Zachary Levi

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Zachary Levi
Zachary Levi by Gage Skidmore 6.jpg
Levi at the 2019 WonderCon
Zachary Levi Pugh

(1980-09-29) September 29, 1980 (age 40)
  • Actor
  • singer
  • comedian
Years active2001–present[1]
(m. 2014; div. 2015)

Zachary Levi Pugh (born September 29, 1980)[2] is an American actor, comedian and singer. He received critical acclaim for starring as Chuck Bartowski in the series Chuck, and as the title character[3][4] in Shazam!, as a part of the DC Extended Universe.

He voiced Flynn Rider in the 2010 animated film Tangled, where he performed "I See the Light" with Mandy Moore; the song won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media.[5][6] He reprised the voice role in the 2012 short film Tangled Ever After and in 2017, Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure,[7] a Disney Channel television series based on the film.[8] He has appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok as Fandral. Levi starred as Georg Nowack in the 2016 Broadway revival of She Loves Me opposite Laura Benanti, for which he received a Tony Award nomination.

Early life[edit]

Zachary Levi Pugh was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the son of Susan Marie (Hoctor) and Darrell Pugh.[2][9] He has Welsh ancestry.[10] When Levi was a child, his family moved across several states before finally heading back to their home in Ventura, California, where he attended Buena High School for four years.[11] He began acting on stage at the age of six, performing lead roles in regional productions such as Grease, The Outsiders, Oklahoma!, Oliver!, The Wizard of Oz, and Big River at the Ojai Art Center.[12]



Levi at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con

Levi first appeared in the FX television movie Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie. He played Kipp Steadman on the ABC sitcom Less than Perfect. He also portrayed a potential boyfriend of Charisma Carpenter's character, Jane, in the then-ABC Family television movie See Jane Date. Levi was slated to be a lead in an ABC pilot called Three for the 2004/2005 television season, but the show was not picked up.[13]

He landed the starring role in Chuck in 2007. Levi and his Chuck co-star Yvonne Strahovski were both nominated for Best Action Actor and Actress Choice TV Series for the Teen Choice Awards 2010 where they both won and presented.[14] In the summer of 2008, Levi was named one of Entertainment Weekly's Top Thirty People Under Thirty.[15] He later starred in the film Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel in the lead role as Dave's cousin Toby Seville.[16] He starred in the 2010 Disney-animated feature film Tangled, which is based on the popular fairy tale Rapunzel. He voices Flynn Rider, a bandit who finds refuge in Rapunzel's tower. He provided narration in the 2011 film Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story, a documentary about the game of Monopoly.[17] Levi hosted the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards.[18]

Levi at the 83rd Academy Awards in February 2011

BuddyTV ranked him #97 on its list of "TV's Sexiest Men of 2011."[19] Levi landed the male lead in the 2012 TV pilot Let It Go, which would have aired on Fox, but was not picked up.[20] Levi hosted the web documentaries Tomb Raider The Final Hours, going behind the scenes of the new Tomb Raider game. He was originally to portray Fandral in Thor, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Chuck.[21] He did play the role in the sequels, Thor: The Dark World (2013), after original actor Josh Dallas had scheduling conflicts of his own, and briefly in Thor: Ragnarok (2017). Levi made his Broadway debut in a production of the musical comedy First Date in August 2013.[22]

In January 2015, it was announced that Levi would be a lead member of the cast of NBC's 13-episode miniseries Heroes Reborn as Luke Collins.[23] The show was not picked up for a second season.[24] He also guest-starred as Abraham Lincoln in the Hulu original series Deadbeat.[25]

Levi joined the cast of the Broadway revival of She Loves Me in the lead role of Georg, alongside Laura Benanti as Amalia. It opened at Studio 54 on March 17, 2016 after previews on February 19, 2016 for a limited engagement through June 12.[26][27] The run was later extended through July 10, when it closed.[28][29] The production received high critical praise, receiving 5 Stars from The Guardian and was selected as a Critics' Pick for The New York Times.[30][31] Levi was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his performance.[32] Critics praised Levi's performance of Georg, noting that his portrayal is "suave and handsome at times, disarmingly nebbishy at others," and that he "[exudes] sweet modesty and just a pinch of hauteur."[33][34] The production had a historic livestreamed performance on June 30, 2016 with Levi and the cast participating in the first livestreamed show in Broadway history.[35]

In 2017, Levi reprised his role as Flynn Rider in a Disney Channel Original Movie titled Tangled: Before Ever After. This movie continued the story as a regular series titled Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure, which lasted for 3 seasons, premiering on March 24, 2017 and concluding March 1, 2020.[36] The series is based on the 2010 film Tangled and features the returning voices of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi.

