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Matthew Morrison

A Broadway actor since the age of 19, Matthew Morrison went on to originate roles including Link Larkin in Hairspray (2002) and Fabrizio Naccarelli in The Light in the Piazza (2005). He received a Tony Award nomination for the latter but made an even bigger splash on TV, where he began portraying Mr. Shuester -- the well-meaning music teacher and adult star of Glee -- in 2009. The show required its cast to sing and dance, two skills Morrison had sharpened during his time as a stage actor. He launched his solo recording career with an eponymous debut album in 2011. A collection of adult contemporary pop featuring cover songs as well as several Morrison originals, it included guest spots from Elton John, Sting, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Glee ended its six-season run in 2015, the year Morrison returned to Broadway to star in the musical Finding Neverland. Recurring roles on hit TV series such as The Good Wife and American Horror Story followed before he presented his third solo album, Disney Dreamin' with Matthew Morrison, in 2020. A California native, Matthew James Morrison began performing in school plays and theater camp productions before relocating to New York, where he enrolled at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. After a brief stint in the boy band LMNT, he returned his focus to acting and landed a role in the Broadway adaptation of Footloose. More Broadway shows followed, including the original Broadway production of John Waters' Hairspray. The musical won a Grammy Award in 2003 for its soundtrack; Morrison also received his own nomination from the Outer Critics Circle Awards, having attracted a good bit of attention by originating the role of Link Larkin. His first Tony nomination followed in 2005, in the category of Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Fabrizio in Adam Guettel's The Light in the Piazza. As his reputation grew, so did his résumé, and Morrison began branching out into film and TV. In 2008, he joined fellow Broadway vets Lea Michele and Jenna Ushkowitz in the cast of Glee. The Fox series aired its first episodes early the following year and became a surprise hit, convincing the producers to extend the first season into mid-2010. That same year, Morrison was recognized with Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal of Will Shuester, and he signed a record contract with Mercury. He continued to work on preparing his first solo album as Glee entered its second season, securing duets with Elton John and occasional Glee co-star Gwyneth Paltrow along the way. The finished product, titled simply Matthew Morrison, was released in May 2011. The album debuted at 24 on the Billboard 200. Glee continued its run on Fox, and two years later, Morrison returned to the music of Broadway for Where It All Began, a collection of 12 standards produced by Phil Ramone. The album arrived on 222 Records in June 2013 and cracked the top half of the Billboard 200, peaking at number 95. Released on the same label, the EP A Christmas Classic followed later in the year. After Glee aired its final episode in March of 2015, Morrison returned to Broadway for the first time since 2008. Finding Neverland opened on Broadway that April with Morrison in the lead role of Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie. He left the production in early 2016 and spent the next few years in recurring roles on CBS's The Good Wife, ABC's Grey's Anatomy, and FX's American Horror Story. In March 2020, Walt Disney Records issued his third solo album, Disney Dreamin' with Matthew Morrison. It included his versions of classic songs from Pinocchio, Aladdin, Toy Story, and more.
© Andrew Leahey & Marcy Donelson /TiVo


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