When Harry Connick Jr. stepped into the limelight in the late '80s with his musical stylings on the When Harry Met Sally soundtrack, women everywhere — including us — melted over his tousled hair, sexy lips and golden voice. Now, our heartthrob is back in the spotlight, playing a hot dad in the box-office hit Dolphin Tale. Harry, you make our hearts sing!
We're suckers for a guy who can sing us to sleep, so Harry might just be our dream come true. Factor in his penchant for helping others and fervent dedication to his family, and he's downright irresistible — a good guy with a heart of gold.
He's ridiculously talented
As early as 3 years old, Harry was playing the piano, and he was playing with a New Orleans jazz band by age 10. He honed his talents further at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, studying with legends including Ellis Marsalis, and eventually moved to New York City. At the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, he was discovered by Columbia Records's George Butler and recorded his first album, an instrumental record called Harry Connick Jr., in 1987, at 20 years old. Child prodigy, anyone?
But what really turned heads is his take on old standards for the When Harry Met Sally soundtrack — he crooned such favorites as It Had to Be You and Let's Call the Whole Thing Off. Now, 22 (!) albums and multiple films and TV performances later, Harry is a household name.
He's passionate about helping others
After Hurricane Katrina hit his native New Orleans, Connick immediately boarded a plane to the city to help. Along with musician Branford Marsalis, he co-founded a charity called the New Orleans Habitat Musicans' Village, which helps to build homes for displaced New Orleans musicians.
Connick described the experience like this: "I called my dad [Joseph Harry Fowler Connick, Sr., former district attorney of Orleans Parish] and asked him, 'What do I do?' I said, 'Can we form some kind of committee to help rebuild New Orleans?' He said, 'Well, it doesn't work like that, you can't just rebuild a city.' Then my manager suggested that we help the musicians, and so that's how the idea of the Musicians' Village was born."
Along with that charity, he's participated in multiple fund-raising efforts for the area. Now that's the kind of guy we want to tickle our ivories!
He's been in movies we love
Music, films, TV, musicals... what can't Harry do? We loved him as Grace Adler's husband Leo Markus on Will & Grace in the mid-2000s, and he charmed us in unforgettable big-screen flicks like Independence Day, Hope Floats and P.S. I Love You.
Also on his super-extensive resume: He's performed on Broadway in productions including The Pajama Game. Want to catch the sexy jazz singer in person? He'll star in Broadway's On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, opening in November of this year.
Harry Connick Jr.'s relationship status:
This is one Hollywood fairy tale with a genuinely happy ending: He asked out Victoria's Secret model Jill Goodacre after seeing her in a hotel lobby, and the couple married in 1994. "[S]he is such an amazing beauty that the physical attraction was so strong. I never saw anybody that beautiful in person before," he told YourTango. They now have three daughters: Georgia, Sarah and Charlotte.
We love it when nice (and cute) guys finish first!
Watch: Harry singing with his daughter
Harry Connick Jr. & his daughter perform a duet of Winter Wonderland.