John Gallagher, Jr.

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John Gallagher, Jr.
John Gallagher, Jr. at PaleyFest 2013.jpg
John Gallagher, Jr. in 2013
Born John Howard Gallagher, Jr.
(1984-06-17) June 17, 1984 (age 31)
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Occupation Actor, singer, songwriter
Years active 2001–present

John Howard Gallagher, Jr. (born June 17, 1984) is an American actor and musician known for originating the role of Moritz Stiefel in Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's rock musical Spring Awakening, which earned him a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. He also played Johnny in Green Day's Broadway musical, American Idiot, and Lee in the 2011 Broadway production of Jerusalem. He played Jim Harper in Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom and starred in the HBO mini-series Olive Kitteridge (2014).

Early life[edit]

Gallagher was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware with his parents and two older sisters. His parents, John Gallagher, Sr. and June Gallagher, are folk musicians. He eventually went on to play in numerous bands, including Not Now Murray, What Now, Annie's Autograph, and Old Springs Pike.

Before and throughout his Spring Awakening run, he was in Old Springs Pike. On January 23, 2008, his fellow band members announced his departure. The next day, Gallagher made an official announcement confirming his departure on his MySpace page. Old Springs Pike later officially changed their name to The Spring Standards.[1]

Gallagher played Tom Sawyer as a child actor at the Delaware Children's Theatre.[2][3]

Stage career[edit]

Gallagher has appeared in three plays by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. He originated the role of Jeff in Abaire's hit play Kimberly Akimbo, appeared in the ill-fated United Kingdom production of Fuddy Meers, and he received critical acclaim for his role in Rabbit Hole, which marked his Broadway debut. He also appeared in the Manhattan Theatre Club Production of the David Marshall Grant play Current Events.[4]

Gallagher originated the role of Moritz Stiefel in Spring Awakening on Broadway after performing the role Off-Broadway and in workshops at Lincoln Center. The rock musical, with music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater premiered Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theatre Company on May 19, 2006 and ran through August 5, 2006.[5] Spring Awakening opened on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on December 10, 2006. Gallagher won the 2007 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance.[6] On December 16, 2007, he left Spring Awakening and was succeeded two days later by Blake Bashoff.[7]

Gallagher starred in productions of the dramas, Port Authority, by Conor McPherson and Farragut North by Beau Willimon.[8] Both plays were productions of the Atlantic Theater Company, the same theater that premiered Spring Awakening.

Gallagher starred in American Idiot, a musical based on the Green Day album of the same name, along with fellow Spring Awakening alumni Brian Charles Johnson and Gerard Canonico.[9] American Idiot premiered in Berkeley, California at the Berkeley Repertory Theater on September 4, 2009.[10] The show's run ended on November 15, 2009. It began previews on Broadway at the St. James Theatre March 24, 2010 and officially opened on April 20, 2010. It was later nominated for three 2010 Tony Awards, of which it won two.[11] Gallagher played Johnny, or "Jesus of Suburbia". Gallagher departed American Idiot on February 27, 2011 and was succeeded by Van Hughes[12] The show's run ended on April 24, 2011.

After leaving American Idiot, Gallagher was featured in the Broadway production of The Royal Court Theatre's Jerusalem. The production was directed by Ian Rickson, and opened on April 21, 2011 at the Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street).[13] He played the role of Lee until leaving the production on July 17, 2011.[14]

On May 26, 2015, it was announced that Gallagher would be returning to Broadway during the upcoming season. He is set to star in Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night, alongside Jessica Lange and Gabriel Byrne. The show is directed by Jonathan Kent and previews begin on March 31, 2016, while the show is set to open on April 19, 2016 at the American Airlines Theatre.[15] On a Q&A on HBO Connect on July 11, 2012, the actor expressed an interest in doing the show with three of his friends, calling it a "fantasy".

Film and television[edit]

Gallagher has appeared in several television programs, including The West Wing, Law & Order: SVU, NYPD Blue, Ed, Love Monkey, and Hallmark Hall of Fame's film The Flamingo Rising. More recently, he played Jim Harper in Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom which aired on HBO[16] He also appeared in HBO's mini-series Olive Kitteridge, based on the Pulitzer-winning novel of the same name, in the role of Christopher Kitteridge.

Film credits include Pieces of April, Woody Allen's Whatever Works, Jonah Hex, Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret, and a lead role in Short Term 12 opposite Brie Larson. His latest movie, The Heart Machine, was released in October 2014. In November 2014, he finished filming for 10 Cloverfield Lane, an upcoming thriller film.[17][18] As of June 2015, he was filming The Belko Experiment, an upcoming horror thriller film directed by Greg McLean and written by James Gunn.


