Jonathan Groff

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Jonathan Groff
Jonathan Groff at Outfest 2012.jpg
Groff at Outfest in June 2013
BornJonathan Drew Groff
(1985-03-26) March 26, 1985 (age 29)
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S.
OccupationActor, singer
Years active2005–present
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Jonathan Groff
Jonathan Groff at Outfest 2012.jpg
Groff at Outfest in June 2013
BornJonathan Drew Groff
(1985-03-26) March 26, 1985 (age 29)
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S.
OccupationActor, singer
Years active2005–present

Jonathan Drew Groff (born March 26, 1985) is an American actor and singer. At the age of 22, Groff received a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Melchior Gabor in the Broadway rock musical Spring Awakening. He also portrayed the role of Claude in the critically acclaimed revival of Hair. Regularly seen on the off-Broadway stage, Groff has won an Obie Award for starring in two of Craig Lucas's plays, Prayer for My Enemy and The Singing Forrest. He made his West End debut in the revival of the play Deathtrap opposite Simon Russell Beale. He also starred in the two-man play Red alongside Alfred Molina.

In 2013, Groff starred in the first-ever screen adaptation of author David Sedaris's work, C.O.G., in which he portrayed a character based on Sedaris himself, and as the voice of Kristoff in Frozen. On television, Groff portrayed the recurring role of Jesse St. James in the Fox series Glee, and as of 2014, he stars as Patrick Murray in the HBO series Looking.

Early life[edit]

Groff was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to a Methodist mother – Julie, a physical education teacher – and a Mennonite father – Jim, a harness horse trainer and driver. He has one older brother, David, and is a first cousin of singer James Wolpert,[1] a semifinalist on the fifth season of The Voice.

Of his upbringing, he has said: "My mother’s side of the family is Methodist, which is how I was raised. It was conservative in that I had strong values—sitting down and eating with the family every day, listening to authority and going to church every week and having perfect attendance at Sunday school. But at the same time, my parents always encouraged my brother and me to be happy with what we were doing. My parents were athletes in high school; my mom and my dad were the stars of the basketball team, but they never pushed my brother and me to be anything we didn’t want to be."[2]

He graduated from Conestoga Valley High School in 2003 and intended to attend Carnegie Mellon University, but deferred his admission for a year when he was cast as Rolf in a non-Equity national tour of The Sound of Music. After the tour, Groff realized he would "never be able to pay off these college loans" and decided to move to New York instead.[3]

While still living in Lancaster, Groff performed at the Fulton Opera House (in The Sound of Music, Ragtime, Evita, My Fair Lady, Peter Pan, The Pirates of Penzance, and Rags) and the Ephrata Performing Arts Center (as Edgar in Bat Boy and Ugly in Honk!).[4][5]


Groff earned his Actors' Equity Association card in 2005, doing the musical Fame at the North Shore Music Theatre. In the same year, he did his Broadway debut as an understudy and swing for the musical In My Life by Joseph Brooks. The musical was about a boy with Tourette's Syndrome, and Groff understudied the lead part. He never performed in the role.[6] Groff originated the role of Melchior Gabor in the Broadway production of Spring Awakening. He played the role from the musical's Broadway debut on December 10, 2006[7] through May 18, 2008. He also played the same role in the original Off Broadway production earlier during the summer of 2006.[8] In April 2007, he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his role in Spring Awakening. In May 2007, he was nominated for the Tony Award as Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance, with the award eventually going to David Hyde Pierce.[9]

He played the recurring role of Henry Mackler on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. His storyline about a school shooting on the long-running soap opera was nixed due to the Virginia Tech shooting in April 2007, and he is no longer on the show.[10] Groff played as Claude in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Hair, which ran July 22 through August 31, 2008. He also appeared as Michael Lang in Ang Lee's major motion picture, Taking Woodstock. Groff has appeared in the Off-Broadway production of Prayer for My Enemy by Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss, Light in the Piazza) about the consequences the Iraq war has had on an American family.[11] In August 2009, Groff performed The Bacchae as Dionysus as a part of the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park.

