Jessie Mueller

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Jessie Mueller
Jessica Ruth Mueller

(1983-02-20) February 20, 1983 (age 38)
Alma materSyracuse University
OccupationActress, singer
Years active2005–present
Partner(s)Andy Truschinski

Jessica Ruth Mueller (born February 20, 1983)[1] is an American actress and singer. She started her acting career in Chicago and won two Joseph Jefferson Awards in 2008 and 2011 for her roles as Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel[2] and Amalia Balash in She Loves Me. In 2011, she moved to New York City to star in a Broadway revival of musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for her performance as Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. She went on to receive two additional Best Actress in a Musical Tony Award nominations for her leading roles in Waitress (2016) and the Broadway revival of Carousel (2018).

Early life and education[edit]

Mueller was born to actors Jill (née Shellabarger) and Roger Mueller and was raised in Evanston, Illinois.[3]

Her brothers, Andrew and Matt, and sister, Abby, are all actors and known for their work in Chicago, off-Broadway, and Broadway productions.[4][5][6] As of 2019, three of the four Mueller siblings had appeared in Broadway productions.[7][8]

Mueller is Lutheran.[9] She graduated from Evanston Township High School in 2001 and from Syracuse University in 2005.[10]

Acting career[edit]

2005–2011: Chicago theatre[edit]

After graduation, Mueller returned to Chicago and acted for the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, traveling in 2006 to England to perform at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon as Lady Mortimer in Henry IV. She followed this with various roles in the Chicago area including Lizzie Fields in Baby, the Lady-In-Waiting in Once Upon a Mattress, and Esther in Meet Me in St. Louis. At the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Illinois, she performed in Shout! The Mod Musical, Shenandoah, Guys and Dolls as Miss Adelaide, and Fiddler on the Roof as Tzeitel. In 2009 Mueller performed in two musicals at the Goodman Theatre, Animal Crackers as Grace/Mary and A Christmas Carol as Belle/Catherine.[11][12][13]

In 2011, she was named Actor of the Year by the Chicago Tribune[14][15] and also was nominated for two Joseph Jefferson Awards, winning Best Lead Actress in a Musical for her performance as Amalia Balash in She Loves Me.[16][17][18]

2011–2016: Broadway debut and initial success[edit]

Mueller made her Broadway debut in a revised revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever as Melinda Wells, a role originated by Barbara Harris.[19][20] The production opened in December 2011. Mueller received critical praise for her performance, with one reviewer commenting, "Her voice contains notes of Garland, but she's no diva — this is a star of supreme self-possession".[21] For this role, Mueller was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical and the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.[22][23]

Mueller played Cinderella in The Public Theater's 2012 production of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods at the Delacorte Theater.

Mueller performing at the "Gimme A Break!" Transport Group Gala in 2013.

Mueller next was cast in the role of Helena Landless / Miss Janet Conover in Roundabout Theatre Company's 2012 revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. She then took over the role of Billie Bendix in Nice Work If You Can Get It, from March 29, 2013, until the show closed on June 15, 2013.[24] Also in 2013, she once again took on the role of Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel at Lincoln Center in a staged concert production backed by the New York Philharmonic. The show was filmed and aired on PBS' Live from Lincoln Center.

Mueller starred in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which opened on Broadway on January 12, 2014.[25] She originated the title role of Carole King.[26] She had performed this role in the try-out in San Francisco in 2013. Her performance won her the Drama Desk Award and Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical.[27][28] She left the Broadway production on March 6, 2015. On February 8, 2015, Mueller won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album (shared with Carole King (music and lyrics) and producers Jason Howland, Steve Sidwell, and Billy Jay Stein).[29]

On April 27, 2015, Mueller was the recipient of the Sarah Siddons Society Award at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Illinois.[30]

Mueller reprised her role as Jenna in the musical adaptation of the film Waitress on Broadway, having previously played the role in a workshop of the musical in late 2014.[31][32] With music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles and direction by Diane Paulus, the musical began its out-of-town tryout at the American Repertory Theater in August 2015.[33] Waitress opened on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 24, 2016.[34] Mueller was nominated for awards including a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for her performance.[35][36] Mueller also received critical praise for her performance. Charles Isherwood for the New York Times noted, "But it is when Ms. Mueller tears into the musical's climactic number, 'She Used to Be Mine,' that her talents are most fully and movingly harnessed... Ms. Mueller's vibrant performance of this gentle but wrenching song, featuring a melody that soars and then recedes in waves, is the high point of the show — and for that matter a high point of the Broadway season."[37] Mueller left the production on March 26, 2017.[38][39] Mueller's performance also earned her a 2016 Lilly Award for its message of female empowerment and safety.[40][41]

2017–2019: Film career, Carousel, and other projects[edit]

In April 2017, shortly after Mueller's departure from Waitress, it was announced that she would play the lead role of Julie Jordan in a Broadway revival of Carousel. The production began previews on February 28, 2018, at the Imperial Theatre and opened on April 12.[42][43] The production closed on September 16, 2018.[44]

Before beginning Carousel rehearsals, Mueller made her feature-film debut in Steven Spielberg's historical drama The Post. Mueller portrayed real life advice columnist Judith Martin (a.k.a. Miss Manners) alongside a cast including Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, and Carrie Coon. The film was released in select theaters on December 22, 2017, before its general release on January 12, 2018.[45]

Also in 2017, Mueller was nominated for a Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for her performance in the Lyric Opera's Chicago Voices concert,[46][47] which was filmed and aired on WTTW.[48]

In 2018, Mueller received three major nominations for her role as Julie Jordan, including her fifth Drama Desk nomination (and second win)[49][50] and her fourth Tony Award nomination.[51] She is the first actress in any Broadway production of Carousel to receive such nominations for the role.

In early 2019, Mueller starred as Marian Paroo, opposite Norm Lewis, in the Kennedy Center's semi-staged concert production of The Music Man. The production ran from February 6 through February 11.[52] Later that year, Mueller portrayed country music legend Loretta Lynn in the Lifetime original movie Patsy & Loretta, alongside Megan Hilty as Patsy Cline. The film began production on location in Nashville in March and premiered on October 19, 2019.[53] [54][55] For this role, Mueller was nominated for a Critics' Choice Award.[56]

2020–Present: Broadway shutdown and career moving forward[edit]

Mueller is currently expected to star alongside Tracy Letts in the play The Minutes on Broadway.[57] Previews began on February 25, 2020, at the Cort Theatre with the show originally scheduled open on March 15.[58] However, the production, following a public mandate that closed all Broadway theaters, was halted due to the COVID-19 crisis. While a cast has not been confirmed yet, the show officially announced it will resume previews in March 2022 at Studio 54 with an opening set for April 7 of that year.[59]

On July 15, 2021, she joined the cast of a new movie set to be released from Paramount Pictures next year titled Secret Headquarters.[60] Mueller also voiced the character Rider in the Netflix children's animated series Centaurworld, which premiered July 30, 2021.[61][62]

Personal life[edit]

In 2009, Mueller met and began a relationship with Andy Truschinski, an actor, film producer, and playwright, while performing opposite him in a Goodman Theatre production of A Christmas Carol.[63][64][65] The couple reside together in New York City.[66][67][68]

Activism and philanthropy[edit]

Mueller has worked frequently with the Broadway community to raise awareness and funds for various causes including LGBT+ rights, anti-gun violence, women's rights, and adoption. She supports Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS[69][70] and has appeared on multiple volumes of their annual Carols for a Cure albums.[71][72] In 2016, she was among numerous performers who teamed with Broadway personality Seth Rudetsky to record a cover of "What The World Needs Now" to support the LGBT Community of Central Florida after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando;[73] the movement included a benefit concert in Orlando[74] as well as an appearance on Maya & Marty.[75] Later that year, Mueller would again work with Rudetsky and his husband, James Wesley, to formulate the idea for Concert for America, a series of concerts supporting various social justice organizations.[76][77][78]

Mueller is also known for her work supporting the arts and arts education. In 2014, Mueller performed at the launch of the FWD Theatre Project, a grassroots effort to support the creation of new musicals in the Chicago theatre community.[79] In 2015, she performed with fellow Beautiful alum Jarrod Spector in a series of concerts benefitting various arts organizations.[80] In 2016, she and partner Andy Truschinski were honored by the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York with the Abe L. Blinder Award for Public Service and Arts Education.[81] Mueller also recorded a song for the Museum of Modern Art's Pop! Goes the Easel album, a collection of children's songs inspired by works featured in the museum.[82] In 2017, Mueller served as a mentor for students in Rosie's Theatre Kids, an organization started by actress and public personality Rosie O'Donnell to train and support youth in the performing arts.[83] Mueller continues to support her own alma maters, performing at a benefit showcase for Evanston Township High School's YAMO theatre program in 2017[84] and providing opportunities for meetings and talkbacks with Syracuse University drama students.[85] In her spare time, Mueller teaches master classes to young aspiring performers.[86][87][88][89]

Mueller is a strong and consistent advocate for The Actors Fund.[90][91]

Acting credits[edit]


