Professionally known as Jim Parsons, James Joseph Parsons is a Hollywood actor who has received several accolades for his outstanding performances. One of such acts was his role as Sheldon Cooper in the CBS sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, which earned him four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
The unforgettable role also fetched Parsons numerous other notable awards and he reigned supreme as the highest-paid TV actor in America. Alas, all good things must come to an end and in 2019, the actor decided to take a bow from the show that made him a star. Even though there have been some misgivings about his decision, one cannot help but admire him for leaving when the ovation was loudest.
His Journey To The Big Bang Theory
Though born in Houston, Texas, on the 24th of March 1973, Jim Parson grew up in Spring, one of the suburbs in the Northern part of the city, and was greatly influenced by sitcoms, particularly The Cosby Show, Family Ties, and Three’s Company, as a child. He took to taking part in school plays and at the age of six, decided to become an actor after playing the role of a Kola-Kola bird in a school production titled The Elephant’s Child.
Having reached this decision, the young Parsons took part in several plays during his high school days at Klein Oak High School, Spring. He then proceeded to the University of Houston where he bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA). During his stay at the University of Houston, Jim appeared in seventeen plays in three years. He regularly appeared on stage with the Repertory Theatre. He was also one of the founding members of Infernal Bridegroom Productions.
Broadway Debut Prior To Landing The Iconic Role Of Sheldon Cooper
After his graduation from the University of Houston, Parsons took up a two-year graduate course in classical theatre, at the University of San Diego. The school ran the course in partnership with the Old Globe Theater and the Texas native was one of the seven students accepted into the special program. He graduated in 2001 and moved to New York where he made his Broadway debut the same year.
Parsons played the role of Tommy Boatwright in Larry Kramer’s play, The Normal Heart, and his performance in the play earned him a nomination for a Drama Desk Award. He would later reprise the character in the film adaption of the play and be nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie category for his efforts.
Parsons’ major breakthrough came with his role as Sheldon Cooper in the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory which revolved around a bunch of socially-awkward scientists and their pals, residing in Pasadena and Parsons portrayed the leader of the bunch named Cooper. He perfectly embodied the geeky, know-it-all character and this fetched him effusive praise from the critics.
He also became a fan favourite and received several accolades for his time on the show. The actor was nominated six times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014) for Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and won it four times (2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014). He also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015.
The Departure That Marked The End Of The Show
The Big Bang Theory ran for a total of 12 seasons (2007-2019) during which it grew to become a top-rated comedy series in the United States. Like a fine wine, the show only got better with age and its producers, as well as stars dreamt of stretching it out for as long as possible. All that nascent dreams, however, came to an end after it emerged that the leading man, Jim Parsons, had turned down a $50 million contract for two additional seasons.
This scuttled the plans that Warner Bros and CBS had to run the show for two more seasons as the producer and co-creator, Chuck Lorre, had always maintained that he would pull the plug once any of the major stars left. According to him, it is quite difficult for a big ensemble show to succeed after a major character had left, many shows had tried it and failed, and he was unwilling to go down that ignoble route.
Parsons’ decision to walk away from The Big Bang Theory thus naturally marked the demise of the show. This left the cast and crew, including his co-stars, such as Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki, disappointed but there were no hard feelings involved. Cuoco described the show as the defining comedy of its generation and maintained that she took exceptional pride in what they had achieved. Lorre, on his own part, stated that they are extremely appreciative of the show’s success and forever grateful to the fans.
Meanwhile, the man at the eye of the storm has revealed that there was no monumental situation or factor that made him walk away from the role that brought him to the spotlight. According to him, it was just simply a matter of intuitively knowing when to take a bow. He also did insinuate that getting older and encountering major life changes had altered his outlook and expressed his immense gratitude to the entire Big Bang team.
The Big Bang Theory Made Jim Parsons Extremely Rich
Jim Parsons consistently appeared on the Forbes list of highest-earning actors during his time on The Big Bang Theory. According to a 2017 estimate, he earned a whopping $27.5 million to make it on its list of highest-earning actors for that year, coming behind Sofia Vergara, who made $41.5 million
Parson’s pay on The Big Bang Theory rose from $200,000 per episode to $1,000,000 per episode, between the fourth season of the show and its tenth season. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the Texas native is currently worth $70 million which stems from earnings from the CBS sitcom and other projects.
These other projects include several Off-Broadway shows, movies, series, and even a 2003 Quiznos commercial, where he played the role of a man raised by wolves. In 2015, Parsons starred as “God” in the Broadway production of An Act of God, – a new play by David Javerbaum. That same year, he starred alongside Rihanna in the DreamWorks Animation comedy film, Home.
Jim Parsons has also starred in Judging Amy, Garden State, Ed, School for Scoundrels, The Big Year, The Muppets, Harvey, and many more. In 2017, he tried his hands on a talk show, Jim Parsons Is Too Stupid for Politics, unfortunately, the show only ran for six weeks.
His Nearly Two Decades Of Romance With Todd Spiewak
Jim Parsons is currently married to his long-term partner, Todd Spiewak. Spiewak is an art director who has worked on campaigns for notable brands such as American Express and Barnes and Noble. He is now a film producer and has received a primetime Emmy nomination for his work on Young Sheldon.
Parsons and Spiewak reportedly met on a blind date in 2002. They commenced a relationship and remained together for about a decade before the Big Bang Theory star revealed to the New York Times that he was gay. He later disclosed that he avoided talking about his sexuality out of fear that it would cause problems for the show and not because of apprehension over his job.
The actor has now gotten over his misgivings and is enjoying his romance with Todd. The couple tied the knot in New York in May 2017 and have been spotted at several public events including film premieres, industry after-parties, award ceremonies and basketball games. Todd was also on hand as his husband received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015.
The couple has also collaborated professionally. They co-founded a production company, known as Wonderful Productions, in 2015. Todd has also earned some production credits on Young Sheldon, a show that serves as a prequel to The Big Bang Theory. Jim and Todd don’t have any kids of their own yet, neither do they have kids from their previous relationships.