Alan Cumming, OBE (born 27 January 1965) is a Scottish stage, television and film actor, writer, director, producer and author. His roles have included the Emcee in Cabaret, Boris Grishenko in GoldenEye, Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler in X2: X-Men United, and Fegan Floop in the Spy Kids trilogy. He has also appeared in independent films like The Anniversary Party, which he co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred in; and Ali Selim's Sweet Land, for which he won an Independent Spirit award as producer. His London stage appearances include Hamlet, the Maniac in Dario Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist, for which he received an Olivier award, the lead in Martin Sherman's Bent, and as Dionysus in The National Theatre of Scotland's The Bacchae. On Broadway he has appeared as Mac the Knife in The Threepenny Opera, the Emcee in Cabaret, for which he won the Tony in 1998, and "Design for Living". Cumming also introduces "Masterpiece Mystery" for PBS.
He has also written a novel, Tommy's Tale, had a cable talk show ("Eavesdropping with Alan Cumming") and produced a line of perfumed products labelled "Cumming". He has contributed opinion pieces to many publications and performed a cabaret show I Bought A Blue Car Today. Retaining his British citizenship, Cumming also became a U.S. citizen in November 2008.
Cumming was born in Aberfeldy, in Perthshire, Scotland, the son of Mary Darling, an insurance company secretary, and Alex Cumming, a forester. He has stated that his father was physically and emotionally abusive towards him. He has one older brother, Tom, and a niece and nephew. Brought up in Angus, Cumming attended Monikie Primary School and Carnoustie High School and originally aspired to a career in veterinary medicine, but a personality clash with his biology teacher prevented him from taking a related elective and he subsequently set his sights on becoming an actor. Following graduation, he spent a year and a half employed as an editor and columnist for the Scottish pop magazine TOPS before entering the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. On graduation from Drama school he married fellow student Hilary Lyon; they divorced 8 years later and had no children.