Gallagher has been writing music since his early adolescent years. He frequently performs in live spaces such as Rockwood Music Hall in New York. He has stated on multiple occasions that he is working on putting out a record.[19] In an interview with Alternative Nation in December 2014 he mentioned that he is aiming for a Spring 2015 release.[20] In an encounter with a fan he confirmed that the songs "Wild Wild Woods", "Sarasota Someone" and "Dangerous Strangers" will be on his first album, and that the sound of it is "more rock n roll with a few ballads and acoustics."

On November 23, 2015 he announced through Twitter that his debut album Six Day Hurricane is set to be released on January 15, 2016 via Rockwood Music Hall Recordings. The first single of the album, "Two Fists Full", was also released that day through Soundcloud. Regarding the delay in recording his music, Gallagher said "I knew I had to do it now, or I was going to go another year or see another birthday without putting my music out, and I can’t live with that." The album was recorded over the course of a week and includes nine songs, all of which he had previously performed live. He collaborated with friend Thad DeBrock, who also produced the record. [21]


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Flamingo Rising, TheThe Flamingo Rising Gary Television film
2003 Pieces of April Timmy Burns
2006 Mr. Gibb Brett Mullen
2009 Whatever Works Perry
2010 Jonah Hex Lieutenant Evan
2011 Margaret Darren
2013 Short Term 12 Mason
2013 Broadway Idiot Himself Documentary
2014 Heart Machine, TheThe Heart Machine Cody
2016 The Belko Experiment Mike Pelk
2016 10 Cloverfield Lane
2016 Hush
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Law & Order Terrence Holt Episode: "Girl Most Likely"
2002 The West Wing Tyler Episode: "20 Hours in America (Part 1)"
2003 Ed Eric Episode: "The Decision"
2003 NYPD Blue Ray Spier 2 episodes
2004 Law and Order: Criminal Intent Gary Episode: "Conscience"
2006 Love Monkey Paul 2 episodes
2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jeff Lynwood Episode: "Lead"
2012–2014 Newsroom, TheThe Newsroom James "Jim" Harper Main cast; 3 Seasons (25 Episodes)
2014 Olive Kitteridge Christopher Kitteridge HBO miniseries; 3 episodes

New York Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Venue
2003 Kimberly Akimbo Jeff Manhattan Theatre Club (Off-Broadway)
2006 Rabbit Hole Jason Pacific Playwrights Festival

Biltmore Theatre (Broadway)

2006–2007 Spring Awakening Moritz Stiefel Atlantic Theatre Company (Off-Broadway)

Eugene O'Neill Theatre (Broadway)

2008 Port Authority Kevin Atlantic Theatre Company (Off-Broadway)
2008 Farragut North Stephen Meyers
2009–2011 American Idiot Johnny (The Jesus of Suburbia) Berkeley Repertory Theatre
St. James Theatre (Broadway)
2011 Jerusalem Lee Music Box Theatre (Broadway)
2016 Long Day's Journey into Night Edmund American Airlines Theatre (Broadway)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2007 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Spring Awakening Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated Audience Award Favorite Featured Actor in a Broadway Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
2010 American Idiot Nominated Audience Award Favorite Leading Actor in a Broadway Musical Won
2014 CinEuphoria Award Best Supporting Actor - International Competition Short Term 12 Nominated


  1. ^ The Spring Standards on Myspace
  2. ^ Ruston, Muriel (September 29, 2009). "Leaving the nest for 'Birdie'". The News Journal. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  3. ^ "John Gallagher, Jr.". Film Bug. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  4. ^ Official Spring Awakening biography
  5. ^ Pincus-Roth, Zachary."'Spring Awakening' Advance Approaches $2 Million", December 12, 2006
  6. ^ Recording of 'Spring Awakening' Live at the Apple Store
  7. ^ "Bashoff Joins Broadway's Spring Awakening"
  8. ^ Farragut North, Backstage Political Tale, With Noth and Gallagher, Begins in NYC
  9. ^
  10. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (March 30, 2009). "Punk CD Is Going Theatrical". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (February 10, 2011). "New ‘American Idiot' Cast Members Include Davey Havok of AFI". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ "John Gallagher, Jr. to Co-Star in JERUSALEM; Full Cast Announced". Broadway February 17, 2011. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Jessica Lange, Gabriel Byrne and John Gallagher Jr. Will Star in Broadway Revival of "Long Day's Journey"
  16. ^ from 2012 to 2014."John Gallagher Jr. Departs Jerusalem to Join Aaron Sorkin's More As This Story Develops"
  17. ^ "Interview: John Gallagher, Jr. Says Goodbye to The Newsroom"
  18. ^ Chitwood, Adam (January 14, 2016). "’10 Cloverfield Lane’ Is the Title of J.J. Abrams’ Secret Bad Robot Movie". Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Reddit Q&A with Zachary Wigon, John Gallagher Jr. and Kate Lyn Sheil of The Heart Machine"
  20. ^ "Interview: John Gallagher, Jr. Says Goodbye to The Newsroom"
  21. ^ [1]

External links[edit]