Billy Magnussen

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Billy Magnussen
Billy Magnussen 2011 (cropped).jpg
Magnussen in September 2011
Born William Gregory Magnussen
(1985-04-20) April 20, 1985 (age 33)
Woodhaven, Queens, New York, US[1]
Education North Carolina School of the Arts (BFA)
  • Actor
  • musician
Years active 2007–present

William Gregory Magnussen[1] (born April 20, 1985) is an American actor who has appeared on stage, television and film. He started gaining recognition for his roles in Into the Woods (2014), Birth of the Dragon (2016) and Game Night (2018).

Early life[edit]

Magnussen was born in Woodhaven, Queens, New York, the son of Daina, an aerobics instructor, and Greg Magnussen, a professional bodybuilder and kickboxer. He has two younger brothers.[2][3][4] His maternal grandparents were Lithuanian immigrants. He grew up in Queens around Woodhaven Blvd. until the age of 10, when he moved with his family to Cumming, Georgia. Magnussen graduated from South Forsyth High School in 2003 and later graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts.[5]

Acting career[edit]


Magnussen made his Broadway stage debut in 2007's The Ritz, starring Rosie Perez.[6] In 2012, he was cast alongside David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver in Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, premiering at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey, prior to its move to Lincoln Center in New York City. It then moved to the John Golden Theatre, where it was nominated for six Tony Awards. Magnussen was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role as Spike. In 2014, he starred Off-Broadway with Anna Gunn in a critically acclaimed production of Sex with Strangers directed by David Schwimmer at the Second Stage Theatre.[7]


Magnussen appeared in the films Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet and Happy Tears, which stars Demi Moore and Parker Posey. He stars as Claude in the film Twelve, which was released July 30, 2010. He played Neil Thomas, a World War II hero, in the 2011 film The Lost Valentine, based on the book of the same name by James Michael Pratt, which aired on CBS on January 30, 2011. That same year, he also played Thor in Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress. In 2012, he starred in the independent feature Surviving Family.[8]

Magnussen starred in his breakout role as Rapunzel's Prince in Rob Marshall's 2014 film Into the Woods.[9] In 2016, Magnussen appeared in The Great Gilly Hopkins, opposite Kathy Bates, as Ellis, the social worker in charge of Gilly Hopkins, played by Canadian actress Sophie Nelisse. The role was originally written for a female in the novel and stage play. In 2017, Magnussen was cast in a newly created role as Prince Anders in Disney's live-action adaptation of Aladdin directed by Guy Ritchie.[10]


Magnussen played Kato Kaelin on the first season of American Crime Story, about the O. J. Simpson murder case. He is known for his role on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns, where he took over the role of Casey Hughes on January 29, 2008.[11] He guest-starred on The CW's series The Beautiful Life: TBL in 2009.[12] He guest-starred on Boardwalk Empire as Roger McAlister, Gillian Darmody's lover, and was the stand-in for Jimmy Darmody's corpse.[13]

He also guest-starred on Law & Order Criminal Intent, in the 10th-season episode "Icarus", and on Law & Order, in the 19th-season episode, "Sweetie". Magnussen appeared in four episodes of The Divide, and guest-starred on NCIS: Los Angeles in episode 3 of season 2, titled "Borderline". In 2017, Magnussen guest-starred as Russ Snyder on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.[14][15]

Music career[edit]

Magnussen once was the bass player and a contributing songwriter for the New York City-based rock band The Dash.[16] He plays guitar in the New York City-based band Reserved for Rondee.[17][18]


