John Benjamin Hickey was born on June 25, 1963 in Plano, Texas and is a veteran of the stage and screen, with a résumé that includes a Tony Award-winning performance as Felix Turner in The Normal Heart and his Emmy-nominated role as Sean Tolkey on Showtime's The Big C.
Hickey attended Plano Senior High School, graduating in 1981, and went on to study at Texas State University - San Marcos until 1983 and Fordham University in New York City until 1985, graduating with a bachelor degree in English.
He made his Off-Broadway debut with Playwrights Horizons, appearing in The End of the Day and then On the Bum in 1992. In 1994, Manhattan Theatre Club cast him as Arthur Pape in Terrence McNally's Love! Valour! Compassion! at New York City Center, which led to his Broadway debut at the Walter Kerr Theatre in 1995.
He returned Off-Broadway for MTC in 1996 for Craig Lucas' Blue Window and for Lincoln Center Theater in 1997 for Lucas' God's Heart. He then became a regular on the Broadway scene, starting with the 1998 revival of Cabaret, starring as Clifford Bradshaw, and continuing with the 2002 revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible (as Reverend John Hale), and the 2009 revival of Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart (as Earl of Leicester).
In 2011, he originated the role of Felix Turner in the Broadway premiere of Larry Kramer's widely celebrated drama The Normal Heart to great acclaim. He went on to win the Tony Award for Best Performance By An Actor In A Featured Role In A Play. He returned to Broadway in 2017 to star as Flan in a revival of John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation.
On screen, Hickey has a wide range of credits dating back to 1990. His most notable fim appearances include The Ice Storm, The Bone Collector, Flightplan and Pitch Perfect. Hickey has also enjoyed a tremendous career on the small screen, most notably earning an Emmy Award nomination in 2013 for his role as Sean Tolkey on Showtime's The Big C. Other television credits include The Good Wife and Jessica Jones.
Hickey made his London stage debut in March 2018, originating the role of Henry Wilcox in The Inheritance - Parts 1 and 2 at the Young Vic. Following rave reviews, a West End transfer to the Noel Coward Theatre was granted, beginning September 2018, and the production went on to win Best New Play at the 2019 Olivier Awards. Hickey reprised the role in both parts of The Inheritance in 2019. He departed the production on January 4, 2020 to make his Broadway directorial debut in a revival of Neil Simon's Plaza Suite, starring Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker.