Jessie Mueller and Drew Gehling in Waitress
Jessica Ruth Mueller
February 20, 1983
|Alma mater||Syracuse University|
Jessica Ruth Mueller (born February 20, 1983) is an American actress and singer. She started her acting career in Chicago and won a Joseph Jefferson Award in 2008 for her role as Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel. In 2011, she moved to New York City to star in a Broadway revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. She won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. She also received two additional Tony Award best actress nominations for her roles in Waitress in 2016 and in the Broadway revival of Carousel in 2018.
- 1 Early years
- 2 Career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Activism and philanthropy
- 5 Theatre credits
- 6 Filmography
- 7 Discography
- 8 Awards and nominations
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Mueller was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, the daughter of actors Jill (née Shellabarger) and Roger Mueller. Her brothers, Andrew and Matt, and sister, Abby, are all actors, known for their work in the Chicago theatre community, Broadway, and Off-Broadway. Mueller is Lutheran. She graduated from Evanston Township High School in 2001 and from Syracuse University in 2005.
2005–2011: Chicago theatre
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, Once Upon a Mattress as the Lady-In Waiting, and Esther in Meet Me in St. Louis. At the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Illinois, she performed roles in Shout! The Mod Musical, Shenandoah, Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, and Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof. In 2009 Mueller performed in two musicals at the Goodman Theatre, Animal Crackers as Grace/Mary and A Christmas Carol as Belle/Catherine.
In 2011, she was named Actor of the Year by the Chicago Tribune 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.
2011–2017: Broadway debut and initial success
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. The musical 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". 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.
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. 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 – a special that was filmed and aired on PBS' Live from Lincoln Center.
Mueller appeared in the musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which opened on Broadway on January 12, 2014. She originated the title role of Carole King. She had performed this role in the try-out in San Francisco in 2013. She won the Drama Desk Award and Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. She left the Broadway production on March 6, 2015. On February 8, 2015, Mueller won a Grammy award for Best Musical Theater Album (shared with Carole King (music and lyrics), and producers Jason Howland, Steve Sidwell & Billy Jay Stein).
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. With music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles and direction by Diane Paulus, the musical premiered at the American Repertory Theater in August 2015. Waitress opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 24, 2016. Mueller was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award, among others, for her performance. 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. Suddenly, a pleasant and polished but weightless musical comedy rises to transporting heights, and sweeps up your heart along with it." Mueller left the production on March 26, 2017. Mueller's performance also earned her a 2016 Lilly Award for its message of female empowerment and safety.
2017–present: Film career, Carousel, and other projects
In April 2017, shortly after her departure from Waitress, it was announced that Mueller would next portray 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. The production closed on September 16, 2018.
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 expanding wide on January 12, 2018.
Also in 2017, Mueller was nominated for a Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for her performance in the Lyric Opera's Chicago Voices concert, which was filmed and aired on WTTW earlier in the year.
In 2018, Mueller received three major nominations for her role as Julie Jordan, including her fifth Drama Desk nomination (and second win) and her fourth Tony Award nomination. She is the first actress in any production of Carousel on Broadway to receive such nominations for the role.
It was most recently announced that Mueller will portray 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 2019 and is scheduled to premiere in October 2019, according to a producer.
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.  The couple reside together in New York City.
Activism and philanthropy
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, adoption, and other social issues. She supports Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and has appeared on multiple volumes of their annual Carols for a Cure albums. 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; the movement would include a benefit concert in Orlando as well as an appearance on Maya & Marty. 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.
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. In 2015, she performed with fellow Beautiful alum Jarrod Spector in a series of concerts benefitting various arts organizations. 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. 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. 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. Mueller continues to support her own alma maters, performing at a benefit showcase for Evanston Township High School's YAMO theatre program in 2017 and providing opportunities for meetings and talkbacks with Syracuse University drama students. In her spare time, Mueller teaches master classes to young aspiring performers.
|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/
|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|
|2017||The Post||Judith Martin|
|2019||Patsy & Loretta||Loretta Lynn|
|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"|
- The Mystery of Edwin Drood – The 2013 New Broadway Cast Recording (2013)
- Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – Original Broadway Cast Recording (2014)
- Waitress – Original Broadway Cast Recording (2016)
- Carousel – 2018 Broadway Cast Recording (2018)
- Broadway's Carols for a Cure, Volume 16 (2014)
- From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando (2016)
- Broadway's Carols for a Cure, Volume 18 (2016)
As featured artist
Awards and nominations
Special honors and awards
- Chicago Tribune's Actor of the Year Award – 2011
- Sarah Siddons Society Actress of the Year Award – April 27, 2015
- A.R.T./New York: Abe L. Blinder Award for Public Service and Arts Education – April 11, 2016
- Lilly Award for Acting – May 23, 2016
- Date of birth familysearch.org, accessed June 4, 2014.
- "Andrew Mueller on the magic of Peter and the Starcatcher, his inner nerd, and what musical his talented family should take on together". Stage Door Dish. 2013-11-06. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "Abby Mueller". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "Abby Mueller Will Reprise Her Performance as Carole King in Beautiful on Broadway Chilina Kennedy to Headline Toronto Engagement". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "Jessie Mueller as Herself After a Starry Night" The New York Times, June 10, 2014
- Gans, Andrew. "DIVA TALK: Chatting With 'On a Clear Day' Star Jessie Mueller", Playbill, January 20, 2012, accessed May 29, 2016
- " 'Animal Crackers' Listing", goodmantheatre.org, accessed May 29, 2016
- " 'A Christmas Carol' Listing", goodmantheatre.org, accessed May 29, 2016
- "Jessie Mueller biography", writers theatre, January 2014, accessed May 29, 2016
- Jones, Chris (22 December 2011). "Theater Chicagoan of the Year is Jessie Mueller: A glass slipper, a crystalline voice". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- Abarbanel, Jonathan (2010-10-01). "Chicago's New Shining Stars". Footlights.com. Archived from the original on 2012-01-28. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- Jessie Mueller. "Marriott Theatre In Lincolnshire". Marriotttheatre.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- "Chicago Shakespeare Theater – Bio – Mueller". Chicagoshakes.com. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- "Where you've seen Jessie Mueller". Chicago Tribune. May 28, 2014.
- Brown, Scott (December 12, 2011). "Theater Review: Unfogging On a Clear Day You Can See Forever". Vulture. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- "Nominee Reactions: ON A CLEAR DAY's Jessie Mueller – 'I Really Wasn't Expecting It...'". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- "Jessie Mueller – Broadway's New Star | How to Sing Like You Speak with Sally Morgan". Singlikeyouspeak.com. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- "Jessie Mueller « Here She Is Boys". Heresheisboys.com. 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- "Jessie Mueller scores in B'way debut; local troupes move north". Wbez.org. 2011-12-13. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- Jones, Kenneth. "Jessie Mueller, John Treacy Egan and Conrad John Schuck Love a Gershwin Tune; They Join 'Nice Work' March 29" playbill.com, March 29, 2013
- Gans, Andrew. "68th Annual Tony Awards Nominations Announced; 'Gentleman's Guide' Leads the Pack" Archived 2014-05-30 at the Wayback Machine Playbill, April 29, 2014
- Ferri, Josh. "Jessie Mueller Will Star as Carole King in the New Musical 'Beautiful'; Broadway Dates Announced" broadway.com, August 12, 2013
- Blank, Matthew. "Photo call: 'Beautiful: The Carole King Musical', starring Jessie Mueller, opens on Broadway; Red carpet arrivals, curtain call and cast party" Playbill, January 14, 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014
- "Grammy Awards Complete Coverage" The Washington Post. February 8, 2015
- "Sarah Siddons Society Honors Jessie Mueller" suntimes.com
- "Jessie Mueller to Star in Sara Bareilles 'Waitress'" gulfnews.com
- " 'Waitress' Workshop" playbill.com
- "Sara Bareilles 'Waitress' Musical" billboard.com
- Isherwood, Charles (April 24, 2016). "Review: Jessie Mueller Serves a Slice of Life (With Pie) in Sara Bareilles's 'Waitress'". The New York Times.
- "Tony Winner Jessie Mueller Announces Departure from Broadway's Waitress | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
- Desk, BWW News. "VIDEO: Jessie Mueller Hangs Up Her Apron and Bids Farewell to WAITRESS". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
- The Lilly Awards (2016-06-21), The 7th Annual Lilly Awards – 5.23.16, retrieved 2017-11-27
- "Gloria Steinem, Jessie Mueller and Lupita Nyong'o Set for Lilly Awards | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- Henry, Alan. "Breaking: Jessie Mueller, Joshua Henry, Renée Fleming to Star in 'Carousel' on Broadway", BroadwayWorld.com, April 16, 2017, accessed April 16, 2017
- McPhee, Ryan (4 September 2017). "Betsy Wolfe, Alexander Gemignani, and More Join Broadway Revival of Carousel; Dates and Theatre Announced". playbill.com. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
- "Broadway Revival of Carousel Closes September 16 | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
- "Jessie Mueller Will Make Her Feature Film Debut in Steven Spielberg's The Post | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
- "Chicago/Midwest Regional Emmy Awards Nominee List" (PDF).
