Matthew James “Matt” Morrison (born October 30, 1978) is an American actor, dancer, and singer-songwriter. He is known for starring in multiple Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, including his portrayal of Link Larkin in Hairspray on Broadway, and for his role as Will Schuester on the Fox television show Glee (2009–present). He is signed with Adam Levine’s 222 Records. Morrison received a Tony Award nomination for his featured role as Fabrizio Nacarelli in the musical The Light in the Piazza.
Morrison was born in Fort Ord, California, the son of Mary and Tom Morrison. He was raised in Orange County, and is of Scottish heritage. He was part of the Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21) and the Orange County High School of the Arts, while at the Los Alamitos High School campus. While in high school, Morrison did a musical with actress Jodie Sweetin. He attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for two years before dropping out and joining the Broadway adaptation of Footloose.
By freshman year of college Morrison already was a regular performer on Broadway. He states in Details “There were all these beautiful, beautiful dancers. As a straight guy I had some room. There were the shared interests in singing and dancing, and I always find dancing with someone very erotic and sexual. I definitely hooked up with a lot of girls when I was a young guy on Broadway. It was fun, I guess. Very joyous and free.”
Morrison’s career began when he made his musical theatre debut on Broadway in the musical version of Footloose, followed by a revival of The Rocky Horror Show in 2002. His big break came, however, when he landed the role of Link Larkin in the Broadway production of John Waters’, Hairspray. After performing in the role for some time, he started working in television, guest-starring on shows such as Ghost Whisperer, Numb3rs, CSI: Miami and Hack. He also had small roles in films such as Marci X, Primary Colors, Music and Lyrics, and Simply Funk. He followed up these performances by performing the role of Sir Harry in the ABC-TV production of Once Upon a Mattress, starring Tracey Ullman, Zooey Deschanel and Carol Burnett.
In 2001, Morrison was recruited to complete the quartet for the band LMNT. He was replaced instead by Jonas Persch by the time its first album was released. He commented in an interview about his experience in the boy band by remarking, “It was the worst year of my life. You know when you’re a performer and you’re out there on stage and you’re embarrassed that you’re doing something wrong. It was pretty bad.” Matthew Morrison also was a member of Buena Park Youth theater, located at Buena Park
Morrison starred in the Original Cast of the musical Hairspray as Link Larkin from its opening in 2002 through January 2004. In 2005 Morrison changed gears, playing the role of Fabrizio Nacarelli in Adam Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance. He left the show August 28, 2005.
Morrison joined the cast of the CBS soap opera, As the World Turns, as Adam Munson on October 24, 2006, but left abruptly soon after due to a “scheduling conflict,” last airing on the soap on November 27. Morrison appeared in a benefit performance celebrating Andrew Lippa, and the 25th Anniversary of the performing troupe ‘The Kids in the Hall’ at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, California in December 2006. The performance benefited The California Conservatory of the Arts, a non-profit arts education organization focusing on pre-professional training for young students, grades six through twelve, in Orange County, California.
He earned a Drama Desk Nomination for his role in the Off Broadway show 10 Million Miles which ran at the Atlantic Theater Company in 2007. That same year he appeared in two films: Dan in Real Life, followed by Music and Lyrics as Cora Corman’s manager. In 2008, he played Lieutenant Cable in a Lincoln Center production of the musical South Pacific. He left the production at the end of 2008 and in early 2009 returned to California to shoot the first season of Glee.
Morrison plays Will Schuester in the Fox Broadcasting television series Glee, which had its television preview on May 19, 2009. He resumed his role in the show as the series premiered on September 9, 2009. He plays a high school Spanish teacher who takes on the task of restoring the school’s glee club to its former glory. Morrison also appeared in the show’s second season. He returned for the third season, which premiered on September 20, 2011. He made his directorial debut in the third season’s ninth episode.
In addition on January 14, 2010, it was announced that Morrison signed a solo record deal with Mercury Records. His first studio album was released on May 10, 2011. Morrison duets with Elton John on “a medley of ‘Mona Lisas and Madhatters’ going into ‘Rocket Man’”. His first single, “Summer Rain”, premiered on Ryan Seacrest’s website on February 28, 2011. Additionally, a duet of “Over the Rainbow” with Gwyneth Paltrow appears on the self-titled album. On June 16, 2010, Morrison joined Leona Lewis — appearing at London’s O2 Arena as part of her world tour — for a one-off performance to sing “Over the Rainbow”. Morrison was on the cover of the June 2011 issue of MetroSource.
In March 2012, Morrison was featured in a performance of Dustin Lance Black’s play, ‘8’ — a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California’s Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage — as Paul Katami. The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.
