Jonathan Niven Cryer (born April 16, 1965) is an American actor, writer, director and producer. Born into a show business family, he made his motion picture debut as a teenaged 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.
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. In 2003, he was cast in a co-leading role as Alan Harper on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, a major hit for twelve seasons for which he won two Primetime Emmy Awards (in 2009 and 2012). He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Television in 2011.
Cryer's other film appearances include Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), Hiding Out (1987), Hot Shots! (1991), Holy Man (1998), Tortured (2008), Shorts (2009), and Hit by Lightning (2014). He also has appeared in the recurring role of Lex Luthor in the CW series Supergirl, Arrow, and Batwoman. After appearing on the podcast Crime Writers On... it was announced that he would join the Undisclosed podcast for their second season.
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 in June 2007. On September 29, 2009, they announced that they had adopted a baby girl.When Pretty in Pink co-star Molly Ringwald told Out magazine in 2012 that she believed Cryer's character was gay, Cryer stated that he respectfully disagreed and also mentioned that he has had to live with others' "faulty" gaydar. Also in 2012, he told Jeff Probst that when he and Joyner started dating, she wondered if he might be gay because "he never kissed me." Cryer was asked in 2014 if he was "mistaken for gay"; he called himself "an effeminate heterosexual dork" and made a tongue-in-cheek remark about never being propositioned: "Fellas, you're dropping the ball."
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. His paternal grandfather, the Rev. Donald W. Cryer, was a prominent Methodist minister. He has two sisters, Robin and Shelly.When Cryer was twelve years old, he decided he wanted to become an actor. When his mother heard this, she thought he should have a backup plan, and joked, "Plumbing is a pretty good career." Cryer attended Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center for several summers as a teenager, and is a 1983 graduate of the Bronx High School of Science. He was classmates with screenwriter and film director Boaz Yakin. To his mother's "great disappointment," he skipped college and went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England, for a summer short course in Shakespeare.