Matthew Morrison

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Matthew Morrison
Morrison at the 2010 Peabody Awards
Matthew James Morrison

(1978-10-30) October 30, 1978 (age 44)
  • Actor
  • dancer
  • singer
Years active1997–present
Renee Puente
(m. 2014)
Musical career

Matthew James Morrison (born October 30, 1978)[1] is an American actor, dancer, and singer, best known for his role as Will Schuester on the Fox television show Glee (2009–2015).

He has starred in multiple Broadway and off-Broadway productions, including appearing as Link Larkin in the original Broadway cast of Hairspray (2002), Fabrizio Nacarelli in the original Broadway cast of the musical The Light in the Piazza (2005, for which he received a Tony Award nomination), and the starring role of J.M. Barrie in the original Broadway cast of Finding Neverland (2015-2016).

He starred as the Grinch in NBC's 2020 production Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical Live!. He has also been a judge on two reality dance competition shows on TV: The Greatest Dancer on BBC One, and So You Think You Can Dance on Fox.

Morrison signed with Adam Levine's 222 Records in 2012, and has released three solo albums: Matthew Morrison (2011), Where It All Began (2013), and Disney Dreamin' with Matthew Morrison (2020).

Early life[edit]

Morrison was born in Fort Ord, California, the son of Mary Louise (Fraser) and Thomas Morrison.[2] Morrison was raised in Chico, California, and has Scottish and English ancestry.[3][4] He was a member of Buena Park Youth theater, located in Buena Park. He was part of the Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21) and the Orange County School of the Arts, while at the Los Alamitos High School campus. While in high school, Morrison did a musical with actress Jodie Sweetin. He attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for two years before dropping out and joining the Broadway adaptation of Footloose.[5]


In 1999, while still at NYU, Morrison appeared on Late Show with David Letterman and Total Request Live as one of five members of the fictional parody boy band "Fresh Step", an act that was conceived by several Late Show writers.[6] The choreographer hired for "Fresh Step" was also the choreographer for the Broadway musical Footloose, and helped Morrison to get cast in Footloose later that year. Morrison dropped out of NYU to begin appearing in the show.[7]

Morrison with Glee co-star Jane Lynch

In 2001, Morrison was recruited to join the boy band LMNT, turning it from a trio into a quartet. He stayed in the band for one year, then left and was replaced by Jonas Persch; he left before the recording of the group's sole album, All Sides. In a 2010 interview, Morrison stated about the experience, "It was the worst year of my life. You know when you're a performer and you're out there on stage and you're embarrassed that you're doing something wrong. It was pretty bad."[8]

Morrison briefly appeared in a revival of The Rocky Horror Show in 2002. He then starred in the original cast of the musical Hairspray as Link Larkin from its opening in 2002 through January 2004.[9] In 2005, Morrison starred as Fabrizio Nacarelli in the Broadway premiere of Adam Guettel's musical The Light in the Piazza;[9] he was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance.[10] He left the show on August 28, 2005.[10]

Morrison started working in television, guest-starring on shows such as Ghost Whisperer,[2] Numbers,[2] CSI: Miami,[2] and Hack.[2] Morrison also had small roles in films including Marci X (2003).[2] He also appeared as Sir Harry in the 2005 ABC-TV production of Once Upon a Mattress,[2] starring Tracey Ullman, Zooey Deschanel and Carol Burnett.[2]

He earned a Drama Desk Nomination for his role in the Off Broadway show 10 Million Miles which ran at the Atlantic Theater Company in 2007. That same year he appeared in two films: Dan in Real Life, followed by Music and Lyrics as Cora Corman's manager. In 2008, he played Lieutenant Cable in a Lincoln Center production of the musical South Pacific. He left the production at the end of 2008 and in early 2009 returned to California to shoot the first season of Glee.[11]

Morrison played Will Schuester in the Fox Broadcasting television series Glee,[2] which had its television preview on May 19, 2009. Schuester is a high school Spanish (later History) teacher who takes on the task of restoring the school's glee club to its former glory. He made his directorial debut with the third season's ninth episode.[2]

In January 2010, Morrison signed a solo record deal with Mercury Records. His first studio album, Matthew Morrison, was released on May 10, 2011. Two singles were released from the album, "Summer Rain"[12] and "Still Got Tonight". The album also includes duets with Elton John (a medley of "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" and "Rocket Man"),[13] Gwyneth Paltrow ("Over the Rainbow")[14] and Sting ("Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot"). On June 16, 2010, Morrison joined Leona Lewis—appearing at London's O2 Arena as part of her world tour—for a one-off performance to sing "Over the Rainbow".[14]

