Eric McCormack says he knew he wanted to be an actor after playing the lead in his first-grade play. His passion for performance was cemented at Sir John A. MacDonald Collegiate Institute in Scarborough, with a theatre elective and a role in Godspell. He went on to the Ryerson University School of Theatre, dropping out to join the company at the Stratford Festival.
Over five years in Stratford, he appeared in 17 productions, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream to Henry V. On leaving 1989, he performed in theatres across Canada and on Broadway. Throughout the 1990’s he landed roles in film and television, ultimately starring in the Western series Lonesome Dove, filmed in Alberta.
In 1998, McCormack was cast on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace, which centres on the relationship between a pair of best friends: Will Truman, a gay lawyer and Grace Adler, a straight interior designer. It was the first network television series to bring openly gay characters into the mainstream and to show the first gay kiss on TV. Will & Grace became enormously popular and critically acclaimed. Throughout its eight-year run, the show won numerous awards and McCormack received several nominations. In 2001, he received an Emmy Award for his performance. The series ended in 2006, with an audience of over 18 million tuning in for the finale; the popular series returned to network television this year.
McCormack went on to appear in a number of American television series and feature films. He is also a producer, director and star on the sci-fi series Travelers. In 2017, McCormack received the 2017 Stratford Legacy Award.