Renée Elise Goldsberry

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Renée Elise Goldsberry
Renée Elise Goldsberry and Javier Muñoz in Hamilton costume, July 2015.jpg
Goldsberry (right) with costar Javier Muñoz in costume for Hamilton
Born (1971-01-02) January 2, 1971 (age 45)
San Jose, California, U.S.
Alma mater Carnegie Mellon University
University of Southern California
Occupation Actress, singer, songwriter
Years active 1996–present
Spouse(s) Alexis Johnson (m. 2002; 2 children)

Renée Elise Goldsberry (born January 2, 1971) is an American actress, singer and songwriter.

Goldsberry originated the role of Angelica Schuyler Church in the Broadway musical Hamilton, a performance for which she won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Goldsberry's other Broadway credits include Nettie in The Color Purple, Mimi in Rent, and Nala in The Lion King. Goldsberry has also portrayed many roles on television, perhaps best known for her recurring roles as a singer on Ally McBeal, as assistant Cook County state's attorney Geneva Pine on The Good Wife, and her starring role as Evangeline Williamson on One Life to Live.

Early life[edit]

Goldsberry was born in San Jose, California and raised in both Houston, Texas and Detroit, Michigan.[1] After graduating from Cranbrook Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, she attended Carnegie Mellon University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater, in 1993.[2][3] She subsequently attended graduate school at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, where she received a Master of Music, in jazz studies, in 1997.[4][5]



Between 1997 and 2002, Goldsberry had a recurring role on Ally McBeal as one of the back-up singers who frequently accompanied Vonda Shepard's performances. She appeared in a total of 42 episodes prior to the show's cancellation. She also carried the role over into a guest appearance on the show Ally.

Goldsberry portrayed attorney Evangeline Williamson on the ABC soap opera, One Life to Live from 2003 until 2007. She was nominated for an NAACP Image Award[4][6] in 2004 for "Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series" and won a Soap Opera Digest Award in 2005 for Favorite Triangle, with co-stars Michael Easton and Melissa Archer. Goldsberry was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in both 2006 and 2007 for the role.[4][6]

After she left One Life to Live, she held a recurring role as assistant state attorney Geneva Pine on the political drama The Good Wife, appearing multiple times every season throughout the show's run, and ultimately appearing in a total of 23 episodes between 2010 and the series end in 2016.

In 2017, Goldsberry will star in the Netflix series Altered Carbon as Quellcrist Falconer. There will be 10 episodes in the first season.[7]

She has also made guest appearances on such shows as Star Trek: Enterprise, Royal Pains, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Younger, Masters of Sex, and That 80's Show.

In 2016, Rebecca Skloot (author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) announced Goldsberry would be playing Henrietta Lacks in the HBO television film adaptation of her book. The film will also star Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne.[citation needed]


In 2001 Goldsberry starred in the movie All About You as Nicole, for which her performance was praised (although the film itself received mixed reviews).[4] She also had a leading role as Drea in the 2008 action film Pistol Whipped and small supporting roles in the crime drama Every Secret Thing and the comedy Sisters.


Goldsberry played a replacement Nala in the Broadway production of The Lion King[6] and was on the US tour for Dreamgirls.

Goldsberry was nominated for a Drama League Award for "Distinguished Performance" and won a New York magazine Best of 2005 Award for her performance as Sylvia in the 2005 New York City Shakespeare in the Park revival of Two Gentlemen of Verona.[4][6] She later originated the role of Nettie in The Color Purple, the Broadway musical adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel of the same name,[4][6] from November 2005 to mid-January 2006.

She returned to the off-Broadway stage in The Baker's Wife in 2007, before taking over the role of Mimi Marquez in the Broadway musical Rent, making her the final actress to play the role on Broadway.[6] Rent's last performance was filmed and made into a DVD, Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway, which was also aired on national television. In 2011, she was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for her portrayal of Kate in the Broadway production of David Lindsay-Abaire's play, Good People.[8]

She went on to appear in off-Broadway productions of Love's Labour's Lost and As You Like It, and appeared in I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road at Encores!.

Goldsberry originated the role of Angelica Schuyler Church in Hamilton[9] and played her last performance in the role on September 3, 2016.[10]

For her work on Hamilton, Goldsberry won a 2015 Drama Desk Award, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, and a 2016 Tony Award. In addition, as a member of the principal cast of the musical, she was also a recipient of a Grammy Award after the original cast album won Best Musical Theater Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards.[11]


Goldsberry has had a lengthy singing/songwriting career, co-writing and performing more than half the soundtrack to the 2001 film All About You, including the title song.[4] She was also the grand prize winner of the 1997 John Lennon Songwriting Contest for her rock music.[4]

She also wrote and recorded an album titled Everything But the Kitchen Sink and an EP titled Beautiful, both of which are out of print.

