Jonathan Niven Cryer is an American actor, writer, director, and producer. Born into a show business family, he made his motion picture debut as a teenage photographer in the 1984 romantic comedy No Small Affair; his breakout role came in 1986, in the John Hughes-written film Pretty in Pink. In 1998, he wrote and produced the independent film Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God… Be Back by Five.
We all know him, but not all know how hard it was for him to become what he is today. Although he gained fame with his early film roles, it took several years to find success on television as none of his star vehicles, including The Famous Teddy Z, Partners, and The Trouble with Normal, lasted more than 22 episodes.
Cryer was born in New York City. His mother, Gretchen Kiger, is a playwright, songwriter, actress, and singer. His father, Donald David Cryer, is an actor and singer who originally studied to be a minister.
There was a hilarious story about Cryer when he was about 12. One day he came home and told his mother that he had decided that he should become an actor. Mother listened to him, and then started to laugh. She said, “I think, you should have a Plan B. Becoming a plumber is not bad Plan B, I think”. This shocked the young boy because he thought his mother would be happy to have an actor son.
He was classmates with screenwriter and film director Boaz Yakin. And even his mother didn’t believe in him, he skipped college and went Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England, for a short summer course in Shakespeare.
And here you go
At age 19, Cryer appeared in the 1984 romantic comedy film No Small Affair, in the lead role of Charles Cummings, after the original production with Matthew Broderick was shut down when director Martin Ritt suffered a heart attack.
He went on to appear in small roles in films and television movies.
Cryer’s long run of unsuccessful TV projects finally ended in 2003. Against the wishes of CBS executives (who were aware of his past failures) and due to a friendship with Charlie Sheen, he was cast as Alan Harper on the hit comedy series Two and a Half Men.
His first love and family
Cryer married British actress Sarah Trigger in 1999, with whom he has a son, Charlie Austin. They divorced in 2004. On a February 2007 episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he announced that he was engaged to entertainment reporter Lisa Joyner, whom he married in Mexico On September 29, 2009, they announced that they had adopted a baby girl.
The couple’s first meeting wasn’t the traditional love story. It took Cryer six weeks to make his first move, and by that point, Lisa Joyner had already formed a pretty clear picture in her mind regarding what her and Cryer’s relationship would look like.
“I thought he was going to be my new best gay friend,” Lisa recalled. “We got to know each other. And had it not happened that way, I don’t think we’d be together. But, when we did kiss…I was done, I was done. I said, ‘Oh, okay!’”
“She ventured cautiously: ”At first I wasn’t sure if you were gay or not,’” Cryer wrote in his memoir So That Happened. ”She looked down, then continued Y’know, because we’ve been going on dates for six weeks, and you’ve never even kissed me good night.”
“‘Sorry, I said. Just nervous’”
Together, Jon and Lisa are working with the California organization Hope of the Valley to curb homelessness in the area and donated 30,000 dollars to the organization. Moreover, they are leading a fundraising marathon and hope to build tiny home communities for homeless people.
Cryer – who continued his acting career after Two and a Half Men, starring in NCIS for a short, while among other jobs – has also been very active in the community concerning children with disabilities.
He teaches children the importance of inclusion by taking them to Shane’s Inspiration in Griffith Park, a playground in Los Angeles for kids of all abilities.
“I brought my son[to Shane’s Inspiration] when he was about a year and a half,” Cryer told Ability Magazine.