Javier Muñoz (actor)

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Javier Muñoz
Renée Elise Goldsberry and Javier Muñoz in Hamilton costume, July 2015.jpg
Javier Muñoz with castmate Renée Elise Goldsberry in costume for Hamilton
NationalityPuerto Rican American
EducationEdward R. Murrow High School
Alma materNew York University (BFA, 1999)
  • Actor
  • singer
Known for

Javier Muñoz is an American actor and singer.

Muñoz is best known for his performances on Broadway as Usnavi in the 2008 musical In the Heights and as Alexander Hamilton in the 2015 musical Hamilton, in which he played the title role from July 11, 2016 until January 14, 2018.

Early life and education[edit]

Muñoz, the son of a Puerto Rican family, grew up in the Linden Projects[1] in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York.[2][3] He was the youngest of three boys, all of whom shared their father's artistic inclinations, although he was the only one to go on to pursue a professional career in the arts.[1]

He attended Brooklyn's Edward R. Murrow High School where he participated in the drama club,[2] then earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at New York University, where he was part of the CAP 21 acting program.[2][4][5]


Muñoz's early roles include Ziad, the "best friend" in Kari Floren's The Porch at Altered Stages in New York,[6] and roles in other off-Broadway productions.[7] He was in the 2006 New York Musical Theatre Festival's off-Broadway show All Is Love, and had abandoned acting to accept a full-time job as a manager at the restaurant 44½ in Hell's Kitchen, when he auditioned for the musical In the Heights.[2] He landed a role that 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 in the Broadway cast of In the Heights.[8][9] Muñoz went on to play Usnavi in the national tour.[10] Theater critic Robert Feldberg wrote that he preferred Muñoz in the role originated by Miranda, pointing out that the romance between Usnavi and Vanessa seemed more "believable" and that in putting across the main storyline in a way that Miranda had been unable to do, Muñoz turned the star vehicle into an "emotionally persuasive" ensemble performance.[11]

In 2015 Muñoz began performing as alternate for the role of Alexander Hamilton in the Broadway production Hamilton. By spring 2016, Muñoz appeared in the role originated by Lin-Manuel Miranda every Sunday and on weekdays whenever Miranda needed to be elsewhere on a weekday.[12][13][14][15][16] Muñoz played the role of Hamilton the night President Barack Obama brought his family to watch the show.[17][18] New York Times theatre critic Ben Brantley noted Muñoz's role subbing for Miranda in the role of Hamilton, stating "the cutting carnal edge of Mr. Muñoz's performance may slightly alter the production's chemistry, especially between Hamilton and Angelica Schuyler, his intellectual equal and sister-in-law."[19]

On July 11, 2016, Muñoz assumed the title role in Hamilton from Miranda full-time.[20] He took a leave of absence due to an injury in February 2017, and was temporarily replaced by Jevon McFerrin until his return on March 21, 2017.[21]

On August 2, 2017, Muñoz made a guest appearance in a musical skit on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.[22] In the skit, Muñoz played the role of an immigrant affected by Kris Kobach's anti-immigration efforts.[23][24]

Muñoz was announced as a guest star with a recurring role in the third season (2018) of Shadowhunters.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Muñoz is a cancer survivor and has lived with HIV since 2002. He is openly gay.[26]

On October 15, 2017, Muñoz became part of the #MeToo movement by posting on Twitter in response to Alyssa Milano's call for all who had been sexually harassed or assaulted to join together and speak up to bring publicity to the problem.[27] His statement gave no details other than that he had been a victim multiple times.[27]



Year Title Role Notes
2013 The House That Jack Built Hector
Papa's Prince Javier / Prince Short film


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–present Shadowhunters Lorenzo Rey 4 episodes
2018 Elena of Avalor Duke Cristobal (voice) Episode: "Song of The Sirenas"

Theatre credits[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2008–09 In the Heights Ensemble / Usnavi (standby) Richard Rodgers Theatre
2009 Usnavi
2009–10 National tour
2015–16 Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (alternate) Richard Rodgers Theatre
2016–18 Alexander Hamilton


  1. ^ a b Quinn, Dave (2016-07-11). "Who Is Javier Munoz? 5 Things to Know About the 'Hamilton' Star". People. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  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". osfashland.org. Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  5. ^ Kahn, Jessica (November 30, 2015). "Hamilton's Javier Munoz Nabs 'Sexy' New York Times Review". BroadwayWorld.com. 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 1950's (review)". The New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  8. ^ Jones, Kenneth (January 30, 2009). "Javier Muñoz Graduates to Star of In the Heights on Feb. 16". Playbill. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  9. ^ "Javier Munoz Brings His 'Usnavi' IN THE HEIGHTS". BroadwayWorld.com. February 16, 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  10. ^ Maupin, Elizabeth (April 17, 2009). "Broadway series beckons to hipper, younger crowd". Orlando Sentinel.
  11. ^ Feldberg, Robert (August 16, 2009). "Recast puts new spin on 'Heights'". Bergen County, New Jersey: The Record.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Gans, Andrew. " Lin-Manuel Miranda's Alternate Will Play Title Role in Hamilton Once a Week" playbill.com, July 6, 2015
  14. ^ Purcell, Carey (August 10, 2015). "Meet Hamilton's Other Leading Man, Standing By for Lin-Manuel Miranda for More Than Ten Years". Playbill. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  15. ^ Wexler, Matthew (August 8, 2015). "Does Broadway's Hamilton Shine Without Its Star?". Gothamist.com. Archived from the original on November 8, 2015. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  16. ^ Henry, Sally (October 18, 2015). "HAMILTON's Javier Munoz Featured in Latest Photo Using 1800s Lens". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  17. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (July 18, 2015). "Starring on Broadway, Obama and Alexander Hamilton". New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  18. ^ Ramsey, Nick (July 18, 2015). "Obama attends matinee performance of Broadway's 'Hamilton'". MSNBC. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  19. ^ Brantley, Ben (December 1, 2015). "The Same Founding Father's New Vibe". New York Times.
  20. ^ Marks, Peter (June 16, 2016). "Hurry up, 'Hamilton' fans: Lin-Manuel Miranda announces departure date from show". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  21. ^ McPhee, Ryan (March 20, 2017). "Javier Muñoz Sets Date for Return to Hamilton on Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  22. ^ Kris Kobach's Racist Music Man | August 2, 2017 Act 2 | Full Frontal on TBS, 2017-08-02, retrieved 2018-04-04
  23. ^ Czachor, Emily Mae (August 3, 2017). "Watch Samantha Bee skewer Kris Kobach as the 'racist music man'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  24. ^ Leight, Elias (August 4, 2017). "See Samantha Bee Call Kris Kobach a 'Racist Music Man' in Spoof". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  25. ^ Connolly, Kelly (October 7, 2017). "Javier Muñoz, Anna Hopkins to guest on Shadowhunters". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 2017-12-29.
  26. ^ "The New Star Of "Hamilton" Is Gay, HIV-Positive And Faced Down Cancer. Broadway Should Be A Snap". New Now Next. July 2016.
  27. ^ a b Thomas, Chris (October 16, 2017). "#MeToo: Javier Muñoz, Alyssa Milano & Thousands More Share Stories of Sexual Harassment". Out. Archived from the original on 2017-12-26.

External links[edit]