Jonathan Niven "Jon" Cryer (born April 16, 1965) is an American actor, screenwriter and film producer. He is the son of actress–singer Gretchen Cryer. He made his motion picture debut in the 1984 romantic comedy No Small Affair, but gained greater fame as "Duckie" in the 1986 John Hughes-scripted film Pretty in Pink. In 1998, he finished writing and producing the independent film Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by Five, which was well received.
Even though Cryer gained some fame by starring in these films, it took several years to find success on television; the shows he had starred in (The Famous Teddy Z, Partners and The Trouble with Normal) did not last very long. In 2003, he was cast as Alan Harper on the CBS hit comedy series Two and a Half Men, opposite Charlie Sheen, for which Cryer was nominated six years in a row (2006–2011) for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series; he won the Emmy in 2009.
Cryer was born in New York. His mother, Gretchen Cryer (née Kiger), was a playwright, songwriter, actress, and singer, and his father, Donald David Cryer, was an actor/singer who originally studied to be a minister. His paternal grandfather, Rev. Dr. Donald W. Cryer, was a well-known Methodist minister in the West Ohio Conference. He has two sisters, Robin and Shelley. When he was twelve years old, he decided that he wanted to become an actor. When his mother heard this, she thought he should have a backup plan, and joked, "Plumbing is a pretty good career." Cryer attended Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center for several summers as a teenager and is a 1983 graduate of the Bronx High School of Science. He was classmates with screenwriter and film director Boaz Yakin.