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Jonathan Groff

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jonathan Groff
Jonathan Groff at Outfest 2013.jpg
Groff at Outfest in 2013
Jonathan Drew Groff

(1985-03-26) March 26, 1985 (age 35)
  • Actor
  • singer
Years active2002–present
Jonathan Groff signature.svg

Jonathan Drew Groff (born March 26, 1985)[1] is an American actor and singer. A prolific actor on stage, screen, and television, Groff is the recipient of a Grammy Award and has been nominated for two Tony Awards.

Groff rose to prominence in 2006 for his performance in the lead role of Melchior Gabor in the original Broadway production of Spring Awakening, for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He returned to Broadway in 2015 to play the role of King George III in Hamilton and sang the song "You'll Be Back", a performance for which he earned a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. He also appeared on the cast recording, which won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Groff is also known for his television appearances, such as Ian Todd in the Starz political drama Boss; lead-character Patrick Murray in the HBO comedy-drama series Looking, and its subsequent series finale television film, Looking: The Movie; and the recurring role of Jesse St. James in the Fox musical-comedy series Glee. He voiced the role of Kristoff and Sven in Walt Disney Animation Studios' films Frozen and Frozen II.[2] Since 2017, Groff has starred as FBI Special Agent Holden Ford in the Netflix period crime drama Mindhunter.

Early life

Jonathan Drew Groff was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to Julie (née Witmer), a physical education teacher, and Jim Groff, a harness horse trainer. He has an older brother, David. Groff is a first cousin of singer James Wolpert, a semi-finalist on the fifth season of The Voice.[3] Groff was raised in Ronks, Pennsylvania.[4] He is of German and Swiss descent.[5]

When he was three years old, Groff fell in love with Julie Andrews' performance as Mary Poppins, watching a video of the movie over and over, and dressing up as the character for Halloween in a family home movie in which he also attempted to sing.[6]

Groff's father's family is Mennonite; of his upbringing, he has said: "My mother's side of the family is Methodist, which is how I was raised. It was conservative in that I had strong values – sitting down and eating with the family every day, listening to authority and going to church every week and having perfect attendance at Sunday school. But at the same time, my parents always encouraged my brother and me to be happy with what we were doing. ...they never pushed my brother and me to be anything we didn't want to be."[7]

Groff graduated from Conestoga Valley High School in 2003 and intended to attend Carnegie Mellon University, but deferred his admission for a year when he was cast as Rolf in a Non-Equity national tour of The Sound of Music. After the tour, Groff decided to move to New York City instead.[8] While still living in Lancaster, Groff performed at the Fulton Opera House in The Sound of Music, Ragtime, Evita, My Fair Lady, Peter Pan, The Pirates of Penzance, and Rags and The Ephrata Performing Arts Center as Edgar in Bat Boy: The Musical and Ugly in Honk!.[9]


2005–2009: Career beginnings and Spring Awakening

Groff earned his Actors' Equity Association card in 2005, with the musical Fame at the North Shore Music Theatre. That same year, he made his Broadway debut as an understudy for the lead role and a swing for the musical In My Life by Joseph Brooks.[10] Groff originated the role of Melchior Gabor in the Broadway production of the rock musical Spring Awakening. He played the role from its debut on December 10, 2006, through May 18, 2008, when he departed the production with his co-star and best friend Lea Michele. He had previously played the role in the original Off-Broadway production earlier in the summer of 2006.[11] Groff was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance.

He played the recurring role of Henry Mackler on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. His storyline about a school shooting was cut due to the Virginia Tech shooting in April 2007, and Groff only appeared in eleven episodes.[12] From July 22 through August 31, 2008, Groff played as Claude in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Hair. He also appeared as Michael Lang in Ang Lee's comedy-drama film Taking Woodstock. Groff next appeared in the off-Broadway production of the play Prayer for My Enemy by Craig Lucas. In August 2009, Groff performed in The Bacchae as Dionysus, as a part of the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park.

