Jesse Tyler Ferguson began acting at a young age, joining the Albuquerque Children's Theater when he was eight years old. He stayed with the group for six years. He was also active in theater as a high school student, as well as in the debate team. He later graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York.
Ferguson mostly focused on acting for the stage, becoming a familiar face in Broadway and off-Broadway productions. His most notably role was as Leaf Coneybear in the acclaimed Broadway play The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, for which he won a Drama Desk Award.
While Ferguson began acting for film and television as early as 2000, he didn't score a regular TV gig until 2006, when he appeared on the short-lived CBS sitcom The Class. In 2008, he was part of the Fox comedy Do Not Disturb, which was cancelled after three episodes. The following year, he joined the cast of ABC's Modern Family, playing uptight lawyer Mitchell Pritchett: it earned him an Emmy nomination the following year.
- He is openly gay, like his character in Modern Family.
- Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Ensemble Performance, 2005 (for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee)
- Ordinary Sinner (2001)
- Mercury in Retrograde (2002)
- Griffin & Phoenix (2006)
- Untraceable (2008)
- Wonderful World (2009)
- The Class (regular, 2006-2007)
- Do Not Disturb (regular, 2008)
- Modern Family (regular, 2009-present)