Groff at Outfest in June 2013
|Born||Jonathan Drew Groff
March 26, 1985
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Jonathan Drew Groff (born March 26, 1985) is an American actor and singer. At the age of 22, Groff received a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Melchior Gabor in the Broadway rock musical Spring Awakening. He also portrayed the role of Claude in the critically acclaimed revival of Hair. Regularly seen on the off-Broadway stage, Groff has won an Obie Award for starring in two of Craig Lucas's plays, Prayer for My Enemy and The Singing Forest. He made his West End debut in the revival of the play Deathtrap opposite Simon Russell Beale.
In 2013, Groff starred in the first-ever screen adaptation of author David Sedaris's work, C.O.G., in which he portrayed a character based on Sedaris himself, and as the voice of Kristoff in Frozen. On television, Groff portrayed the recurring role of Jesse St. James in the Fox series Glee, and from 2014 to 2015, he starred as Patrick Murray in the HBO series Looking.
Groff was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the son of Julie, a physical education teacher, and Jim Groff, a harness horse trainer and driver. He has one older brother, David, and is a first cousin of singer James Wolpert, a semifinalist on the fifth season of The Voice. Groff was raised in Ronks, Pennsylvania.
His father's family is Mennonite; of his upbringing, he has said: "My mother’s side of the family is Methodist, which is how I was raised. It was conservative in that I had strong values—sitting down and eating with the family every day, listening to authority and going to church every week and having perfect attendance at Sunday school. But at the same time, my parents always encouraged my brother and me to be happy with what we were doing. My parents were athletes in high school; my mom and my dad were the stars of the basketball team, but they never pushed my brother and me to be anything we didn’t want to be."
He graduated from Conestoga Valley High School in 2003 and intended to attend Carnegie Mellon University, but deferred his admission for a year when he was cast as Rolf in a non-Equity national tour of The Sound of Music. After the tour, Groff realized he would "never be able to pay off these college loans" and decided to move to New York instead.
While still living in Lancaster, Groff performed at the Fulton Opera House (in The Sound of Music, Ragtime, Evita, My Fair Lady, Peter Pan, The Pirates of Penzance, and Rags) and the Ephrata Performing Arts Center (as Edgar in Bat Boy and Ugly in Honk!).
Groff earned his Actors' Equity Association card in 2005, doing the musical Fame at the North Shore Music Theatre. In the same year, he did his Broadway debut as an understudy and swing for the musical In My Life by Joseph Brooks. The musical was about a boy with Tourette's Syndrome, and Groff understudied the lead part. He never performed in the role. Groff originated the role of Melchior Gabor in the Broadway production of Spring Awakening. He played the role from the musical's Broadway debut on December 10, 2006 through May 18, 2008. He also played the same role in the original Off Broadway production earlier during the summer of 2006. In April 2007, he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his role in Spring Awakening. In May 2007, he was nominated for the Tony Award as Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance, with the award eventually going to David Hyde Pierce.
He played the recurring role of Henry Mackler on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. His storyline about a school shooting on the long-running soap opera was nixed due to the Virginia Tech shooting in April 2007, and he is no longer on the show. Groff played as Claude in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Hair, which ran July 22 through August 31, 2008. He also appeared as Michael Lang in Ang Lee's major motion picture, Taking Woodstock. Groff has appeared in the Off-Broadway production of Prayer for My Enemy by Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss, Light in the Piazza) about the consequences the Iraq war has had on an American family. In August 2009, Groff performed The Bacchae as Dionysus as a part of the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park.
He was guest starring on Glee as Jesse St. James, the male lead of rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline for eight of the back nine episodes. He also serves as a love interest for his former Spring Awakening co-star Lea Michele's character, Rachel Berry. Newsweek critic Ramin Satoodeh stated that Groff was unconvincing in the role of the straight Jesse ("he seems more like your average theater queen, a better romantic match for Kurt than Rachel"). Groff's performance was defended by Glee creator Ryan Murphy and guest star Kristin Chenoweth, both of whom described Satoodeh's essay as homophobic; it was also condemned by GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios.