A Morrison concert at Connecticut’s Bushnell Center was recorded by PBS and scheduled to air in spring 2013. On April 28, 2013, Morrison made his first major appearance in the UK as a guest performer at the 2013 Laurence Olivier Awards at the Royal Opera House in London. On June 4, 2013, 222 Records released Morrison’s second studio album, Where It All Began.
Morrison will return to Broadway as J.M. Barrie in the new musical, Finding Neverland, which will open Spring 2015.
Morrison became engaged to actress Chrishell Stause on December 9, 2006. Their relationship later ended. In 2011, Morrison began dating Renee Puente. On June 27, 2013, Elton John helped Morrison announce that Morrison and Puente were engaged. Morrison and Puente were married on October 18, 2014 at a private home on the island of Maui.
Awards and Nominations
- Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominated – 2010 Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical (Glee)
- Primetime Emmy Awards Nomination – 2010 Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Glee)
- Golden Globe Awards Nomination – 2010 Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical (Glee)
- Satellite Awards Nomination – 2010 Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical (Glee)
- Teen Choice Awards Nomination – 2010 Choice Male Scene Stealer
- Golden Globe Awards Nomination – 2009 Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical (Glee)
- Satellite Awards Winner – 2009 Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical (Glee)
- Screen Actors Guild Awards Winner – 2009 Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical (Glee)
- Drama Desk Awards Nomination – 2008 Outstanding Actor in a Musical (10 Million Miles)
- Tony Awards Nomination – 2005 Best Featured Actor in a Musical (The Light in the Piazza)
- Outer Critics Circle Awards Nomination – 2005 Best Featured Actor in a Musical (The Light in the Piazza)
- Drama Desk Awards Nomination – 2005 Outstanding Actor in a Musical (The Light in the Piazza)
- Outer Critics Circle Awards Nomination – 2003 Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Hairspray)
Broadway Productions Date of Productions
Finding Neverland[Musical, Original] Apr 15, 2015 – Aug 21, 2016
South Pacific [Musical, Drama, Revival] Apr 03, 2008 – Aug 22, 2010
Lt. Joseph Cable, U.S.M.C. (Mar 01, 2008 – Jan 04, 2009)
A Naked Girl on the Appian Way Oct 06, 2005 – Dec 04, 2005
[Play, Original] Thad Lapin
The Light in the Piazza Apr 18, 2005 – Jul 02, 2006
[Musical, Original] Fabrizio Naccarelli (Mar 17, 2005 – Sep 01, 2005)
Hairspray Aug 15, 2002 – Jan 04, 2009
[Musical, Comedy, Original] Link Larkin (Jul 18, 2002 – Jan 11, 2004)
The Rocky Horror Show Nov 15, 2000 – Jan 06, 2002
[Musical, Comedy, Revival] Phantom – Replacement
Footloose Oct 22, 1998 – Jul 02, 2000
- Ensemble – Replacement
- Understudy: Matthew Morrison
- Chuck Cranston – Replacement
Off Broadway – 10 Million Miles [Musical]
Performer Role: Duane May 11, 2007 – July 12, 2007 Linda Gross Theater
Matthew Morrison Release Date May 2011 US Charts Peak 24
Where It All Began Release Date June 2013 US Charts Peak 95
|1998||Footloose||Ensemble; Chuck Cranston u/s||Broadway||Replacement|
|2000||The Rocky Horror Show||Phantom||Broadway||Replacement|
|2005||The Light in the Piazza||Fabrizio Naccarelli||Broadway|
|2005||Catch Me If You Can||Frank Abagnale, Jr.||NY Reading|
|2005||A Naked Girl on the Appian Way||Thad Lapin||Broadway|
|2007||10 Million Miles||Duane||Off-Broadway|
|2008||South Pacific||Lt. Joseph Cable, U.S.M.C.||Broadway|
|2015||Finding Neverland||J.M. Barrie||Broadway|
|1999||Bob Rizzo’s Simply Funk with Suzanne||Himself||As Matthew J. Morrison|
|2001||Bollywood Calling||Mr. Abraham/Pat’s Agent|
|2003||Marci X||Boyz R Us||As Matthew J. Morrison|
|2005||Once Upon a Mattress||Sir Harry|
|2007||Music and Lyrics||Ray|
|Dan in Real Life||Policeman|
|I Think I Love My Wife||Salesman #2|
|2011||The Muppets||Mahna Mahna Host|
|2012||What to Expect When You’re Expecting||Evan|
|2015||Playing It Cool||Himself|
|1999||Sex and the City||Young Busboy||1 episode|
|2003||Hack||Sam Wagner||1 episode|
|2006||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Chance Slaughter||1 episode|
|As the World Turns||Adam Munson (#4)||October 24 – November 27, 2006|
|2007||Ghost Whisperer||Matt Sembrook||“Bad Blood” – 1 episode|
|CSI: Miami||Jesse Stark||“Bloodline” – 1 episode|
|2008||Numb3rs||Officer Blaine Cleary||“Power” – 1 episode|
|2009||Taking Chance||Robert Rouse||Television film|
|2009–2015||Glee||Will Schuester||Series regular; 109 episodes
Directed season 3, episode 9, “Extraordinary Merry Christmas”
|2011||The Cleveland Show||Will Schuester||Season 2, Episode 11, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Roberta?”|
|2012||Live with Kelly||Himself||Kelly Ripa’s co-host on February 21, 2012|
|2013||Hollywood Game Night||Himself||Episode: “Don’t Kill My Buzz-er”|
|2014||Space Station 76||Daniel|
|2016||The Good Wife||AUSA Connor Fox||Recurring role, Season 7 episodes|
|Younger||Sebastian||Episode: “The Good Shepherd”|
- “Matthew Morrison”. TVGuide.com. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
- Dirmann, Tina (December 2009). “Matthew Morrison Revealed”. Orange Coast (Newport Beach, California: Orange Coast Kommunications): 86. ISSN 0279-0483.
