SEAN MAHER was born in Westchester, NY. After performing in a play at summer camp one year, he returned to school with a newfound interest in acting. Maher graduated from New York University with a BFA in Drama where he studied at the Tisch School of the Arts. He also studied theater with The Collaborative Arts Project Twenty-One, Shakespeare Scenework, the Experimental Theater Wing, the Playwright's Horizons Theater School and the Tisch School of the Arts in London. Maher's theater credits include such regional productions as "Doors," "Yerma," "Berlin, Berlin," "Over the Tavern, Part II," "Book of the Night," "Severity's Mistress" and "Into the Woods."
Not long after earning his BA, Maher got what should have been his first big break, the lead role in a Fox drama about a rookie cop. A troubled pre-production period (during which the show's title was changed from "The Badland" to "Ryan Caulfield: Year One") and a rather unbelievable premise (Caulfield is an 18-year-old rookie!) torpedoed the series and its dismal ratings coupled with critical brickbats led to an early cancellation after only two episodes. In spite of the reviewer's carpings about the storyline, though, Maher received generally favorable reviews for his work. He bounced back landing a recurring role as the final love interest for Neve Campbell's Julia Salenger on Fox's "Party of Five" in 2000.
Maher quickly rebounded from the failure of his first series effort and seemed poised to become one of the heartthrobs of the 2000-2001 TV season with a co-starring role in the Fox ensemble drama "The $treet". He was cast as a former Navy SEAL from a working-class background now making a living and enjoying the fast-line lifestyle of a Wall Street trader.
After the show's quick demise, he was cast in the ABC/Disney remake of "Brian's Song" (2001), playing cancer-stricken football player Brian Piccolo. Hoping for a more stable primetime presence, Mahar next signed on as a member of the crew of the futuristic spaceship Serenity on the sci-fi pilot "Firefly," from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon.
During the FOX 2002 summer press tour, Maher told assembled journalists about how he got the role of Dr. Simon Tam. "I had a meeting, then got the role a couple of weeks later. There was no script available. There were only scenes. There were only sides. I had to go on the sides. They were fantastic. Then meeting Joss ... he's one of the most amazing people I've ever met in my life. He's a genius."
"[Simon] is on the run. He's a fugitive, but he dresses well. He's not very trusting of anybody. All of his relationships are going to be hesitant. There's a whole storyline with his sister. We find out more of what's going on with her. I think initially he's going to want to leave the ship. She makes connections and all that. She makes relationships, so she's staying."
"Firefly" marks the first time Maher has appeared in a science-fiction project. "Initially, I was turned off by the idea of that, because I wouldn't want to do science fiction. But it's not really science fiction. It's Joss' version. It almost feels like a post-apocalyptic Western. [The sets are] phenomenal," Maher says. "They built one-half of the ship on one soundstage and another half of the ship on another soundstage. I was like a kid in a candy shop."
According to his bio, Maher is single and resides in both New York and Los Angeles.