In August 2010, he made his West End debut in Deathtrap, at the Noël Coward Theatre in a production directed by Matthew Warchus. Groff returned to Glee at the end of the second season, where his character tried to ask Rachel for forgiveness. He returned to the show on May 10 to finish out the remainder of the second season. Despite leaving the show for the first part of its third season, Groff returned to Glee in Saturday Night Glee-ver as the coach of his former Glee club, Vocal Adrenaline. From August to October 2012, Groff appeared as Ian Todd in the second and final season of the Starz TV series Boss.
Groff played Ken in the Center Theatre Group's production of the Tony Award winning play Red, alongside Alfred Molina reprising his role as painter Mark Rothko. The show ran from August 1 to September 9, 2012. In March 2013, Groff and Molina reprised their roles for six more performances of the play, this time in the L.A. Theatre Works. These performances, like all that take place on LATW, were recorded to be broadcast on radio.
Groff voiced one of the lead roles in Disney's animated feature Frozen. His character, Kristoff, is a rugged mountain man and ice trader. The film premiered on November 19, 2013, and went into wide theatrical release on November 27. Following the movie's massive commercial success and its ranking as the highest-grossing animated film of all time, the sixth highest-grossing film of all time, and the highest-grossing film of 2013, Groff reprised his role in the short sequel Frozen Fever, which premiered on March 13, 2015. Groff and his co-stars also appeared in the television special The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic, which aired September 2, 2014, on ABC.
Groff starred as Patrick Murray, a gay video-game developer, in HBO's dramedy Looking, which, following an eight-episode initial order in 2013, was renewed for a second season. On March 23, 2015, HBO cancelled Looking after its second season, and has made plans to conclude the show's story in a movie later that year. In April 2013, Groff joined another HBO production, playing Craig in the film adaptation of the Larry Kramer play The Normal Heart.
Groff joined the cast of the musical Hamilton on March 3, 2015, replacing Brian d'Arcy James in the role of King George III. He held the role for the remainder of the show's Off-Broadway production, through May 3, 2015. He will reprise the role on the Broadway production, which starts performances July 13, 2015.
Groff returned to the London stage (for the first time since his West End debut in 2010) on May 19, 2015, to star in a one-night-only concert staging of the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at the Royal Festival Hall.
Groff starred in a production of the musical A New Brain presented as part of the New York City Center's Encores! Off-Center staged concert series. The show was directed by the its co-writer James Lapine, and took place June 24–27, 2015.
Groff came out as gay in October 2009 during the National Equality March in Washington. Since 2010, Groff was rumored to be dating actor Zachary Quinto. In September 2012, Quinto confirmed that he and Groff were in a relationship. In July 2013, it was reported that the two had broken up.
An advocate for the LGBTQ community, Groff was listed in Out Magazine's OUT100 as one of the 100 most compelling LGBT people in 2013 and again in 2014, this time alongside Murray Bartlett and Russell Tovey, his fellow out co-stars in Looking. Also in 2014, he was named a Grand Marshal of the New York City Pride Parade, alongside actress Laverne Cox and National LGBTQ Task Force executive director Rea Carey. In 2015, he was presented by the Point Foundation with the Point Horizon Award, which "recognizes a young trailblazer who has taken a leadership role as an advocate of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community." According to Point Foundation's executive director and CEO, Jorge Valencia, Groff "is a proud member of the LGBTQ community and uses his position to speak about both the challenges and opportunities young LGBTQ people face in society. As an actor and an advocate, Groff is an inspiration to the next generation of LGBTQ leaders."