In October 2015, she appeared on the BET Hip Hop Awards. She was one of two women to rap in the Cypher.[12]

Personal life[edit]

In 2002, Goldsberry married New York attorney Alexis Johnson.[1] In May 2009, she gave birth to the couple's first child, a son named Benjamin Johnson. She and her husband also adopted a daughter, Brielle, in 2014.[13]


Note: Until 2008, Goldsberry was credited as simply Renée Goldsberry. After then, she alternated between the two before switching to Renée Elise Goldsberry in 2010.[citation needed]


Year Title Role Notes
1997–2002 Ally McBeal Singer 43 episodes
1999 Ally Ikete 3 episodes
2002 Providence Clare "The Start of Something Big" (4x11)
2002 Any Day Now Beverly Morris "The Real Thing" (4x15)
2002 That 80's Show Spokesmodel #2 "Road Trip" (1x11)
2002 Star Trek: Enterprise Crewman Kelly "Vox Sola" (1x22)
2002 One on One Paulette "Fatal Attractions" (1x20)
2003–2007 One Life to Live Evangeline Williamson 272 episodes
2008 The Return of Jezebel James Paget 2 episodes
2008 Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway Mimi Marquez Filmed stage production
2008 Life on Mars Denise Watkins "Things to Do in New York When You Think You're Dead" (1x5)
2010 Royal Pains Mrs. Phillips "Big Whoop" (2x11)
2010 White Collar Ellen Samuel "Company Man" (2x8)
2010 Running Wilde "It's a Trade-Off" (1x8)
2010 Lens on Talent "Love Stories and the Meaning of Love in Film" (2x9)
2010–2016 The Good Wife Geneva Pine 23 episodes
2013 The Following Olivia Warren 3 episodes
2013 Save Me Mary "The Book of Beth" (1x1)
2013–2014 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Martha Marron 3 episodes
2014 Masters of Sex Morgan Hogue "Blackbird" (2x6)
2015 Younger Courtney Ostin "Hedonism" (1x6)
2016 I Shudder Lucy Wainscott TV movie
2017 The Get Down Misty Holloway
2017 Altered Carbon Quellcrist Falconer 10 episodes
TBA The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Henrietta Lacks TV movie


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Palco & Hirsch Jessica
2001 All About You Nicole Also composer/lyricist
2002 Turnaround Rachel
2008 Pistol Whipped Drea
2009 Jump the Broom: A Musical Ayana Short
2014 Every Secret Thing Cynthia Barnes
2015 Sisters Kim

Theatre credits[edit]

Year(s) Production Role Location Category
1997 Dreamgirls Michelle Morris N/A National Tour
2002 The Lion King Nala New Amsterdam Theatre Broadway
2005 Two Gentlemen of Verona Silvia Delacorte Theater Off-Broadway
2005–06 The Color Purple Nettie Broadway Theatre Broadway
2007 The Baker's Wife Genevieve York Theatre Off-Broadway
2008 Rent Mimi Márquez Nederlander Theatre Broadway
2011 Good People Kate Samuel J. Friedman Theatre Broadway
Love's Labor's Lost Princess of France The Public Theater Off-Broadway
2012 As You Like It Celia Delacorte Theater Off-Broadway
2013 I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road Heather New York City Center Encores! Series
2015 Hamilton Angelica Schuyler Church The Public Theater Off-Broadway
2015–16 Richard Rodgers Theatre Broadway


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Production Result
2004 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series One Life to Live Nominated
2005 Soap Opera Digest Award Favorite Triangle Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Two Gentlemen of Verona Nominated
2006 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series One Life to Live Nominated
2007 Nominated
Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series Nominated
2011 Outer Critics Circle Awards Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Good People Nominated
2015 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Hamilton Won
Lucille Lortel Awards Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Won
2016 Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Musical Won
Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Won Audience Awards Favorite Featured Actress in a Musical Won


  1. ^ a b Kaufman, Joanne (2015-10-09). "A Night Out With Renée Elise Goldsberry of 'Hamilton'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-11-30. 
  2. ^ Interview. Renée Elise Goldsberry's Path From Middle School Class Clown to Hamilton Class Act Bethany Rickwald. TheatreMania. October 2, 2015. July 25, 2016
  3. ^ "Hip-hop "Hamilton"-CMU News - Carnegie Mellon University". Retrieved 2015-11-30. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Goldsberry official website; retrieved January 5, 2009.
  5. ^ Alumna Renée Elise Goldsberry wins Tony for “Hamilton” USC Thornton School of Music. June 13, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2016
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Headlines: Renée Elise Goldsberry to Join Broadway's Rent as Mimi". May 15, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2009. 
  7. ^ Lee, Ashley. "Renee Elise Goldsberry to Exit 'Hamilton' for Netflix's 'Altered Carbon' (Exclusive)" The Hollywood Reporter, July 13, 2016
  8. ^ "Outer Critics Circle Announce 2010-11 Season Nominees". Retrieved 2015-11-30. 
  9. ^ Schulman, Michael (6 August 2015). "The Women of "Hamilton"". The New Yorker. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  10. ^ Renée Elise Goldsberry sets Hamilton leaving date New York Theatre Guide. August 25, 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2016
  11. ^ Past Winners. GRAMMY Search database. Grammy Awards. 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2016
  12. ^ "The Cypher Revealed: Hamilton Cypher [Explicit]". Retrieved 2015-11-30. 
  13. ^ "Renée Elise Goldsberry". IMDb. Retrieved 2015-11-30. 

External links[edit]