Morrison (center) with LGBT activist couple Kevin and Don Norte at a PFLAG fundraiser in 2010

In March 2012, Morrison was featured in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, 8—a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage—as Paul Katami.[15] The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.[16][17]

A Morrison concert at Connecticut's Bushnell Center was recorded and aired on PBS in June 2013.[18] In April 2013, Morrison appeared at the 2013 Laurence Olivier Awards at the Royal Opera House in London.[19]

On June 4, 2013, 222 Records released Morrison's second studio album, Where It All Began,[20] an album of show tunes and jazz standards. One single was released from the album, a cover of "It Don't Mean a Thing".[20]

Morrison returned to Broadway as J. M. Barrie in the Broadway debut of the musical Finding Neverland, which opened in April 2015.[21]

On July 7, 2016, Morrison appeared alongside Megan Hilty in a summer evening of Broadway and other songs with The New York Pops at the Forest Hills Stadium in Forest Hills, Queens.[22]

Morrison was a "dance captain" on BBC One's The Greatest Dancer, which aired for two seasons in 2019 and 2020, alongside Cheryl, Oti Mabuse and, in the second season, Todrick Hall as well.[23] In the second half of 2019, he portrayed Trevor in the ninth season of the FX horror anthology television series American Horror Story.[2]

In December 2020, he starred as The Grinch in NBC's production of Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical Live!.[24]

On April 4, 2022, he was announced as a judge for the seventeenth season of So You Think You Can Dance,[2] along with JoJo Siwa and Stephen "tWitch" Boss.[25] However, on May 27, he was fired from the show for sending text messages to a female contestant that made her feel uncomfortable.[26] His final episode aired on June 8,[27] and he was replaced by actress Leah Remini.[28] In an Instagram video posted in June 2022, Morrison claimed that his messages were just friendly and that he was a victim of cancel culture.[29]

In June 2023, it was announced that Morrison would star alongside Jen Lilley in the TV film The Christmas Waltz,[2] which aired on Great American Family.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Morrison became engaged to actress Chrishell Stause on December 9, 2006.[31] Their relationship later ended.

In 2011, Morrison began dating Renee Puente.[32] On June 27, 2013, Elton John helped Morrison announce that he and Puente were engaged.[33] Morrison and Puente were married on October 18, 2014, at a private home on the island of Maui.[34]

On May 16, 2017, it was revealed on his personal Instagram account that he and Puente were expecting their first child.[35] Their son was born on October 22, 2017.[36] On March 16, 2021, Morrison used his Instagram again to announce that he and Puente were expecting their second child together following a series of miscarriages.[37] Their daughter was born on June 28, 2021.[38]


Matthew Morrison visiting Barnes & Noble for a CD release party, 2013

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart


Matthew Morrison 24 14 61 63
Where It All Began
  • Release date: June 4, 2013
  • Label: 222 Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
95 163
Disney Dreamin' with Matthew Morrison 7
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Title Details
A Classic Christmas
  • Release date: November 19, 2013
  • Label: 222 Records
  • Formats: music download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak chart


2011 "Summer Rain" 16 Matthew Morrison
"Still Got Tonight" 24 182
2013 "It Don't Mean a Thing" Where It All Began
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Production Role Venue Notes
1998 Footloose Ensemble; Chuck Cranston understudy Broadway Replacement
2000 The Rocky Horror Show Phantom
2002 Hairspray Link Larkin Originated role
2003–2004 Tarzan Tarzan NY workshop
2005 The Light in the Piazza Fabrizio Naccarelli Broadway
Catch Me If You Can Frank Abagnale, Jr. NY reading
A Naked Girl on the Appian Way Thad Lapin Broadway
2007 10 Million Miles Duane Off-Broadway
Chess The Arbiter Benefit Concert
2008 South Pacific Lt. Joseph Cable, USMC Broadway
2010 The Rocky Horror Show Brad Majors Los Angeles 35th Anniversary
2015 Finding Neverland J.M. Barrie Broadway
2017 Damn Yankees Joe Hardy Off-Broadway



