Javier Muñoz (actor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Javier Muñoz
Javier Muñoz with castmate Renée Elise Goldsberry in costume for Hamilton
NationalityPuerto Rican American
Alma materNew York University (BFA)
  • Actor
  • singer
Known for

Javier Muñoz is an American actor and singer. He is most notable for his Broadway performances as Usnavi de la Vega in the 2008 musical In the Heights and Alexander Hamilton in the 2015 musical Hamilton, in which he played the titular role from July 11, 2016, until January 14, 2018.

Early life and education[edit]

Muñoz was born to a Puerto Rican family and raised in the Linden projects of East New York, Brooklyn.[1][2][3] He was the youngest of four sons, and the only of his siblings to pursue a professional career in the arts.[1]

He attended Edward R. Murrow High School, where he participated in the drama club known as the Players' Circle.[2] He went on to earn his Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University, where he participated in Collaborative Arts Project 21.[2][4][5]


Muñoz's early roles include Ziad in Kari Floren's The Porch at Altered Stages in New York and other off-Broadway productions.[6][7] He was in the 2006 New York Musical Theatre Festival production of All Is Love. He abandoned acting and took a full-time job as a manager at the restaurant 4412 in Hell's Kitchen before he landed a role in In the Heights.[2] His role was cut from the show during rehearsals, but he stayed on as a member of the ensemble.[2]

On February 16, 2009, Muñoz took the male lead of Usnavi de la Vega in In the Heights.[8][9] Theater critic Robert Feldberg wrote that he preferred Muñoz in the role over Lin-Manuel Miranda, stating that the romance between Usnavi and Vanessa seemed "more believable" and the performance was "emotionally persuasive".[10]

In 2015, Muñoz began performing as an alternate for the role of Alexander Hamilton in Miranda's Broadway production of Hamilton. By spring 2016, he appeared in the role every Sunday and on select weekdays.[11][12][13][14][15] He played the role of Hamilton the night President Barack Obama and his family attended the show.[16][17] He assumed the role full-time on July 11, 2016.[18] He was temporarily replaced by Jevon McFerrin following a February 2017 injury, and returned on March 21, 2017.[19]

In 2017, he joined the panel of Justin Baldoni's talk show Man Enough.[20]

On August 2, 2017, he made a guest appearance in a musical skit on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,[21] where he played the role of an immigrant affected by Kris Kobach's anti-immigration efforts.[22][23]

In 2018, Muñoz was announced as a recurring guest star on the third season of Shadowhunters.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Muñoz is a gay man, a cancer survivor, and has lived with HIV since 2002.[25]

On October 15, 2017, Muñoz became part of the MeToo movement, sharing that he had been a victim multiple times.[26]

In March 2018, Muñoz received backlash following tweets where he lashed out, seemingly unprovoked, at fans. He issued a public apology in April, noting that the phrasing of a tweet caused him to recall an incident where he received anonymous hate mail at his building, leading to fear and distress.[27][28][29]



Year Title Role Notes
2013 The House That Jack Built Hector
Papa's Prince Javier / Prince Short film
2021 In the Heights Washington Heights resident Cameo
2022 Three Months Dr. Diaz


Year Title Role Notes
2016 Odd Mom Out Waiter Episode: "Hamming It Up"
2017 Quantico Gabriel Carrera Episode: "JMPALM"
Blindspot Marc Gelman Episode: "Draw O Caesar, Erase a Coward"
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Becky City Man Episode: "August 2, 2017"
2018–2019 Shadowhunters Lorenzo Rey 7 episodes
2018 Elena of Avalor Duke Cristobal (voice) Episode: "Song of The Sirenas"
2022 Eureka! Ohm (voice) Main role

Theatre credits[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2005 In the Heights Usnavi de la Vega Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
2008–09 Ensemble / Usnavi de la Vega (standby) Richard Rodgers Theatre
2009 Usnavi de la Vega
2009–10 National tour
2013 Hamilton John Laurens Vassar College, Workshop
2015–16 Alexander Hamilton (alternate) Richard Rodgers Theatre
2016–18 Alexander Hamilton
2022 The Devil Wears Prada Nigel James M. Nederlander Theatre

