Actor-singer Sam Harris is a family man 

Shifting from divas to diapers might seem like a dubious choice, but it is one actor-singer Sam Harris has made with gusto. He’s still best pals with Liza and other glamorous folks and he’s still singing as well as ever, opening Wednesday for five shows in The City.

The center of his universe, however, is his son Cooper, adopted three years ago with Danny Jacobsen, his partner of 16 years. For Harris, being a father is a constant and energetic world of wonder. “I laugh when people who don’t have kids tell me they are tired,” he says. “I wish I could be just that tired!”

It is also a world in which he never really expected to live. “I’ve always wanted kids, but when I grew up that was not even a remote possibility. It wasn’t legal. It wasn’t accepted. The only gay people who had children were those who became parents while living in a heterosexual relationship.”

According to Harris, parenting was a subject that he and Jacobsen often discussed “but we were on our own courses, busy with travel and careers and a lot of me-me-me. I finally came to the point where the desire to have an experience so far beyond my own was greater than my need to take care of myself. It called to me and the only answer was yes.”

They worked with a private adoption firm — “Kinda like ‘Juno’” he says, referencing the Oscar-winning 2007 film — and mostly downplayed his public career.

“We really just wanted to present the picture of our stable, normal life and our, at the time, 13-year relationship,” Harris says. “I’ve auditioned all my life, and this was like the biggest audition ever.”

Rather than limiting his career, Harris feels enhanced by fatherhood. “It’s made me a better writer and actor. It’s changed the way I approach my work and it’s changed my perspective about what I think is important.”

Harris says he works as hard as ever but “the work doesn’t define me. It’s what I do, not who I am.” What he’s done recently is write and record “My Reclamation,” a powerful anthem for marriage equality.

“I’m so proud of that song, particularly the lyric. It’s so exciting to be living in a time where this is happening … even the bad parts,” he says of Proposition 8 and its current court challenge. “It was such a wake-up call. I thought I lived here in the most progressive state in the Union. Turns out it was Iowa! Who knew?” he jokes.


Sam Harris

Where: Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St., San Francisco

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: $30 to $45

Contact: (866) 468-3399;

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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