played starring roles in the short-lived prime-time soap operas Central Park West (1995) and Titans (2000).

Barrowman was under consideration for the role of Will in the popular US series Will and Grace, but the producers felt he was "too straight" and the role went to Eric McCormack instead, who is straight. "The sad thing is it's run by gay men and women," said Barrowman in a January 2006 article. [5]

Barrowman's most prominent role has been Captain Jack Harkness, a character created for Doctor Who in 2005 and spun off into a second series, Torchwood, in 2007. Barrowman played Captain Jack in five episodes during the first season of the Doctor Who revival, and returned in the third season for a further three episodes.

Personal life

In 1991, Barrowman met his partner, British architect Scott Gill, during a production of Rope at the Chichester Festival Theatre.

The couple told the story of how they met to OK! Magazine:

Was it love at first sight?
John: It was for me. I was doing a play in Chichester and Scott was brought down to see the play by a mutual friend of ours. He told Scott: 'You've gotta see this guy in the play, he's naked for the first seven minutes!' So Scott certainly knew what he was getting!
Scott: Yes, when the lights went up, there were these three rather handsome naked men on stage. I looked at John and it was like a lighthouse on a dark night and I thought he could be a guy I could have a relationship with.
So you liked what you saw?
Scott: Oh yes, very much so. It was a fine display! It was pretty much the first time I'd seen someone and knew that he was the one.
So what happened next?
John: Later on that evening, when Scott came round to the dressing room, I thought to myself, my God, that's him. But I was under the impression that Scott was dating my friend and he thought I was dating the same friend! From that point we never saw each other for another year, but weirdly I kept seeing Scott when I was driving around London. But I was always too embarrassed to go up and talk to him in case he thought I was trying to chat him up – which I would have loved to have done.
Scott: After that he started getting work on TV and I thought he was out of my league and thought I'd just forget about it. But then we met again. [6]

Sixteen years later, Barrowman and Gill became civil partners on December 27, 2006, in a small civil ceremony in Cardiff, Wales. Among the guests were Barrowman's Torchwood co-stars, and Doctor Who executive producer Russell T. Davies.

After the ceremony, Barrowman told BBC News:

It feels great and I think more gay men and gay women should go ahead and do it as long as they're serious about it. It's not really recognition, but it's important for people to see the normality of the entire situation, and it forces people who don't agree with gay men and women... to have to accept us. We deserve the rights like everybody else. It's been a long wait, but we legitimised our relationship to each other a long time ago when we signed our mortgages together, and this is just something that forces people who don't want to recognise it that they have to. [7]

Interviewed on the day by OK! Magazine, Scott said, "I hadn't thought much about it in the run-up because I was so busy at work. In fact it was becoming a bit of a nuisance that we had to do it at all, but on the day itself, it felt very special. I feel like we're linked for life now."

Barrowman says that the couple is considering having children: "I would love kids. I have a particular celebrity friend who says she will have a child with me. But there's nothing in the works just yet! We would adopt a child too, probably a young child or teenager. Even when I worked on Live & Kicking, I loved being with kids. I'm a big kid myself. I am a big kid in a man's body." [8]

Barrowman and Gill have three cocker spaniels. [9]


  1. "John Barrowman, Sugar Rush, Sheri Dobrowski, Mail on Sunday win accolades at Stonewall Awards", Stonewall press release. November 3, 2006.
  2. "Barrowman autobiography to come", Outpost Gallifrey, Jarrod Cooper. June 14, 2007.
  3. John Barrowman official website, biography section
  4. "John Barrowman stars in BBC America's Torchwood", The Miami Herald, Luaine Lee. August 27, 2007.
  5. "Gay Doctor Who star was too straight for Will and Grace]", Pink News. January 13, 2006.
  6. "The 'Torchwood' star and his partner Scott Gill seal their union in a civil partnership – with a few surprises thrown in!", OK! Magazine, Christian Guiltenane. January 23, 2007.
  7. "Torchwood star's civil ceremony", BBC News. December 27, 2006.
  8. "The 'Torchwood' star and his partner Scott Gill seal their union in a civil partnership – with a few surprises thrown in!", OK! Magazine, Christian Guiltenane. January 23, 2007.
  9. "Torchwood star's civil ceremony", BBC News. December 27, 2006.

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