In 2018, Levi appeared as Dr. Benjamin Ettenberg, a love interest for the main character, Miriam 'Midge' Maisel, in the second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. With the series’ other principal cast members, Levi won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at SAG's January 2019 awards ceremony.

In 2019, Levi starred as the title character in New Line Cinema and Warner Bros.' superhero comedy feature film Shazam!, an entry in the DC Extended Universe franchise. In the film, Levi's Shazam character (also known as Captain Marvel) is the superpowered alter-ego of a teenaged boy, Billy Batson (played by Asher Angel), who retains his childish personality in his adult form similar to the 1988 Fox comedy Big.[37]


In April 2010, Katharine McPhee released a preview of a music video to cinemas for her single "Terrified." Levi duets with her on the song (which was re-recorded; the original album version features Jason Reeves) and appears in the music video singing with McPhee. On May 3, 2010, the song was previewed on the Entertainment Weekly website and made available for purchase on iTunes.[38] The full video premiered May 7, 2010 on the music video website Vevo.[39] Levi financed Kendall Payne's album Grown after she was dropped by her label, Capitol Records.[40]

On the soundtrack of the movie Tangled, Levi sings "I See the Light" (with costar Mandy Moore) and "I've Got a Dream." In honor of the Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, Levi and Moore performed "I See the Light" at the 83rd Academy Awards.[41] Levi has also been a guest member of Band from TV, a band made up of actors from various American television shows.

Personal life[edit]

Levi about his time on Broadway

Levi is a sports car and motorcycle enthusiast and owns a 2009 Nissan GT-R.[42][43] He is an avid gamer, having first played Super Mario Bros., and appreciates video games for their ability to provide interactive stories.[18]

In September 2010, Levi started his own company, The Nerd Machine.[44] He participated in the Celebrity All Star Game at NBA All Star Weekend 2011, playing for the team coached by Magic Johnson.[45]

On June 16, 2014, Canadian actress Missy Peregrym announced that she and Levi had married in Maui, Hawaii.[46] They filed for divorce in April 2015,[47] with the separation date listed in court documents as December 3, 2014.[48]

On October 8, 2015, Levi’s mother, Susan Pugh, died from cancer.

On May 21, 2019, Active Minds, a mental health charity, announced that Levi will be an ambassador for the organization.[49]


Levi was raised a Christian. In a 2002 interview with Relevant Magazine, he said:

My job on my set, I believe, is to first just love people and gain that trust with people where they know that I really do love them and care about their well-being, so that when they are running into problems, they will hopefully, at some point, come to me and ask me, 'What is your peace all about? What is your comfort all about? Where do you get your love? Where do you get your talents?' And I can turn to them and say without blinking, 'Jesus Christ.'[50]

In a 2018 interview with Michael Rosenbaum, Levi said, "I'm very spiritual, but not particularly religious." While avowing belief in God, he said, "[Religion] is, in my opinion, very destructive to what I believe the true heart and spirit then essence of who God is."[51]


