Jake Epstein

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Jake Epstein
Born 1986/1987 (age 26–27)[1]
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 1999–present

Jake Epstein is a Canadian actor and singer, perhaps best known for playing Craig Manning, a bipolar musician, on Degrassi: The Next Generation. He also played Will in the First National Tour of American Idiot (musical). Epstein most recently made his Broadway debut as a Peter Parker/Spider-Man alternate in the smash musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

Personal life[edit]

Epstein was born in Toronto, Ontario. His mother, Kathy Kacer (born September 6, 1954),[2] is a Norma Fleck Award-winning writer of children's stories about the Holocaust, and his father, Ian Epstein (born 1955),[3] is a lawyer.[4][5][6] He has an older sister, Gabi, an actress and jazz singer. Epstein is Jewish and was raised in Conservative Judaism.[7][8] He attended Claude Watson School for the Arts in Toronto and then continued in the Claude Watson program in Earl Haig Secondary School. He attended Camp Gesher in Cloyne, Ontario for a few years.


Epstein was the lead actor in several of his school's plays and musicals, the most notable one being the Emcee in Cabaret. He started acting on screen in 1999, appearing in several made-for-television films and television series, including The Zack Files, Quints, Mom's Got A Date With A Vampire and an episode of Real Kids, Real Adventures.

He became well known after being cast in a lead role as Craig Manning on Degrassi: The Next Generation, joining the cast in 2002, in the second season of the show and continued to star in the show as a regular through seasons 2–5. After being absent from the show for the latter half of season five, he returned in season six in a guest appearance for two episodes and has made guest appearances through seasons 6–8. Jake did not appear in Season 9, but appeared in the "Degrassi Goes Hollywood" movie, that aired after the finale of Season 8.

Epstein made his professional theatrical debut in a Soulpepper Theatre Company production of Our Town. Jake has also appeared in Radio Free Roscoe.

Epstein attended the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal and graduated in 2008. His biggest passion is music, and he has been a member of several bands, such as Mind the Gap, and Funkasaurus Rex, playing many musical instruments, including the guitar and drums. Epstein also starred in The Dream, alongside a bunch of friends for the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2007. Epstein also had a small role in the 2008 movie Charlie Bartlett, with a guest appearance from former Degrassi cast member, Aubrey Graham.

Epstein starred in a Ross Petty production of Cinderella, at Elgin Theatre (Toronto), from November 28, 2008 until January 4, 2009, the production also starred fellow Degrassi: The Next Generation actress Paula Brancati.

Epstein replaced Kyle Riabko as Melchior Gabor in the First National Tour of Spring Awakening, officially beginning his run on July 7, 2009.[9]

In late 2009, he and fellow Degrassi star Jake Goldsbie guest-starred in an episode of the Canadian series Being Erica.[10]

Also in 2009, Jake starred as Charlie Brown, or "CB", in Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead—alongside fellow Degrassi grads, Paula Brancati as "Van's Sister" (Lucy Van Pelt), Adamo Ruggiero as "Van" (Linus Van Pelt) and Mike Lobel as "Matt" (Pig-Pen).[11][12]

From November 25, 2010 through January 2, 2011, Epstein starred in Ross Petty's Beauty & The Beast: The Savagely Silly Family Musical at the Elgin Theatre (Toronto).[citation needed]

From January 20, 2011 to January 29, 2011, Epstein costarred with his sister, Gabi Epstein in Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond's "Dani Girl" at the Talk is Free Theatre in Barrie, Ontario.

In July 2011, Epstein played Billy's older brother in the Toronto run of Billy Elliot The Musical at the Canon Theatre.

Epstein recently starred as Will in the First National Tour of Green Day's American Idiot (musical).

Epstein made his Broadway debut in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark as the alternate for lead role Peter Parker/Spider-Man. He joined the company on December 4, 2012, and performed Saturday and Sunday matinees, with his first show having taken place on December 8 at the Foxwoods Theatre.[13] He played his final performance on August 12, 2013 to begin rehearsing for a new musical titled Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which opened on Broadway on January 12, 2014. [14] Epstein will play Gerry Goffin, the former husband of Carole King, on whom the musical is based. This will mark his second Broadway show in less than a year.



Year Film Role Notes
2000 Quints Brad TV movie
Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire Duffy TV movie
2004 Crown Heights
2008 Charlie Bartlett Dustin Lauderbach
2009 Degrassi Goes Hollywood Craig Manning TV movie
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Ricky's Room Brad unknown episodes
Real Kids, Real Adventures Chris Gilmore Episode: "Lost & Found: The Richard Prieur Story"
2000–2002 The Zack Files Cam Dunleavy Main Role 19 episodes
2002–2009 Degrassi: The Next Generation Craig Manning 2002–2006, Seasons 2–5 (Series Regular)

2006–2009, Seasons 6–8 (Guest Appearances)

2003 The Eleventh Hour Jacob McGibbon Episode: "Shelter"
Girls v. Boys Contestant Hawaii
2005 Radio Free Roscoe Jackson Torrance Episode: "Musical Influences"
2006 Angela's Eyes Brad Episode: "Undercover Eyes"
2008 Paradise Falls Jim Episodes: "Revelations", "Stardust"
2009 Being Erica Malcolm Abrams Episode: "Battle Royale"
2011 My Babysitter's a Vampire (TV series) David Stachowski Episode: "Blue Moon"


External links[edit]