He was guest starring on Glee as Jesse St. James, the male lead of rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline for eight of the back nine episodes. He also serves as a love interest for his former Spring Awakening co-star Lea Michele's character, Rachel Berry.[12] Newsweek critic Ramin Satoodeh stated that Groff was unconvincing in the role of the straight Jesse ("he seems more like your average theater queen, a better romantic match for Kurt than Rachel").[13] Groff's performance was defended by Glee creator Ryan Murphy and guest star Kristin Chenoweth, both of whom described Satoodeh's essay as homophobic; it was also condemned by GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios.[14][15]

In August 2010, he made his West End debut in Deathtrap,[16] at the Noël Coward Theatre in a production directed by Matthew Warchus. Groff returned to Glee at the end of the second season, where his character tried to ask Rachel for forgiveness. He returned to the show on May 10 to finish out the remainder of the second season.[17] Despite leaving the show for the first part of its third season, Groff returned to Glee in Saturday Night Glee-ver as the coach of his former Glee club, Vocal Adrenaline. From August to October 2012, Groff appeared as Ian Todd in the second and final season of the Starz TV series Boss.

Groff played Ken in the Center Theatre Group's production of the Tony Award winning play Red, alongside Alfred Molina reprising his role as painter Mark Rothko. The show ran from August 1 to September 9, 2012.[18] In March 2013, Groff and Molina reprised their roles for six more performances of the play, this time in the L.A. Theatre Works. These performances, like all that take place on LATW, were recorded to be broadcast on radio.[19]

Groff voiced one of the lead roles in Disney's animated feature Frozen. His character, Kristoff, is a rugged mountain man and ice trader. The film premiered on November 19, 2013, and went into wide theatrical release on November 27.[20][21] Groff also stars as Patrick, a gay video-game developer, in HBO's comedy Looking, which, following an eight-episode initial order in 2013, was renewed for a second season.[22][23][24] In April 2013, Groff joined another HBO production, playing Craig in the film adaptation of the Larry Kramer play The Normal Heart.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Groff has overcome skin cancer.[26]

Groff came out as gay in October 2009 during the National Equality March in Washington.[27] Since 2010, Groff was rumored to be dating actor Zachary Quinto. In September 2012, Quinto confirmed that he and Groff were in a relationship.[28] In July 2013, it was reported that the two had broken up.[29]


2009Taking WoodstockMichael Lang
2010Twelve ThirtyJeff
2010Conspirator, TheThe ConspiratorLouis Weichmann
2013FrozenKristoff BjorgmanVoice
2014Russian Broadway Shut DownNikolai the athleteShort film
2014SophieBenShort film
2014Normal Heart, TheThe Normal HeartCraig DonnerTelevision film
2014Sniper, AmericanAmerican SniperYoung Vet Mads
2015Frozen FeverKristoff Bjorgman (voice)Short film
2004Pilot SeasonSole partnerEpisode: "Hope Springs Eternal"
2007One Life to LiveHenry MacklerRole held: April 11 – May 7, 2007
2010–15GleeJesse St. James14 episodes
2012Good Wife, TheThe Good WifeJimmy FellnerEpisode: "Live from Damascus"
2012BossIan ToddMain cast; 10 episodes
2014–presentLookingPatrick MurrayMain cast
2014O.T.P.Dennis2 episodes


