Matthew Morrison (October 30, 1978) is an American actor and singer-songwriter. He is best known for his performances in Broadway and Off-Broadway shows such as Hairspray and The Light in the Piazza and his starring role in Fox’s musical show Glee. He is currently performing in the Broadway play Finding Neverland. Morrison has also released two studio albums and an E.P. of his singing and songwriting.

Matthew Morrison Bio

Matthew James Morrison was born on October 30th, 1978 in Fort Ord, Calif.

Although Morrison at first wasn’t into the theater, he was quickly drawn to it as a child. As he told uInterview exclusively, his entrance into the theater “was a fluke, to be honest. I was really into like baseball and soccer and stuff as a kid, and then my parents sent me to Arizona to hang out with my grandma and aunt and uncles and cousins. And they kind of threw me and my cousin into this children’s theater for the summer, and it blew me away how into it I was and just really finding my passion at such a young age. It was remarkable. So from that moment, I came back to my parents in Southern California and said, “I want to do children’s theater” and it just never stopped.”

Morrison attended Los Alamitos High School and was part of the Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP 21) and the Orange County High School for the Arts during his high school years. He went to college at New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts, but his studies would very quickly take a backseat to his career on Broadway. By freshman year he was already a routine performer in New York City’s theater scene and dropped out of NYU after his sophomore year so he could join the production of Footloose. Matthew Morrison’s gift as a musical actor didn’t take long to be discovered and soon he was a full-time performer on Broadway’s biggest stages.

Matthew Morrison Career

After making his musical theater debut in the Broadway adaptation of Footloose, Morrison moved on to a revival of Rocky Horror Picture Show. He also made his television debut in an appearance in a 1999 episode of HBO’s Sex in the City.

Matthew Morrison’s breakout performance came when he was tabbed by Marc Shaiman to perform in the original run of Hairspray on Broadway. He was picked to play Link Larkin in 2002 for its opening show and continued to do so until early 2004. The adaptation of John Waters’ film was a huge hit on Broadway, as it won 8 Tony Awards in 2003. Morrison himself received a nomination by the Outer Critics Circle for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.

After making appearances in the 2003 film Marci X and an appearance on the television show Hack in 2003, Morrison continued his time on Broadway by taking on the role of Fabrizio Nacarelli in The Light in the Piazza at the Lincoln Center. Morrison performed from the show’s onset until late August 2005. His performance was once again well acclaimed, as he received nominations for a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, and an Outer Critics Circle Award for The Light in the Piazza.

Morrison started making more appearances on television and in film after his time at the Lincoln Center was up. He had a role in the 2005 film adaptation of Once Upon a Mattress as Sir Harry as well as a guest appearance in a 2006 episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. In October 2006, Morrison joined the cast of CBS’ long-running soap opera As The World Turns to play Adam Munson. He would only be a part of the show for a month, as scheduling conflicts proved to be too much for Morrison to continue the role. Morrison spent his December playing in benefit performances back home in California.

2007 was a busy year for Morrison as he took on roles in a variety of mediums. Morrison appeared in three films: Music and Lyrics, Dan in Real Life, and I Think I Love My Wife. He also appeared alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt in eight episodes of CBS’ Ghost Whisperer as Matt Sembrook in the show’s third season. Morrison capped off his television appearances with a guest starring role in CSI: Miami. Additionally, Morrison made his return to New York by starring in the Off-Broadway show 10 Million Miles. He received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Oustanding Actor in a Musical for his role in the play.

In 2008, Morrison joined to play Lieutenant Cable in the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific at the Lincoln Center. He also made another television guest appearance in Numb3rs. At the end of the year, Morrison was tapped to take on a leading role in Fox’s new musical comedy-drama Glee. He left Broadway to return to Southern California and Hollywood, where he’d be taking on his most highly publicized role yet.

