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Groff at Outfest in June 2013
|Born||Jonathan Drew Groff|
March 26, 1985
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Groff at Outfest in June 2013
|Born||Jonathan Drew Groff|
March 26, 1985
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S.
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.
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, 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."
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.
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!).
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. 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 through May 18, 2008. He also played the same role in the original Off Broadway production earlier during the summer of 2006. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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"). 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.
In August 2010, he made his West End debut in Deathtrap, 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. In April 2013, Groff joined another HBO production, playing Craig in the film adaptation of the Larry Kramer play The Normal Heart.
Groff came out as gay in October 2009 during the National Equality March in Washington. Since 2010, Groff was rumored to be dating actor Zachary Quinto. In September 2012, Quinto confirmed that he and Groff were in a relationship. In July 2013, it was reported that the two had broken up.
|2009||Taking Woodstock||Michael Lang|
|2010||Conspirator, TheThe Conspirator||Louis Weichmann|
|2014||Russian Broadway Shut Down||Nikolai the athlete||Short film|
|2014||Normal Heart, TheThe Normal Heart||Craig Donner||Television film|
|2014||Sniper, AmericanAmerican Sniper||Young Vet Mads|
|2015||Frozen Fever||Kristoff Bjorgman (voice)||Short film|
|2004||Pilot Season||Sole partner||Episode: "Hope Springs Eternal"|
|2007||One Life to Live||Henry Mackler||Role held: April 11 – May 7, 2007|
|2010–15||Glee||Jesse St. James||14 episodes|
|2012||Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife||Jimmy Fellner||Episode: "Live from Damascus"|
|2012||Boss||Ian Todd||Main cast; 10 episodes|
|2014–present||Looking||Patrick Murray||Main cast|
|2005||Fame||Nick Piazza||North Shore Music Theatre|
May 31 – June 19, 2005
|2005||In My Life||Understudy / Swing||Music Box Theatre|
October 20 – December 11, 2005
|2006||Spring Awakening||Melchior Gabor||Atlantic Theatre Company|
May 19 – August 5, 2006
|2006–08||Spring Awakening||Melchior Gabor||Eugene O'Neill Theatre|
December 10, 2006 – May 18, 2008
|2007||Hair (40th anniversary concert)||Claude Hooper Bukowski||Delacorte Theatre|
September 22–24, 2007
|2008||Hair||Claude Hooper Bukowski||Delacorte Theatre|
July 22 – August 16, 2008
|2008||Prayer for My Enemy||Billy Noone||Playwrights Horizons|
November 14 – December 21, 2008
|2009||Singing Forest, TheThe Singing Forest||Gray Korankyi / Walter Rieman||The Public Theater|
April 27 – May 17, 2009
|2009||Bacchae, TheThe Bacchae||Dionysus||Delacorte Theatre|
August 11–30, 2009
|2010–11||Deathtrap||Clifford Anderson||Noël Coward Theatre|
August 21, 2010 – January 15, 2011
|2011||Submission, TheThe Submission||Danny Larsen||Lucille Lortel Theatre|
September 8 – October 22, 2011
|2012||Red||Ken||Mark Taper Forum|
August 1 – September 9, 2012
|2013||Red||Ken||L.A. Theatre Works|
March 14–17, 2013
|2013||Pirates of Penzance, TheThe Pirates of Penzance (concert)||Frederic||Delacorte Theatre|
June 10, 2013
|2015||A New Brain||Gordon Michael Schwinn||New York City Center|
June 24–27, 2015
|2015||Whipping Man, TheThe Whipping Man||Caleb DeLeon||L.A. Theatre Works|
July 16–19, 2015
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Highway to Hell" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||2010||—||—||88||—||89||Glee: The Music, The Complete Season One|
|"Run Joey Run" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||61||64||45||12||27|
|"Another One Bites the Dust" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||79||—||53||41||101|
|"Bohemian Rhapsody" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Hello" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||35||79||37||31||35||Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers|
|"Total Eclipse of the Heart" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||16||28||17||3||9|
|"Like a Virgin" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||87||99||83||47||58||Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna|
|"Like a Prayer" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||27||28||27||2||16|
|"Rolling in the Deep" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||2011||29||—||—||—||—||Glee: The Music, Volume 6|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|2007||Tony Award||Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||Spring Awakening||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Actor in a Musical||Nominated|
|Drama League Award||Distinguished Performance||Nominated|
|Theatre World Award||Outstanding Debut Performance||Won|
|Broadway.com Audience Choice Award||Favorite Leading Actor in a Broadway Musical||Won|
|Favorite Male Breakthrough Performance||Won|
|Favorite Onstage Pair (shared with Lea Michele)||Won|
|Favorite Ensemble Cast||Won|
|BroadwayWorld.com Theatre Fans' Choice Award||Best Leading Actor in a Musical||Nominated|
|2009||Obie Award||Outstanding Performance||Prayer for My Enemy|
The Singing Forest
|2011||WhatsOnStage.com Theatregoers' Choice Award||London Newcomer of the Year||Deathtrap||Won|
|2012||BroadwayWorld.com Los Angeles Award||Best Leading Actor in a Play (Touring Production)||Red||Nominated|
|2014||Gold Derby TV Award||Best Comedy Actor||Looking||Nominated|
|EWwy Award||Best Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|NewNowNext Award||Best New Television Actor||Won|