Josh Gad

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Josh Gad
41st Annie Awards, Josh Gad (crop).jpg
Gad at the 41st Annie Awards in 2014
Joshua Ilan Gad

(1981-02-23) February 23, 1981 (age 39)
EducationCarnegie Mellon University (BFA)
OccupationActor, comedian, singer
Years active2002–present
Ida Darvish (m. 2008)

Joshua Ilan Gad[1] (born February 23, 1981)[2] is an American actor, comedian, and singer. He is known for voicing Olaf in the Frozen franchise, playing Elder Arnold Cunningham in the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, and LeFou in the live-action adaptation of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. For his role as Olaf, Gad won two Annie Awards, and for his work in The Book of Mormon, he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.

Gad played Skip Gilchrist in the political sitcom 1600 Penn on NBC, and a fictionalized version of himself on FX's The Comedians, alongside Billy Crystal. His other film roles include The Rocker, The Internship, 21, Love & Other Drugs, Jobs, Pixels, The Wedding Ringer, The Angry Birds Movie and the sequel, A Dog's Purpose and sequel A Dog's Journey, Marshall, and Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. He will star in the upcoming Netflix movie Super-Normal. He has also appeared in ER, The Daily Show, Modern Family, New Girl, Bored to Death, and Numb3rs. In 2020, he starred in the HBO comedy series Avenue 5. .

Early life[edit]

Joshua Ilan Gad was born in Hollywood, Florida, on February 23, 1981.[2] His mother, Susan,[3] is a real estate agent and his stepfather is an investment advisor, and he has two older brothers, a stepbrother and a stepsister.[1] He was raised Jewish[4][5] as his father Sam (Shmuel) Gad is a Jewish emigrant from Afghanistan and his mother, who was born in Germany, is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.[6][7][8][9]

Gad attended the University School of Nova Southeastern University, graduating in 1999. While there, he won the National Forensics League (NFL) National Tournament Championships for Original Oratory in 1998, and for Humorous Interpretation and Original Oratory in 1999.[10] He then attended the Carnegie Mellon College of Fine Arts, where he graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drama. During this time, he undertook a semester-long exchange at the National Institute of Dramatic Art.[11]


2002–2008: Early career[edit]

Gad made his film debut in the 2002 film Mary and Joe. In 2005, Gad made his television debut by guest starring in an episode of the NBC medical drama series ER. Gad went on to star in the Fox sitcom Back to You as news director Ryan Church. The sitcom lasted one season from 2007 to 2008. In 2008, Gad had a supporting role in the drama film 21, and a leading role in the comedy film The Rocker.

2008–2012: The Book of Mormon and minor success on television[edit]

After Back to You, Gad appeared as a correspondent on The Daily Show on May 5, 2009, and became a regular correspondent on June 2, 2009.[12] His signature segments include "The War on Christmas", in which he played an oversexed Benjamin Franklin, and "Chubby Chasers", in which he reported on Michelle Obama's efforts to curb childhood obesity.[13] Gad made his final appearance as a correspondent on June 27, 2011.[citation needed] Also in 2009, Gad starred in the short-form Crackle horror comedy series Woke Up Dead.

In 2010, he had a supporting role in the romantic comedy-drama film Love & Other Drugs opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. That same year, Gad had a voice role in the family comedy film Marmaduke. In 2011, Gad voiced Mondo in the MTV adult animated sitcom Good Vibes. That same year, Gad portrayed Elder Cunningham in the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon. The show opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on March 24, 2011.[14] His last performance was June 6, 2012. Gad was nominated for the 2011 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, along with his co-star Andrew Rannells.[15]

In 2012, Gad had a leading role in the independent film She Wants Me. Also in 2012, Gad co-created, produced and starred in the NBC sitcom 1600 Penn. Both Good Vibes and 1600 Penn were cancelled after one season. That same year, Gad voiced the molehog Louis in Ice Age: Continental Drift.