2010–2015: Glee, Frozen and Hamilton

In 2010, he guest-starred in eight episodes of the Fox musical comedy-drama Glee as Jesse St. James alongside Lea Michele.[13] Groff continued to guest-star as the character in subsequent seasons, including the final episode of the series.[14] In August 2010, he made his West End debut in Deathtrap, at the Noël Coward Theatre, directed by Matthew Warchus.[citation needed]

From August to October 2012, Groff appeared as Ian Todd in the second and final season of the Starz series Boss.[15] Groff then portrayed Ken in the Center Theatre Group's production of the play Red, alongside Alfred Molina. The show ran from August 1 through September 9, 2012.[16] In March 2013, Groff and Molina reprised their roles for six more performances of the play, this time in the L.A. Theatre Works. These performances were recorded for broadcast on radio.[17]

In 2013, Groff voiced one of the lead roles in Disney's animated feature Frozen. His character, Kristoff, is a rugged mountain man and ice trader. The film premiered on November 19, 2013.[18][19] Following the film's massive commercial success and its ranking as the highest-grossing animated film of all time, the fifteenth highest-grossing film of all time, and the highest-grossing film of 2013, Groff reprised his role in the short film sequel Frozen Fever, which premiered on March 13, 2015.[20]

Groff starred as Patrick Murray, a gay video game developer, in HBO's comedy-drama series Looking.[21][22] On March 23, 2015, HBO cancelled Looking after its second season but greenlit a television film to conclude the story.[23] In April 2013, Groff joined another HBO production, playing Craig Donner in the film adaptation of Larry Kramer's play The Normal Heart.[24] He returned to the London stage on May 19, 2015, to star in a one-night-only concert of the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, at the Royal Festival Hall.[25]

Groff starred in a production of the musical A New Brain, presented as part of the New York City Center's Encores! Off-Center staged concert series. The show was directed by James Lapine and took place from June 24 through June 27, 2015.[26] On March 3, 2015, he joined the cast of the musical Hamilton, replacing Brian d'Arcy James in the role of King George III. He held the role for the remainder of the show's off-Broadway production, through May 3, 2015.[27] He also appeared in as King George III in Hamilton which was added to Disney+ on July 3, 2020. He reprised the role in the Broadway production, which started performances July 13, 2015.[28] Groff, along with the rest of the cast, won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album for appearing as a featured performer on the original Broadway cast recording. He was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.

2016–present: Mindhunter and Frozen II

In March 2016, it was reported that Groff would star in the Netflix series Mindhunter, executive produced by David Fincher and Charlize Theron. The series was released in October 2017, and he portrays Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Holden Ford, a serial killer investigator in the Behavioral Science Unit.[29] Groff also starred in the second season of the series, which premiered on August 16, 2019.[30]

In July 2017, Groff starred in the first podcast musical, 36 Questions, which was released in three parts.[31]

In November 2019, Groff reprised his role as Kristoff in Frozen II. He sang a solo song for the movie, titled "Lost in the Woods".

Groff's Broadway performance of King George III in Hamilton has been featured in the film production on Disney+ as of July 3, 2020.

Personal life

Groff publicly came out as gay during the National Equality March in 2009[32] and was romantically linked to actor Gavin Creel that same year.[33] From 2010 to 2013, he was in a relationship with actor Zachary Quinto.[34] Since early 2018, he has been dating New Zealand choreographer Corey Baker, whom he met while both were teaching at Christchurch International Musical Theatre Summer School (CIMTSS).[35][36] Groff was diagnosed with melanoma in his early 20s.[37]

In April 2015, Groff was honored by the Point Foundation with the Point Horizon Award honoring a "trailblazer who has taken a leadership role as an advocate" of LGBTQ communities.[38] In December 2015, he was honored by Equality Pennsylvania with the Bayard Rustin Award, which "recognizes a Pennsylvanian who is continuing the work to ensure that the LGBT community will be visible, accepted, and celebrated in our society."[39]