|2009||Taking Woodstock||Michael Lang|
|2010||Conspirator, TheThe Conspirator||Louis Weichmann|
|2014||Sniper, AmericanAmerican Sniper||Young Vet Mads|
|2015||Frozen Fever||Kristoff Bjorgman||Voice, short film|
|2007||One Life to Live||Henry Mackler||Role held: April 11 – May 7, 2007|
|2010–12, 2015||Glee||Jesse St. James||14 episodes|
|2012||Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife||Jimmy Fellner||Episode: "Live from Damascus"|
|2012||Boss||Ian Todd||Main cast; 10 episodes|
|2014–15||Looking||Patrick Murray||Main cast; 18 episodes|
|2014||Normal Heart, TheThe Normal Heart||Craig Donner||Television film|
|2005||Fame||Nick Piazza||North Shore Music Theatre
May 31 – June 19, 2005
|2005||In My Life||Understudy / Swing||Music Box Theatre
October 20 – December 11, 2005
|2006||Spring Awakening||Melchior Gabor||Atlantic Theatre Company
May 19 – August 5, 2006
|2006–08||Spring Awakening||Melchior Gabor||Eugene O'Neill Theatre
December 10, 2006 – May 18, 2008
|2007||Hair (40th anniversary concert)||Claude Hooper Bukowski||Delacorte Theatre
September 22–24, 2007
|2008||Hair||Claude Hooper Bukowski||Delacorte Theatre
July 22 – August 16, 2008
|2008||Prayer for My Enemy||Billy Noone||Playwrights Horizons
November 14 – December 21, 2008
|2009||Singing Forest, TheThe Singing Forest||Gray Korankyi / Walter Rieman||The Public Theater
April 27 – May 17, 2009
|2009||Bacchae, TheThe Bacchae||Dionysus||Delacorte Theatre
August 11–30, 2009
|2010–11||Deathtrap||Clifford Anderson||Noël Coward Theatre
August 21, 2010 – January 15, 2011
|2011||Submission, TheThe Submission||Danny Larsen||MCC Theater
September 8 – October 22, 2011
|2012||Red||Ken||Mark Taper Forum
August 1 – September 9, 2012
|2013||Red||Ken||L.A. Theatre Works
March 14–17, 2013
|2013||Pirates of Penzance, TheThe Pirates of Penzance (concert)||Frederic||Delacorte Theatre
June 10, 2013
|2015||Hamilton||King George III||The Public Theater
March 3 – May 3, 2015
|2015||How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (concert)||J. Pierrepont Finch||Royal Festival Hall
May 19, 2015
|2015||A New Brain||Gordon Michael Schwinn||New York City Center
June 24–27, 2015
|2015||Hamilton||King George III||Richard Rodgers Theatre
July 13, 2015 – open-ended
- Spring Awakening (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (2006) – Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album
- Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna (2010)
- Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers (2010)
- Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals (2010)
- Glee: The Music, Volume 6 (2011)
- Frozen (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2013) – Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media
- Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (2015)
- Dreaming Wide Awake: The Music of Scott Alan (2007) on the track "Now"
- A View of the River: Seven Songs by Will Van Dyke & Jeff Talbott (2015) on the track "Prayer"
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Highway to Hell" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||2010||—||—||88||—||89||Glee: The Music, The Complete Season One|
|"Run Joey Run" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||61||64||45||12||27|
|"Another One Bites the Dust" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||79||—||53||41||101|
|"Bohemian Rhapsody" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Hello" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||35||79||37||31||35||Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers|
|"Total Eclipse of the Heart" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||16||28||17||3||9|
|"Like a Virgin" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||87||99||83||47||58||Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna|
|"Like a Prayer" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||27||28||27||2||16|
|"Rolling in the Deep" (Glee Cast featuring Jonathan Groff)||2011||29||—||—||—||—||Glee: The Music, Volume 6|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
In February 2011, Jonathan appeared in two promotional videos for his brother Dave's commercial kitchen supply site, the WEBstaurant Store. The first was one promoting the company's Facebook fanpage and contests for its customers. The second was a special Valentine's Day video in which he made a martini and promoted products sold on the site. The martini he made was a special recipe created especially for Jonathan called the "She Loves Me Martini", for the video by Dee Brun, "The Cocktail Deeva".
