Benoist at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Melissa Marie Benoist
October 4, 1988
|Residence||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Education||The Academy of Theatre Arts|
Arapahoe High School
|Alma mater||Marymount Manhattan College (B.A.)|
|Home town||Littleton, Colorado, United States|
|Spouse(s)||Blake Jenner (m. 2013 or 2015;[a] div. 2017)|
Melissa Marie Benoist (//; in French: [bənwa]; born October 4, 1988) is an American actress, singer and dancer. She has performed on stage and in television and film. She is known for her portrayal of the titular character in the CBS/CW DC Comics–based superhero drama series Supergirl (2015–present).
Benoist rose to prominence for her portrayal of Marley Rose on the Fox musical comedy-drama television series Glee (2012–2014). She appeared in films such as Whiplash (2014), Danny Collins (2015), The Longest Ride (2015), Patriots Day (2016), Lowriders (2016), and Sun Dogs (2017) and portrayed David Koresh's wife Rachel Jones in the miniseries Waco (2018). She made her Broadway debut in 2018 as Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Filmography
- 5 Theatre
- 6 Soundtrack performances
- 7 Awards and nominations
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Early life and education
Benoist was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Julie and Jim Benoist, a physician. They divorced when she was young. Her paternal great-grandfather was of French descent. She has two biological sisters: Jessica, a novelist, and Kristina, an ecological scientist, and five half-siblings from her father's remarriage. She was raised mostly by her mother in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, after her parents' separation.
She started dance classes at the age of three, focusing on jazz, ballet and tap. When she was four years old, her aunt put her in a church play she was directing; after that, she began doing community children's theatre in her hometown.
As a teenager, Benoist performed anonymously at Disneyland various medleys of musical songs for three summers with the Academy of Theatre Arts, a musical theatre school she was attending, located in Littleton, Colorado run by Paul Dwyer and Alann Worley. She performed locally in a number of theatrical productions, including A Month in the Country, Cinderella, A Chorus Line and Bye Bye Birdie at Town Hall Arts Center—a professional theatre located in the Denver metro area—and instead of attending high school graduation parties, she performed the play Evita with other cast members at the shut-down Country Dinner Playhouse.
In 2006, The Denver Post named Benoist one of Colorado's five "Can't Miss Kids". She graduated from Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, in 2007, and then she moved to New York City to pursue a career in musical theatre. She initially attended Marymount Manhattan College for the BFA musical theater program but in her sophomore year, she switched majors to straight theatre, due to her admiration for 19th-century Russian plays. She graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre arts in 2011. While attending college, she played the titular characters Millie Dilmount in an off-off-Broadway production of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Rosalind in As You Like It at the Theresa Lang Theatre.
2008–2011: Early work
Benoist's first film was in Tennessee in 2008 along with singer Mariah Carey. Afterwards, she made guest apparences on shows like Law & Order: Criminal Intent , Blue Bloods and The Good Wife , while attending college. She played Kelly in the 2011 Goodspeed Musicals theatrical production of The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown by Brian Lowdermilk and Kait Kerrigan at the Norma Terris Theatre.
2012–2014: Rise to prominence with Glee and film roles
In May 2012, she auditioned for the musical comedy-drama series Glee in New York at the Roundabout Theatre Company, singing a different song for each of her five auditions including: "Fidelity" by Regina Spektor, "King of Anything" by Sara Bareilles, a Colbie Caillat song, and several musical theater pieces. In July, she had two screen tests in California for series creator/writer, Ryan Murphy, the casting directors, and executive producers. She portrayed Marley Rose on the fourth and fifth seasons of Glee. Her first appearance as Marley Rose was in the first episode of Season Four, titled The New Rachel. Because the creators had been looking for Marley for a long time, she started working the day she found out she got the job. Benoist's first performance was a duet of "New York State of Mind" with Lea Michele, during the first episode of season 4 . The cover of the song reached twenty-four on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. She and Glee co-star Darren Criss appeared with Josh Duhamel in the opening of the 2013 Kids' Choice Awards. That same year, she was selected as an ambassador for Coca-Cola's new product, P10 300 ml Coke Mismo. In June 2013, they were flown to Manila, Philippines, to endorse the product by visiting various malls and meeting with fans. She left the series Glee in early 2014, along with several other actors. 