Morrison played the starring role of Spanish teacher Will Schuester since Glee‘s first episode aired on Fox in 2009. Schuester takes on the role of coach for a struggling glee club as he helps it and its students reach new heights while fending off challenges from cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester, played by Jane Lynch. In addition to his lead role, Morrison also took on his first tries at directing, as he directed select episodes of the show from the third season on. Glee ended up becoming one of Fox’s breakout hits and was beloved by both critics and audiences alike. The cast won the 2009 Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Television Series while Morrison won the 2009 Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical Series. Additionally, Morrison ended up with nominations for the Golden Globes, Teen Choice Awards, and a Primetime Emmy as Will Schuester.

While Glee was still on the air, Morrison began to branch off into music as well. In May of 2011, Matthew Morrison released his first self-titled album with Mercury Records. Among the songs on the album are a duet with Elton John and a rendition of “Over the Rainbow” with Gwyneth Paltrow. The album charted on the Billboard charts, reaching as high as #24 in the United States. His single “Summer Rain” also made its way to #16 in the U.S. adult contemporary charts.

Morrison also made guest appearances in 2011’s The Muppets (which featured a stockpile of celebrity cameos with Jim Henson’s loveable puppets) and a musical episode of Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy spinoff The Cleveland Show. Additionally, Morrison took part in a performance of 8, which reenacted the federal trial of California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage, in 2012 to help raise funds for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. He also guest-hosted Live with Kelly with Kelly Ripa for a show in 2012, had a concert special that aired on PBS in 2013, and made a performance at the 2013 Laurence Olivier Awards in London. Later in 2013, Morrison released his second full-length album, Where it All Began. He also released A Classic Christmas in time for the 2013 holiday season as a digital download.

Morrison also had a role in 2012’s What To Expect When You’re Expecting. He joined a large ensemble cast of stars that included Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Anna Kendrick, Dennis Quaid, and Chris Rock in the film that deals with pregnancy and the challenges that face expecting parents. Morrison played the boyfriend and husband of Diaz’s character.

After Glee completed its run on Fox in 2015, Matthew Morrison made his return to Broadway as part of the original cast of Finding Neverland. The play focuses on Morrison as author J.M. Barrie and his family as he created the story and characters of Peter Pan. Morrison spoke to uInterview about the musical in an exclusive interview.

“I do relate to him,” Morrison said of Barrie. “I don’t have much in common with him, but that’s kind of the excitement of jumping into a role like that. I do definitely relate with him. You know, he’s going through this incredible writer’s block when we meet him in this show, and I’ve been in that place where I’ve just kind of felt in a rut in acting or in singing and you just kind of have to break through those walls. I feel like every artist, not every artist, every person kind of has those moments in their lives where they just have to. The story at the end of the day is how you pick yourself back up after being knocked down.”

One of Morrison’s co-stars in the play is the great Kelsey Grammer. Together the two had some great moments in the buildup of the production. “I have many (favorite moments). He plays Captain Hook in this show and he’s so boisterous and he’s got that booming voice and he’s such a great singer as well. I think the greatest part for me though is I’ve been a fan of his for a long time and sometimes you meet people and they kind of let you down, but he’s just the most amazing human being and I’m so thankful that he didn’t let me down because I’m such a fan of his, even more so now.”

Morrison also shared the challenges that starring in Glee made for him in his return to Broadway. “I think my name now I guess carries a little more weight,” he admitted, “so a much bigger range of fans now are coming to see the show. That’s been great, but for me I really grew up on the stage and if anything it was the other way around. I had to learn so much to be able to be on ‘Glee’, to learn how to act in front of the camera. And so now I guess I’m at the place where I’m kind of stripping that away again and re-learning how to be a stage actor – which I never really forgot just like little things are coming to me again.”

Finding Neverland opened in April 2015 and Morrison continues to play as the starring character at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater in New York City. Morrison also had a cameo in the 2015 film Playing it Cool and will lend his voice for the lead character of Jake in the animated soccer and foosball film Underdogs, which is an American dub of the Argentinian film Metegol.

Matthew Morrison’s Personal Life, Marriage To Renne Puente

Matthew Morrison previously dated Lea Michele while working on a Broadway production years before they worked on Glee together. He also had an engagement with Chrishell Stause in 2006 before their wedding was called off when their relationship ended. Morrison began dating Renne Puente in 2011 and, with the help of Elton John, became engaged in 2013. The two married in October 2014 in Maui.

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