James Joseph "Jim" Parsons (born March 24, 1973) is an American actor. He is best known for playing Sheldon Cooper in the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, with his performance often cited as a significant reason for the program's success. He has received several awards for his performance, including four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy. In 2011, Parsons made his Broadway debut portraying Tommy Boatwright in the play The Normal Heart, for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination. He reprised the role in the film adaptation of the play, and received his seventh Emmy nomination, this time in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.