|Born||in Beirut, Lebanon|
|Birth Name||Jihad Elias Harik|
Mini Bio (1)
Jay Harik was born in Beirut, Lebanon [as Jihad Harik] on May 17, 1960. In 1975 at age sixteen, Jay, with the firm support of his family, had to unexpectedly flee his homeland because of the rapidly developing Civil War. Thinking that he was only leaving for a few weeks to wait out the rising violence, the reality that there would be no quick resolution soon set in. Exploring options, Jay found an opportunity to move to America as a foreign exchange student.
Leaving his life, family, and friends in Lebanon, Jay bravely traveled to America looking for a new way of life. As a non-English speaking high school kid, he found it tough to assimilate into the lively, and sometimes cruel, American culture. Literally hating day-to-day living, Jay slowly began setting his roots in his new home.
After finishing his last two years of high school, he was accepted to Kalamazoo College, a small liberal arts school. Here, he concentrated his studies on Sculpture and Physics. Realizing that he needed to be challenged further, he transferred to the University of Wisconsin where he earned his Bachelor of Science, and his Master of Science degrees, both in Architecture.
In 1985, he moved to Chicago to start working for the world's largest architectural firm, SOM. To his surprise, he soon found out that his new career didn't turn out to be as fulfilling as he had dreamed. Jay always found relief from his workdays at improv clubs. Finding out that he had comedic talent, he got involved in the city's improv scene. His friends, also seeing his gift, encouraged him to audition for the Second City Training Center. After a grueling process he was accepted, and since that moment of triumph, Jay Harik was hooked on showbiz.
Following Second City, he went on to train at The Steven Ivich Studio, The Center Theater, The Actor Center, Improv Olympia and The Annoyance Theater. Jay laid the foundation for stardom! His theater credits [following his training] include: "Away," "The Conduct of Life," "A Man with Connections," "Joined at the Head," "Lapin Lapin," "Moon Under Miami," "Machiavelli Slept Here," "Still Life with Watermelon," "Penguin Blues," "The Adventures of Rex Danger," "The Caretaker," "New Wave," "Enter Laughin," "Catching Hell," "Making Lunch," "Slasky & Woolf," and many others.
From all his success in the Chicago theater arena, he boldly decided to give up his prosperous architectural practice and fully concentrate on becoming the best actor he can be. As one thing often leads to the next, he found himself hooking up with veteran personal manager, Betty McCormick Aggas. She was encouraging and supportive to Jay and asked him, "What are you doing in Chicago?" So, on the Fourth of July, 1997, Jay packed his car and headed to Hollywood - freedom!
His latest television work includes: "ER," "Malcolm in the Middle," "Two and a Half Men," "24," "Alias," "Dragnet," "Line of Fire," "Providence," "JAG," "Off Centre," "Leap of Faith," "The Agency," "Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue," "Frasier," and "Nash Bridges."
His latest film work includes: "Little Athens," "What's New, Jersey," "Death and Taxis," "Mixing Karma," "Live From Baghdad," "The Sum of All Fears," "A Light in the Darkness," "The Real Deal," "Legion of the Dead," and "Ghost Recon."
Jay has been proud to be a part of the 2005 theatrical production of "Stuff Happens," by David Hare. His character ensemble includes 10 different characters - featuring French, British, and American personas. He has the final speech in this production and closes the show with the final monologue.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anthony Murillo, Publicist - amPR