Stagestruck since the age of 11, Robert Sean Leonard acted Off-Broadway in Sally's Gone, She Left Her Name and made his Broadway debut as Eugene in Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs shortly after appearing in a small part in his first feature The Manhattan Project. He landed a starring role in My Best Friend Is a Vampire but really drew raves for his sensitive portrayal of the would-be actor driven to suicide by his father in Peter Weir'
s Dead Poets Society. A role as the teenaged son of Paul Newman
and Joanne Woodward
in the movie Mr. and Mrs. Bridge followed before Leonard returned to the New York stage to star in the Riverside Shakespeare Company's production of Romeo and Juliet and on Broadway in The Speed of Darkness. His performance in the revival of Candida earned him a Tony nomination, and he also acted in Broadway productions of Philadelphia, Here I Come and Tom Stoppard
In 1993, he moved into leading roles as a jazz-crazy youth in 1930s Germany in Swing Kids, a more adult turn as a troubled newlywed in Married to It and as the love-struck Claudio in Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing, in addition to acting in Martin Scorsese
's The Age of Innocence. He has often opted for his "first love": the stage, as he did when he chose to play Edgar in a San Diego production of King Lear.
Leonard and Christopher Reeve
played lovers in a 1993 reading of The Shadow Box, and the two reunited for Reeve
's critically-acclaimed directorial debut, In the Gloaming, with Leonard portraying the young AIDS patient who comes home to die. He has managed to work film roles in such efforts as Killer: A Journal of Murder and I Love You, I Love You Not into a schedule that accommodates his continued devotion to the theater.
Leonard can now be seen in the hit show House
in which he plays Doctor Wilson.