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Matthew Morrison
Matthew Morrison Peabody 2010 (cropped).jpg
Morrison at the 2010 Peabody Awards
Matthew James Morrison

(1978-10-30) October 30, 1978 (age 45)
  • Actor
  • dancer
  • singer
Years active 1997–present
Renee Puente
(m. 2014)
Children 2
Musical career
Instruments Vocals
Associated acts

Matthew James Morrison (born October 30, 1978) is an American actor, dancer, and singer, best known for his role as Will Schuester on the Fox television show Glee (2009–2015).

He has starred in multiple Broadway and off-Broadway productions, including appearing as Link Larkin in the original Broadway cast of Hairspray (2002), Fabrizio Nacarelli in the original Broadway cast of the musical The Light in the Piazza (2005, for which he received a Tony Award nomination), and the starring role of J.M. Barrie in the original Broadway cast of Finding Neverland (2015-2016).

He starred as the Grinch in NBC's 2020 production Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical Live!. He has also been a judge on two reality dance competition shows on TV: The Greatest Dancer on BBC One, and So You Think You Can Dance on Fox.

Morrison signed with Adam Levine's 222 Records in 2012, and has released three solo albums: Matthew Morrison (2011), Where It All Began (2013), and Disney Dreamin' with Matthew Morrison (2020).

Early life

Morrison was born in Fort Ord, California, the son of Mary Louise (Fraser) and Thomas Morrison. Morrison was raised in Chico, California, and has Scottish and English ancestry. He was a member of Buena Park Youth theater, located in Buena Park. He was part of the Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21) and the Orange County 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.


In 1999, while still at NYU, Morrison appeared on Late Show with David Letterman and Total Request Live as one of five members of the fictional parody boy band "Fresh Step", an act that was conceived by several Late Show writers. The choreographer hired for "Fresh Step" was also the choreographer for the Broadway musical Footloose, and helped Morrison to get cast in Footloose later that year. Morrison dropped out of NYU to begin appearing in the show.

Jane Lynch & Matthew Morrison
Morrison with Glee co-star Jane Lynch

In 2001, Morrison was recruited to join the boy band LMNT, turning it from a trio into a quartet. He stayed in the band for one year, then left and was replaced by Jonas Persch; he left before the recording of the group's sole album, All Sides. In a 2010 interview, Morrison stated about the experience, "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."

Morrison briefly appeared in a revival of The Rocky Horror Show in 2002. He then starred in the original cast of the musical Hairspray as Link Larkin from its opening in 2002 through January 2004. In 2005, Morrison starred as Fabrizio Nacarelli in the Broadway premiere of Adam Guettel's musical The Light in the Piazza; he was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance. He left the show on August 28, 2005.

Morrison started working in television, guest-starring on shows such as Ghost Whisperer, Numbers, CSI: Miami, and Hack. Morrison also had small roles in films including Marci X (2003). He also appeared as Sir Harry in the 2005 ABC-TV production of Once Upon a Mattress, starring Tracey Ullman, Zooey Deschanel and Carol Burnett.

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 played Will Schuester in the Fox Broadcasting television series Glee, which had its television preview on May 19, 2009. Schuester is a high school Spanish (later History) teacher who takes on the task of restoring the school's glee club to its former glory. He made his directorial debut with the third season's ninth episode.

In January 2010, Morrison signed a solo record deal with Mercury Records. His first studio album, Matthew Morrison, was released on May 10, 2011. Two singles were released from the album, "Summer Rain" and "Still Got Tonight". The album also includes duets with Elton John (a medley of "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" and "Rocket Man"), Gwyneth Paltrow ("Over the Rainbow") and Sting ("Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot"). 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".

Glee Matthew-Morrison-with The Nortes of Hollywood
Morrison (center) with LGBT activist couple Kevin and Don Norte at a PFLAG fundraiser in 2010

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 and aired on PBS in June 2013. In April 2013, Morrison appeared 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, an album of show tunes and jazz standards. One single was released from the album, a cover of "It Don't Mean a Thing".

Morrison returned to Broadway as J. M. Barrie in the Broadway debut of the musical Finding Neverland, which opened in April 2015.

On July 7, 2016, Morrison appeared alongside Megan Hilty in a summer evening of Broadway and other songs with The New York Pops at the Forest Hills Stadium in Forest Hills, Queens.

Morrison was a "dance captain" on BBC One's The Greatest Dancer, which aired for two seasons in 2019 and 2020, alongside Cheryl, Oti Mabuse and, in the second season, Todrick Hall as well. In the second half of 2019, he portrayed Trevor in the ninth season of the FX horror anthology television series American Horror Story.

In December 2020, he starred as The Grinch in NBC's production of Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical Live!.

On April 4, 2022, he was announced as a judge for the seventeenth season of So You Think You Can Dance, along with JoJo Siwa and Stephen "tWitch" Boss. However, on May 27, he was fired from the show for sending text messages to a female contestant that made her feel uncomfortable. His final episode aired on June 8, and he was replaced by actress Leah Remini. In an Instagram video posted in June 2022, Morrison claimed that his messages were just friendly and that he was a victim of cancel culture.