2005FameNick PiazzaNorth Shore Music Theatre
May 31 – June 19, 2005
2005In My LifeUnderstudy / SwingMusic Box Theatre
October 20 – December 11, 2005
2006Spring AwakeningMelchior GaborAtlantic Theatre Company
May 19 – August 5, 2006
2006–08Spring AwakeningMelchior GaborEugene O'Neill Theatre
December 10, 2006 – May 18, 2008
2007Hair (40th anniversary concert)Claude Hooper BukowskiDelacorte Theatre
September 22–24, 2007
2008HairClaude Hooper BukowskiDelacorte Theatre
July 22 – August 16, 2008
2008Prayer for My EnemyBilly NoonePlaywrights Horizons
November 14 – December 21, 2008
2009Singing Forest, TheThe Singing ForestGray Korankyi / Walter RiemanThe Public Theater
April 27 – May 17, 2009
2009Bacchae, TheThe BacchaeDionysusDelacorte Theatre
August 11–30, 2009
2010–11DeathtrapClifford AndersonNoël Coward Theatre
August 21, 2010 – January 15, 2011
2011Submission, TheThe SubmissionDanny LarsenLucille Lortel Theatre
September 8 – October 22, 2011
2012RedKenMark Taper Forum
August 1 – September 9, 2012
2013RedKenL.A. Theatre Works
March 14–17, 2013
2013Pirates of Penzance, TheThe Pirates of Penzance (concert)FredericDelacorte Theatre
June 10, 2013
2015A New BrainGordon Michael SchwinnNew York City Center
June 24–27, 2015
2015Whipping Man, TheThe Whipping ManCaleb DeLeonL.A. Theatre Works
July 16–19, 2015


Cast recordings[edit]

Other recordings[edit]


Featured singles[edit]

TitleYearPeak chart positionsAlbum
"Highway to Hell" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)20108889Glee: The Music, The Complete Season One
"Run Joey Run" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)6164451227
"Another One Bites the Dust" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)795341101
"Bohemian Rhapsody" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)
"Hello" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)3579373135Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers
"Total Eclipse of the Heart" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)16281739
"Like a Virgin" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)8799834758Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna
"Like a Prayer" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)272827216
"Rolling in the Deep" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)[39]201129[40]Glee: The Music, Volume 6
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Other appearances[edit]

In March 2014, Groff performed at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit concert Broadway Backwards. [44]

Awards and nominations[edit]

2007Tony AwardBest Performance by a Leading Actor in a MusicalSpring AwakeningNominated
Drama Desk AwardOutstanding Actor in a MusicalNominated
Drama League AwardDistinguished PerformanceNominated
Theatre World AwardOutstanding Debut PerformanceWon Audience Choice AwardFavorite Leading Actor in a Broadway MusicalWon
Favorite Male Breakthrough PerformanceWon
Favorite Onstage Pair (shared with Lea Michele)Won
Favorite Ensemble CastWon Theatre Fans' Choice AwardBest Leading Actor in a MusicalNominated
2009Obie AwardOutstanding PerformancePrayer for My Enemy
The Singing Forest
Won Theatregoers' Choice AwardLondon Newcomer of the YearDeathtrapWon Los Angeles AwardBest Leading Actor in a Play (Touring Production)RedNominated
2014Gold Derby TV AwardBest Comedy ActorLookingNominated
EWwy AwardBest Actor in a Comedy SeriesNominated
NewNowNext AwardBest New Television ActorWon


