Joseph Harry Fowler Connick, Jr. was born on September 11, 1967 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a Grammy and Emmy Award-winning musician and actor who has released more than two dozen albums and sold over 28 million records worldwide.
Connick began learning the keyboard at age 3 and began playing publicly at age 5. By the age of 10, he had already performed with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra and had recorded with a local jazz band. In New Orleans, he attended Jesuit High School, Isidore Newman School, Lakeview School, and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and he would finally move to New York City to study at Hunter College and the Manhattan School of Music. After signing with Columbia Records, he released his first eponymous instrumental album in 1987 and followed it up with 20 in 1988, which also featured his vocals, achieving platinum status.
In the music industry, he is ranked among the top 60 bestselling male artists in the United States and has earned more number one albums than any other artist in the history of the U.S. jazz charts. He has won Grammy Awards for 1990’s We Are in Love, 2001’s Songs I Heard, and his 1989 soundtrack to When Harry Met Sally… and has earned 14 Grammy nominations, including nods for 1991’s Blue Light, Red Light, 1999’s Come by Me, 2004’s Only You, 2006’s Harry on Broadway, Act I, 2009’s Your Songs, and 2011’s In Concert on Broadway.
Connick has also enjoyed a rich career on Broadway. He made his Broadway debut in November 1990 with An Evening with Harry Connick, Jr. and His Orchestra at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, and he would earn Tony Award nominations in the category of Best Original Musical Score in 2002 for providing the music and lyrics for Thou Shalt Not at the Plymouth Theatre (now the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre). In January 2006, he made his Broadway acting debut, taking on the role of Sid Sorokin in Roundabout Theatre Company’s Broadway revival of The Pajama Game at the American Airlines Theatre. For a much lauded performance, he received a Theatre World Award, as well as a Tony Award nomination and Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. After returning to Broadway in July 2010 for Harry Connick, Jr. in Concert on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre, his next acting role would be Dr. Mark Bruckner in the 2011 Broadway premiere of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever at the St. James Theatre, and in 2018, he starred as Henry Gondorff in the world premiere of The Sting at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey.
On screen, he is perhaps best known for his acting roles in Memphis Belle (1990), Copycat (1995), Independence Day (1996), Hope Floats (1998), The Iron Giant (1999), Basic (2003), Bug (2006), P.S. I Love You (2007), New in Town (2009), Dolphin Tale (2011), and Dolphin Tale 2 (2014). He also starred as Leo Markus in NBC’s hit series Will & Grace from 2002 to 2006, reprising the role in 2017, and as Executive A.D.A. David Haden in multiple episodes of NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2012. He has won two Emmy Awards for Great Performances (in 2004 and 2011) and has earned two Daytime Emmy nominations in the category of Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host for Harry (in 2017 and 2018).
On October 25, 2019, Connick released his new album True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter and returned to Broadway in Harry Connick, Jr. – A Celebration of Cole Porter at the Nederlander Theatre from December 7 through December 29, 2019.