Year Title Role Notes
2009 Taking Woodstock Michael Lang
2010 Twelve Thirty Jeff
2010 The Conspirator Louis Weichmann
2013 C.O.G. David
2013 Frozen Kristoff (voice)
2014 Russian Broadway Shut Down Nikolai the Athlete Short film
2014 Sophie Ben Short film
2014 American Sniper Young Vet Mads
2015 Frozen Fever Kristoff (voice) Short film
2017 Olaf's Frozen Adventure Short film
2019 Frozen II
2020 Hamilton King George III Filmed recording of 2016 Broadway musical
2022 The Matrix 4 Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2007 One Life to Live Henry Mackler 11 episodes
2008 Pretty/Handsome Patrick Fitzpayne Pilot
2010–15 Glee Jesse St. James Recurring role; 15 episodes
2012 The Good Wife Jimmy Fellner Episode: "Live from Damascus"
2012 Boss Ian Todd Main cast; 10 episodes
2014–15 Looking Patrick Murray Lead role; 18 episodes
2014 The Normal Heart Craig Donner Television film
2016 Looking: The Movie Patrick Murray Television film
2016 LEGO Frozen Northern Lights Kristoff (voice) Television special
2017–present Mindhunter Holden Ford Lead role
2018 The Simpsons Actor Playing Bart (voice) Episode: "Bart's Not Dead"


Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Battery's Down Himself Web series • Episode: "The Big Apple"
2009 Web series • Episode: "The Party's Over"
2015 One True Pairing (Season 1) Dennis Web series • Episode: "What's 'Your' Nickname"
2016 One True Pairing (Season 2) Web series • 4 episodes
2017 36 Questions[40] Jase Podcast Musical • Released through Two-Up podcast channel[41]

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2019 Kingdom Hearts III Kristoff[42]


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Honk! Ugly The Ephrata Performing Arts Center
2004 Bat Boy: The Musical Bat Boy The Ephrata Performing Arts Center
2005 Fame Nick Piazza North Shore Music Theatre
In My Life UnderstudySwing Music Box TheatreBroadway • Broadway debut
2006 Spring Awakening Melchior Gabor Atlantic Theater CompanyOff-Broadway
2006–08 Eugene O'Neill TheatreBroadway
2007 Hair Claude Hooper Bukowski Delacorte Theater
Prayer for My Enemy Billy Noone Playwrights Horizons • Off-Broadway
2009 The Singing Forest Gray Korankyi • Walter Rieman The Public Theater • Off-Broadway
The Bacchae Dionysus Delacorte Theater
2010–11 Deathtrap Clifford Anderson Noël Coward TheatreWest End London, UK
2011 The Submission Danny Larsen MCC TheaterOff-Broadway
2012 Red Ken Mark Taper Forum
2013 L.A. Theatre Works
The Pirates of Penzance Frederic Delacorte Theater
2015 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying J. Pierrepont Finch Royal Festival HallWest End London, UK
Hamilton King George III The Public Theater • Off-Broadway
A New Brain Gordon Michael Schwinn New York City CenterLincoln Center
2015–16 Hamilton King George III Richard Rodgers TheatreBroadway
2017 Hair Claude Hooper Bukowski Jazz at Lincoln CenterLincoln Center
Sondheim on Sondheim Performer Hollywood Bowl
2018 The Bobby Darin Story Bobby Darin 92nd Street Y • Off-Broadway
2019–20 Little Shop of Horrors Seymour Krelborn Westside Theatre • Off-Broadway


Cast recordings
Other recordings
Featured singles
Year Title Peak chart positions Album
2010 "Highway to Hell" 88 89 Glee: The Music, The Complete Season One
"Run Joey Run" 61 64 45 12 27
"Another One Bites the Dust" 79 53 41 101
"Bohemian Rhapsody"
"Hello" 35 79 37 31 35 Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers
"Total Eclipse of the Heart" 16 28 17 3 9
"Like a Virgin" 87 99 83 47 58 Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna
"Like a Prayer" 27 28 27 2 16
2011 "Rolling in the Deep" 29 49 Glee: The Music, Volume 6
2015 "You'll Be Back" [A]


