Lewis Jefferson Mays
June 8, 1965
|Education||Yale College (BA) |
University of California, San Diego (MFA)
Lewis Jefferson Mays (born June 8, 1965) is an American actor. He is the recipient of numerous accolades, including a Tony Award, a Helen Hayes Award, a Lucille Lortel Award, two Drama Desk Awards, two Outer Critics Circle Awards and three Obie Awards.
Mays was raised in Clinton, Connecticut, with his parents, a naval intelligence officer and a children's librarian, and his siblings. Mays graduated from Yale College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, and the University of California, San Diego, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts from the graduate acting program.
He has appeared at La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Playwrights Horizons.
Mays appeared on Broadway in I Am My Own Wife, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Doug Wright, from November 2003 (previews) to October 31, 2004. He had appeared in the play Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in May 2003, and at the La Jolla Playhouse in July 2001. Mays won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, the 2004 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show, an Obie Award, and a 2004 Theatre World Award for his solo performance. He also won the 2007 Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Play for seasons of I Am My Own Wife in Australia in 2006.
Mays starred in two Broadway revivals in 2007. He appeared as Henry Higgins in Pygmalion, in which he won critical praise. The TheaterMania reviewer called him "pitch-perfect", and the production an "excellent revival." He appeared in a revival of Journey's End in February to June 2007, in which he starred as Private Mason. Ben Brantley, in The New York Times, called the production "acutely staged and acted." The TheaterMania reviewer wrote: "Mays is a reliable, obliging Mason."
In August 2009, Mays appeared at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Quartermaine's Terms by Simon Grey.
Mays starred in the 2013 Broadway musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, in which he played nine roles. He performed in the musical from October 2013 (previews) until closing on January 17, 2016. He won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical. He also was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical and tied for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (with Neil Patrick Harris). Mays played Terje Rød-Larsen in the Broadway play Oslo, for which he received a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play nomination. Mays is set to play Mayor George Shinn in the upcoming revival of The Music Man opening on Broadway in 2022. 
Mays also narrates audiobooks, including The Expanse series and "The Invention of Sound" by Chuck Palahniuk.
Mays has appeared in several television programs as well; he notably appeared in several episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as cross-dressing murderer Carl Rudnick, and as Black Dahlia suspect George Hodel in the Turner Network Television miniseries I Am the Night. His television credits include Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie and The Americans.
Mays is married to Australian actress Susan Lyons.
|1993||Ghost Brigade||Martin Bradley|
|1994||Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade||Gerry Woolridge||Short film|||
|1995||The Low Life||Hollywood Mogul|||
|1997||Hudson River Blues||Eric|
|1999||The Big Brass Ring||Garne Strickland|||
|2004||Kinsey||Effete Man's Friend|||
|2004||Alfie||Dr. Miranda Kulp|||
|2005||The Notorious Bettie Page||Little John|||
|2006||Memoirs of My Nervous Illness||Daniel Schreber|
|2008||How to Lose Friends & Alienate People||Bill Nathanson|
|2014||The Giver||Community (voice)|
|2014||Inherent Vice||Dr. Theeply|
|2014||Ned Rifle||Dr. Ford|||
|2015||I Am Michael||Preacher Teacher|
|2017||Rebel in the Rye||William Maxwell|
|2018||The Ballad of Buster Scruggs||Gilbert Longabaugh||Segment: "The Gal Who Got Rattled"|
|1991||A Week in Joe's Basement||Alex||Episode: "Remote Control"|
|1997||Liberty! The American Revolution||James Madison||6 episodes|
|2002||Benjamin Franklin||Elkanah Watson||3 episodes|
|2005||The Closer||Dr. Easton||Episode: "Fatal Retraction"|
|2008||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Keifer Gates||Episode: "Legacy"|
|2009||Law & Order||Attorney Olsen||Episode: "Pledge"|
|2009||Fringe||Nicholas Boone||Episode: "Midnight"|
|2010||Nurse Jackie||Tim||Episode: "P.O. Box"|
|2010||God in America||Jeremiah Moore||Episode: "A New Adam/A New Eden"|
|2010||Lie to Me||Sidney Carlton||Episode: "Double Blind"|
|2010||Detroit 1-8-7||Dr. Roger Kosowski||2 episodes|
|2011||Mildred Pierce||Man in Blue Coat||Episode: "Four"|
|2011||The Good Wife||Diplomat Van Buskirk||Episode: "Affairs of State"|
|2012||My America||Performer||Episode: "Fire in Dreamland"|
|2014–2016||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Dr. Carl Rudnick||7 episodes|
|2015||The Americans||Walter Taffet||4 episodes|||
|2015||The Knick||Attorney Whitting||Episode: "You're No Rose"|||
|2015–2016||Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt||Daddy||2 episodes|||
|2019||I Am the Night||George Hodel||6 episodes|
|2019||The Blacklist||Norman Devane||Episode: "Norman Devane (No. 138)"|
|2020||Westworld||Liam Dempsey Sr.||Episode: "Genre"|
|2020||Perry Mason||Virgil||5 episodes|
|2003||I Am My Own Wife||Charlotte von Mahlsdorf||Lyceum Theatre, Broadway|
|2007||Journey's End||Private Mason||Belasco Theatre, Broadway|
|2007||Pygmalion||Henry Higgins||American Airlines Theatre, Broadway|
|2011||Blood and Gifts||Simon Craig||Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, Off- Broadway|||
|2012||The Best Man||Sheldon Marcus||Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, Broadway|||
|2013||A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder||The D'Ysquith Family||Walter Kerr Theatre, Broadway|||
|2016||Oslo||Terje Rød-Larsen||Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, Off- Broadway|
|Vivian Beaumont Theater, Broadway|
|2016||The Front Page||Roy V. Bensinger||Broadhurst Theatre, Broadway|
|2021||The Music Man||Mayor George Shinn||Winter Garden Theatre, Broadway|
|2004||Tony Award||Best Actor in a Play||I Am My Own Wife||Won|||
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Solo Performance||Won|
|Theatre World Award||N/A||Won|
|Outer Critics Circle Award||Outstanding Solo Performance||Won|
|2012||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play||Blood and Gifts||Nominated|||
|Outer Critics Circle Award||Best Featured Actor in a Play||Nominated|||
|2014||Tony Award||Best Actor in a Musical||A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder||Nominated|||
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Actor in a Musical||Won|
|Outer Critics Circle Award||Outstanding Actor in a Musical||Won|
|2017||Tony Award||Best Actor in a Play||Oslo||Nominated|
|Drama League Award||Distinguished Performance||Nominated|