  1. ^
  2. ^ Hoof Beats Magazine, July 2007: "Profile Jim and Jonathan Groff
  3. ^ "Actor Jonathan Groff Goes From "Glee" to "Boss"". Details. August 15, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  4. ^ J. Ritzel, Rebecca (December 19, 2006). "Broadway 'Awakening'". Lancaster Online. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  5. ^ "Sunday at The Zipper with The Fulton". Facebook. January 25, 2009. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  6. ^ Jonathan Groff performs at a benefit concert for the Ephrata Performing Arts Center
  7. ^ Jonathan Groff at the Internet Broadway Database
  8. ^ Lortel Archives—The Internet Off-Broadway Database
  9. ^ The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards – Official Website
  10. ^ One Life To Live' Pulls Hostage Plot After Virginia Tech Killings
  11. ^ "Playwrights Horizons". Playwrights Horizons. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  12. ^ Ross, Dalton (October 19, 2009). "'Glee' Exclusive: 'Spring Awakening' star Jonathan Groff to join the show | Inside TV |". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  13. ^ Satoodeh, Ramin (April 26, 2010). "Straight Jacket". Newsweek. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  14. ^ EW staff (May 11, 2010). "'Glee' creator Ryan Murphy pushes for 'Newsweek' boycott". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  15. ^ Villoreal, Yvonne (May 12, 2010). "Newsweek-gate: GLAAD weighs in". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  16. ^ Baz Bamigboye (April 16, 2010). "Glee heart-throb Jonathan Groff is to be star in the West End". The Daily Mail. 
  17. ^ Ward, Kate. "He's back: Jonathan Groff returning to 'Glee'!", March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  18. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Red, With Alfred Molina and Jonathan Groff, Opens in L.A.", August 12, 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
  19. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Alfred Molina and Jonathan Groff Will Appear in Red for L.A. Theatre Works; Production Will Be Recorded", February 20, 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
  20. ^ Goldberg, Lesley. "'Frozen': Jonathan Groff from 'Glee' voicing hero in Disney's 'Snow Queen' adaptation", December 19, 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
  21. ^ Liu, Meng (November 19, 2013). "Disney's 'Frozen' Premiere Turns L.A. Into a Winter Wonderland". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  22. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (February 26, 2014). "'Looking' Renewed for Second Season by HBO". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  23. ^ Schou, Solvej. "'Glee's' Jonathan Groff to Star in HBO Comedy Pilot (Exclusive)" The Hollywood Reporter, February 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  24. ^ Goldberg, Lesley. "HBO Greenlights Gay-Themed Dramedy Series" The Hollywood Reporter, May 14, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  25. ^ Hibberd, James. "Jonathan Groff to play Taylor Kitsch's lover in Ryan Murphy film" Entertainment Weekly, April 26, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
  26. ^ Champion, Lindsay (May 19, 2014). "Zits, Fettuccine & Jonathan Groff: Six Things We Learned From Lea Michele’s Book Brunette Ambition", Retrieved 2013-05-19.
  27. ^ Jensen, Michael (October 19, 2009). "Tony Award Nominee Jonathan Groff has Most Low-key Coming Out Ever.". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  28. ^ Strecker, Erin (September 12, 2012). "Zachary Quinto on dating Jonathan Groff: 'I'm incredibly happy'". CNN. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Jonathan Groff and Zachary Quinto end yearlong romance". United Press International. Archived from the original on December 9, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  30. ^ "iTunes - Music - Glee: The Music, The Complete Season One by Glee Cast". Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  31. ^ "iTunes - Music - Dreaming Wide Awake: The Music of Scott Alan by Scott Alan". Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  32. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Audio Version of Rudetsky's "Broadway Nights," with Bell, Chenoweth, Groff, Now Available", July 8, 2008. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  33. ^ Peak positions for featured singles in the United States:
  34. ^ Peak positions for featured singles in Australia:
  35. ^ Peak positions for featured singles in Canada"
  36. ^ "Discography Glee Cast". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  37. ^ "Chart Stats – Glee Cast". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  38. ^ "Official Singles Chart for the week ending June 19, 2010". ChartsPlus (Liverpool: UKChartsPlus) (460): 1–4. June 16, 2010. 
  39. ^ "Rolling In The Deep (Glee Cast Version featuring Jonathan Groff)". Retrieved 2011-05-03. 
  40. ^ "Rolling in the Deep (Glee Cast Version featuring Jonathan Groff)". Retrieved 2011-05-19. 
  41. ^ "Jonathan Groff Says Hello To WEBstaurant Store Fans". YouTube. February 8, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  42. ^ [1][dead link]
  43. ^ "Rub VODKA on it". Cocktail Deeva. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  44. ^

External links[edit]