Oak Park native Johnny Galecki appeared on the cover of the Sept. 21-27 issue of the Chicago Sun-Times magazine Splash face-up on white linen, sporting a leather jacket, disheveled hair and a bright smile.

He and his “The Big Bang Theory” cast mates have been the recipients of some recent attention due to their newly publicized contract deal with Warner Bros. Television.

Galecki along with Jim Parsons (Sheldon) and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting (Penny) will make $1 million per episode for the next three seasons.

Besides Galecki’s pay raise, here are three more things you may not know about this local native:

  1. Galecki’s first big moment on stage was at age 7 when he visited the Village Players Theatre (now Madison Street Theatre), 1010 W. Madison Street, with his parents to watch auditions. In the spontaneous fashion of a small child, Galecki jumped on stage and sang “The Star Spangled Banner.”

  2. The director noticed Galecki and he landed a part in the chorus for the company’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

  3. Galecki was set to play the role of Sheldon on “Big Bang,” but asked to be considered for the role of Leonard because he was drawn to the character and the love story with Penny. [Bonus: Galecki and Cuoco-Sweeting briefly dated in real life.]

Catch “Big Bang” on CBS Monday nights at 7 p.m.

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