Shuler Hensley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Shuler Hensley
Shuler Hensley In NYC 2008.JPG
Hensley outside Young Frankenstein, February 29, 2008
Born Shuler Paul Hensley
(1967-03-06) March 6, 1967 (age 49)
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Occupation Actor
Spouse(s) Paula Hensley (DeRosa)
Children Skyler Hensley and Grayson Hensley
Parent(s) Sam P. Hensley, Jr. (father)
Iris Antley (mother)

Shuler Paul Hensley (born March 6, 1967) is an American singer and actor.

Early life[edit]

Hensley was born in Atlanta, Georgia. The youngest of three children, Hensley grew up in Marietta, Georgia. His father, Sam P. Hensley, Jr., is a former Georgia Tech football star, retired civil engineer and former state senator. His mother, Iris (née Antley) Hensley, was a ballerina, and later, Artistic Director of the Georgia Ballet.[1][2] Hensley had an early start in show business at the age of four when he appeared as Fritz in her production of The Nutcracker.

He was educated at The Westminster Schools and attended the University of Georgia on a baseball scholarship. After attending a recital by Jessye Norman and being cast as Judge Turpin in a college production of Sweeney Todd, he decided to leave university after his sophomore year in order to study voice at the Manhattan School of Music where he majored in opera and graduated in 1989. From there he went to the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, and obtained his master's degree in 1993.


Hensley (right), at a September 24, 2013 press junket at Sardi's restaurant for Waiting for Godot and No Man's Land. Beside him from left to right, are director Sean Mathias and actors Ian McKellen, Billy Crudup and Patrick Stewart.

Hensley's stage career began in the early 1990s with roles such as Pitkin in On the Town, Joe in The Most Happy Fella, and Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, He has also sung in the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas Pirates of Penzance and Patience and in the operas Carmen, Faust, La bohème and Don Giovanni. And in addition to an early Oklahoma! casting as Jud Fry at the North Shore Music Theatre, Boston, Shuler also played Curly at the Skylight Opera Theatre, Milwaukee.

In 1996, he went to Hamburg, Germany to perform the title role in The Phantom of the Opera in German.

In 1998, he was cast as Jud Fry for London's National Theatre production of Oklahoma!. The revival was a huge success and Hensley received wonderful personal notices as well as the Olivier Award.

He continued to play the role when the show transferred to the West End (1999), the only United States native in the cast, and then to Broadway (2002–2003) where he won the Tony for his performance. He also won the 2002 Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for the same role.

He has performed on several occasions with Hugh Jackman. They both performed in the musical Oklahoma! in London in 1998, as well as in the films Someone Like You and Van Helsing, in the latter of which Hensley played Frankenstein's monster.

Hensley also starred in the Broadway production of Young Frankenstein as the Monster. For this role he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical.[3] He also reprised the role in the United States national tour which also features his former co-stars Roger Bart and Cory English.[4]

In 2011 he portrayed American Yiddish theatre great Boris Thomashefsky in The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater, a concert stage show celebrating the Thomashefskys and the music of Yiddish theatre, hosted by their grandson the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. The show aired on the PBS series Great Performances in 2012.[5]

In 2012 he starred as a 600 pound man in the Off Broadway production of The Whale at Playwrights Horizons.[6]

In April–May 2015, Hensley sang the role of the Celebrant in Leonard Bernstein's Mass, in a concert version with the Philadelphia Orchestra under conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.[7] Later that year he appeared in a Tokyo production of Hal Prince's The Prince of Broadway.[8]

In fall 2016, Hensley costars with Sutton Foster in The New Group's revival of Sweet Charity.[9]

The Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards, part of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards – The Jimmy Nederlander Awards, are named in his honor.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Hensley is married to Paula DeRosa; they have two children.[citation needed]



External links[edit]