Year Title Role Theatre Director(s) Ref.
2005 Once Upon a Mattress Ensemble (u.s. Winnifred) Drury Lane Theatre Ray Frewen
2006 Baby Lizzie Fields Theatre at the Center David Perkovich
Henry IV, Part 1 & Part 2 Lady Mortimer (u.s. Doll Tearsheet) Chicago Shakespeare Theatre Barbara Gaines
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
2006–07 The Three Musketeers Cecile/Ensemble Chicago Shakespeare Theatre David H. Bell
2007 Shenandoah Jenny Anderson Marriott Theatre
How Can You Run With a Shell On Your Back? Daisy Chicago Shakespeare Theatre Peter Flynn
2008 Carousel Carrie Pipperidge Court Theatre Charles Newell
Long Wharf Theatre
Willy Wonka Veruca Salt Chicago Shakespeare Theatre Joe Leonardo
All Shook Up Natalie Haller Marriott Theatre Marc Robin
Meet Me in St. Louis Esther Smith Drury Lane Theatre Jim Corti
2008–09 The Bowery Boys Ensemble Marriott Theatre David H. Bell
2009 Curtains Niki Harris Drury Lane Theatre William Brown
Animal Crackers Grace Carpenter/Mary Stewart Goodman Theatre Henry Wishcamper
A Christmas Carol Belle/Catherine William Brown
2010 Fiddler on the Roof Tzeitel Marriott Theatre David H. Bell
Sleeping Beauty Princess Amber Matt Raftery
Over the Tavern Annie Pazinski Peninsula Players Kristine Thatcher
A Little Night Music Anne Egerman Greg Vinkler
She Loves Me Amalia Balash Writers Theatre Michael Halberstam
2011 Guys and Dolls Miss Adelaide Marriott Theatre Matt Raftery
Merrily We Roll Along Mary Flynn The Music Theatre Company Jessica Redish
Shout! The Mod Musical The Blue Girl Marriott Theatre Rachel Rockwell
2011–12 On a Clear Day You Can See Forever Melinda Wells St. James Theatre Michael Mayer
2012 Into the Woods Cinderella The Public Theater (Shakespeare in the Park) Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel
2012–13 The Mystery of Edwin Drood Helena Landless/Miss Janet Conover Studio 54 Scott Ellis
2013 Carousel Carrie Pipperidge Lincoln Center (Avery Fisher Hall) John Rando
Nice Work If You Can Get It Billie Bendix (replacement) Imperial Theatre Kathleen Marshall
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Carole King Curran Theatre (out-of-town tryout) Marc Bruni
2013–15 Stephen Sondheim Theatre
2015 Waitress Jenna Hunterson American Repertory Theater (out-of-town tryout) Diane Paulus
2016–17 Brooks Atkinson Theatre
2018 Carousel Julie Jordan Imperial Theatre Jack O'Brien
2019 The Music Man Marian Paroo Kennedy Center (Eisenhower Theater) Marc Bruni
2020 The Minutes Ms. Johnson Cort Theatre Anna D. Shapiro
2022 Studio 54


Year Title Role Ref.
2017 The Post Judith Martin
2022 Secret Headquarters Lily Kincaid


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2013 Carousel: Live from Lincoln Center Carrie Pipperidge Filmed stage production
2016 The Family Fran 2 episodes
2017 Blue Bloods Faith Madson Episode: "Common Ground"
2019 Madam Secretary Leslie Episode: "Between the Seats"
Patsy & Loretta Loretta Lynn Television film
2021 Evil Anya 2 episodes
Centaurworld Rider Series regular


Cast recordings and soundtracks[edit]

Collaborative projects[edit]

  • Broadway's Carols for a Cure, Volume 16 (2014)[125]
  • Pop! Goes the Easel for MoMA (2016)[126]
  • From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando (2016)[127]
  • Broadway's Carols for a Cure, Volume 18 (2016)[128]

As featured artist[edit]


Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2008 Joseph Jefferson Award Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical Carousel Won
2011 Actress in a Principal Role in a Musical She Loves Me Won
2012 Guys and Dolls Nominated
Tony Award Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Theatre World Award Outstanding Broadway Debut Honoree
2013 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood Nominated Audience Awards Favorite Onstage Pair (with Andy Karl) Nominated
2014 Tony Award Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical Nominated Audience Awards Favorite Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical Nominated
2015 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Won
2016 Tony Award Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical Waitress Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical Nominated Audience Awards Favorite Actress in a Leading Role in Musical Nominated
2017 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Nominated
Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award Outstanding Crafts Achievement for On-Camera Talent Chicago Voices Nominated
2018 Tony Award Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical Carousel Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
2019 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Nominated
2020 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television Patsy & Loretta Nominated

Special honors and awards[edit]


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  61. ^ "Also! If you want to know the name of this colorful bunch, @KimikoGlenn is HORSE, @meganhilty is WAMMAWINK, Jessie Mueller is RIDER, @JoshRadnor is DURPLETON, @Parvesh is ZULIUS, Chris Diamantopoulos is CHED, and I play GLENDALE". Twitter. Retrieved 2021-06-14.
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