In June 2023, it was announced that Morrison would star alongside Jen Lilley in the TV film A Paris Christmas Waltz, which aired on Great American Family in November 2023. Morrison is also slated to star in the independent thriller From Embers.

Personal life

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 he and Puente were engaged. Morrison and Puente were married on October 18, 2014, at a private home on the island of Maui.

On May 16, 2017, it was revealed on his personal Instagram account that he and Puente were expecting their first child. Their son was born on October 22, 2017. On March 16, 2021, Morrison used his Instagram again to announce that he and Puente were expecting their second child together following a series of miscarriages. Their daughter was born on June 28, 2021.


Morrison, New York CD Release
Matthew Morrison visiting Barnes & Noble for a CD release party, 2013

Studio albums

Title Details Peak chart

Matthew Morrison 24 14 61 63
Where It All Began
  • Release date: June 4, 2013
  • Label: 222 Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
95 163
Disney Dreamin' with Matthew Morrison
  • Release date: March 6, 2020
  • Label: Walt Disney Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Title Details
A Classic Christmas
  • Release date: November 19, 2013
  • Label: 222 Records
  • Formats: music download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak chart
2011 "Summer Rain" 16 Matthew Morrison
"Still Got Tonight" 24 182
2013 "It Don't Mean a Thing" Where It All Began
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Production Role Venue Notes
1998 Footloose Ensemble; Chuck Cranston understudy Broadway Replacement
1999 Chuck Cranston; Ren McCormack understudy US tour
2000 The Rocky Horror Show Phantom Broadway
2001 Sunday in the Park with George Franz / Dennis Regional
2002-2004 Hairspray Link Larkin Broadway Originated role
2003 Tarzan Tarzan NY workshop
2004 Hairspray Link Larkin US tour Replacement
Tarzan Tarzan NY workshop
2005 The Light in the Piazza Fabrizio Naccarelli Broadway Originated role
Catch Me If You Can Frank Abagnale, Jr. NY reading
2007 10 Million Miles Duane Off-Broadway
Chess The Arbiter Los Angeles Benefit Concert
2008-2009 South Pacific Lt. Joseph Cable, USMC Broadway Originated role
2010 The Rocky Horror Show Brad Majors Los Angeles 35th Anniversary
2015-2016 Finding Neverland J.M. Barrie Broadway Originated role
2017 **** Yankees Joe Hardy Benefit Concert



Year Title Role Notes
1999 Bob Rizzo's Simply Funk with Suzanne Himself
2001 Bollywood Calling Mr. Abraham / Pat's agent
2003 Marci X Boyz R Us
2006 Blinders Scott
2007 Music and Lyrics Ray
Dan in Real Life Policeman
I Think I Love My Wife Salesman #2
2012 What to Expect When You're Expecting Evan Webber
2014 Space Station 76 Daniel
2015 Playing It Cool Himself
Underdogs Jake Voice role
2016 After the Reality Scottie
2017 Tulip Fever Mattheus
2019 Crazy Alien Zach Andrews


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Relativity Dr. Alexander Episode: "Hearts and Bones"
1999 Sex and the City Young busboy Episode: "They Shoot Single People, Don't They?"
2003 Hack Sam Wagner Episode: "Blind Faith"
2005 Once Upon a Mattress Sir Harry Television Film
2006 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Chance Slaughter Episode: "Proud Flesh"
As the World Turns Adam Munson (#4) Regular role; 17 episodes
2007 Ghost Whisperer Matt Sembrook Episode: "Bad Blood"
CSI: Miami Jesse Stark Episode: "Bloodline"
2008 Numbers Blaine Cleary Episode: "Power"
2009 Taking Chance Robert Rouse Television film
2009–2015 Glee Will Schuester Main role
Directed season 3, episode 9: "Extraordinary Merry Christmas"
2011 The Cleveland Show Episode: "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Roberta?"; voice role
2012 8_(play) Paul Katamai TV movie
2012 Live with Kelly Himself Co-host
2013 Hollywood Game Night Episode: "Don't Kill My Buzz-er"
2016 The Good Wife Connor Fox Recurring role; 6 episodes
Younger Sebastian Episode: "The Good Shepherd"
2017–2018 Grey's Anatomy Paul Stadler Guest role (seasons 13–14); 4 episodes
2019–2020 The Greatest Dancer Himself Dance captain
2019 American Horror Story: 1984 Trevor Kirchner Main role
2020 #KidsTogether: The Nickelodeon Town Hall Himself Television special
Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical! The Grinch
2022 So You Think You Can Dance Himself Judge, season 17
2023 Paris Christmas Waltz Leo Monroe Television movie

Awards and nominations

Year Award ceremony Category Project Result
2003 Outer Critics Circle Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Hairspray Nominated
2005 The Light in the Piazza Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated Audience Award Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
2008 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical 10 Million Miles Nominated
2009 Screen Actors Guild Award Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Television Series – Comedy (Shared with "Glee" cast) Glee Won
Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical Nominated
2010 Teen Choice Award Choice Male Scene Stealer Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical Nominated
TV Land Award Future Classic Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Television Series – Comedy (Shared with "Glee" cast) Nominated
2015 Audience Award Favorite Actor in a Musical Finding Neverland Won
Favorite Onstage Pair (w/ Laura Michelle Kelly) Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated

See also

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