Awards and nominations
|2007||Tony Award||Best Performance by a Actor in a Musical||Spring Awakening||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Actor in a Musical||Nominated|
|Drama League Award||Distinguished Performance||Nominated|
|Theatre World Award||Outstanding Debut Performance||Won|
|Broadway.com Audience Choice Award||Favorite Leading Actor in a Broadway Musical||Won|
|Favorite Male Breakthrough Performance||Won|
|Favorite Onstage Pair (shared with Lea Michele)||Won|
|Favorite Ensemble Cast||Won|
|BroadwayWorld.com Theatre Fans' Choice Award||Best Leading Actor in a Musical||Nominated|
|2009||Obie Award||Outstanding Performance||Prayer for My Enemy
The Singing Forest
|2011||WhatsOnStage.com Theatregoers' Choice Award||London Newcomer of the Year||Deathtrap||Won|
|2012||BroadwayWorld.com Los Angeles Award||Best Leading Actor in a Play (Touring Production)||Red||Nominated|
|2014||Gold Derby TV Award||Best Comedy Actor||Looking||Nominated|
|EWwy Award||Best Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|NewNowNext Award||Best New Television Actor||Won|
|Behind the Voice Actors Awards||Best Male Lead Vocal Performance in a Feature Film||Frozen||Nominated|
|2015||Point Horizon Award||N/A||Won|
- "Interview with James Wolpert: L-S grad growing confident on 'The Voice'". LancasterOnline.
- Adams, Sean (2015-01-27). "Actor Jonathan Groff on 'Frozen,' 'Glee,' HBO and growing up in Lancaster County". Penn Live. Retrieved 2015-08-07.
- Hoof Beats Magazine, July 2007: "Profile Jim and Jonathan Groff
- "Actor Jonathan Groff Goes From "Glee" to "Boss"". Details. August 15, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
- J. Ritzel, Rebecca (December 19, 2006). "Broadway 'Awakening'". Lancaster Online. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Sunday at The Zipper with The Fulton". Facebook. January 25, 2009. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- Jonathan Groff. YouTube. 19 April 2007.
- Jonathan Groff at the Internet Broadway Database
- Lortel Archives—The Internet Off-Broadway Database
- The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards – Official Website
- "'One Life To Live' Pulls Hostage Plot After Virginia Tech Killings". Access Hollywood. 24 April 2007.
- "Playwrights Horizons". Playwrights Horizons. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- Ross, Dalton (October 19, 2009). "'Glee' Exclusive: 'Spring Awakening' star Jonathan Groff to join the show | Inside TV | EW.com". Hollywoodinsider.ew.com. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- Satoodeh, Ramin (April 26, 2010). "Straight Jacket". Newsweek. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
- EW staff (May 11, 2010). "'Glee' creator Ryan Murphy pushes for 'Newsweek' boycott". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
- Villoreal, Yvonne (May 12, 2010). "Newsweek-gate: GLAAD weighs in". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
- Baz Bamigboye (April 16, 2010). "Glee heart-throb Jonathan Groff is to be star in the West End". The Daily Mail.
- Ward, Kate. "He's back: Jonathan Groff returning to 'Glee'!" EW.com, March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
- Jones, Kenneth. "Red, With Alfred Molina and Jonathan Groff, Opens in L.A." Playbill.com, August 12, 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- Hetrick, Adam. "Alfred Molina and Jonathan Groff Will Appear in Red for L.A. Theatre Works; Production Will Be Recorded" Playbill.com, February 20, 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- Goldberg, Lesley. "'Frozen': Jonathan Groff from 'Glee' voicing hero in Disney's 'Snow Queen' adaptation" EW.com, December 19, 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- Liu, Meng (November 19, 2013). "Disney's 'Frozen' Premiere Turns L.A. Into a Winter Wonderland". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- Graser, Marc (December 3, 2014). "'Frozen Fever' Short to Debut in Front of Disney's 'Cinderella'". Variety. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (February 26, 2014). "'Looking' Renewed for Second Season by HBO". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
- Schou, Solvej. "'Glee's' Jonathan Groff to Star in HBO Comedy Pilot (Exclusive)" The Hollywood Reporter, February 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
- Goldberg, Lesley. "HBO Greenlights Gay-Themed Dramedy Series" The Hollywood Reporter, May 14, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
- Ausiello, Michael (25 March 2015). "Looking Cancelled at HBO — But Patrick's Story Isn't Over Yet". TVLine (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- Hibberd, James. "Jonathan Groff to play Taylor Kitsch's lover in Ryan Murphy film" Entertainment Weekly, April 26, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
- Hetrick, Adam (February 25, 2015). "Spring Awakening Star Is New King of Broadway-Bound Hamilton". Playbill.com. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- Lloyd Webber, Imogen (June 15, 2015). "Jonathan Groff Will Reign Over Broadway as King George III in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton; Complete Cast Set". Broadway.com. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