Levi at the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy in July 2014


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Reel Guerrillas Evon Schwarz Short film
2006 Big Momma's House 2 Kevin
2007 Spiral Berkeley Also executive producer
Ctrl Z Ben Pillar Short film
2008 Wieners Ben
The Tiffany Problem Zac Short film
An American Carol Lab Tech 1
Shades of Ray Ray Rehman
2009 Stuntmen Troy Ratowski
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel Toby Seville
2010 Byron Phillips: Found Byron Phillips Short film
Tangled Eugene Fitzherbert / Flynn Rider (voice)
2011 Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story Narrator
No Rest For the Wicked: Moebius and Basil Adventures Moebius Short film
2012 Tangled Ever After Eugene Fitzherbert / Flynn Rider (voice)
Defeat the Label Himself
2013 Remember Sunday Gus
Thor: The Dark World Fandral
2016 Apex: The Story of the Hypercar Narrator
She Loves Me Georg Nowack Filmed production
2017 Thor: Ragnarok Fandral
The Star Joseph (voice)
2018 Office Uprising Adam Nusbaum
Blood Fest Himself Cameo
2019 Shazam! Billy Batson / Shazam
2021 The Mauritanian Neil Buckland
American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story Kurt Warner Filming
TBA Apollo 10½ Additional voices Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Untitled Sisqo Project Michael Golden[52] Unsold pilot
2002 Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie Adam Television film
2002–06 Less than Perfect Kipp Steadman 81 episodes
2003 See Jane Date Grant Asher Television film
2004 The Division Todd 2 episodes
Curb Your Enthusiasm Bellman Episode: "Opening Night"
2005 Brody & Friends Zac Episode: "The Hollywood Lifestyle"
2006 Worst Week of My Life Nick Unsold pilot
2007 Imperfect Union Clark Television film
2007–12 Chuck Chuck Bartowski 91 episodes; also director of 3 episodes
2011 Team Unicorn Young Lover Episode: "Alien Beach Crashers"
2011 Spike Video Game Awards Host Also consulting producer
Vietnam in HD Karl Marlantes (voice) 6 episodes
2012 4 Points Himself Episode: "Zachary Levi"
2012–14, 2019 Robot Chicken Various characters / Shazam (voice) 3 episodes[53]
2013 Remember Sunday Gus Television film
2014–15 Hollywood Game Night Himself 2 episodes
2015 Deadbeat Abraham Lincoln Episode: "The Emancipation Apparition"
2015 Heroes Reborn Luke Collins 13 episodes
Geeks Who Drink Host 12 episodes; also executive producer
Telenovela James McMahon 5 episodes
2016 The $100,000 Pyramid Himself Episode: "Zachary Levi vs. Teri Polo"
2017 Tangled: Before Ever After Eugene Fitzherbert / Flynn Rider / Prince Horace (voice) Television film
2017–20 Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure 59 episodes
2017 Alias Grace Jeremiah Pontelli Miniseries; 5 episodes
Psych: The Movie Thin White Duke Television film
2018–19 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Dr. Benjamin Ettenberg 8 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Halo: Reach Trooper 4 (voice)
Fallout: New Vegas Arcade Gannon (voice)
2013 Tomb Raider Himself[54] (voice)
2018 Lego DC Super-Villains Billy Batson / Shazam (voice) Shazam! DLC Level Pack
2019 Kingdom Hearts III Eugene Fitzherbert/Flynn Rider (voice)
2020 Grounded Wendell (voice)


Year Title Role Notes
2011–16 NerdHQ Host San Diego Comic Con Special
2011 The Guild Himself Season 1, episode 5
2012 Video Game High School Ace 3 episodes
2013 Tiny Commando Tiny Commando 7 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2013–2014 First Date Aaron Longacre Theatre
2016 She Loves Me Georg Nowack Studio 54
Sunday in the Park with George Jules New York City Center Gala Concert


Live performances[edit]

On February 27, 2011, Levi performed "I See the Light" with Mandy Moore at the 83rd Academy Awards.[41] On June 12, 2016, Levi performed the title song from "She Loves Me", as part of the medley presented on the 70th Tony Awards.[57] He has also performed live in various programs from childhood.[58]

Awards and nominations[edit]


Year Nominated work Award Result
2010 Tangled Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Song Nominated
World Soundtrack Academy Award for Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film Nominated
Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Voice Nominated
Online Film & Television Association for Best Music, Original Song Nominated
2019 Shazam! MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Comedic Performance Nominated
MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Hero Nominated
Teen Choice Award for Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie Actor Nominated


Year Nominated work Award Result
2007 Chuck Satellite Award Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical Nominated
2008 Teen Choice Award for Choice Male Breakout TV Star Nominated
Online Film & Television Association for Best Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2009 Ewwy Award for Best Leading Actor in a Comedy Series Won
2010 Saturn Award Best Actor on Television Nominated
Ewwy Award for Best Leading Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Action Won
Online Film & Television Association for Best Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2011 TV Guide Award for Favorite Couple Who Have (shared with Yvonne Strahovski) Won
Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Action Nominated
2012 Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Action Nominated
2016 Heroes Reborn People's Choice Award for Favorite Actor In A New TV Series Nominated
2018 Tangled: Before Ever After Behind the Voice Actors Award for Best Vocal Ensemble in a TV Special/Direct-to-DVD Title or Short Nominated
2019 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won


Year Award Category Work Result
2014 Theatre World Award First Date Honouree
2016 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical She Loves Me Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated


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External links[edit]