- "Chicago Voices Concert". www.lyricopera.org. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
- Chicago Voices (2017-03-21), Chicago Voices Concert on WTTW Ch. 11, retrieved 2017-11-25
- Cox, Gordon (2018-04-26). "'Carousel,' 'SpongeBob SquarePants' Lead 2018 Drama Desk Nominations (Full List)". Variety. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants Leads 2018 Drama Desk Awards". Playbill. June 3, 2018.
- "2018 Tony Award Nominations: The Complete List". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- McPhee, Ryan (December 10, 2018). "Jessie Mueller to Star Opposite Norm Lewis in The Music Man in Washington, D.C." Playbill. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
- Meron, Neil (2019-06-01). "Last night at a benefit honoring @JenniferNettles at @LincolnCenter our #PatsyAndLoretta movie stars performed a duet. @meganhilty as #PatsyCline #JessieMueller as @LorettaLynn and they were #dazzling @lifetime Coming this fall!pic.twitter.com/0NyuTjqHZS". @neilmeron. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
- Ausiello, Michael; Ausiello, Michael (2019-03-11). "Megan Hilty and Jessie Mueller to Star as Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn in Lifetime Movie Patsy & Loretta". TVLine. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
- "Sunday Breakfast with Jessie Mueller". DailyNorthShore. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- Teeman, Tim (2016-05-16). "How Tony Nominee Jessie Mueller Conquered Broadway". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- Gerard, Jeremy (2016-05-04). "Tony Nominee Jessie Mueller On 'Waitress', Empowerment, Pies & (Whew!) Pee Breaks: Deadline Q&A". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- Broadwaycom (2014-05-15), Show People With Paul Wontorek Interview: Jessie Mueller on "Beautiful" & More, retrieved 2017-11-27
- Broadwaycom (2012-05-08), Show People with Paul Wontorek Interview: Jessie Mueller of "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever", retrieved 2017-11-27
- Desk, BWW News. "Jessie Mueller Joins Star-Powered Lineup for Broadway @ Town Hall Series in Provincetown". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- Playbill Video (2014-05-05), Carole King Surprises Cast of Broadway Musical "Beautiful", retrieved 2017-11-27
- "Jessie Mueller, Rema Webb, Ryan Shaw, Jason Tam, Tamika Lawrence, Jenn Colella Will Be Heard on Annual 'Carols for a Cure' CD | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- Keddy, Genevieve Rafter. "Exclusive Photo Coverage: Jessie Mueller & the Cast of WAITRESS Feel the Love for Carols For A Cure". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- ""Broadway for Orlando" Playbill's Exclusive Music Video Debuts | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Orlando". www.frombroadwaywithlove.org. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "Watch Broadway Stars Recreate "Broadway for Orlando" on Maya & Marty | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "Concert For America : Stand Up, Sing Out!". concertsforamerica.com. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "How Donna McKechnie's Left Arm Saved the Day | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "Behind the Scenes at the Sold-Out Concert for America | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- Jones, Chris. "With Mueller lending her voice, FWD Theatre Project debuts". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "Broadway stars Jessie Mueller and Jarrod Spector to headline 2015 Saturday Night Alive". www.denvercenter.org. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "Waitress Star Jessie Mueller and Andy Truschinski to Be Honored by A.R.T./New York". TheaterMania.com. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "Pop! Goes the Easel | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "Jessie Mueller, Christopher Jackson, and More Celebrate Rosie's Theater Kids Passing It On | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- klockett04, Community Contributor. "Tony Award-Winner Jessie Mueller to Perform at Benefit Show for Evanston Township High School". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "Waitress Theater Event | Syracuse University". nyc.syr.edu. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- Desk, BWW News (August 23, 2016). "Photo Flash: WAITRESS Star Jessie Mueller Mentors Kids at Broadway Artists Alliance". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "Workshops: Broadway Artists Alliance, One Day Master Classes | Backstage". www.backstage.com. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- "Half-Day Master Class with Jessie Mueller | Broadway Artists Alliance". www.broadwayartistsalliance.org. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
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- Scrizzi Driscoll, Kathi (September 4, 2017). "Town Hall concert shows just what Jessie sounds like". Cape Cod Times.
...her first Equity gig was as Princess Winifred in the musical “Once Upon a Mattress.”
- Jones, Chris (February 6, 2006). "`Baby' delivers charm, pop fun". Chicago Tribune.
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- "At Marriott, a classic war story is made new". Chicago Tribune. May 5, 2007.
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- "Carousel – Court Theatre". Court Theatre.
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2010 Roles: Annie in Over The Tavern; Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music
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- Weiss, Hedy. "Sarah Siddons Society honoring Jessie Mueller, Chicago’s Broadway diva" Chicago Sun-Times, April 24, 2015
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- Gordon, David. "Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Gloria Steinem, and More at 2016 Lilly Awards" theatermania.com, May 24, 2016