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Jonathan Groff Biography

Jonathan Groff Biography

Jonathan Groff was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to parents George and Julie Groff. He is a native of Ronks, Pennsylvania, Groff graduated from Conestoga Valley High School in 2003.

Openly gay, Groff told during the National Equality March in Washington, D.C., that he is "gay and proud". Groff currently stars in Glee along with Spring Awakening co-star Lea Michele. He introduced Michele to Glee creator Ryan Murphy prior to the show's start.

Groff is best known for originating the role of Melchior Gabor in the Broadway production of Spring Awakening. He played the role from the musical's Broadway debut on December 10, 2006 through May 18, 2008. He also played the same role in the original Off Broadway production earlier during the summer of 2006. Other Broadway credits include the 2005 musical, In My Life. Jonathan also was in the National Tour of The Sound of Music as Rolf, and appeared in Fame at the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly, Massachusetts. In April 2007, he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his role in Spring Awakening. In May 2007, he was nominated for the Tony Award as Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance, with the award eventually going to David Hyde Pierce for his performance in Curtains.

Jonathan Groff with Lea Michelle on Spring Awakening

He played the recurring role of Henry Mackler on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. His storyline about a school shooting on the long-running soap opera was nixed due to the Virginia Tech shooting in April 2007, and he is no longer on the show. Henry was killed off the soap on May 8, 2007 after having a drug-induced heart attack while driving a car and subsequently crashing.[citation needed]

Before performing on the Broadway stage, Jonathan was a performer at The Ephrata Playhouse in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. There he portrayed such characters as Edgar in Bat Boy: The Musical and Ugly in Honk!. After the success of Spring Awakening, Jonathan made a visit to The Ephrata Playhouse to reunite with some of his old cast members during a special event entitled "An Evening With Jonathan Groff". Jonathan also performed in numerous productions at The Fulton Opera House in Lancaster, PA where he accumulated a substantial amount of acting experience.

Some earlier jobs of his included being a waiter at The Chelsea Grill in Hell's Kitchen, a ride operator at Dutch Wonderland, and a counselor at a theater camp in York, Pennsylvania where he taught acting to 11 and 12 year olds.

Jonathan left Spring Awakening on May 18, 2008. Part of his decision to leave was due to his starring role as Claude in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Hair, which ran July 22 through August 31. Jonathan's last performance with the production was August 16, and he decided not to join the Broadway revival of Hair, starring much of the Public Theater cast from its run at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

Jonathan has recently played Woodstock organizer Michael Lang in acclaimed director Ang Lee's film, Taking Woodstock. Filming began in late August 2008, and the film was released on August 28, 2009.

Jonathan was recently in the Off-Broadway production of Prayer for My Enemy a new play by Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss, Light in the Piazza) about the consequences the Iraq war has had on an American family. The show co-stars Tony winners Victoria Clark and Michelle Pawk. It played in the fall of 2008 at the acclaimed Off-Broadway theater Playwrights Horizons.

In August 2009, Groff performed The Bacchae as Dionysus as a part of the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park.

He is currently guest starring on Glee as Jesse St. James, the male lead of rival glee club, Vocal Adrenaline for eight of the back nine episodes. He also serves as a love interest for his former Spring Awakening co-star Lea Michele's character, Rachel Berry.

In August 2010 he will make his West End debut opposite Simon Russell Beale in Deathtrap, at the Noel Coward Theatre in a production directed by Matthew Warchus. He also has two movies to be released later this year: Robert Redford's The Conspirator and Jeff Lipsky's Twelve Thirty.

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