Benoist played Nicole, the love interest of Miles Teller's Andrew Neiman, in the 2014 independent drama film Whiplash, which won top prizes (Grand Jury and Audience awards) at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. In June 2014, she joined Nicholas Sparks' film adaption The Longest Ride as Marcia.
She had a role in the 2015 film Danny Collins, starring Al Pacino. She played the part of Jamie, a desk clerk at a hotel frequented by one of Jamie's all-time favorite rock stars., and played Becky Thatcher in the Nee Brothers's modern-day retelling of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Band of Robbers (2015). In May 2015, it was announced that Benoist would be playing Lorelai in the film Lowriders, replacing Lily Collins and Nicola Peltz, who were in talks for the role previously. In August of that year, she landed the leading role in the Screen Gems drama feature film Oxford, with Sam Heughan as her leading man.
2015–present: Supergirl and Broadway debut
In October 2015, the superhero adventure series Supergirl, with Benoist in the lead role of Kara Zor-El, premiered on CBS, bypassing dozens of other actresses. She became the first woman to lead a prime time superhero TV series since Wonder Woman went off the air in 1979. The premiere was watched by 12.96 million viewers and received a full season order by CBS on November 30, 2015. Benoist generally received positive reviews for her portrayal of Kara Zor-El.  The series later moved to The CW before its second season premiere. She reprised her role in The CW's Arrowverse crossovers "Invasion!", "Crisis on Earth-X", "Elseworlds", and "Crisis on Infinite Earths" as well as The Flash episode "Duet". She reprises her role as Earth-X's Supergirl doppelgänger Overgirl in the CW Seed animated series Freedom Fighters: The Ray.
In May 2016, Benoist was cast as Katherine Russell, the widow of deceased Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in Peter Berg's drama film Patriots Day. In June, it was announced that she was set to start alongside Michael Angarano in the comedy-drama film Sun Dogs. Also in that month, the Human Rights Campaign released a video in tribute to the victims of the 2016 Orlando gay nightclub shooting; in the video, Benoist and others told the stories of the people killed there.
In April 2017, Benoist was cast as Rachel Koresh, the legal wife of Branch Davidian leader David Koresh in Paramount Network's miniseries Waco. Benoist was featured in "The Super Duper Minecraft Musical!" which was made for Minecraft's Super Duper Graphics Pack in November.
On May 7, 2018, it was announced that Benoist would be playing the titular character in the Broadway show Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, which marked her Broadway debut for a limited run from June 7 through August 4, 2018.
During her first semester in college, when she was learning to ride a bike, a cab backed into her and left a visible scar above her eyebrows. She also has a tattoo of a bicycle on her left foot.
Also in 2015, it was announced that she and her Glee co-star Blake Jenner were married. Benoist commented that they had been married "longer than anybody knows," with some sources claiming that the couple actually wed the same year of their engagement in 2013. In late December 2016, she filed for divorce citing "irreconcilable differences". The divorce was finalized in December 2017.
In October 2017, Benoist helped with her Supergirl co-star and boyfriend Chris Wood's launch of his website "I Don't Mind" that works to put a stop to the stigma around mental illnesses, admitting that she has struggled with depression and anxiety attacks since she was 13 years old. She said that Wood's words enabled her to admit to others her own issues with depression. On February 10, 2019, the two announced their engagement.
