A lot of actors have that one show that no matter what else they are in, their fans only know them and recognize them from that.
For actor Sean Maher, it’s his time as Doctor Simon Tam in the sci-fi series, Firefly, that fans will never let go of. Since the show went off the air in 2003, the love for the characters has only grown.
But what has our favorite doc been up to since then? Let’s see what Sean has been busy doing since his Firefly days.
In Pleasantville, New York, on April 16th, 1975, to parents Margaret and Joseph, the man we know and love as Sean Maher was born.
Sean went to Byram Hills High School, the only secondary public school in the school district where he lived, but where other acting greats like Peter Gallagher and Bryce Dallas Howard also attended.
After high school, Maher graduated with a degree in Drama from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. During his college years, he worked on those stage skills, performing in productions of Into the Woods and Yerma.
Two years was all it took to go from finishing college in 1997 to Sean’s first on-screen starring role in 1999. Not a bad gig if you can get it.
At the young age of 24, Maher grabbed the leading role in the TV show Ryan Caulfield: Year One, as Ryan Caulfield himself, and made the move from New York to sunny Los Angeles to shoot the series.
Getting that first acting credit, even though the series was short-lived, led Sean to land the part of Adam Matthews on the popular teen drama Party of Five for seven episodes in 2000.
That made way for Maher to get a main role as Chris McConnell in the had-so-much-potential drama The $treet from creators Jeff Rake, screenwriter for Boston Legal and Manifest, and creator Darren Star (Sex and the City, Melrose Place, Uncoupled).
Unfortunately for Maher, this series was also cut short after 12 episodes.
You could say those roles were just practice for the one that Maher is most recognized for. From 2002 until its still-stings-cancellation in 2003, Sean was on the sci-fi show Firefly. Maher played Simon Tam, a fugitive trauma surgeon and fierce big brother to character River, for all 14 episodes of the one-season series. He starred in the show alongside Nathan Fillion, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, Gina Torres, and Christina Hendricks.
A fun fact for your trivia night needs is that in the episode “Safe,” the young version of Simon was played by none other than an up-and-coming Zac Efron.
The crew got back together for the 2005 movie Serenity, the much-awaited continuation to the Firefly series, and Sean stepped back into his doctor’s shoes for one more journey as Tam.
What did he do after Firefly?
After Firefly, Sean made a bunch of one-episode appearances on shows like CSI: Miami, Drop Dead Diva, and The Mentalist. In 2011 he joined the cast of The Playboy Club for seven episodes.
He was hand-picked by Joss Whedon to play the baddie Don John in Whedon’s Shakespeare rom-com movie Much Ado About Nothing in 2012.
Whedon offered the specific role to him after learning that after almost 15 years in the business Maher still hadn’t played a bad guy. This was also a chance for him to reunite with his Firefly costar Nathan Fillion.
In 2014 Maher jumped into the superhero world as Mark Scheffer/Shrapnel in the TV series Arrow for a few episodes.
The next year Sean joined in a mini-Firefly reunion when he appeared in three episodes of Con Man, which brought him together again with Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion.
The 2016 movie Beyond the Edge (also known as IRSA 88) brought Sean back to the sci-fi universe as Dr. Abe Anderson. Seems Maher likes playing a doctor in this genre.
Voice acting roles
Starting in 2014, Sean snagged a super sweet role as the voice of Dick Grayson/Nightwing in the DC Universe Animated Movie Original Movies world, starting with the movie Son of Batman.
Sean would go on to voice the character six more times across various Batman and Teen Titans animated movies for the franchise.
What is Sean Maher doing now?
Is Sean still acting these days? Of course, he is! In 2019 he made a guest appearance in one episode of The Rookie, the show Nathan Fillion’s currently on, because you can’t keep those two apart.
And to make sure he stays relevant with the podcast audience, in 2021 he joined Rebel Robin: Surviving Hawkins. If it sounds like it might be along the same lines as Stranger Things, it is. It’s the companion podcast to the show.
If you love the idea of your favorite Firefly sending you a personal video, then you need to look up Sean Maher on Cameo.
Well, he’s currently taking a short break from making your day, so give him a follow to know when he’ll be back to handing out smiles one video at a time.
Is he still friends with his Firefly castmates?
There are many Firefly castmates still in touch with each other these days. He seems to get along extremely well with Nathan Fillion, as they have worked together quite a few times since the old Firefly days.
Sean also happens to be good friends with costar Jewel Staite. The two post cute notes back and forth on Twitter and Instagram to let fans know that even if we never get a Firefly reunion on screen, we can at least watch these two be adorable on social media.
But don’t worry, now that they feel their family is complete and the kiddos are a bit older, we’ll see Maher on screen for as long as he wants to shine. And hopefully he’ll never say no to another chance to play Doctor Tam.
While Sean has been in the public eye since 1999, it wasn’t until an on-screen role sparked him to come out about his sexuality.
When publicists for his first project took him up out to celebrate, they wanted him to make sure he kept any girlfriend under wraps to keep the female fans happy.
That made him think he had to keep his whole life under the radar. And so he did, until a role in 2011 playing a closeted gay man made him see the bigger picture.
He used his time on The Playboy Club to come out publicly and has never felt happier. We love it when art imitates life in a positive way.
Maher found his match in his partner Paul, whom he married in 2016 after a decade of dating.
Sean is also an adorable dad. He and his husband adopted two children, a daughter named Sophia Rose, born in 2007, and a son named Liam Xavier who was born in 2010.
As if he couldn’t be any more of a good guy, he took a step away from acting for over two years to be the best stay-at-home dad he could be when their daughter was born in 2007.