- “EXCLUSIVE! Will There Be a ‘Full House’ Reunion On ‘Glee?’”. Hollywoodlife.com. 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
- “Matthew Morrison – Music”. Ellen.warnerbros.com. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- “Hot for Teacher: Matthew Morrison”. Details Magazine. 2010-12-01. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
- BWW, News Desk. “Matthew Morrison Talks GLEE, Upcoming Album, and his ‘Worst Year Ever’.” Broadwayworld 12 Jan 2010. Web. 1 Feb 2010.
- Simonson, Robert (January 26, 2005). “Hairspray’s Matthew Morrison Joins Cast of Piazza”. Playbill. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
- Simonson, Robert (July 25, 2005). “Matthew Morrison Will Leave Light in the Piazza Aug. 28”. Playbill. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
- Kroll, Dan J. “Adam Returning Home After 4 Year Absence.” Soap Central 1 Oct 2006: Web. 1 Feb 2010.
- “Cable’s Exit Interview Dec 23, 2008”. Lct.org. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- “Glee club is back in session on the season premiere of Glee“ (Press release). Fox Broadcasting Company. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
- “Elton John Reveals Details on Matthew Morrison’s Debut Album”. Broadwayworld.com. January 21, 2011. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
- Lipshutz, Jason (February 25, 2011). “Listen: ‘Glee’ Original Songs, ‘Loser Like Me’ and ‘Get It Right,’ Debut”. Billboard (New York: Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- Stack, Tim (March 22, 2011). “Matthew Morrison and Gwyneth Paltrow to duet on his upcoming album – EXCLUSIVE”. Entertainment Weekly (Time Inc). Retrieved March 22, 2011.
- “Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison to Join George Clooney in Dustin Lance Black Play ‘8’”. The Wrap thewrap.com. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
- “”8″: A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality”. YouTube. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
- “YouTube to broadcast Proposition 8 play live”. pinknews.co.uk. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
- “Matthew Morrison’s November Bushnell Center Concert to Be Recorded for PBS Broadcasts”. Broadwayworld.com. 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
- Official: Matthew Morrison Will Return to Broadway in FINDING NEVERLAND! Broadway World, Retrieved November 29, 2014
- “Curtain Cutie: Matthew Morrison”, Paper, 14 June 2007
- “Huffington Post. Retrieved June 7, 2013”. Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
- Nessif, Bruna (27 June 2013). “Glee’s Matthew Morrison Is Engaged to Renee Puente”. E! News.
- Garcia, Jennifer (October 19, 2014). “Matthew Morrison Marries Renee Puente”. People. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
- “Matthew Morrison Emmy Nominated”. Emmys.com. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- “Matthew Morrison Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200”. Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
- “Chartifacts – Week Commencing: 16 May 2011”. Australian Recording Industry Association. 16 May 2011. Archived from the original on May 17, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
- “OFFICIAL UK ALBUMS TOP 100 – 11th June 2011”. The Official Charts Company. 11 June 2011. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved June 12, 2011.
- “Matthew Morrison Album & Song Chart History – Adult Contemporary”. Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
- “CHART: CLUK Update 25.06.2011 (wk24)”. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- “Matthew Morrison Album & Song Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles)”. Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Official website
- Matthew Morrison at AllMusic
- Matthew Morrison at the Internet Movie Database
- Matthew Morrison at the Internet Broadway Database
- Matthew Morrison on Twitter
- Matthew Morrison at Emmys.com
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