Birth Date: June 26, 1970 / Age: 47
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois
Biography: Hayes studied piano, performance and conducting at Illinois State University but left before graduating. He worked as a classical pianist and served as a music director at the Pheasant Run Theater in Chicago. He also composed original music for a production of Antigone at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. He also participated in the famed Second City improvisational comedy group.
Hayes moved to Los Angeles in 1995, where he found work as a stand-up comedian and as an actor in television commercials. In a Doritos ad broadcast during the Super Bowl in early 1998, he and a buddy are in a laundromat, watching open-mouthed as a babe (model Ali Landry) sashays by them.
His film debut in the independent film Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss (1996) brought him wide attention and caught the attention of executives who cast him in the NBC comedy television series Will & Grace, as the constantly unemployed, gay, aspiring actor, Jack McFarland. The show became a hit and Hayes' comedic performance earned him four Emmy Award nominations. He won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 2001.
His success has led him to film appearances in Cats & Dogs (2001), as Jerry Lewis in Martin and Lewis (2002), Pieces of April (2003), The Cat in the Hat (2003) and Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! (2004).
He is the youngest of five children. He does not discuss his private life publicly.
"When you see me play Jack, I want you to believe that that's a gay character. After 'Will & Grace' is over, when I play a straight character, I want you to believe that, too." - Etcetera interview