"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in the region


  1. ^ "You'll Be Back" did not enter the Hot 100, but peaked at number 21 on the Digital Songs chart.[55]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2007 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Spring Awakening Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Theatre World Award Outstanding Debut Performance Won Audience Choice Award Favorite Leading Actor in a Broadway Musical Won
Favorite Male Breakthrough Performance Won
Favorite Onstage Pair (shared with Lea Michele) Won
Favorite Ensemble Cast (with cast) Won Theatre Fans' Choice Award Best Leading Actor in a Musical Nominated
2009 Obie Award Outstanding Performance Prayer for My EnemyThe Singing Forest Won
2011 Theatregoers' Choice Award London Newcomer of the Year Deathtrap Won
2012 Los Angeles Award Best Leading Actor in a Play (Touring Production) Red Nominated
2013 Behind the Voice Actors People's Choice Voice Acting Award Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film Frozen Won
Behind the Voice Actors Feature Film Voice Acting Awards Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film Won
Best Male Lead Vocal Performance in a Feature Film Nominated
2014 Gold Derby TV Awards Best Comedy Actor Looking Nominated
EWwy Award Best Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
NewNowNext Award Best New Television Actor Won
2015 Gold Derby TV Awards Best Comedy Actor Nominated
Point Horizon Award LGBT activism Won
Bayard Rustin Award Won
CinEuphoria Awards Best Ensemble Cast – International Competition The Normal Heart Won
2016 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Hamilton Nominated
Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Won Audience Choice Award Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical Won
Favorite Funny Performance Won
Favorite Diva Performance Won
2017 Out100 Award Entertainer of the Year LGBT activism Won
Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Drama / Genre Series Mindhunter Won
2018 Dorian Awards TV Performance of the Year – Actor Nominated
2020 Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Drama / Genre Series Nominated
Lucille Lortel Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical Little Shop of Horrors Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Honoree