2013–2019: Frozen franchise and continued success[edit]

In 2013, he played Andrew in the film The Internship and starred as Steve Wozniak in the film Jobs. The same year, he voiced Olaf in the Disney film Frozen, re-collaborating with co-songwriter Robert Lopez from The Book of Mormon. In 2014, Gad co-starred in Zach Braff's film Wish I Was Here, playing the main character's brother.[16]

In 2015, Gad starred alongside Kevin Hart and Kaley Cuoco in The Wedding Ringer and starred alongside Adam Sandler and Peter Dinklage in Pixels, a film about video game players who are recruited by the military to fight 1980s-era video game characters who have attacked the earth.[17] That same year, Gad co-starred with Billy Crystal on the FX comedy series The Comedians, which premiered on April 9, 2015.[18] The series was cancelled after one season. In 2016, Gad voiced Chuck in The Angry Birds Movie, based on the game franchise of the same name.

In 2017, Gad voiced the dog Bailey in A Dog's Purpose,[19][20] Also that year, he played LeFou in the live-action adaptation of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, directed by Bill Condon and co-starring with Emma Watson.[21] Gad also starred in Reginald Hudlin's biographical drama Marshall, alongside Chadwick Boseman and Beauty and the Beast co-star Dan Stevens, and Gad played Hector MacQueen in a film adaptation of Agatha Christie's detective novel Murder on the Orient Express, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, alongside Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, and Daisy Ridley.

In 2019, Gad starred with Lupita Nyong'o and Alexander England in the Hulu horror-comedy Little Monsters.[22] He also starred in A Dog's Journey, the sequel to A Dog's Purpose, reprising his role as Bailey. Also in 2019, Gad reprised his role of Olaf in the sequel Frozen II as well as the video game Kingdom Hearts III.

2020–present: Success with television ventures[edit]

In 2020, Gad returned to television by starring in two different television series. First, Gad starred in the HBO science fiction comedy series Avenue 5 opposite Hugh Laurie. The series premiered on January 19 and was renewed for a second season a month later.[23] Second, Gad created, produced and starred in the Apple TV+ animated musical comedy series Central Park. The series received a two-season order from Apple with each season set to consist of thirteen episodes each. The series premiered on May 29.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, where people were encouraged to practice social distancing, Gad launched the YouTube series Reunited Apart, which reunites the cast, via video conferencing, of several popular movies and movie series including Back to The Future and Lord of the Rings. The series encourages its viewers to support non-profit charities such as Dig Deep, Project Hope and No Kid Hungry.[24] He starred in Artemis Fowl, based on the book of the same name by Eoin Colfer. The film was initially set for a theatrical release but was later changed to a streaming release on Disney+ due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Upcoming projects[edit]

Gad is set to serve as co-creator, co-writer, and executive-producer for a Beauty and the Beast prequel limited series for Disney+, in which he will also reprise his role as LeFou as a series regular.[25] Gad was also announced to star as Nick Szalinski in the upcoming theatrical film Shrunk, a legacy-sequel to the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids franchise.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Gad married actress Ida Darvish on May 10, 2008. They have two daughters, Ava, who was born on December 1, 2010 and Isabella, who was born on February 17, 2014.[27][28] Gad has stated that while he loves the traditional aspects of Judaism and celebrates some traditions of his wife's Catholicism, he considers himself spiritual but not religious.[4]



Year Title Role Notes
2002 Mary and Joe Angel
2007 Watching the Detectives Mark
2008 21 Miles
2008 The Rocker Matt
2009 Crossing Over Howie
2009 The Lost Nomads: Get Lost 22 Gigi
Miss Piggy
Jose Sanchez
The Clown
Spatula Lover
2009 Big Guy Rodney
2010 Marmaduke Bandana Dog (voice)
2010 Love & Other Drugs Josh Randall
2011 Mardi Gras: Spring Break Bartholomew T. "Bump" Brown
2012 She Wants Me Sam Baum
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift Louis (voice)
2012 Thanks for Sharing Neil
2013 Jobs Steve Wozniak
2013 The Internship Andrew "Headphones" Anderson
2013 Frozen Olaf (voice) Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production
2014 Wish I Was Here Noah Bloom
2015 The Wedding Ringer Doug Harris Nominated - Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
2015 Frozen Fever Olaf (voice) Short film
2015 Pixels Ludlow Lamonsoff Nominated - Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
2016 The Angry Birds Movie Chuck (voice) [29]
2017 A Dog's Purpose Toby/Bailey/Ellie/Tino/Waffles/Buddy (voice)
2017 Beauty and the Beast LeFou
2017 Marshall Sam Friedman
2017 Murder on the Orient Express Hector MacQueen
2017 Olaf's Frozen Adventure Olaf (voice) Television special
2019 Little Monsters[30] Nathan Schneider/Teddy McGiggle
2019 A Dog's Journey Bailey/Molly/Big Dog/Max (voice)[31]
2019 The Angry Birds Movie 2 Chuck (voice)
2019 Frozen II Olaf (voice) Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production
2020 Artemis Fowl Mulch Diggums


