Jefferson Mays (born Lewis Jefferson Mays; June 8, 1965) is an American film, stage and television actor.
Mays was raised in Clinton, Connecticut with his parents, a naval intelligence officer and a children's librarian, and his siblings. 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.
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. He had appeared in the play Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in May 2003, and at the La Jolla Playhouse in July 2001.
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. 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.
In 2007, he appeared as Henry Higgins in a revival of Pygmalion and starred as Private Mason in a revival of Journey's End. In August 2009, Mays appeared at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Quartermaine's Terms by Simon Grey.
Mays starred in the 2013 Broadway musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, in which he played eight roles. He won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical. He also was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical and tied for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (with Neil Patrick Harris).
TV Shows 15
Seneca: On the Creation of Earthquakes (2023)
The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (2020)
Perry Mason (2020)
I Am the Night (2019)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
Rebel in the Rye (2017)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015)
I Am Michael (2015)
Inherent Vice (2014)
The Raven (2014)
The Cask of Amontillado (2014)
Ned Rifle (2014)
The Giver (2014)
My America (2014)
The Blacklist (2013)
The Americans (2013)
How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008)
Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (2006)
The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)
The Closer (2005)
The Fight (2005)
Benjamin Franklin (2002)
Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999)
The Big Brass Ring (1999)
Hudson River Blues (1997)
The Low Life (1995)
Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade (1994)
Law & Order (1990)
Birthday1965-06-08 (58 years old)
Place of birthConnecticut, United States of America
CitizenshipsUnited States of America
Also known asLewis Jefferson Mays
AwardsTheatre World Award, Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play
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