- Shenton, Mark (March 13, 2015). "Jonathan Groff To Star in London Concert of How to Succeed". Playbill.com. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- Gans, Andrew (December 15, 2014). "Ellen Greene in Little Shop, Jonathan Groff in New Brain and Sutton Foster in Wild Party Set for Encores! Off-Center Season". Playbill.com. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- Champion, Lindsay (May 19, 2014). "Zits, Fettuccine & Jonathan Groff: Six Things We Learned From Lea Michele’s Book Brunette Ambition", Broadway.com. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
- Jensen, Michael (October 19, 2009). "Tony Award Nominee Jonathan Groff has Most Low-key Coming Out Ever.". AfterElton.com. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- Strecker, Erin (September 12, 2012). "Zachary Quinto on dating Jonathan Groff: 'I'm incredibly happy'". CNN. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- "Jonathan Groff and Zachary Quinto end yearlong romance". United Press International. Archived from the original on December 9, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Out.com Editors (November 11, 2013). "Out100: Jonathan Groff". Out.com. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- Krochmal, Shana Naomi (November 4, 2015). "OUT100: Jonathan Groff & Murray Bartlett & Russell Tovey of Looking". Out.com. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- Nichols, JamesMichael (April 22, 2014). "Laverne Cox, Jonathan Groff And Rea Carey Named 2014 NYC Pride Grand Marshals". The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- Lee, Ashley (March 11, 2015). "Looking Star Jonathan Groff to Be Honored by Point Foundation (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- "iTunes - Music - Dreaming Wide Awake: The Music of Scott Alan by Scott Alan". iTunes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- Gioia, Michael (August 24, 2015). "Audio Exclusive! Jonathan Groff Sings Inspirational New Song About Starting Anew". Playbill.com. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- Gans, Andrew. "Audio Version of Rudetsky's "Broadway Nights," with Bell, Chenoweth, Groff, Now Available" Playbill.com, July 8, 2008. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
- Peak positions for featured singles in the United States:
- "Hello": "Hot 100: Week of May 01, 2010 (Biggest Jump)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. May 1, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "Like a Virgin", "Like a Prayer", and "Total Eclipse of the Heart": "Glee Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2011-04-13.
- "Run Joey Run": "Hot 100: Week of May 22, 2010 (Biggest Jump)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. May 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "Another One Bites the Dust": "Hot 100: Week of June 19, 2010 (Biggest Jump)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. June 19, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- Peak positions for featured singles in Australia:
- "Hello": "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing May 10, 2010" (PDF) (1054). Pandora Archive. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- "Like a Virgin": "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing May 17, 2010" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- "Like a Prayer" and "Total Eclipse of the Heart": "Discography Glee Cast". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-04-13.
- "Run Joey Run": "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing May 31, 2010" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. May 31, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
- Peak positions for featured singles in Canada"
- "Highway to Hell": "Canadian Hot 100: Week of May 01, 2010 (Biggest Jump)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. May 1, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "Like a Virgin", "Like a Prayer", and "Total Eclipse of the Heart": "Glee Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2011-04-13.
- "Run Joey Run": "Canadian Hot 100: Week of May 22, 2010 (Biggest Jump)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. May 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "Another One Bites the Dust": "Canadian Hot 100: Week of June 19, 2010 (Biggest Jump)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. June 19, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "Discography Glee Cast". irish-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-04-13.
- "Chart Stats – Glee Cast". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
- "Official Singles Chart for the week ending June 19, 2010". ChartsPlus (Liverpool: UKChartsPlus) (460): 1–4. June 16, 2010.
- "Rolling In The Deep (Glee Cast Version featuring Jonathan Groff)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
- "Rolling in the Deep (Glee Cast Version featuring Jonathan Groff)". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
- "Jonathan Groff Says Hello To WEBstaurant Store Fans". YouTube. February 8, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- [dead link]
- "Rub VODKA on it". Cocktail Deeva. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- Jonathan Groff at the Internet Movie Database
- Jonathan Groff at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jonathan Groff at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Jonathan Groff at AllMusic