See also


  1. ^ "Jonathan Groff". Playbill. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  2. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (December 19, 2012). "Broadway Star Jonathan Groff to Voice Lead Character in Disney's 'Frozen'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 20, 2018. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  3. ^ Hummel, Cindy (January 13, 2014). "James Wolpert still calls Strasburg home". LancasterOnline.
  4. ^ Adams, Sean (January 27, 2015). "Actor Jonathan Groff on 'Frozen,' 'Glee,' HBO and growing up in Lancaster County". Penn Live. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  5. ^ "Jonathan Groff". IMDb. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  6. ^ "Julie Andrews, Jonathan Groff". The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Season 5. Episode 817. October 21, 2019. CBS. Note: A short clip from the home movie was played for the television audience.
  7. ^ "Profile Jim and Jonathan Groff" (PDF). Hoof Beats Magazine. July 2007.
  8. ^ "Actor Jonathan Groff Goes From "Glee" to "Boss"". August 15, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  9. ^ Ritzel, Rebecca J. (December 19, 2006). "Broadway 'Awakening'". Lancaster Online. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  10. ^ Jonathan Groff. YouTube. April 19, 2007.
  11. ^ Simonson, Robert (July 20, 2006). "Off-Broadway Hit Spring Awakening to Awake on Broadway".
  12. ^ "'One Life To Live' Pulls Hostage Plot After Virginia Tech Killings". Access Hollywood. April 24, 2007.
  13. ^ Ross, Dalton (October 19, 2009). "'Glee' Exclusive: 'Spring Awakening' star Jonathan Groff to join the show". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on January 6, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  14. ^ Ward, Kate (March 30, 2011). "He's back: Jonathan Groff returning to 'Glee'!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 10, 2011.
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 6, 2012). "Sanaa Lathan & Jonathan Groff Join Starz's 'Boss' As New Regulars For Second Season". Deadline Hollywood.
  16. ^ Jones, Kenneth (August 12, 2012). "Red, With Alfred Molina and Jonathan Groff, Opens in L.A." Archived from the original on January 5, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
  17. ^ Hetrick, Adam (February 20, 2012). "Alfred Molina and Jonathan Groff Will Appear in Red for L.A. Theatre Works; Production Will Be Recorded". Archived from the original on February 22, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
  18. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (December 19, 2012). "'Frozen': Jonathan Groff from 'Glee' voicing hero in Disney's 'Snow Queen' adaptation". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
  19. ^ Liu, Meng (November 19, 2013). "Disney's 'Frozen' Premiere Turns L.A. Into a Winter Wonderland". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  20. ^ Graser, Marc (December 3, 2014). "'Frozen Fever' Short to Debut in Front of Disney's 'Cinderella'". Variety. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  21. ^ Schou, Solvej (February 8, 2013). "'Glee's' Jonathan Groff to Star in HBO Comedy Pilot (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  22. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 14, 2013). "HBO Greenlights Gay-Themed Dramedy Series". The Hollywood Reporter.
  23. ^ Ausiello, Michael (March 25, 2015). "Looking Cancelled at HBO – But Patrick's Story Isn't Over Yet". TVLine.
  24. ^ Hibberd, James (April 26, 2013). "Jonathan Groff to play Taylor Kitsch's lover in Ryan Murphy film". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  25. ^ Shenton, Mark (March 13, 2015). "Jonathan Groff To Star in London Concert of How to Succeed". Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  26. ^ Gans, Andrew (December 15, 2014). "Ellen Greene in Little Shop, Jonathan Groff in New Brain and Sutton Foster in Wild Party Set for Encores! Off-Center Season". Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  27. ^ Hetrick, Adam (February 25, 2015). "Spring Awakening Star Is New King of Broadway-Bound Hamilton". Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  28. ^ Lloyd Webber, Imogen (June 15, 2015). "Jonathan Groff Will Reign Over Broadway as King George III in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton; Complete Cast Set". Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  29. ^ Ausiello, Michael (March 7, 2016). "Jonathan Groff Joins David Fincher's New Netflix Series Mindhunter". TVLine.
  30. ^ Huff, Lauren (July 29, 2019). "First teaser trailer for Mindhunter season 2 includes glimpses of Charles Manson and Son of Sam". Entertainment Weekly.
  31. ^ Nicholas Quah (July 7, 2017). "36 Questions Realizes the Potential of the Podcast Musical". Vulture. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  32. ^ Jensen, Michael (October 19, 2009). "Tony Award Nominee Jonathan Groff has Most Low-key Coming Out Ever". Archived from the original on May 31, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  33. ^ Sessums, Kevin (December 20, 2016). "Jonathan Groff Talks Looking, Hamilton, and Madonna's iPhone". FourTwoNine. Archived from the original on October 14, 2017. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  34. ^ Chen, Joyce (December 20, 2016). "Zachary Quinto, Jonathan Groff Break Up". Us Weekly. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  35. ^ Paulson, Michael (October 2, 2019). "Jonathan Groff Is a Seymour at Heart". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  36. ^ "Julie Andrews, Jonathan Groff". The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Season 5. Episode 817. October 21, 2019. CBS. Note: A short clip from the home movie was played for the television audience.
  37. ^ Dulin, Dann (November 12, 2015). "Evolved Encounter: Jonathan Groff Mixes Reel Life with Real Life & Looks to the Beginning of the Epidemic for Wisdom". A&U Magazine. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  38. ^ Lee, Ashley (March 11, 2015). "Looking Star Jonathan Groff to Be Honored by Point Foundation (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  39. ^ "Equality PA Presents The Bayard Rustin Award & The Pioneering Advocacy Award to leaders in the LGBT Community". Equality Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on January 20, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ Lefkowitz, Andy (December 11, 2019). "Little Shop of Horrors, with Jonathan Groff, Tammy Blanchard & Christian Borle, to Receive Cast Album". Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  44. ^ "iTunes – Music – Dreaming Wide Awake: The Music of Scott Alan by Scott Alan". Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  45. ^ Gioia, Michael (August 24, 2015). "Audio Exclusive! Jonathan Groff Sings Inspirational New Song About Starting Anew". Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  46. ^ Gans, Andrew (July 8, 2008). "Audio Version of Rudetsky's "Broadway Nights," with Bell, Chenoweth, Groff, Now Available". Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  47. ^ "Red – Audiobooks and Plays Featuring Stars of Stage and Screen". Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  48. ^ Various – Frozen Fever
  49. ^ "The Killer Across the Table (Audio Download): John E. Douglas, Mark Olshaker, Jonathan Groff, HarperCollins Publishers Limited: Audible Audiobooks". Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  50. ^ Peak positions for featured singles in the United States:
  51. ^ Peak positions for featured singles in Australia:
  52. ^ Peak positions for featured singles in Canada"
  53. ^ "Discography Glee Cast". Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  54. ^ "The Official Charts Company – Glee Cast". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on May 8, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2010.
  55. ^ "Jonathan Groff Chart History (Digital Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2020.

External links

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