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Quinn, Dave (July 11, 2016). "Who Is Javier Munoz? 5 Things to Know About the 'Hamilton' Star". People. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Hernandez, Lee (February 10, 2009). "'In The Heights' creator names bodeguero heir". Daily News. New York City. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  3. ^ Kaye, Kimberley (19 February 2009). "Javier Muñoz Interview". Broadway.com. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  4. ^ "Javier Muñoz". Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  5. ^ Kahn, Jessica (November 30, 2015). "Hamilton's Javier Munoz Nabs 'Sexy' New York Times Review". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  6. ^ Midgette, Anne (June 13, 2006). "Unexpected Guests, and Results, in 'The Porch' (review)". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  7. ^ Horn, Miriam (May 31, 2005). "Secrets (Gasp) In the 1950s (review)". The New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  8. ^ Jones, Kenneth (January 30, 2009). "Javier Muñoz Graduates to Star of In the Heights on Feb. 16". Playbill. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  9. ^ "Javier Munoz Brings His 'Usnavi' IN THE HEIGHTS". BroadwayWorld. February 16, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  10. ^ Feldberg, Robert (August 16, 2009). "Recast puts new spin on 'Heights'". Bergen County, New Jersey: The Record.
  11. ^ Goldstein, Jessica (November 12, 2015). "Javier Muñoz on What It's Like to Play Alexander Hamilton When Lin-Manuel Miranda Isn't". Vulture.com. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  12. ^ Gans, Andrew (July 6, 2015). "Lin-Manuel Miranda's Alternate Will Play Title Role in Hamilton Once a Week". Playbill. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  13. ^ Purcell, Carey (August 10, 2015). "Meet Hamilton's Other Leading Man, Standing By for Lin-Manuel Miranda for More Than Ten Years". Playbill. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  14. ^ Wexler, Matthew (August 8, 2015). "Does Broadway's Hamilton Shine Without Its Star?". Gothamist.com. Archived from the original on November 8, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  15. ^ Henry, Sally (October 18, 2015). "HAMILTON's Javier Munoz Featured in Latest Photo Using 1800s Lens". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  16. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (July 18, 2015). "Starring on Broadway, Obama and Alexander Hamilton". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  17. ^ Ramsey, Nick (July 18, 2015). "Obama attends matinee performance of Broadway's 'Hamilton'". MSNBC. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  18. ^ Marks, Peter (June 16, 2016). "Hurry up, 'Hamilton' fans: Lin-Manuel Miranda announces departure date from show". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  19. ^ McPhee, Ryan (March 20, 2017). "Javier Muñoz Sets Date for Return to Hamilton on Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  20. ^ Romano, Nick (October 18, 2017). "Justin Baldoni's talk show lands Derek Hough, Hamilton's Javier Muñoz". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  21. ^ "Kris Kobach's Racist Music Man | August 2, 2017 Act 2 | Full Frontal on TBS". YouTube. August 2, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  22. ^ Czachor, Emily Mae (August 3, 2017). "Watch Samantha Bee skewer Kris Kobach as the 'racist music man'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  23. ^ Leight, Elias (August 4, 2017). "See Samantha Bee Call Kris Kobach a 'Racist Music Man' in Spoof". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  24. ^ Connolly, Kelly (October 7, 2017). "Javier Muñoz, Anna Hopkins to guest on Shadowhunters". Entertainment Weekly. Meredith Corporation. Archived from the original on December 29, 2017.
  25. ^ "The New Star Of "Hamilton" Is Gay, HIV-Positive And Faced Down Cancer. Broadway Should Be A Snap". New Now Next. July 2016.
  26. ^ Thomas, Chris (October 16, 2017). "#MeToo: Javier Muñoz, Alyssa Milano & Thousands More Share Stories of Sexual Harassment". Out. Archived from the original on December 26, 2017.
  27. ^ "Hamilton Actor Javier Muñoz Forced To Go Into Hiding After Targeted Harassment Following Mike Pence Visit". Perez Hilton. April 20, 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  28. ^ "Javier Munoz Shares Apology and Explanation Following Social Media Incident". BroadwayWorld. April 20, 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  29. ^ Muñoz, Javier [@JMunozActor] (April 20, 2018). "Public statement and apology. This was not filtered through an agent, manager, nor a PR manager. These words are all mine and mine alone. Thank you" (Tweet). Retrieved May 11, 2019 – via Twitter.

External links[edit]