John Gallagher, Jr.

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John Gallagher, Jr.
John Gallagher Jr in 2007.jpg
John Gallagher Jr. performing with Old Springs Pike at Rockwood Music Hall September 3, 2007
Born John Howard Gallagher, Jr.
(1984-06-17) June 17, 1984 (age 30)
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Occupation Actor, singer, songwriter
Years active 2001–present

John Howard Gallagher, Jr. (born June 17, 1984) is an American actor and musician known for originating the role of Moritz Stiefel in Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's rock musical Spring Awakening, which earned him a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. He also played Johnny in Green Day's Broadway musical, American Idiot, and Lee in the 2011 Broadway production of Jerusalem. As of 2012, he plays Jim Harper in Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom.

Early life[edit]

Gallagher was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware with his parents and two older sisters. His parents, John, Sr. and June Gallagher, are folk musicians.

He eventually went on to play in numerous bands, including Not Now Murray, What Now, Annie's Autograph, and Old Springs Pike.

Before and throughout his Spring Awakening run, he was in Old Springs Pike. On January 23, 2008, his fellow band members announced his departure. The next day, Gallagher made an official announcement confirming his departure on his MySpace page. Old Springs Pike later officially changed their name to The Spring Standards.[1]

Gallagher played Tom Sawyer as a child actor at the Delaware Children's Theatre.[2][3]

Stage career[edit]

Gallagher has appeared in three plays by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. He originated the role of Jeff in Abaire's hit play Kimberly Akimbo, appeared in the ill-fated United Kingdom production of Fuddy Meers, and he received critical acclaim for his role in Rabbit Hole, which marked his Broadway debut. He also appeared in the Manhattan Theatre Club Production of the David Marshall Grant play Current Events.[4]

Gallagher originated the role of Moritz Stiefel in Spring Awakening on Broadway after performing the role Off-Broadway and in workshops at Lincoln Center. The rock musical, with music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater premiered Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theatre Company on May 19, 2006 and ran through August 5, 2006.[5] Spring Awakening opened on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on December 10, 2006. Gallagher won the 2007 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance.[6] On December 16, 2007, he left Spring Awakening and was succeeded two days later by Blake Bashoff.[7]

Gallagher starred in productions of the dramas, Port Authority, by Conor McPherson and Farragut North by Beau Willimon.[8] Both plays were productions of the Atlantic Theater Company, the same theater that premiered Spring Awakening.

Gallagher starred in American Idiot, a musical based on the Green Day album of the same name, along with fellow Spring Awakening alumni Brian Charles Johnson and Gerard Canonico.[9] American Idiot premiered in Berkeley, California at the Berkeley Repertory Theater on September 4, 2009.[10] The show's run ended on November 15, 2009. It began previews on Broadway at the St. James Theatre March 24, 2010 and officially opened on April 20, 2010. It was later nominated for three 2010 Tony Awards, of which it won two.[11] Gallagher played Johnny aka "Jesus of Suburbia". Gallagher departed American Idiot on February 27, 2011 and was succeeded by Van Hughes[12] The show's run ended on April 24, 2011.

On February 17, 2011, it was announced that Gallagher would be in the Broadway production of The Royal Court Theatre's Jerusalem. The production was directed by Ian Rickson, and opened on April 21, 2011 at the Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street).[13] He played the role of Lee until leaving the production on July 17, 2011.[14]

Film and television[edit]

Gallagher has appeared in several television programs, including The West Wing, Law & Order: SVU, NYPD Blue, Ed, Love Monkey, and Hallmark Hall of Fame's film The Flamingo Rising. Film credits include Pieces of April, Woody Allen's Whatever Works, Jonah Hex, Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret, and a lead role in Short Term 12 opposite Brie Larson.

He plays Jim Harper in Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom that airs on HBO.[15]


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Flamingo Rising, TheThe Flamingo Rising Gary Television film
2003 Pieces of April Timmy Burns
2006 Mr. Gibb Brett Mullen
2009 Whatever Works Perry
2010 Jonah Hex Lieutenant Evan
2011 Margaret Darren
2013 Short Term 12 Mason
2013 Broadway Idiot Himself Documentary
2014 Heart Machine, TheThe Heart Machine Cody Filming
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Law & Order Terrence Holt Episode: "Girl Most Likely"
2002 The West Wing Tyler Episode: "20 Hours in America (Part 1)"
2003 Ed Eric Episode: "The Decision"
2003 NYPD Blue Ray Spier 2 episodes
2004 Law and Order: Criminal Intent Gary Episode: "Conscience"
2006 Love Monkey Paul 2 episodes
2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jeff Lynwood Episode: "Lead"
2012–present Newsroom, TheThe Newsroom James "Jim" Harper Main cast

New York Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Venue
2003 Kimberly Akimbo Jeff Manhattan Theatre Club (Off-Broadway)
2006 Rabbit Hole Jason Pacific Playwrights Festival

Biltmore Theatre (Broadway)

2006–2007 Spring Awakening Moritz Stiefel Atlantic Theatre Company (Off-Broadway)

Eugene O'Neill Theatre (Broadway)

2008 Port Authority Kevin Atlantic Theatre Company (Off-Broadway)
2008 Farragut North Stephen Meyers Atlantic Theatre Company (Off-Broadway)
2010–2011 American Idiot Johnny (The Jesus of Suburbia) Berkeley Repertory Theatre

St. James Theatre (Broadway)

2011 Jerusalem Lee Music Box Theatre (Broadway)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2007 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Spring Awakening Won
2007 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Spring Awakening Nominated
2007 Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Spring Awakening Nominated
2007 Audience Award Favorite Featured Actor in a Broadway Musical Spring Awakening Won
2010 Drama League Award Distinguished Performance American Idiot Nominated
2010 Audience Award Favorite Leading Actor in a Broadway Musical American Idiot Won


External links[edit]