Film roles
Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Elephant Garden Michael Short film
2009 Happy Tears Ray
2009 Lalo Bike messenger Short film
2009 Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet Eric
2010 Twelve Claude Kenton
2011 Choose Paul
2011 Damsels in Distress Thor
2012 Surviving Family Alex D'Amico
2012 The Brass Teapot Arnie
2012 2nd Serve Lingo
2013 The East Porty McCabe
2013 Walking Stories Chip Short film
2014 A Mighty Nice Man Robbie Short film
2014 Revenge of the Green Dragons Detective Boyer
2014 Into the Woods Rapunzel's Prince
2015 I Smile Back Zach
2015 The Meddler Ben
2015 Bridge of Spies Doug Forrester
2015 The Great Gilly Hopkins Ellis
2015 The Big Short Mortgage broker
2016 Birth of the Dragon Steve McKee
2017 Ingrid Goes West Nicky Sloane
2018 Game Night Ryan
2018 The Oath Mason Post-production
2018 Velvet Buzzsaw Post-production
2019 Aladdin Prince Anders Post-production
Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
2008–2010 As the World Turns Casey Hughes Role held: January 29, 2008 – September 17, 2010
2008 Law & Order Cody Larson Episode: "Sweetie"
2009 The Unusuals Bo Keebler Episode: "The Dentist"
2009 The Beautiful Life: TBL Alex Marinelli 3 episodes
2010 NCIS: Los Angeles Cpl Allen Reed Episode: "Borderline"
2011 The Lost Valentine Neil Thomas Television film
2011 In Plain Sight Jonathan Collins / Yonni Peterschwim Episode: "Something A-mish"
2011 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Marc Landry Episode: "Icarus"
2012 Blue Bloods Rand Hilbert Episode: "Collateral Damage"
2012 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Det. Michael Crenshaw 2 episodes
2012 Boardwalk Empire Roger McAllister 2 episodes
2013 Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell Spencer Episode: "Schmickler83!"
2014 It Could Be Worse Competition Web series; episode: "Uncharted Territory"
2014 The Leftovers Marcus Episode: "Guest"
2014 The Divide Eric Zale 4 episodes
2015 The Good Wife Chris Fife Episode: "Open Source"
2016 The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story Kato Kaelin 3 episodes
2017 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Russ Snyder 2 episodes
2017 Friends from College Sean Episode: "All-Nighter"
2017 Get Shorty Nathan Hill 6 episodes
2017 Black Mirror Valdack Episode: "USS Callister"
Stage roles
Year Title Role Notes
2007 The Ritz Patron Also understudy
2013 Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Spike


  1. ^ a b Matthew Blank. "PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Tony Nominee Billy Magnussen". Playbill. 
  2. ^ "Five Things to Know About Twelve's Billy Magnussen". Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  3. ^ "Photos! Roll in the Hay with Anna Gunn & Billy Magnussen on Opening Night of Sex with Strangers". Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  4. ^ "Billy Magnussen and mother Daina Photo (2013-06-09)". Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  5. ^ "Billy Magnussen Biography". The A&E Television Networks. February 29, 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2018. 
  6. ^ "Billy Magnussen Joins 'As the World Turns'". Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  7. ^ Charles Isherwood,Reading Between the Sheets: Anna Gunn and Billy Magnussen Star in ‘Sex With Strangers’,New York Times, July 30, 2014, retrieved May 6, 2015
  8. ^ Propes, Richard. ""Surviving Family" Review". The Independent Critic. Retrieved May 4, 2018. 
  9. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (July 22, 2013). "Billy Magnussen Ventures 'Into The Woods' To Replace Jake Gyllenhaal". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  10. ^ Galuppo, Mia (September 5, 2017). "Disney's Live-Action 'Aladdin' Casts Billy Magnussen as New Character (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 6, 2017. 
  11. ^ Billy Magnussen: As The World Turns on CBS Archived 2010-02-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Marsi, Steve (August 26, 2009). "Billy Magnussen to Guest Star on The Beautiful Life". TV Fanatic. Retrieved May 4, 2018. 
  13. ^ VJ (October 22, 2012). "Jimmy Darmody and Roger McAllister". Fikkle Fame. Retrieved May 4, 2018. 
  14. ^ Carlock, Robert (2017-05-19), Kimmy and the Trolley Problem!, Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane, retrieved 2018-01-25 
  15. ^ Engler, Michael (2017-05-19), Kimmy Googles the Internet!, Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane, retrieved 2018-01-25 
  16. ^ "Billy Magnussen". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  18. ^ "Reserved For Rondee". Retrieved 31 December 2017. 

External links[edit]