Actor, author and activist: Bryan Batt was born in New Orleans, LA. He praised his mother Gayle Batt in his memoir She Ain't Heavy, She's My Mother as having a "magical influence" on his life, citing her lengthy record of civic and charitable work, in addition to encouraging his own artistic pursuits. The openly gay actor began his show business career on the stages of his prep school before moving on to productions for the New Orleans Recreation Department and Tulane University (at which time he similarly performed at Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré). His professional career began to take off in 1986 following a move to New York, where he appeared in a number of productions both on-and-off Broadway, including the massive hits "Cats," "Starlight Express" and "Evita." Batt's Hollywood career began modestly with an appearance in a Dutch film (lensed in New York) called "Flodder in Amerika!" (1992). He did not work again in that medium until 1995 when earning a role in the indie comedy-drama "Jeffrey," starring Steven Weber about a gay man in New York who decides to become celibate. It was a production well familiar to Batt, who had co-starred in the Paul Rudnick-penned play the film was based on. Although Batt continued to focus primarily on his stage work, he also appeared in movies such as the indie romantic comedy "Kiss Me, Guido" (1997), as well as occasional TV guest appearances. His big TV break came when he was cast as closeted advertising executive Salvatore Romano on the hit series "Mad Men" (AMC 2007-15), appearing as a regular on the series' first three seasons. The show earned him and the cast two Screen Actors Guild awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2009 and 2010). He appeared as a regular during the first three seasons. Batt's stage, TV and film work continued unabated after Sal was written off of "Mad Men," with his performance in Steve McQueen's searing "12 Years a Slave" (2013) garnering particular notice.