Year Title Role Notes
2005 ER Sgt. Bruce Larabee Episode: "Here and There"
2007–08 Back to You Ryan Church Main role; 17 episodes
2008 American Dad! Art (voice) Episode: "Pulling Double Booty"
2008, 2009 Numb3rs Roy McGill 2 episodes
2009 Waiting to Die Simon Movie
2009 No Heroics Horseforce Movie
2009 Party Down Jeffrey Ells Episode: "California College Conservative Union Caucus"
2009–11 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Himself (correspondent) 5 episodes
2010 Bored to Death Warren Episode: "Make It Quick, Fitzgerald!"
2011 The Cleveland Show Droopy / Pimp (voice) Episode: "Our Gang"
2011 Californication Doctor 2 episodes
2011 Gigi: Almost American Gigi 10 episodes
Also executive producer
2011, 2020 Modern Family Kenneth Ploufe 2 episodes: "Punkin Chunkin" and "Dead on a Rival"
2011 Good Vibes Mondo (voice) Main role; 12 episodes
2012–13 1600 Penn Skip Gilchrist Main role; 13 episodes; also co-creator and executive producer
2012–15 New Girl Bearclaw 3 episodes: "Katie", "Birthday", "Walk of Shame"
2013 Hollywood Game Night Himself Episode: "America's Got Game Night"
2014 Monsters vs. Aliens Internet (voice) Episode: "Bride of the Internet"
2015 The Comedians Josh Main role
2015 Sesame Street Vincent Van Stop Episode: "Bert's Sign Painting Challenge[32]
2015 Phineas and Ferb Wendell (voice) 2 episodes
2015 TripTank Louis (voice) 1 episode
2015 Jeopardy! Himself Celebrity contestant[33]
2016 Lip Sync Battle Himself / Donald Trump Episode: "Josh Gad vs. Kaley Cuoco"
2016 Sofia the First Olaf (voice) Episode: "The Secret Library: Olaf and the Tale of Miss Nettle"
2016 LEGO Frozen Northern Lights Olaf (voice) Special
2016 Talking Dead Himself Guest
2017 Star Wars Rebels Controller (voice) Episode: "Double Agent Droid"
2017 South Park Marcus Preston (voice) Episode: "Hummels & Heroin"
Also producer
2018 Bob's Burgers Damon (voice) Episode: "Just One of the Boyz 4 Now for Now"
2019 The Ellen DeGeneres Show Himself Guest host
2020–present Avenue 5 Herman Judd Main cast
2020–present Central Park Birdie (voice) Main cast; also co-creator and executive producer
2020 Home Movie: The Princess Bride Grandson[34] Upcoming series[35]

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice roles
2012 MIB: Alien Crisis Emilio Chauncey, Handsome Guest, Khnemu
2013 Frozen: Olaf's Quest Olaf
2015 Disney Infinity 3.0[36]
2019 Kingdom Hearts III


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Woke Up Dead Matt 21 episodes
2013 Kevin Pollak's Chat Show Himself / Guest Podcast
2019–present Blood Ties Michael Richland Radio Drama/Podcast
2020–present Reunited Apart Host - Himself Web Series


Year Title Role Notes
2005 The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee William Barfée (Replacement) Circle in the Square Theatre
2011 The Book of Mormon Elder Cunningham (Original Broadway Cast) Eugene O'Neill Theatre


