Four-time Emmy winner Jim Parsons is best known for playing Sheldon Cooper, the awkward genius-level theoretical physicist on the hit CBS sitcom "The Big Bang Theory." But he's also had success on the Broadway stage.
Parsons got his start in theater at age 6 when he played the Kola Kola bird in a production of Rudyard Kipling's "The Elephant's Child."
After his first Emmy win in 2010, Parsons told reporters of the role, "I don't know that I was good… but I obviously caught a bug."
He continued to pursue acting through high school, college at the University of Houston and grad school at the University of San Diego.
Parsons later moved to New York, where he appeared in Off-Broadway productions and auditioned for commercials and TV pilots. His earliest screen roles were on the NBC series "Ed" and a recurring role on the CBS series "Judging Amy." He also had roles in "Garden State" and "School for Scoundrels."
He landed the role of Sheldon in "The Big Bang Theory" in 2006 and shot a pilot that failed to be picked up by CBS. The pilot was completely rewritten and reshot with Parsons and co-star Johnny Galecki as the only returning performers.
The series, co-created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, debuted in September 2007 and steadily grew in the ratings. During its seventh season, the series averaged 19.96-million viewers per episode.
Parsons quickly became a major star, winning four Emmy Awards for playing Sheldon and commanding a huge salary. In 2014, Parsons, Galecki and co-star Kaley Cuoco signed contracts for $1 million per episode for the eighth, ninth and 10th seasons.
He made his Broadway debut in 2011 in a production of Larry Kramer's play "The Normal Heart."
Parsons came out as gay in 2012 and has been in a relationship with art director Todd Spiewak since 2002.
— Patrick Kevin Day for the Los Angeles Times March 15, 2015