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There's no mystery to his strong appeal : Broadway charmer Cheyenne Jackson tackles broadcast TV next. Can he work his magic on Tina Fey?

November 12, 2009|Patrick Pacheco

He never considered Broadway a realistic goal.

That changed when a death in the family and the events of Sept. 11 forced him to do some soul-searching on his direction in life. (Years later, he would portray Mark Bingham, the heroic rugby-playing executive, in the film "United 93.")

Lapka encouraged him to make the leap to New York and, though his career arc now seems charmed, Jackson says it took "a lot of . . . sweat, tears and Valium."

He hopes that this career momentum will catapult him into film and television as a respite from the rigorous demands of musical theater. He has made guest appearances on "Ugly Betty," "Life on Mars" and "Lipstick Jungle" and was cast as a womanizer in a pilot for Lifetime that was not picked up.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday, November 13, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 20 words Type of Material: Correction
Cheyenne Jackson: An index item in Thursday's Calendar referring to an article about actor Cheyenne Jackson called him Cheyenne Williams.

As one of the few out actors who is active in gay-related issues, Jackson says that he once felt the onus of being one of the community's poster boys and suspects that he probably has lost roles for it. But some in the gay-rights movement have faulted him for not being more involved.

"I'd love for people to accept me just as me but I know that I generate a strong response, I always have -- my name, my looks, my size, " he says, adding that he used to feel like a bull in a china shop, gingerly walking down the street so he wouldn't inadvertently hurt people. "People either love me or they think I'm obnoxious. I get that."

Obnoxious?

"It's out there on the chat rooms and stuff," he says with sudden vulnerability. "I don't read them anymore. And I wish my mom wouldn't. But she loves reading everything she can get her hands on. And then she'll call and say, 'Well, honey, most people love you. Just a few of them hate you.' " With a laugh, he says, " 'Gee, thanks, mom!' "

--

calendar@latimes.com

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