  1. ^ a b "PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Book of Mormon Star Josh Gad". Playbill.
  2. ^ a b "Josh Gad biography". Archived from the original on September 4, 2015. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  3. ^ @joshgad (June 7, 2017). "Today is my mom's birthday. She is the inspiration, the motivation & the primary reason that I am the person I am today. Love you @susangad" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  4. ^ a b Eric Spitznagel (June 9, 2011). "Josh Gad Has No Formal Musical Training and Five-to-Two Odds That He'll Win the Tony Award for Best Lead Actor in a Musical". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
  5. ^ Ellen Gamerman. "A Missionary From the Borscht Belt". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  6. ^ "Josh Gad Talks "Gigi: Almost American", "The Book Of Mormon", And Physical Comedy". Complex. March 25, 2011. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  7. ^ "Josh Gad combats sadness with laughter". Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  8. ^ "To Have and Have Knot: Exploring Family Ties in 'Wish I Was Here'". Jewish Exponent. July 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  9. ^ "Diversions - SD JEWISH JOURNAL". Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  10. ^ "Nationals History". Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  11. ^ "Beauty and the Beast's Josh Gad: controversy over the gay LeFou 'very blown out of proportion'". The Sydney Morning Herald. March 9, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  12. ^ Matt Tobey (May 6, 2009). "Josh Gad on the Daily Show". Comedy Central. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  13. ^ Rudolph, Ileane (July 27, 2015). "Alumni Association: A roundup of The Daily Show's coolest Graduates". TV Guide. pp. 21–22.
  14. ^ "About the Show". The Book of Mormon Musical. 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  15. ^ "2011 Tony Nominations Announced! 'The Book of Mormon' Leads With 14!". Broadway World. May 3, 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  16. ^ "Josh Gad Joins Zach Braff's 'Wish I Was Here'". May 15, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  17. ^ Sneider, Jeff (February 26, 2014). "Adam Sandler to Star in Sony's Big-Budget Video Game Movie 'Pixels'". Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  18. ^ Maane Khatchatourian. "Watch: Billy Crystal and Josh Gad in 'The Comedians' First Trailer". Variety.
  19. ^ "Josh Gad is Reincarnated Over and Over in the A Dog's Purpose Trailer". August 26, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  20. ^ "A Dog's Purpose filmmakers face animal cruelty accusations - BBC News",, January 19, 2017, retrieved January 21, 2017
  21. ^ Kit, Borys (March 13, 2015). "Josh Gad Joining Disney's Live-Action 'Beauty and the Beast' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  22. ^ Clark, Stewart (October 30, 2017). "Lupita Nyong'o, Josh Gad to Star in Zombie Rom-Com 'Little Monsters'". Variety. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  23. ^ Petski, Denise; Petski, Denise (February 13, 2020). "'Avenue 5' Renewed For Season 2 By HBO". Deadline. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  24. ^ O'Kane, Caitlin (June 1, 2020). "Actor Josh Gad reunites stars of "Lord of the Rings" while raising money for kids in need". CBS News. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  25. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 6, 2020). "'Beauty and the Beast' Prequel Series in the Works at Disney+ (Exclusive)". Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  26. ^ "Exclusive: 'Honey I Shrunk The Kid' Reboot 'Shrunk' in the Works With Josh Gad to Star". /Film. May 13, 2019. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  27. ^ Ann Oldenburg (February 18, 2014). "Josh Gad welcomes baby girl". USA Today.
  28. ^ Erin Hill (June 14, 2011). "Bryce Dallas Howard: I've Always Wanted My Dad to Direct Me". Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  29. ^ "Angry Birds Movie Voice Cast Announced, Includes Game of Thrones and SNL Vets". Yahoo News. October 1, 2014.
  30. ^ Hipes, Patrick (October 30, 2017). "Lupita Nyong'o & Josh Gad To Star In Zombie Comedy 'Little Monsters'". Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  31. ^ Schaffstall, Katherine (January 29, 2019). "'A Dog's Journey' Trailer: Josh Gad Returns as Bailey in 'Dog's Purpose' Sequel". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  32. ^ "Sesame Street Season 45 Episode 4520 - Bert's Sign Painting Challenge". Muppet Central Forum.
  33. ^ Kelley, Seth (May 14, 2015). "Watch 'Scandal' Star Bellamy Young Dominate 'Celebrity Jeopardy'". Variety. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  34. ^ Starner, Nina (June 26, 2020). "Quibi just announced a Princess Bride remake you never expected to see". Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  35. ^ Breznican, Anthony (June 26, 2020). "Watch the Celebrity-Filled Fan-Film Version of The Princess Bride". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  36. ^ Avalanche Software. Disney Infinity 3.0. Scene: Closing credits, 5:39 in, Featuring the Voice Talents of.

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