|The Longest Ride||Marcia|
|Band of Robbers||Becky Thatcher|
|2016||Patriots Day||Katherine Russell|
|Sun Dogs||Tally Petersen|
|2010||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Jessalyn Kerr||Episode: "Delicate"|
|Blue Bloods||Renee||Episode: "Privilege"|
|Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Ava||Episode: "Wet"|
|The Good Wife||Molly||Episode: "Nine Hours"|
|2011||Homeland||Stacy Moore||Episodes: "Grace", "Clean Skin"|
|2012–2014||Glee||Marley Rose||Recurring role (season 4); main role (season 5)|
|2015–present||Supergirl||Kara Danvers / Supergirl[b][c]||Lead role|
|2016–2018||The Flash||Kara Danvers / Supergirl[c]||Episodes: "Invasion!", "Duet", "Crisis on Earth-X", "Elseworlds"|
|Arrow||Kara Danvers / Supergirl[c]||Episodes: "Invasion!", "Crisis on Earth-X", "Elseworlds"|
|Legends of Tomorrow||Kara Danvers / Supergirl[c]||Episodes: "Invasion!", "Crisis on Earth-X"|
|2017-2018||Freedom Fighters: The Ray||Kara Zor-El / Overgirl (voice)||Earth-X version of Supergirl|
|2000||The Sound of Music||Brigitta von Trapp||Country Dinner Playhouse|
|2003||The Sound of Music||Liesl von Trapp||Littleton Town Hall Arts Center|
|2006||Bye Bye Birdie||Kim McAfee||Littleton Town Hall Arts Center|||
|A Month in the Country||Vera Aleksandrovna||Littleton Town Hall Arts Center|
|A Chorus Line||Bebe Benzenheimer||Littleton Town Hall Arts Center|||
|2007||Rodger and Hammerstein's Cinderella||Cinderella||Littleton Town Hall Arts Center|||
|Footloose||Ariel Moore||Littleton Town Hall Arts Center|||
|Evita||Perón's Mistress||Country Dinner Playhouse|||
|2011||The Unauthorized Biography of Samantha Brown||Kelly||Goodspeed Musicals|||
|2018||Terms of Endearment||Emma Greenway-Horton||Geffen Playhouse|||
|2009||Thoroughly Modern Millie||Millie Dilmount||Marymount Manhattan College|||
|As You Like It||Rosalind||Theresa Lang Theatre|||
|2018||Beautiful: The Carole King Musical||Carole King||Stephen Sondheim Theatre|||
|2012||"Born to Hand Jive", "Look at Me I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)", "You're the One That I Want"||Glee: The Music Presents Glease|
|"New York State of Mind", "Holding Out for a Hero", "Some Nights"||Glee: The Music, Season 4, Volume 1|
|"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", "The First Noël"||Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Volume 3|
|"Chasing Pavements", "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)", "Don't Dream It's Over" ,
"Locked Out of Heaven", "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend"/"Material Girl",
"Anything Could Happen", "You Have More Friends Than You Know",
"You're All I Need To Get By" "A Thousand Years"
|Glee: The Music – The Complete Season Four|
|"Crazy"/"(You Drive Me) Crazy", "Everytime", "Womanizer"||Britney 2.0|
|2013||"Mary's Boy Child", "Love Child", "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"||The Christmas Album Volume 4|
|2017||"Moon River", "Super Friend"||The Flash – Music from the Special Episode: Duet|
|"Runnin' Home to You"||Supergirl – Crisis on Earth-X part 1 soundtrack|
Awards and nominations
|2013||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Breakout Star||Glee||Nominated|||
|2016||Saturn Awards||Breakthrough Performance Award||Supergirl||Won|||
|Best Actress on a Television Series||Supergirl||Nominated|||
|2017||Saturn Awards||Best Actress on a Television Series||Supergirl||Won|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Action TV Actress||Supergirl||Won|||
|Choice Liplock (with Chris Wood)||Supergirl||Nominated|||
|Choice TV Ship (with Chris Wood)||Supergirl||Nominated|||
|2018||Saturn Awards||Best Actress on a Television Series||Supergirl||Nominated|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Action TV Actress||Supergirl||Won|||
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The company of the new musical by Brian Lowdermilk (music) and Kait Kerrigan (book and lyrics) also features Melissa Benoist as Kelly;...
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'It's called Freedom Fighters: The Ray for a very specific reason,' Guggenheim explains, 'which is we knew we wanted to establish the Freedom Fighters and Earth-X. ... Some familiar voices will be dropping by, like Supergirl's Melissa Benoist as Overgirl, the Earth-X version of the Girl of Steel...
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