Jonathan Adams was born and raised in Pittsburgh as the youngest of five children. The son of a health care worker and a General Electric foreman, Adams discovered at 16 that “acting was the only thing that gave me joy.” After performing in high school productions, he enrolled in his hometown’s Carnegie Mellon University to study theater. When he ran out of cash for his education after 18 months, Adams sought work in Pittsburgh’s live theater scene and eventually was cast in playwright Arthur Miller’s Danger: Memory! After appearing in additional stage work, he costarred in the locally filmed and low-budget feature Two Evil Eyes.
In 1989, Adams moved to Seattle and starred in several classical theater productions—as well as many vehicles penned by August Wilson—as staged across the country. He married his wife, actress Monica Farrell, in 1994 and the couple set up household in Ashland, Oregon three years later, while Adams appeared in various plays for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. His varied credits over four seasons there include The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Cymbeline.
Adams’ big career break came in 2000 during his performance as Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, when the casting director of Frasier saw his work and urged him to come to Los Angeles to test for other roles. His television credits include guest-starring roles on Frasier, City of Angels, Walker, Texas Ranger, Felicity and a series regular role on The American Embassy as the U.S. consul general in London.