John Benjamin Hickey was born in Plano, TX. He attended Texas State University, where he was an active member of the theater department. Hickey received his bachelor's degree in English at Fordham University in New York City in 1985. The future star launched his acting career on the Broadway stage, originating the role of Arthur - a gay business consultant who spends three unforgettable and life-changing weekends with his seven close friends in an upstate New York house - in Terrence McNally's 1995 play "Love! Valour! Compassion!" The moving drama, set during the rise of the AIDS crisis, won that year's Tony Award for Best Play. Hickey recreated his role for the 1997 film version of "Love! Valour! Compassion!" opposite Jason Alexander and Justin Kirk. Hickey's other Broadway credits include starring in a 1998 revival of "Cabaret" (1966) and the 2002 revival of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" (1953). Hickey's onscreen appearances began with minor roles in feature films like the crime comedy "The Ref" (1994) and the romantic comedy "Only You" (1994). It was not until after Hickey reprised his breakout role in the big screen adaptation of "Love! Valour! Compassion!" that he landed more substantial acting projects. In 1997, Hickey was cast in the Ang Lee-directed ensemble drama "The Ice Storm," about two dysfunctional families dealing with the socio-political changes and scandals that rocked the early 1970s. Hickey has also shared the screen with some of Hollywood's biggest names - from Denzel Washington and Angeline Jolie in the chilling mystery drama "The Bone Collector" (1999), to Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson in "Changing Lanes" (2002). The actor made his starring debut on the ABC series "It's All Relative" (2003-04), in which he played one-half of a same-sex couple raising their adoptive daughter in a modern-day twist on the typical family sitcom. "It's All Relative" had a strong hold in the ratings when it premiered in 2003, but its viewership quickly declined due to strong competition from the Fox's "American Idol" (2002-16) juggernaut, causing Hickey's show to be cancelled after 20 episodes.Since "It's All Relative," Hickey made several guest appearances on hit television shows like "Alias" (ABC, 2001-06), "Brothers & Sisters" (ABC, 2006-11), and "In Plain Sight" (USA Network, 2008-12). The actor also landed a recurring role on the long-running legal drama "Law & Order." He continued to act in feature films, where he played Jodie Foster's husband in the thriller "Flightplan" (2005) and portrayed real-life Marine war correspondent Keyes Beech in Clint Eastwood's historical epic "Flags of our Fathers." In 2007, Hickey narrated the National Geographic Channel documentary "Secrets of the Moon Landings," which featured interviews with Buzz Aldrin and other famed astronauts. Hickey garnered favorable reviews from critics and audiences when he was cast on the Showtime original series, "The Big C." The actor played an eccentric and often-naked homeless man who reconciles with his cancer-stricken sister (Laura Linney). Hickey's character also strikes up a romantic relationship with his sister's former college roommate and longtime friend (Cynthia Nixon). Years after first gracing the theater stage, Hickey returned to Broadway in 2011 for the revival of Larry Kramer's autobiographical play, "The Normal Heart." His portrayal of closeted New York Times writer Felix Turner earned him a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.