Year Title Role Notes
1999 Bob Rizzo's Simply Funk with Suzanne Himself
2001 Bollywood Calling Mr. Abraham / Pat's agent
2003 Marci X Boyz R Us
2006 Blinders Scott
2007 Music and Lyrics Ray
Dan in Real Life Policeman
I Think I Love My Wife Salesman #2
2012 What to Expect When You're Expecting Evan Webber
2014 Space Station 76 Daniel
2015 Playing It Cool Himself
Underdogs Jake Voice role
2016 After the Reality Scottie
2017 Tulip Fever Mattheus
2019 Crazy Alien Zach Andrews


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Relativity Dr. Alexander Episode: "Hearts and Bones"
1999 Sex and the City Young busboy Episode: "They Shoot Single People, Don't They?"
2003 Hack Sam Wagner Episode: "Blind Faith"
2005 Once Upon a Mattress Sir Harry Television Film
2006 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Chance Slaughter Episode: "Proud Flesh"
As the World Turns Adam Munson (#4) Regular role; 17 episodes
2007 Ghost Whisperer Matt Sembrook Episode: "Bad Blood"
CSI: Miami Jesse Stark Episode: "Bloodline"
2008 Numbers Blaine Cleary Episode: "Power"
2009 Taking Chance Robert Rouse Television film
2009–2015 Glee Will Schuester Main role
Directed season 3, episode 9: "Extraordinary Merry Christmas"
2011 The Cleveland Show Episode: "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Roberta?"; voice role
2012 8_(play) Paul Katamai TV movie
2012 Live with Kelly Himself Co-host
2013 Hollywood Game Night Episode: "Don't Kill My Buzz-er"
2016 The Good Wife Connor Fox Recurring role; 6 episodes
Younger Sebastian Episode: "The Good Shepherd"
2017–2018 Grey's Anatomy Paul Stadler Guest role (seasons 13–14); 4 episodes
2019–2020 The Greatest Dancer Himself Dance captain
2019 American Horror Story: 1984 Trevor Kirchner Main role
2020 #KidsTogether: The Nickelodeon Town Hall Himself Television special
Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical! The Grinch
2022 So You Think You Can Dance Himself Judge, season 17

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award ceremony Category Project Result
2003 Outer Critics Circle Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Hairspray Nominated
2005 The Light in the Piazza Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated Audience Award Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
2008 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical 10 Million Miles Nominated
2009 Screen Actors Guild Award Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Television Series – Comedy (Shared with "Glee" cast) Glee Won
Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical Nominated
2010 Teen Choice Award Choice Male Scene Stealer Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical Nominated
TV Land Award Future Classic Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Television Series – Comedy (Shared with "Glee" cast) Nominated
2015 Audience Award Favorite Actor in a Musical Finding Neverland Won
Favorite Onstage Pair (w/ Laura Michelle Kelly) Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated


  1. ^ "Matthew Morrison". TV Guide. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Matthew Morrison Credits".
  3. ^ Dirmann, Tina (December 2009). "Matthew Morrison Revealed". Orange Coast. Newport Beach, California: Orange Coast Kommunications: 86. ISSN 0279-0483.
  4. ^ Stated on Who Do You Think You Are?, December 17, 2018
  5. ^ "Matthew Morrison – Music". EllenTube. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
  6. ^ Wanshel, Elyse (January 10, 2019). "David Letterman's 'Late Show' Created A Fake Boy Band, And You Probably Didn't Know". HuffPost.
  7. ^ "Matthew Morrison Got His Big Break on Letterman". Female First. February 28, 2011.
  8. ^ Gostin, Nicki (January 15, 2010). "'Glee' Star Matthew Morrison Recalls 'Worst Year' Ever". PopEater. Archived from the original on July 16, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  9. ^ a b Simonson, Robert (January 26, 2005). "Hairspray's Matthew Morrison Joins Cast of Piazza". Playbill. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  10. ^ a b Simonson, Robert (July 25, 2005). "Matthew Morrison Will Leave Light in the Piazza Aug. 28". Playbill. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  11. ^ "Cable's Exit Interview Dec 23, 2008". Archived from the original on May 29, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
  12. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (February 25, 2011). "Listen: 'Glee' Original Songs, 'Loser Like Me' and 'Get It Right,' Debut". Billboard. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  13. ^ "Elton John Reveals Duet With Glee's Matthew Morrison". Parade. January 21, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  14. ^ a b Stack, Tim (March 22, 2011). "Matthew Morrison and Gwyneth Paltrow to duet on his upcoming album". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  15. ^ "Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison to Join George Clooney in Dustin Lance Black Play '8'". The Wrap. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  16. ^ ""8": A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality". YouTube. Archived from the original on November 7, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  17. ^ "YouTube to broadcast Proposition 8 play live". Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  18. ^ "Matthew Morrison's November Bushnell Center Concert to Be Recorded for PBS Broadcasts". Broadway World. October 26, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  19. ^ "Matthew Morrison at the Olivier Awards 2013". April 28, 2013.
  20. ^ a b Hetrick, Adam (June 4, 2013). "'Glee' Star Matthew Morrison Releases New Album, 'Where It All Began,' June 4". Playbill. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  21. ^ Peterson, Tyler (November 10, 2014). "Official: Matthew Morrison Will Return to Broadway in Finding Neverland!". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  22. ^ "Megan Hilty and Matthew Morrison Join the New York Pops Tonight". Playbill.
  23. ^ "Teaser: The Dance Captains - Meet The Greatest Dancer's Dance Captains". BBC. December 7, 2018.
  24. ^ "Hoorays in Who-ville as NBC Brings Classic Dr. Seuss Tale to the Stage with Holiday Special "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical!" on Dec. 9". The Futon Critic. November 10, 2020.
  25. ^ White, Peter (April 4, 2022). "'So You Think You Can Dance': Matthew Morrison & JoJo Siwa Join As Judges Alongside Stephen 'tWitch' Boss As Cat Deeley Also Returns". Deadline. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  26. ^ "Matthew Morrison Fired from SYTYCD for 'Flirty' Messages That Made Contestant 'Uncomfortable': Source". People. May 31, 2022. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  27. ^ Ausiello, Michael (May 27, 2022). "Matthew Morrison Out as SYTYCD Judge After Failing to Follow 'Production Protocols'". TVLine. Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  28. ^ Iannucci, Rebecca (June 10, 2022). "SYTYCD: Leah Remini to Replace Fired Matthew Morrison as Season 17 Judge". TVLine. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  29. ^ Haring, Bruce (June 3, 2022). "Matthew Morrison Speaks Out About Incident That Led To His Dismissal From 'SYTYCD'". Deadline. Retrieved June 3, 2022.
  30. ^ Rice, Lynette (June 6, 2023). "'The Christmas Waltz' Movie Franchise Moves To Great American Family; Matthew Morrison, Jen Lilley To Star In Sequel". Deadline. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  31. ^ "Curtain Cutie: Matthew Morrison" Archived March 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Paper, June 14, 2007
  32. ^ "Matthew Morrison Opens Up About His Sexuality, Glee and Going Back to Where It All Began". HuffPost. June 6, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  33. ^ Nessif, Bruna (June 27, 2013). "Glee's Matthew Morrison Is Engaged to Renee Puente". E! News.
  34. ^ Garcia, Jennifer (October 19, 2014). "Matthew Morrison Marries Renee Puente". People. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  35. ^ "Matthew Morrison, wife Renee Puente expecting first child". New York Daily News. May 17, 2017.
  36. ^ Heller, Corrinne (October 22, 2017). "Matthew Morrison and Wife Renee Welcome First Child". E! Online. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  37. ^ Ekren, Cansu (March 17, 2021). "Matthew Morrison And Wife Renee Are Expecting Their Second Child: "After 3 Miscarriages, A Pandemic, And The Loss Of Many Loved Ones"". The Red Carpet. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  38. ^ "Matthew Morrison and Wife Renee Welcome Baby Girl Phoenix Monroe: 'Our Family Is Now Complete'". Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  39. ^ "Matthew Morrison Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  40. ^ "Matthew Morrison Chart History: Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  41. ^ "Matthew Morrison Chart History: Kid Albums". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  42. ^ "Chartifacts – Week Commencing: 16 May 2011". Australian Recording Industry Association. May 16, 2011. Archived from the original on April 25, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  43. ^ "OFFICIAL UK ALBUMS TOP 100 – 11th June 2011". The Official Charts Company. June 11, 2011. Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. Retrieved June 12, 2011.
  44. ^ ""Go the Distance" from "Disney Dreamin' with Matthew Morrison" Now Streaming". January 10, 2020. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  45. ^ "Matthew Morrison Chart History: Bubbling Under Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  46. ^ "Matthew Morrison Chart History: Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  47. ^ "CHART: CLUK Update 25.06.2011 (wk24)". Retrieved February 19, 2012.

External links[edit]