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'80s Hits, Two and a Half Men, and a New NBC Show — Everything to Know About Jon Cryer

The affable star has played iconic roles on television and in movies over the last several decades. Now, he's starring in the sitcom Extended Family.

By Elizabeth Logan & Jill Sederstrom

Whether you know him as lovestruck Duckie or hard-working chiropractor Alan Harper, Jon Cryer is a familiar face to audiences across the world. Now, Cryer is back on TV with the new NBC sitcom Extended Family, and we couldn't be happier to see him again. 

How to Watch

Watch Extended Family Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.

On Extended Family, Cryer plays Jim, who is happily co-parenting with his ex-wife Julia (Abigail Spencer), even living in the same home with her. Their domestic peace is threatened, however, when Julia starts dating none other than Trey (Donald Faison), the owner of Jim's favorite sports team.

Extended Family premieres Saturday, December 23rd at 8/7c on NBC, with new weekly episodes returning Tuesday, January 2nd at 8:30/7:30c on NBC. Get to know even more about the actor before the premiere by taking a walk down memory lane to revisit some of Cryer's most iconic roles and moments.

Who is Jon Cryer? All About His Early Life

Jon Cryer was born in New York City in 1965. He knew he wanted to be an actor from an early age after watching both of his parents, actors Gretchen and David Cryer, take the stage. 

Jon Cryer smiles on the red carpet for the premiere of Big Time Adolescence

"When you're a little kid and you're backstage seeing all these crazy, magical people floating in and out of your life, it can't help but cast a spell on you," Cryer told CBS Sunday Morning in 2015. "I wanted to be a part of that."

He made his own Broadway debut in 1983 after landing the role of David in Torch Song Trilogy, a role originally played by his early career doppelgänger Matthew Broderick, according to his bio on Turner Classic Movies

Cryer made his theatrical feature debut the next year when he took on another role once meant for Broderick, playing a teenage photographer in the comedy No Small Affair opposite Demi Moore. 

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How Jon Cryer Became Famous

After starting his career on Broadway, Cryer found fame in Hollywood when he was cast opposite Molly Ringwald in the 1988 John Hughes coming-of-age film Pretty In Pink. 

Cryer played Phillip “Duckie” Dale, a love-lorn high schooler intent on winning the heart of his best friend Andie (played by Ringwald).

“Duckie was the guy I wanted to be in high school," Cryer told CBS Sunday Morning of his iconic role. "I was a theater geek at a science geek school. So I did not fit in. I wore leg warmers. I'm not proud of it! I wish that I had been as extroverted and sure of myself as Duckie was. But that was not me."

Duckie may not have gotten the girl in the end (much to some fans’ chagrin), but it did cement Cryer’s place in ‘80s pop culture history.

He went on to play Lex Luther’s nephew in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, appeared with his future co-star Charlie Sheen in the popular film Hot Shots!, and appeared on other TV shows before moving onto an iconic television role.

In 2003, friends encouraged him to audition for the part of Alan Harper on Two and a Half Men, playing the straight-laced brother to Sheen’s perpetual bachelor.

Jon Cryer smiles during the Password Season 1 Holiday Special

“I thought this guy is so uptight and anxious and that’s not me,” Cryer recalled of first reading the script, according to The Associated Press. “Then I gave the script to my wife and she said, ‘This script is so you!’”

Cryer decided to audition and the rest is history.

He was the only actor to appear in every one of the hit show's 262 episodes, earning him two Emmy wins and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame along the way.

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Jon Cryer's family

Cryer is married to Los Angeles television reporter Lisa Joyner. The couple adopted their daughter, Daisy, in 2009, according to Entertainment Weekly.

He’s also the father of a son, Charlie, who he welcomed with his first wife, actress Sarah Trigger. 

Cryer posted an adorable video of him getting some love from his four-legged family members, dogs Norman and Barney, on Instagram last year. 

Jon Cryer on Extended Family

Next up, Cryer will join co-stars Abigail Spencer and Donald Faison in the new NBC multi-cam comedy Extended Family from creator Mike O'Malley

Here's everything we know about the comedy series:

As the show's official synopsis explains: "After an amicable divorce, Jim and Julia decide to continue to raise their kids at the family home while taking turns on who gets to stay with them. Navigating the waters of divorce and child-sharing gets more complicated for Jim when Trey, the owner of his favorite sports team, enters the picture and wins Julia’s heart." 

As for taking on another comedy role? It’s right where Cryer feels at home. 

“I’ve always felt I was kind of a ridiculous human being,” he told Vulture in 2015 of why he’s attracted to comedic roles. “So when I get super dramatic, the urge to giggle nearly overtakes me. It’s the reason I think I haven’t been cast in science fiction, because the second you see me, you say, ‘Okay, I don’t buy this.’’ 

Extended Family premieres Saturday, December 23rd at 8/7c on NBC, with new weekly episodes returning Tuesday, January 2nd at 8:30/7:30c on NBC. All episodes will be available to stream next day on Peacock.